Heart-Shaped Box

by

Author: Joe Hill

Title: Heart-Shaped Box

Genre: Horror fiction

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 374

Geographical Setting:  U.S.A. (New York, Georgia, Louisiana)

Time Period: present day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary:

Over-the-hill rock star Judas Coyne  lives comfortably on a farm in New York state with his lady friend-du-jour Georgia, his personal assistant Danny, and his two beloved dogs, Angus and Bon.  He also has a fetish for collecting strange and macabre artifacts.  When Danny comes across an auction for a dead man’s suit (dead man’s ghost included!), Jude can’t resist adding the find to his collection.  However, he soon discovers that the ghost’s surviving family member has ulterior motives, first and foremost of which  is revenge.

Jude must figure out a way to either placate the angry spirit or destroy him outright before the ghost exacts his deadly retribution on Jude and all those close to him.

Subject Headings:

Ghosts;  Rock musicians;  Supernatural;  Secrets;  Men/women relations;  Life after death;  Paranormal phenomena;  Apparitions;  Interpersonal relations;  Ghost stories;  Horror stories

Appeal:

reckless, spooky, menacing, malevolent, ominous, searching, intense, confrontational, secrets, bittersweet, angst-ridden, sarcastic, selfish, cathartic, rock ‘n roll jargon and references

3 terms that best describe this book:

Eerie, bloody, story of redemption

Similar Authors and Works:

Fiction:

1)      Ghost Radio: A Novel – text and illustrations by Leopoldo Gout

An ex-punk rocker discovers a voice from another dimension in the static he hears during his underground radio call-in show.

Similarities:  rock and roll connected main character,  paranormal phenomena, ghosts, ominous

2)      In the Night Room by Peter Straub

The lives of two strangers intertwine when one loses her daughter and the other communicates with people from his youth, people who happen to be dead.

Similarities:  interpersonal relations, ghosts, paranormal phenomena, spooky

3)      Duma Key by Stephen King

After a terrible accident which leaves him crippled, Edgar Freemantle goes to the Florida Keys and rents a house in order to heal.  He takes up painting and soon discovers that his artwork begins to mysteriously reveal secrets surrounding his new landlady’s family history.

Similarities:  family secrets, revenge, paranormal phenomena, cathartic, menacing

Non-Fiction:

1)      Cryptopedia: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange, and Downright Bizarre by Jonathan Maberry and David F. Kramer

A supernatural encyclopedia of sorts, The Cryptopedia provides chapters on angels, occult symbols, poltergeists, and UFOs, among others.

Similarities:  paranormal phenomena, supernatural, the occult, spooky

2)      Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach

Uses science to try to explain life after death and other paranormal occurrences.

Similarities:  paranormal phenomena, ghosts, life after death

3)      Every Rose Has Its Thorn: The Rock n Roll Field Guide to Guys by Erin Bradley; illustrations by Heather Bradley

A tongue-in-cheek guide that helps navigate the quirky road of rock stars and rock star wanna-bes.  True life stories, quizzes and illustrations are all here to inform and entertain the curious.

Similarities:  rock ‘n roll, rock stars, men/women relationships, sarcasm

Name: Valerie Kyriakopoulos

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