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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 27 April 2017
I intended to buy this book for a long time and Im so glad I finally did. It is a wonderful smorgasbord of different stories. You really have to read it to experience this but I highly recommend it. Some are genuinely shockingly scary, some will have you in unexpected tears ... they are all very good stories so far. I am about two thirds of the way through but just know that they will all be just as good quality. I cant recommend this book highly enough. Read it, savour it, enjoy it ... from the wonderful son of the great man that is Stephen King.
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on 3 December 2012
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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on 25 May 2017
Item as described, fast delivery, well packed – a great seller. Thanks A+++++++++++
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on 25 March 2016
I loved this book just as much as his novels and in fact I found myself wishing Hill had turned a couple of these stories into longer works, they were so great. Somehow he manages to possess the same qualities as his dad, Stephen King , without being derivative, chiefly of which is a real understanding of human nature that make his works much more than just clever supernatural ideas. Looking forward to the new novel The Fireman coming in summer!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 16 September 2014
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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on 3 May 2017
A collection of stories featuring ghosts, the macabre, and general weirdness. Sounded right up my street but I was left disappointed. Some of the stories (Black Phone and In the Rundown) had promise but, in the main, this was not for me.
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on 2 February 2012
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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on 24 February 2013
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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on 29 July 2012
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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on 31 July 2013
I began reading this one too-hot, 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 (Stephen King's son has inherited the writing gene!) 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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