Saturday, February 16, 2008

20th Century Ghosts

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill (2007, William Morrow & Company)

This collection of Joe Hill’s short fiction is, in a word, incredible. A far cry from Heart Shaped Box, this collection shows off Hill’s writing talents in a number of genres, not just “horror.”

Oddly reminiscent of Karen Russell’s collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, all of Hill’s works have an almost visceral sentimentality to them. From the Godzilla-meets-Kafka “You Will Hear the Locust Sing,” to the winsome “Bobby Conroy Comes Back From the Dead,” Hill’s talent shines through.

20th Century Ghosts is a must-read not only for fans of horror, but modern fiction readers in general. From the opening story “20th Century Ghost” to the crowning and epically creepy novella “Voluntarily Commital,” Hill will have you feeling exactly what he wants you to feel… and that is the sign of a true storyteller.

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

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