A Complete Guide to Joe Hill Books

joe-hill-books-facebook-1-59089db230c7b-1024x535 A Complete Guide to Joe Hill Books

Joehillgfdl-235x300 A Complete Guide to Joe Hill BooksStephen King’s oldest son, Joseph Hillstrom King (“Joe Hill”) was born June 4, 1972. He became a published author in 1997 and has been writing professionally ever since. This is a complete guide to all Joe Hill books.

I included links to supplementary materials where appropriate. I will continue to add to those materials as I find them.

This is not a guide to all of Joe Hill’s individual short stories, because I intend to cover those in a separate guide.

I am also not including the comic book series Locke & Key in this guide. I will eventually write separately about Locke & Key.

20th Century Ghosts (2005)

20th-Century-Ghosts-187x300 A Complete Guide to Joe Hill BooksJoe Hill’s first book, 20th Century Ghosts, was originally published in October of 2005. It is a short story collection. It is approximately 316 pages, depending upon which edition you have. The collection contains the following written works: Best New Horror, 20th Century Ghost, Pop Art, You Will Hear the Locust Sing, Abraham’s Boys, Better Than Home, The Black Phone, In The Rundown, The Cape, Last Breath, Dead-Wood, The Widow’s Breakfast, My Father’s Mask, Voluntary Committal, and Scheherazade’s Typewriter.

Some editions contain the following additional written works: Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead, The Saved, and The Black Phone: The Missing Chapter.

Heart-Shaped Box (2007)

Heart-Shaped-Box-199x300 A Complete Guide to Joe Hill BooksHeart-Shaped Box is Joe Hill’s first novel, released on February 13, 2007. It is approximately 376 pages, depending upon which edition you have.

The Goodreads description reads as follows:

Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre — his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman’s noose, Aleister Crowley’s childhood chessboard, etc. — so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it.

The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker’s sanity.

Horns (2010)

Horns-198x300 A Complete Guide to Joe Hill BooksHorns is Joe Hill’s second novel, released on February 26, 2010. It is approximately 370 pages in length, depending upon which edition you have.

The Goodreads description reads as follows:

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.

NOS4A2 (2013)

NOS4A2-201x300 A Complete Guide to Joe Hill BooksNOS4A2 (pronounced like “nosferatu”) is Joe Hill’s third novel, released April 30, 2013. It is a big one, at approximately 720 pages, depending upon which edition you have.

The Goodreads description reads as follows:

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

The Fireman (2016)

The-Fireman-199x300 A Complete Guide to Joe Hill BooksThe Fireman is Joe Hill’s latest novel, released May 17, 2016. It is another big one at approximately 768 pages, depending upon which edition you have.

The Goodreads description reads as follows:

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

Strange Weather (2017 – not yet released)

Strange Weather has not yet been released, but it is due out October 24, 2017. Strange Weather will be a collection of these four novellas: Snapshot 1988, Rain, Loaded, and Aloft.

3 thoughts on “A Complete Guide to Joe Hill Books”

  1. I’d assess ’em thus:

    “20th Century Ghosts” — A+
    “Heart-Shaped Box” — A
    “Horns” — A
    “NOS4A2” — A
    “The Fireman” — A

    Basically, Joe Hill is the business.

    1. I have not yet read Heart-Shaped Box, but I intend to. The only one of those five books I chilled toward a bit was The Fireman. I’ll be getting around to writing about that someday I’m sure. Maybe my opinion will have changed by then. But yes, generally speaking, I enjoy Joe Hill quite a bit. Strange Weather should be great.

      1. If the other three novellas are as good as “Snapshot, 1988,” then it’s going to be terrific.

        I’ve heard downbeat reactions to “The Fireman” from several people, so you’re not along on that one.

Leave a Reply to Aaron T. Baker Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *