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Thumbprint Hardcover – 24 Dec 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing (24 Dec 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613777485
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613777480
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 17.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,305,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Jun 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A soldier who did terrible things in Abu Ghraib (but wasn’t caught) returns to America and tries to re-assimilate back into civilian life. But the past still haunts her and then one day someone starts leaving thumbprints on notes in her house, her car… what does it mean and could someone from those dark days in the Middle East be returning to exact vengeance?

Thumbprint is an adaptation of a Joe Hill short story (it says “novella” on the cover and though it’s never been agreed upon exactly how many pages separates a short story and a novella, 15 pages is definitely a short story), by writer Jason Ciaramela and artist Vic Malhotra. Hill’s short story is also included here, along with a weird fantasy comic called Kodiak, plotted by Hill but not written by him.

The theme of Thumbprint is how war changes people but specifically the way that the United States has conducted its War on Terror - waterboarding, Abu Ghraib, etc. - and how that has affected their own troops’ minds; but the execution lets it down.

Written in a style that wishes it were Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon, Thumbprint’s hackneyed “mystery” story (you can guess who it is pretty early on) plods predictably on to an underwhelming finale, complete with a crazy murderer who’s not so crazy that he can’t tell the main character, and the audience, his plans in an extended monologue.

None of the characters seemed believable in the slightest, the killer’s motivations were idiotic, and the final panel reveal was groan-inducingly stupid - it comes off like it was written by a high school kid determined to write “cool” and “edgy” fiction, and making a chump of themselves instead. It’s the equivalent of writing “The End” and then “...?”.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By trevor grainger on 12 Mar 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not just the graphic novel also includes the short story it's based on and a short comic great value at the price .the main story is topical and as good as I've come to expect from the author highly recommended
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yes, the choice was good. Very satisfied.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jockey on 21 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband and he was rather disappointed. He thought it was a story not a comic book story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 149 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Very good short story. 24 Oct 2012
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just got done reading this short story. It was very entertaining. This is the story of a former Army MP and a bit of her life in Iraq and a bit of her life back home, both of which aren't exactly picture perfect. I genuinely had no idea where Joe was going with the thumbprint thing until it was revealed. Good short story, worth the .99 cents.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Thumbprint by Joe Hill 14 Nov 2012
By Rowan Five - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really good story! I first encountered Mr. Hill when I found his comic series "Locke and Key" and I quickly realized who he is! The son of my very Favorite author, Mr. Stephen King! Since I was so taken with the story of "Locke and Key", I have since read all I can find of Joe Hill. I recommend any of his work to those who enjoy this kind of read.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Gore Interrupted 3 Nov 2012
By Joseph Duncan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Joe Hill is Stephen King's son, and while he has inherited his father's writing talent, he does not share Mr. King's sentimentality. I have found Joe Hill's short fiction to be much darker than his father's tales-- and perhaps even slightly more imaginative. His fiction has teeth, so don't venture into any of his stories thinking the good guy is going to prevail in the end, or that his protagonists are even going to be likable. That being said, he has penned some of my favorite short stories. This, however, is not one of them. The premise was interesting, and his depictions of our military misdeeds in the Middle East were brutal and realistic, but the tale ended right when it was getting really good. Sometimes that works to a story's advantage, leaving you pondering all the possible endings after the tale is told, but in this particular case, it just feels like a page or two was missing from the end. If you are a fan of his work, it's worth a read. If you are new to Joe Hill, try one of his other short stories, or his short story collection 20th Century Ghosts. You will come away far more impressed.

--Rod Redux, author of House of Dead Trees
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A contemporary reflection on the horrors within ourselves 14 April 2013
By Josh Mauthe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of my favorite things about reading horror fiction is the way that the best authors have of reflecting the uncertainties of our age in their work. Look at Lovecraft's unease as we explored the universe, or the government paranoia of King's 1970's work, and so forth. So it's no surprise to find Joe Hill dealing with the after effects of Abu Ghraib in his short story "Thumbprint"; what is surprising, though, is how head-on he faces that legacy. "Thumbprint" is the story of a former soldier who's returned home and finds herself trying to readjust to civilian life while also reconciling herself to the actions she took during interrogations and torture while in the service. (And yes, I said "herself"; one of Hill's most intriguing touches is making his protagonist a woman, which plays with our expectations in ways we may not have expected.) In Hill's hands, that legacy becomes far more literal and inescapable than it might be in another kind of story, and throughout "Thumbprint," Hill reminds you just how astonishingly good he is at immersing you into characters and their perspectives. In fact, while there's no denying that "Thumbprint" has some horror/thriller aspects, at its core, it's a psychological thriller/character study about a woman coming to terms with her own worst impulses. That focus may frustrate those expecting a more-traditionally plot-focused story and ending; "Thumbprint" is ultimately more interested in exploring its characters than it is in following its story to its grim conclusion. But that doesn't make it a bad story; in fact, it makes "Thumbprint" harder to shake off so easily. The horror here isn't some malevolent phantom or evil force; the horror, Hill argues, is in ourselves, and that's far more unsettling than any poltergeist can be.
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A gritty military tale from Hill is a good read 23 Oct 2012
By F. J. Zubek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thumbprint, from what I gathered on the first reading, is about a woman who was in the military experiencing all the grim stuff that the soldiers experience over there.

And then she returned to the states and works in a bar.

But someone has started sending her pieces of paper with inked thumbprints on them. We're talking thumbprints from chopped off thumbs and yes that gets explained in the story.

It would seem that this guy, who was also in the military, has snapped and the danger to her increases as this guy gets closer and closer.

To say more would ruin it so I won't. Though I will say that I personally would have liked just a few more pages at the end. But that's me.

But then, this is a fictional story.

I'm used to my fiction tying up all the loose threads. But then, life isn't like that. Not every problem gets put back into the box as neatly as we hope.

And while I enjoy some fiction that goes unresolved it seemed unsettling here and maybe that was Hill's intent.

Still, the style of Hill's writing works very nicely for the story ( and the type of story that it is).

Plus.... there is a chapter excerpt from April's thriller NOS4A2 and THAT has got some truly slick and imaginative writing you can chew on.

So despite my personal ( slight) misgivings about a tiny portion of Thumbprint, I recommend both Thumbprint as well as the excerpt while you count down the next six months until the full length novel, NOS4A2 is released

After all, its just 99 cents- just be sure the doors are locked tight. In fact, do that now why don't you?
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