Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill
As Joe Hill is commencing a UK tour in the near future I particularly wanted to read his first major breakthrough UK novel. In essence this is the story of Jude Coyne, hard living (hard lived) aged rock star who is haunted by the dead "stepfather ghost" of a previous girlfriend. I loved the somewhat gothic and rockstar/rockchick feel and the serious undertones of physical(from his childhood) and sexual abuse that formed the real basis of this novel....."...and how his mother and Jude had run away from him together when Jude was nine, only at the Greyhound his mother lost her nerve and called her parents, and wept to them, and they told her to take the boy back to his father and try and make peace, make peace with her husband and with God, and his father was waiting with the shotgun on the porch when they returned, and he smashed her in the face with the gunstock and then put the barrel on her left breast and said he'd kill her if she ever tried to run away again, and so she never ran away again" Jude decides that in order to rid himself of this unwanted ghostly companion he must visit the "seller" Jessica Price his ex girlfriends sister. I feel the horror aspects were secondary to the real and true human/emotional issues, the abuse suffered by Jude Coyne and how it influenced and shaped him and impinged on his life and relationships.