20th Century Ghosts

Published By: William Morrow

Book Category: Fiction, Horror

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Reviewed by Kathy Perschmann

Joe Hill has received many, many awards. This book was originally published in Britain by PS Publishing in 2005, and it won the British Fantasy Award, The International Horror Guild Award, and the Bram Stoker Award for best collection. He is also a 2006 World Fantasy Award winner, for his novella Voluntary Committal, which appears in the same book. He is the author of Heart Shaped Box. Joe, 35, is the son of authors Stephen King and Tabitha King.

Twentieth Century Ghosts contains 15 of the most severely bizarre and original stories ever conceived. Hill has been influenced by Malamud and Kafka. These tales are the stuff of Twilight Zone, seriously creepy and macabre, full of spectral and often perverse violence. Any parent other than Stephen King might be very concerned.

I think my favorite was “Pop Art,” a fable of an inflatable teen, and his best friend, who happens to have a nasty father with a vicious dog. Or maybe it was “Voluntary Committal,” where seriously schizophrenic Morris Lerner, builder of elaborate basement cardboard box mazes, helps out his older brother by getting rid of a nasty pal.

“Most of my stories are really that simple. They’re built around the collision of the real and the impossible…” from an interview with Joe Hill by Daniel M. Jaffe on the web site Biblio Buffet.

NOTE: Many of the stories feature threatened children. If this sort of thing bothers you, stay away.

Armchair Interviews says: Read this one with the lights on!

Author’s Web site: http://www.JoeHillFiction.com

Voted one of the 101 Best Websites For Writers in 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009