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HEART-SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill (Stephen King's boy!)

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HEART-SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill (Stephen King's boy!)

Old 09-21-06, 10:34 AM
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HEART-SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill (Stephen King's boy!)

I recently got my hands on a review copy of Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. A week ago, I learned that Joe Hill is actually Joe King (Stephen King's son) writing under a pseudonym. I'm about 100 pages in, and I can report that it's pretty creepy so far, a nasty little revenge tale involving a ghost. I would even say that it has a nice early-King vibe.



It comes out in February, so watch for it.

Here's a link to Joe Hill's blog, and some cover art.

Here's an interview with Hill, as well as a pic that's reminiscent of Dad.
Old 09-21-06, 10:39 AM
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I guess that's one way for a first-time writer to get published.
Old 09-21-06, 10:42 AM
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Funny that the Google ad on this thread right now is for "All the King's Men."
Old 09-21-06, 10:55 AM
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Jason, I think the ads are text sensitive, so they'll all be King books or movies or some such.

But man, this looks like one kick butt book. I sure would like to read it before February.
Old 09-21-06, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bishop2knight
Jason, I think the ads are text sensitive, so they'll all be King books or movies or some such.
Oh yeah, I knew that. But still, nice nepotism angle.
Old 09-21-06, 10:01 PM
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How old is his son?
Old 09-22-06, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by abrg923
How old is his son?
Joe King played Billy in the opening segment of Creepshow, so I looked him up at IMDB and found that he was born in 1972. So he's about 34.
Old 09-23-06, 02:25 AM
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However good or bad the book might turn out to be, am I alone in thinking it a shame that his publicists/publishers seem to have had so little faith in his ability to sell without leaking details of the familial connection?

Maybe they could have let the book out there for a few weeks and then used this tactic. At least he would have known whether he'd earned any plaudits/brickbats in his own right.

Last edited by benedict; 09-23-06 at 02:29 AM. Reason: Clarity
Old 09-23-06, 04:16 PM
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Yeah, I don't know the details about the leak, but it is a shame. However, he has one previous book available (20th Century Ghosts), and that one did pretty well--at least critically--before the secret was revealed...
Old 09-23-06, 05:04 PM
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I disagree that it's a shame -- the purpose of a publisher is to sell books. If they can sell more books by dropping Dad's name, why not do it? The book remains whatever it is, regardless. Whatever publicity the book does or doesn't get, the words on the page are the same.

As for garnering critical plaudits... It's much more likely to work the opposite way. If people are going to give a biased critique based on his family ties, they're more likely to savage a book by Stephen King's son than they are to praise it.

I think most critics try to be fair about stuff like that, though.
Old 09-23-06, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by djmont
I disagree that it's a shame -- the purpose of a publisher is to sell books. If they can sell more books by dropping Dad's name, why not do it?
Oh, from the publisher's position, it's a great idea. I guess I just feel for the author. If I were in his shoes, I'd want to have the best shot at proving myself outside Dad's shadow...
Old 10-05-06, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by benedict
However good or bad the book might turn out to be, am I alone in thinking it a shame that his publicists/publishers seem to have had so little faith in his ability to sell without leaking details of the familial connection?

Maybe they could have let the book out there for a few weeks and then used this tactic. At least he would have known whether he'd earned any plaudits/brickbats in his own right.
But that's how it works with musicians and actors. I'm quite surprised they didn't push him to use his father's last name.
Old 10-06-06, 08:00 AM
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Joe Hill's writing is excellent - being King's son or not. 20th Century Ghosts is a compelling read that far exceeds the majority of what passes as horror fiction these days.

Haven't read HSB yet, but it's in my TBR pile.
Old 10-07-06, 02:03 AM
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Joe Hill is actually Richard Bachman's son.
Old 10-09-06, 01:37 PM
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No. He's George Stark's son.
Old 01-09-07, 01:09 PM
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Finished this book a couple days ago. It's pretty good, if you're interested in a ghost story. The guy can definitely write, although it takes it a good 100 pages for the story to get revved up. I probably would have quit it if I weren't reviewing it, but I'm glad I stuck with it, because it does get good.
Old 02-04-07, 07:09 PM
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The book still doesn't come out 'til next week, but in case anyone's curious, my review ran in the Chicago Sun-Times this morning:

http://www.suntimes.com/entertainmen...hill04.article
Old 02-05-07, 08:57 PM
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Nice review! I went ahead and pre-ordered it, so it's next on my to-read list.
Old 03-05-07, 01:53 AM
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I enjoyed this work a lot. I did think I was going to end up disliking the novel (due to my hate of the Florida and Georgia characters), but they were redeemed for me as the novel hit its midpoint to end. I suppose its no mistake that the more Judas came to care more for them -- and ultimately understand them -- that I, too, came around.

Now I only wish I could find a copy of Hill's first book.
Old 03-05-07, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Jones
Now I only wish I could find a copy of Hill's first book.
Surviving?

http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Joe-...3106578&sr=8-2
Old 03-05-07, 10:48 AM
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Surviving is by a different Joe Hill (who is, no doubt, enjoying the benefit of increased sales due to misidentification!).

This Joe Hill has one other book (20th Century Ghosts), and that one is hard to find.
Old 03-05-07, 11:47 AM
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Thanks for the clarification!
Old 03-08-07, 02:29 PM
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Finished this last night and while I thought the middle part was a little slow, I enjoyed it overall, especially the last third of the book.
Old 04-12-07, 01:11 PM
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Just got started on the book. I have to say, he's a lot better than his father at setting up a story. Stephen King can have a tendancy to fill up a hundred pages with mind-numbing backstory before finally getting into the action. With this book, you have about 20 or so pages of setup, then the ride begins. I do find myself wondering if it'll run out of steam due to him hitting the ground running, though.
Old 11-09-07, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by djmont
This Joe Hill has one other book (20th Century Ghosts), and that one is hard to find.
Maybe everyone knows this news by now, but I just learned of it. 20th Century Ghosts looks to be back in print (most likely thanks to Heart-Shaped Box). I came across this title while preordering Duma Key from Amazon.

Amazon Link

Thought I would throw this little info out there for those who wanted to read Hill's previous work after enjoying his latest novel.

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