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20th Century Ghosts Hardcover – 18 Oct 2007

34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (18 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575081929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575081925
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe Hill is a recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship and the winner of the A.E. Coppard Long Fiction Prize, William Crawford, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Awards. His short fiction has appeared in literary, mystery and horror collections and magazines in Britain and America.

Author photo (c) Shane Leonard

Product Description

Review

"This strong, award winning collection of stories by Stephen King's son drives a stake through any cattiness that his enjoyable 2007 horror novel Heart Shaped Box was just a lucky break. The refreshing horror collection you've been looking for, even if you didn't know it. My Father's Mask is perhaps the most unsettling thing this horror reviewer has ever read." (METRO)

"Joe Hill lays to rest any doubts about one hit wonder syndrome with this unmissable bounty of short stories, all but guaranteed to add chilled spice to horror fans' spare winter evenings once the curtains have been drawn. A beast of brilliance that will swallow you whole and spit you back out again wearing a big grin." (STARBURST)

"It's wildly imaginative stuff, yet always anchored in reality. There are at least five stories here which deserve to be included in Best Of anthologies for decades to come." (Dave Golder SFX)

"Hill's shorter works have the same ingenuity as his novel 'Heart-Shaped Box' and the same populist wisdom we find in the work of his father Stephen King. What he adds is a weird poetry that is all his own." (Rox Kaveney TIME OUT)

"Even the weakest story present is fired by fierce imagination and a deceptively simple style. Joe Hill's work, while undeniably reminiscent of his father's, holds a charge and voice that is unmistakably his own. 20th Century Ghosts demonstrates this perfectly and deserves to be read." (Jes Bickham DEATHRAY)

Book Description

The multi-award-winning first collection by NEW YORK TIMES bestseller Joe Hill

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By alexia lewis on 2 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
I don't often read short story's, as they tend to have open ending which I don't much like, but having read Heart shaped box thought I would give these a go.
I found most really engaging apart perhaps '20th century ghost, which I didn't really feel went anywhere, and I didn't like 'In the rundown' due to the graphic nature of the story line, it was a bit too much for me, and I found I had to skim it just to get it over with, but the rest where really enjoyable, creepy without being obvious, and moving without the sentimentality.
I finished a couple of days ago and the story's are still popping into my head every now and again, a sign of a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By james on 3 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book expecting it to be more horror oriented, however the stories here cover a far broader spectrum from coming of age drama to ghost stories. I was not left disappointed, I felt that each story was worth a read and there was no real filler. My favourite of the stories was "Voluntary Committal", the last in the book and probably the longest.

Overall, I am happy that I read this book and will be seeking out more of Joe Hill's work in the future. Anyone looking for a collection of well written stories covering a variety of themes would not go wrong in choosing this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JK TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A collection of 15 short stories, originally published in 2007, from the pen of Joe Hill. I read the book five or six years ago and, while I didn't appreciate all of the stories, I was genuinely blown away by the scope of the subject matter and quality of writing.

What Hill does here is what his father has done for longer than I care to remember; he brings people and places to life and twists ordinary situations into the surreal. This is a blend of emotion/fantasy/horror and though visceral in places it's also subtle and understated. Nothing here scared me, nothing here was how I expected it would be, this isn't traditional horror writing though some of the characters and themes are undoubtedly 'horrible'. This is a showcase of how contemporary horror has moved on and how well it can be written.

The stories are now being released as Kindle 'singles'. I don't know how many will be released in that form but possibly all of them. They're cheap to download and a nice place to start if you haven't experienced this author before. I'd recommend you to download the whole book. At least then you have other stories to delve into if you're not enjoying the single.

Be prepared for a lot of 'weirdness' 20th Century Ghosts is neither straightforward nor is it usual storytelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Zed on 24 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Its easy to say 'Like Father, Like Son' and to be honest it's true in this case. I grew up reading the greatest Horror/supernatural stories, from the great writers! In my teens, I discovered Stephen King (before his books were murdered into movies), and found myself gripped by well thought out story lines, where the author knew the ending before he started writing, and led us on a journey there patiently and with as many shocks and scares as possible!

This collection of Short Stories, could easily come from Stephen King's mind, so it's not surprising that they do come from his son Joe Hill. Each story could easily be an episode of The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt or Tales of the Unexpected!

My only gripe about the book is that there is only one ghost story, and that is the best story of the book. Don't get me wrong, I loved all the stories, they are weird and wonderful, that make you think about the human psyche, Not a single story disappoints in the collection, which in itself is unique!

The first story (not including the hidden story), 20th Century Ghost is an amazing story which left me speechless and I sat on the underground for ages thinking about what I had just read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Klimek on 29 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I've read the Heart shaped box and wasn't impressed (maybe due to the Czech translation) so I didn't expect much from Joe Hill. Then I got the Neil Gaiman's and Al Sarrantonio's collection of stories and at the end of it I found a weird looking one called Stairs (check out the format, so funny and spot on). It was so good that I decided to give Joe another chance. What a good decision. The 20th CG is the best short stories collection I've read this year. There is not a single piece that I didn't like. Not all of the stories are horror, some of them are close to mainstream, but it doesn't matter, what matters is the author's voice, strong and engaging. From Roald Dahl's type of story in Last breath to Voluntary Committal, more King style, over to my favorite Best new Horror with story inside a story, this was a real joy. The talent passed from father to son, no question about it. I am a big Stephen King fan and one day I would love to read about Joe's beginnings under his big father's tutoring eye. I am looking forward reading The horns, author's second novel and this time it will be in English.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LhasaRainbows on 31 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I began reading this one too-got, sticky summer's night, just after I had given up on the idea of sleeping at all. I started around 1am, and at 8am, realised that I simply couldn't put it down. I gladly sacrificed sleep and read right through until evening...each story compelling, fascinating, and as perfectly haunting in its own right as I had dared to hope, when I started the collection. I would be lying if I said I hadn't felt a frisson of familiarity, there are genetics here from one of the finest writers of all time, of course, but Joe Hill has his own voice, his own unique style, and is already a master of his chosen genre. I personally hope he will be as prolific a writer as his father.
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