When I first learned that relative new kid on the horror block Joe Hill is the eldest son of the legendary Stephen King, I hoped that his debut novel Heart-Shaped Box would be at least as good as his dad's stuff. I can safely say that it screamed at the top of its literary lungs as it blew past any expectations I had and set a new standard for what I want in a scary story.
Clocking in at 384 pages, HSB is a lean, mean story that opens with a simple premise; a ghost for sale on the Internet is purchased by aging rock star Judas Coyne, a collector of all things macabre. As happens all to often in tales such as this, Coyne finds that he has purchased way more than he bargained for.....but maybe not more than he deserves. What follows is a non-stop thriller of a story that I literally had trouble putting down until I got to the (very satisfying) end.
Heart-Shaped Box is cinematic to the point that I found myself musing over how easily this could be directly adapted to the big screen, so it came as no surprise to learn that Warner Bros. has recently picked up the movie rights. I have my reservations, tho; too many recent book-to-screen adaptations have ended up gutting the source material to the point that the story is unrecognizable. Here's hoping the Warners do it justice.