4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Impressive first collection of supernatural stories,
This review is from: 20th Century Ghosts (Paperback)
'20th Century Ghosts' is the first collection of short stories by the young American writer Joe Hill. I came to it after reading his second book, and first novel, 'Heart-Shaped Box', which I thought was a competent piece of genre fiction but rather underwhelming. This collection of stories is better.
There are nods in the direction of Stephen King, Kafka and Lovecraft, but already here Hill is mainly his own man. If I was reminded by the end of any other writer, it was Robert Aickman. Hill's best stories have a similar slow and downbeat quality and the same looming sense of something inexplicable and relentless behind the unremarkable appearances of everyday things. In spite of the title, a couple of the stories here lack any real element of the supernatural or the horrific; they might have appeared without embarrassment in any collection of modern American fiction concerned with the deep currents that run under relationships between married couples, between parents and their children, and between children in the absence of adults.
This is a good collection of modern writing in the genre, and recommended to anybody who demands something more than clichéd gore-and-shocks.
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Initial post: 5 Jun 2012 11:51:22 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jun 2012 14:58:15 BDT
Eileen Shaw says:
Joe Hill is, in fact, the son of Stephen King. Sorry, sorry - just seen your later post for Heart Shaped Box. I got mi coat.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jun 2012 08:16:39 BDT
Paul Bowes says:
Not a problem. I deliberately didn't make anything of the relationship because I think Hill deserves to be judged on his own merits as a writer, and not because he has a famous father. The best stories here seem to me to be as good as King's, for what it's worth.
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