Thursday, October 28, 2010

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Copyright: 2007
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: mystery/thriller
Pages: 311
Challenges: Buy1 Book and Read It 2010
Author's Website
My rating: 3.5/5

Simple Description: 
20th Century Ghosts is a short story collection.  I always find it hard to review short stories, not that I do it very often.

Here's what the back of the book says, it fives an example of 4 of the stories:
Imogene is young and beautiful.  She kisses like a movie star and knows everything nabout every film ever made. She's also dead and waiting in the Rosebud Theater for Alec Sheldon one afternoon in 1945...
Arthur Roth is al onely kid with big ideas and a gift for attracting abuse. It isn't easy to make friends when your the only inflatable boy in town...
Francis is unhappy. Francis was human once, but that was then.  Now he's an eight-foot tall locust and everyone in calliphora will tremble when they hear him sing...
Johnny Finney is locked in a basement that's stained with the blood of half  a dozen other murdered children.  In the cellar with him is an antique telephone, long since disconnected, but which rings at night with calls form the dead...

Now what you really want to thoughts:
I was expecting ghost stories, that's not really what I got.  I hadn't read the back of the book or anything online to tell me what it was about, I made that assumption based on the title.  So at first I was a bit disappointed, the stories were different that what I expected.  The stories were a bit weird.  Then, I started to like the stories.  The stories were still a bit weird, but I liked them.   I liked some better than others, I liked the on about the boy who turns into a huge locust.  I liked the one titled The Cape.

Some of these stories felt like they ended before they should have, it felt like there was more to the story. However I wonder if that's true, or if I just didn't pick up on something.  Or maybe I walked away feeling exactly what I was supposed to.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and think several of you will. I admit I'm not a huge short story fan, but I did like these.  I hear his other book, Heart-Shaped Box, is really good. I'm looking forward to reading it one of these days.

This book is part of my collection and was either bought or given to me.


Marce said...

I think Joe Hill is known for weird. I loved the beginning of his book Horns and I hear Heart.... Box, sorry don't remember name, is brilliant.

I haven't tried short stories before, I may do this next Halloween.

Kris said...

Marce - I buddy read this one with a couple of friends and the one who has also finished it said she liked Heartshaped Box a lot better, she like these but not as much, she's not a short-story fan either. I think I might save Heartshaped box for next October too. I hear it's creepy.

Arielle said...

I'm not a big fan of short stories either but wanted to read any case I definitely want to try something by Joe Hill, being Stephen King's son and all :)

Beautiful Witch said...

Did you know Joe Hill is Stephen King's son? That might help explain the "weirdness." :) And Heart Shaped Box is definitely a good book.

Kris said...

Arielle - I hear Heart Shaped Box is better, if you haven't read that one, plus it's not short stories. I did like this one though. They were just, weird, but in a good way.

Beautiful Witch - I did know that..and I think you are right. haha!