Sunday, October 10, 2010
"Heart Shaped Box" by Joe Hill
First off, for you thriller fans, if you have anything that you want to get done over the course of the next few days, do not, I repeat DO NOT pick up this book. Your life will be sucked down the creepy, compelling and just plain-ol'-awesome black hole of a book that Joe Hill has put together. His writing's lean and mean and drags you on a ride that'll have you turning on the lights during the daytime. Word.
Here's the thing: Hill goes there. And once he goes there, he doesn't retreat. He's out on that ledge looking for a toehold to take you to the next insanely dangerous (but totally thrilling) place. And the whole time, his story's so completely grounded that it doesn't feel like a story. You're there. You're seeing it. And what you're seeing will scare the beejeebers out of you. Oh yeah, and the gore. Did I mention the gore? #notmeantforaweakstomach
Now I know for you non-thriller types that telling you to take an even bigger leap to horror is asking a lot. I get it. But listen...Hill's writing something that goes beyond horror here. His prose approaches poetry at times, without feeling all self-conscious. Know what I mean? The guy can craft a story and get your heart racing, but there's also a real sense of kindness underneath the horror. The main character's going through this whole transformation that leaves us feeling like change is not only possible, but actually a good idea.
Oh, and one more thing to think about. It's coming up on Halloween. If now isn't the time to experiment with some horror, when is?
So, go out and buy a couple of nightlights, clear your schedule and pick up this book. You may curse my name while skipping your daily hygienic routine in order to keep reading, but once done, you'll come back and thank me again and again.