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Paperback 20th Century Ghosts (2007) Book

ISBN: 0739495615

ISBN13: 9780739495612

20th Century Ghosts (2007)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. From the New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Horns comes this award-winning collection of short fiction. Imogene is young, beautiful . . . and dead, waiting in the Rosebud Theater one...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

20Th Century Ghosts

Love it!!

Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts is Brilliant

Joe Hill is brilliant, I can't say it any other way. The stories in 20th Century Ghosts are fresh and intelligent. Mr. Hill develops characters that are 3 dimensional and which the reader cares deeply about. I was hypnotized by these stories from the beginning to the end. When I finished the last story, I was deeply depressed. I am an English teacher and I read the story Pop Art, (a tale of an inflatable boy), aloud to my Freshmen class, and they were absolutely mesmerized. It's outlandishly macabre,sad and deeply disturbing at the same time. I don't think I've ever read a story that compares to this in my life. One can only hope that Joe Hill will continue writing for many years to come. If you are looking for a book that is satisfying, scary, funny, sad and impossible to put down, this it it!

Fresh and True

Reading is a collaborative event. When the collaboration is good, the story resonates inside, touching on some emotion or history that the reader brings to the table. The very best stories are fresh and specific, though, so simply tapping into pop culture or tired archetypes won't work as an authorial technique. The story has to touch something deeper. It has to be true. In bypassing pop clichés, the ending of a truly great story should be a surprise--not because of a trick, but because in telling the truth, the clichés get left behind. I was three stories deep in Joe Hill's "20th Century Ghosts" before I decided that I was reading the freshest, most surprising, truest speculative fiction I'd read in decades. Each piece in this book is a gem. "Best New Horror" is a formulaic tale about an editor who's tired of formula stories. The last paragraph of the tale takes an exhilarating turn that struck me as poetic--completely reframing the story. "Pop Art" is the most unusual, touching piece of fiction I can remember. The title is a pun, and the story is absurd. How could it leave me in tears? "Better than Home" is an odd father-son love story. What is a story about baseball, uncontrollable saliva, dead bodies under a covered bridge and the joys of throwing peanut shells on the steps doing in a collection of horror tales? Fitting in quite nicely. Every tale here belongs. Critics often say, "I couldn't put the book down." I put 20th Century Ghosts down a half-dozen times, asking myself, "How could this guy be so damned good?" Do yourself a huge favor. Buy 20th Century Ghosts and "begin collaborating" with this most talented author.

Impressive Debut, Imaginative Short Fiction

Before "The Heart-Shaped Box" hit the bestseller charts, Joe Hill released this book as a limited edition short story collection. It won numerous awards in 2005--Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, British Fantasy Award for Best Collection, and the International Horror Guild Award for Best Collection--all before Hill was "outed" as the second son of novelists Stephen and Tabitha King. The 14 stories included outshine his debut novel, featuring a wide variety of protagonists and situations outside of the norm in horror. In fact, not every story has supernatural elements--several stories here originally appeared in "literary" journals. "Abraham's Boys" is a post-modern twist on Van Helsing, while Hill updates Kafka with "You Will Hear the Locust Sing." The most disturbing stories, however, have no blood and gore, such as mind-freak "My Father's Mask." The novella that concludes this collection, "Voluntary Committal," is one of the most haunting novellas ever written. This edition also contains the short story "Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead," which was not previously published in the UK edition.

Impressive Debut, Imaginative Short Fiction

Before "The Heart-Shaped Box" hit the bestseller charts, Joe Hill released this limited edition short story collection from PS Publishing. It won numerous awards in 2005--Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, British Fantasy Award for Best Collection, and the International Horror Guild Award for Best Collection--all before Hill was "outed" as the second son of novelists Stephen and Tabitha King. The 14 stories included outshine his debut novel, featuring a wide variety of protagonists and situations outside of the norm in horror. The best story here, in my opinion, is "Best New Horror"--an inside jab at small-time horror publishers. This collection will be re-released in October 2007 by major publishers in the US and UK, but until then this limited edition paperback is the only place to read Hill's collected short fiction.
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