20th Century Ghosts

Joe Hill, Author, David LeDoux, Performed by, Christopher Golden, Introduction by , read by David LeDoux. HarperAudio $39.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-144775-4

After the release of Hill's acclaimed novel Heart-Shaped Box , this collection of his short fiction, originally published in Britain two years ago made its way to the United States. Hill, the son of horror master Stephen King, runs a diverse gamut that includes some unapologetic chillers along the lines of the book's title story. Yet the essence of his material could best be described as a hybrid that connects the ironic twists from episodes of The Twilight Zone with the angst and vulnerability of childhood and adolescence. David LeDoux, whose previous audiobook credits include Douglas Coupland's Hey Nostradamus! and Sara Gruen's Water for Elephant s, demonstrates an especially keen knack for capturing the cadence of teen and young adult male speech patterns, with equal parts deadpan cool and quivering tension. Hill's novella “Voluntary Committal” provides a sublime experience of jarring suspense and compelling family drama. Admittedly, a few of the briefer works may leave listeners longing for more fully developed story lines, but Hill consistently manages to evoke emotional responses and provoke unsettling questions, which makes for a worthwhile experience. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
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