Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

20th Century Ghosts [review]

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on September 16, 2008 (originally 2005)
my rating: 3 stars
Goodreads avg:
3.94 (as of 2022-08-03)
Spoiler-free review

She is saying something about home. She is saying something everyone knows.

This has been on my TBR for years so I’m disappointed that I wasn’t a huge fan of it. Joe Hill is one of my favorite authors, but this was his first book and it just didn’t hit like I had hoped it would. The fatphobia in this is absolutely rampant and really destroyed my interest in a few of the stories. The f-slur and the n-word were also both used at some points. As for the stories themselves, a lot of them didn’t do much for me. I’ll include my full ratings here:

Best New Horror – ⭐⭐⭐
20th Century Ghost – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pop Art – ⭐⭐⭐
You Will hear the Locus Sing – ⭐⭐
Abraham’s Boys – ⭐⭐
Better Than Home – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Black Phone – ⭐⭐
In the Rundown – ⭐⭐⭐
The Cape – ⭐⭐
Last Breath – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dead-wood – ⭐⭐⭐
The Widow’s Breakfast – ⭐⭐⭐.5
Bobby Conroy Comes Back From the Dead – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
My Father’s Mask – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Voluntary Committal – ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Scheherazade’s Typewriter – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A few of them were hard-hitting in the best of ways, but overall I found the collection somewhat forgettable. I do think My Father’s Mask and Voluntary Committal both could be expanded into novels or series and make for a good time. I’m also very intrigued to see how they adapted The Black Phone because it didn’t feel to me like something that could be expanded into a full-length film. Overall, probably wouldn’t recommend this collection highly, but it’s probably worth reading if you want to see Hill’s earlier works.

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