Tuesday, April 14, 2015



*Re-Read (audio) in 2015 (originally read in 2010)*
This is a great story collection, which is interesting, because I was pretty disappointed by author Joe Hill's first two novels, Heart-Shaped Box and Horns. I thought they both started strong and then fizzled about half-way through. Maybe Hill is better in the short form?

The theme running most of these stories, are kids coming of age through unexplained events and phenomenon that will stay with them forever, even as they get older. There's a romantic, nostalgic quality to the writing that really resonates throughout, and Hill is really gifted at capturing the voice of a young boy. The title story, "20th Century Ghost," is one of the best short stories I've read. It really touched me and sets the standard for the whole collection. Other standout tales from the collection are "Pop Art," "The Cape," "Last Breath," "Bobby Conroy Comes Back From The Dead," and the great novella that closes the collection, "Voluntary Committal." And "My Father's Mask" is so uncomfortably disturbing!

I decided to try my hand at audiobooks for the first time to help me through long commutes, and I thought re-reading this collection would be a great way to start. The reader was engaging and was great at voicing the kids. This is a wonderful story collection and deserves to be right up there with the collections from Matheson and Stephen King.

1 comment:

  1. I will have to check out this book. I liked Hill's other work.


Please be respectful