'Buy my stepfather's ghost' read the e-mail.
So Jude did.
He bought it, in the shape of the dead man's suit, delivered in a heart-shaped box, because he wanted it: because his fans ate up that kind of story. It was perfect for his collection: the genuine skulls and the bones, the real honest-to-God snuff movie, the occult books and all the rest of the paraphanalia that goes along with his kind of hard/goth rock.
But the rest of his collection doesn't make the house feel cold. The bones don't make the dogs bark; the movie doesn't make Jude feel as if he's being watched. And none of the artefacts bring a vengeful old ghost with black scribbles over his eyes out of the shadows to chase Jude out of his home, and make him run for his life ...
This first novel by Hill, the second son of Stephen King, provides the perfect raw material for Lang to create an auditory world so convincing that the listener will feel as if they have seen a film by the time they are through. The complex plot can be simply stated: as a lark, retired heavy metal star Judas Coyne buys a haunted suit online. The ghost turns out to be the very angry stepfather of an ex-groupie/lover of Coyne's who killed herself after he sent her away. The relentless ghost is there to kill Judas and anyone who tries to help him. Lang's superb narration is nearly hypnotic in its calm delivery, perfect as backdrop for the action and horror that surrounds it. His Coyne is reminiscent of John Goodman, deep and understated, with a foundation of confidence with a barely perceptible trace of a Southern accent. Each disk starts with a bit of Nine Inch Nails ish heavy haunting electronica, an ideal tone setter for the journey. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 11).
This book is brilliant, I read it in one sitting as I found it difficult to put down.
The plot is both original and enthralling. A good read!
Now read nos4r2
I love joe hill strum kings books, and the idea that a person could buy a ghost on eBay (other dark bidding sites are available), and this has a genuine creepy feel and did get my heart racing. I really hope there are more adaptations of his books, even though horns didn't get the reception it should have done, this book and nos4r2 would translate very well. Buy it now!!!
Heart Shaped Box
Well it had an effect on my heart - what a gem of a story... I'll be catching up on more Joe Hill now