Joe Hill

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SpazzTheBassPlayer

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Dec 16, 2014
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Hmmm.......Joe Hill

Well, first of all, I try to look at him as not Stephen King's son, but as his own writer regardless of his heritage.

With that said, I find his writing to be all over the target - from WTF? to pure genius. For example, I couldn't get through Horns - I hated it.

However, 20th Century Ghosts is like shooting a target with no grouping. Some stories were ??? for me, while others I didnt care for. However, there were some standout bullseyes: 20th Century Ghosts was fabulous, Best New Horror and The Black Phone were both excellent but very disturbing....but Voluntary Committal was a MAJOR BULLSEYE and it still escapes me why this isn't the most popular story from the series. It's brilliant - some of the visuals were stunning: I loved The Beatles Revolution No 9 analogy to the voice and the whole "Ants Go Marching One by One/Leng Plateau" I actually heard in my head while reading -- Its those types of things that go on in my head is what makes the mark of a great writer and I hope Joe Hill can focus in more on that and do it consistantly

Yes, all this is subjective from reader to reader, but these were the ones that make me give Joe Hill that well-deserved chance.......and, regardless of the "loose grouping", I still like his writing style overall far better than Dean Koontz :)
 

Van Blaricum

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Oct 28, 2014
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I have/have read Heart Shaped Box and N0S4A2. Both are good. NOS4A2 is fun. I let that one take forever to read, because I made it my bus book. Riding the bus can be so dreary I need something fun. It's all beat up now, and I still actually haven't finished the ending. Next dreadful bus trip...
 

morgan

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I have/have read Heart Shaped Box and N0S4A2. Both are good. NOS4A2 is fun. I let that one take forever to read, because I made it my bus book. Riding the bus can be so dreary I need something fun. It's all beat up now, and I still actually haven't finished the ending. Next dreadful bus trip...
Have you read Heart-Shaped Box? That is my favorite Hill book! :love:
 

Van Blaricum

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I bought it a few years ago and have read it. Yes it's very cool. It's somewhere in this mess I call home.

:) I saw it on the book shelf one day at B&N and read the back cover. It caught my eye because it had an old fashioned style cloth cover. I read the notes on the back and decided it sounded just like something I would read and then after I finished it I wikied Joe Hill and found out he was related to my fav author. I realised then that talent runs in the family :) It's a very cool book. It scared me a lot.
 

Todash

Free spirit. Curly girl. Cookie eater. Proud SJW.
Aug 19, 2006
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He's amazing. I'm reading NOS4A2 now. Not sure what my favorite work of his will be when that's done, but 20th Century Ghosts was spectacular. It's the rare writer who can hit the sweet spot with both short stories and novels, and he is mighty good at both.
 

Bevmarsh

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Dec 27, 2014
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Just read heart shaped box recently, and really enjoyed it, but think NOS4R2 is my favourite. Horns took a little bit to get into but I liked the premise he came at it from, and the characterisation. In the Tall Grass properly freaked me out, what a combination with the two of them together! Can't wait to see what Joe writes next.
 

SpazzTheBassPlayer

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Dec 16, 2014
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Just read heart shaped box recently, and really enjoyed it, but think NOS4R2 is my favourite. Horns took a little bit to get into but I liked the premise he came at it from, and the characterisation. In the Tall Grass properly freaked me out, what a combination with the two of them together! Can't wait to see what Joe writes next.
Yeah, I too thoroughly enjoyed "In The Tall Grass".......I'm not sure which writer did what, but it was great nonetheless
 

SpazzTheBassPlayer

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Dec 16, 2014
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Heart-Shaped Box --- over halfway done -- So far, so good....Considering I disliked Horns so much that I stopped reading it, Im happy about this.......As stated before, what keeps me engaged is his writing style -- its King-ish without being SK and, I reiterate, I like Hill's style better than Koontz

I go back to my hit-n-miss thing I said earlier and Im trying to focus more on why he "misses" with me sometimes and I think I can narrow it down to one word: "believability". In HSB, I don't find the characters developed enough for me to believe that they are "real".. for example: How they just accept both psychic and paranormal phenomena so readily as something that is ordinary and beyond skepticism , especially as it shows up in the dialogue....and there are parts throughout the book that seem disjointed from the continuity - things that should have been explained earlier in the book for a better understanding and development of the central plot and characters

But Hill makes up for this with very illustrative prose (! Good Stuff) and one of the things I like most about him: Learning as I go --- I know as much as the protagonist knows so each thing is a discovery for both of us ( this is the main reason why I mention the continuity thing above because a few small things - such as Georgia's flashback/explanation to him - should have been cited earlier)

Hill is very very good. As mentioned a few posts above, I - for the most part - thoroughly enjoyed 20th Century Ghosts -- at least the parts that "Hit"--- and "HSB" is also decent........I can let my dis-satisfaction with Horns slide :)
 

morgan

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How they just accept both psychic and paranormal phenomena so readily as something that is ordinary and beyond skepticism
HSB is my favorite Hill novel. I thought the characters were well constructed and completely believable. The way Hill wrote the back story of Jude's fascination with the occult and his collection of macabre memorabilia, gave the story plenty of credibility. I didn't like Horns as much as HSB (or NOS4A2). We all have our favorites and it's such a blessing to have wonderful novels to read! :)
 

SpazzTheBassPlayer

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Dec 16, 2014
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HSB is my favorite Hill novel. I thought the characters were well constructed and completely believable. The way Hill wrote the back story of Jude's fascination with the occult and his collection of macabre memorabilia , gave the story plenty of credibility
There is a big difference in having a fascination for something and actually believing in it and those two points certainly can be mutually exclusive :) so, I respectfully disagree....As a matter of fact, he portrays Jude's fascination of the occult as nothing more than an extension of his Goth-Rock career for business and promotional tools
In the text and syntax, it even seemed Jude took to talking with a dead Danny on the phone as somewhat par-for-course instead of illustrating more the unique incredibility of that actual situation

it's such a blessing to have wonderful novels to read! :)
This, of course, is the bottom-line and I totally agree :) ...... Yes, Im very opinionated :D , but I only state what I do in forums like this for good-hearted discussion's sake with other people of similar interests
 
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SpazzTheBassPlayer

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Dec 16, 2014
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OK...I Finished HSB.......I have nit-picking...but, unless anyone would like to discuss nitpicking, I'll set that aside

Overall, it was very good...This certainly made-up for my distaste of "Horns".......Very much looking forward to more of his work...I like him and he has certainly earned a place with me in my "Favorite Authors To Anticipate For" circle :)
 

skimom2

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Oct 9, 2013
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HSB was my favorite of Mr. Hill's three novels. Though it's rough around the edges, there is a straight ahead passion there that seemed to me to be missing from Horns (overplotted and confusing in its construction--the movie simplified that and improved the experience) and NOS4A2. If you haven't read them (and like graphic novels), Locke & Key is a fabulous set of GNs.
 

SpazzTheBassPlayer

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Dec 16, 2014
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HSB was my favorite of Mr. Hill's three novels. Though it's rough around the edges, there is a straight ahead passion there that seemed to me to be missing from Horns (overplotted and confusing in its construction--the movie simplified that and improved the experience) and NOS4A2. If you haven't read them (and like graphic novels), Locke & Key is a fabulous set of GNs.
oh my goodness! You seem to have the same experience I did :) . except I havent read NOS4A2 yet
 

SpazzTheBassPlayer

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Dec 16, 2014
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NOS4A2 was (overall) excellent - hell, this could have easily been one of SKs.

First of all, with a name like NOS4A2 I was expecting (with dread) a straight up blood-sucking vampire story so the fact that it wasn't what I expected, was a thrill.

Although Joe goes by Joe Hill to earn his way autonomously among readers that are unaware of his famous father, I am OK with referencing SK here as there are quite a few references to SK in this book ( Pennywise Circus, The True Knot, and the most exciting was the mention of Midworld and I felt I was in the presence of witnessing an inheritance, perhaps the father passing down this universe to his son).....I could make an argument that NOS4A2 was Stationary Bike, The Talisman, and Storm of the Century all rolled up into one book but it isnt plagiarism - Mr. Hill did an exemplary job of creating a brand new story that resembles all three but looks like neither at the same time, much in the same way the color green doesn't look anything like blue or yellow after they are mixed

Because I always have nits to pick, I will save this unless others would like to chat about them, but there is one that is nagging me to mention:

Bing's death was very very anti-climatic. He had been focused on his "job" and getting to Christmasland throughout the book - obsessed by it even! - that, when he died, there was no mention of the thought - particularly a last thought - of never getting to Christmasland. I thought this was a letdown and also a huge missed opportunity that many other authors would not have missed

Didn't care a lot for the ending but it wasn't bad either

Good job, Mr. Hill