Heart-Shaped Box (novel)

Heart-Shaped Box (novel)

infobox Book |
name = Heart-Shaped Box

image_caption = Cover of US edition
author = Joe Hill
illustrator =
cover_artist = Susan Young
country = USA
language = English
genre = Horror fiction
publisher = William Morrow
release_date = February 13 2007
media_type = Print (Hardback)
pages = 376
isbn = ISBN 978-0-06-114793-7
preceded_by = 20th Century Ghosts
followed_by = Locke & Key

"Heart-Shaped Box" is a 2007 debut horror novel by author Joe Hill

Plot summary

Middle-aged rock star Judas Coyne collects morbid curios, so he doesn't think twice about buying a suit advertised at an online auction site as haunted by its dead owner's ghost. Only after it arrives does Jude discover that the suit belonged to Craddock McDermott, the stepfather of one of Coyne's discarded groupies, and that the old man's ghost is a malignant spirit determined to kill Judas in revenge for his stepdaughter's suicide.Judas and his girlfriend take to the road in an attempt to run from the ghost and to find a way to stop it.


Hill received a great deal of attention with the publication of "Heart-Shaped Box". Subterranean Press published the advance edition of 500 copies and they sold out within days, long before publication. The limited signed and numbered 200 copies and 15 lettered copies are sought after by Joe Hill book collectors. A second printing of the limited edition was announced by Subterranean Press on April 14, 2007 and released in May 2007. The second printing sold out within hours of being announced. Hill went on an international tour promoting his book which ended in April 2007.

His previous book, "20th Century Ghosts", was only available through a UK publisher and was printed in very limited quantities (1,700 copies in total, 700 of which are signed).

"Heart-Shaped Box" peaked on the New York Times bestseller list at #8 [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/books/bestseller/0408besthardfiction.html Hardcover Fiction - New York Times ] ] , and has been reviewed by the New York Times [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E4D9103FF93BA35751C0A9619C8B63 BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Clothes Make The Man Scared - New York Times ] ] and Time magazine. [ [http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1587666,00.html The Son Also Frightens - TIME ] ]

References to music

Throughout the book there are several references to hard rock/heavy metal:
*The title is the name of a Nirvana song.
*The character's name Judas can be a reference to the band Judas Priest. His nickname, Jude, could be a reference to the Beatle's Hey Jude.
*Judas' dogs are named Angus and Bon after Angus Young and Bon Scott of AC/DC, and Jimmy and Robert, after Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin.
*Each part of the book is named after a rock song: Black Dog (Led Zeppelin), Ride On (AC/DC), Hurt (Nine Inch Nails), and Alive (Pearl Jam).
*Judas' assistant is named Danny Wooten, which could be a reference to the bassist Victor Wooten.
*Coldplay's song "Yellow" and "I Hate Myself And Want To Die" by Nirvana are mentioned in the book.
*The bands My Chemical Romance, Foo Fighters, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Motley Crue, Rancid, Anthrax, and musicians Johnny Cash, John Bonham, Joey Ramone, Chuck Berry and Trent Reznor are also mentioned in the book.
*I Am The Walrus is mentioned by the character.
*Johnny Cash is mentioned in connection to the ghost's suit
*Johnny Cash's 'Folsom Prison Blues' is referenced


The film rights to "Heart-Shaped Box" have been acquired by Warner Bros Studios; the film is to be scripted and directed by Irish director Neil Jordan and produced by Akiva Goldsman. [ [http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i24f58f9705c1a288fbb70a9ce94d51e1 Jordan will build 'Box' for Warners ] ]


External links

* [http://www.joehillfiction.com/ Joe Hill's personal website]
* Read a "Heart-Shaped Box" [http://www.nekonata.com/fce/0061147931.htm excerpt online]
* [http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1587666,00.html/ Time Magazine review of Heart-Shaped Box]

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