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20th Century Ghosts

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20th Century Ghosts Cover

 

Awards

Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, 2005

Review-A-Day

"I'm left with no recourse but to declare Joe Hill a genuine original. The stories in 20th Century Ghosts contain many tropes that will be familiar to readers of horror and dark fantasy...and yet there is an X-factor that marks each story as truly unique and startlingly original....20th Century Ghosts grabbed me with its first story and refused to let go. I read the entire book straight through, much like a novel, and would have started right back at the beginning if my pile of unread bedside reading weren't threatening to topple onto me as I sleep." Chris Bolton, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Imogene is young and beautiful. She kisses like a movie star and knows everything about every film ever made. She's also dead and waiting in the Rosebud Theater for Alec Sheldon one afternoon in 1945...

Arthur Roth is a lonely kid with big ideas and a gift for attracting abuse. It isn't easy to make friends when you're 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...

John 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 from the dead...

Review:

"'20th Century Ghosts,' the melancholy and very fine story collection by Joe Hill, comes with an impeccable literary pedigree and a great back story. Hill was born Joseph Hillstrom King, son of the writers Tabitha and Stephen King, and developed his chops the old-fashioned way, publishing work in literary magazines and anthologies here and in England. When he began shopping his first collection around,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"A collection of pleasantly creepy stories....[M]ost of the stories display the unself-conscious dash that made Hill's novel an intelligent pleasure....Not just for ghost addicts." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"20th Century Ghosts has proven to be everything I wanted and more....[Hill] deserves to be someone that every fan of the short story in particular ought to be reading....I admire the hell out of this guy and everything he does with the written word." Colleen Mondor, BookSlut

Review:

"[A]mply demonstrates the author's unique take on a genre made iconic by his father Stephen King....[Hill] excels at spiking his narratives with a potent mix of emotion and fright....He consistently blurs the distinction between recognizable emotions and the downright eerie." Time Out New York

Review:

"'Pop Art,' 'You Will Hear the Locust Sing' and 'Voluntary Committal' are all terrific, and the rest are, at a minimum, solid, swift and craftsmanlike. But 'Best New Horror' seems to me the most thrillingly original of Hill's weird tales, a daredevil performance that keeps some complex ideas suspended in the air along with, of course, our usual disbelief." Terrence Rafferty, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Many other long-published authors would kill to be as good as just one of these stories — it's that good. And one of the best story collections I've read in years. Haunting, resonant, melancholic — a collection that richly deserves its awards." SFFWorld.com

Review:

"Although not everything is ghostly, this is dark fiction at its best that will keep you entertained, disquieted and spellbound at the same time. I cannot recommend enough this book. I'm quite sure you'll be thankful for taking my advice." SFSite.com

Review:

"[W]ill appeal not only to fantasy and horror fans, but also to those who appreciate drama and suspense....With their cliff-hanger endings, quick pacing, and three-dimensional characters, many of these selections will spark interesting classroom and book-club discussions." School Library Journal

Synopsis:

This award-winning collection of short fiction by the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box leads readers into a maze filled with exits into a vast country of the surreal. Available for the first time in the U.S., this volume includes an exclusive bonus story.

About the Author

Joe Hill is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Heart-Shaped Box, a two-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, and a past recipient of the World Fantasy Award. His stories have appeared in a variety of journals and Year's Best collections. He calls New England home.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Thomas Kirby, December 11, 2010 (view all comments by Thomas Kirby)
I enjoyed this book of short stories, although I was misled by the title. I was expecting GHOST stories, and only one of them definitely was, with another sort of ghost related. A couple were just plain weird, especially "Pop Art". I deducted a point from the rating because the title isn't truly descriptive of the book, and if you are looking for ghost stories, you stand a chance of being disappointed.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Larry Robinson, June 17, 2009 (view all comments by Larry Robinson)
I wanted to like this book. I enjoyed Hill's Heart Shaped Box. I found these stories to be mostly dull and ridiculous. I got half way through the book before I couldn't take any more. He did not get his daddy's (Stephen King) talent for the short story.
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(0 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
conor, August 28, 2008 (view all comments by conor)
This collection of short stories is the most refreshing dose of horror fiction I've had in a long time. I highly recommend this book to any fan of the horror genre. Joe Hill takes the traditional horror conventions and injects them with his own style, making his stories feel excitingly new. Extremely well-written...and extremely terrifying!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061147975
Publisher:
William Morrow
Subject:
General
Introduction:
Golden, Christopher
Author:
Hill, Joe
Author:
by Joe Hill
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Ghost stories, American
Subject:
Horror tales, American
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Ghost stories
Subject:
Horror fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
October 1, 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.50x5.98x1.00 in. 1.08 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

20th Century Ghosts
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages William Morrow & Company - English 9780061147975 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "I'm left with no recourse but to declare Joe Hill a genuine original. The stories in 20th Century Ghosts contain many tropes that will be familiar to readers of horror and dark fantasy...and yet there is an X-factor that marks each story as truly unique and startlingly original....20th Century Ghosts grabbed me with its first story and refused to let go. I read the entire book straight through, much like a novel, and would have started right back at the beginning if my pile of unread bedside reading weren't threatening to topple onto me as I sleep." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "A collection of pleasantly creepy stories....[M]ost of the stories display the unself-conscious dash that made Hill's novel an intelligent pleasure....Not just for ghost addicts."
"Review" by , "20th Century Ghosts has proven to be everything I wanted and more....[Hill] deserves to be someone that every fan of the short story in particular ought to be reading....I admire the hell out of this guy and everything he does with the written word."
"Review" by , "[A]mply demonstrates the author's unique take on a genre made iconic by his father Stephen King....[Hill] excels at spiking his narratives with a potent mix of emotion and fright....He consistently blurs the distinction between recognizable emotions and the downright eerie."
"Review" by , "'Pop Art,' 'You Will Hear the Locust Sing' and 'Voluntary Committal' are all terrific, and the rest are, at a minimum, solid, swift and craftsmanlike. But 'Best New Horror' seems to me the most thrillingly original of Hill's weird tales, a daredevil performance that keeps some complex ideas suspended in the air along with, of course, our usual disbelief."
"Review" by , "Many other long-published authors would kill to be as good as just one of these stories — it's that good. And one of the best story collections I've read in years. Haunting, resonant, melancholic — a collection that richly deserves its awards."
"Review" by , "Although not everything is ghostly, this is dark fiction at its best that will keep you entertained, disquieted and spellbound at the same time. I cannot recommend enough this book. I'm quite sure you'll be thankful for taking my advice."
"Review" by , "[W]ill appeal not only to fantasy and horror fans, but also to those who appreciate drama and suspense....With their cliff-hanger endings, quick pacing, and three-dimensional characters, many of these selections will spark interesting classroom and book-club discussions."
"Synopsis" by , This award-winning collection of short fiction by the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box leads readers into a maze filled with exits into a vast country of the surreal. Available for the first time in the U.S., this volume includes an exclusive bonus story.
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