Flashback Friday: Heart-Shaped Box

Flashback Friday is my own little weekly tradition, in which I pick a book from my reading past to highlight. If you’d like to join in, here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:

  1. Has to be something you’ve read yourself
  2. Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  3. Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

My picks for this week’s Flashback Friday:

Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

(published 2007)

From Goodreads:

Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre — his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman’s noose, Aleister Crowley’s childhood chessboard, etc. — so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it.

The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker’s sanity.

I’ve just started reading Joe Hill’s new release, NOS4A2, so when it was time to pick a Flashback Friday book for this week, I couldn’t resist revisiting the author’s first novel, Heart-Shaped Box. What you need to know: A) Joe Hill can write, and B) Joe Hill can write seriously scary stuff. Heart-Shaped Box is a practically perfect horror novel, with a seriously terrifying bad guy and an unbelievably tense build-up to a crackling end.

I generally consider myself unflappable when it comes to what I read: Whatever it is, I’ll still sleep perfectly well at night, thank you very much. Heart-Shaped Box was definitely an exception to that rule for me. Leave the lights on for this one.

So, what’s your favorite blast from the past? Leave a tip for your fellow booklovers!

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join the Flashback Friday fun, write a blog post about a book you love (please mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the Flashback Friday host!) and share your link below. Don’t have a blog post to share? Then share your favorite oldie-but-goodie in the comments section. Jump in!

4 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Heart-Shaped Box

    • I’ve only gotten about 50 pages into NOS4A2 so far, but it was still enough that I had a very disturbed night’s sleep last night.

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