I drop everything in my reading queue for very few writers, but Joe Hill is one of them.
More than a writer, Joe Hill is a magician. It’s not just his stories, joyful treats I can't praise enough, it’s the way his stories are so many things at once.
He writes with suspense which will keep you up until 2:00am with every light in the house on, yet his stories have a complexity most page-turners only wish they had. Hill looks in the world’s funky, shadowy corners. What he sees there and presents to his readers is more thought-provoking than any writing so entertaining should be.
As Ilana Teitelbaum wrote for the Huffington Post, Hill is “a horror writer for intellectuals.”
Locke & Key, his graphic novel series with illustrator Gabriel Rodriguez, is on more “best of” and “top ten” lists from comic book insiders than I care to name. A playful family drama, a dark vision that’s genuinely unsettling, an inventive, imaginative fantasy, Locke & Key is all of these things. Reading the series is like entering a lucid dream.
If 20th Century Ghosts is your introduction to his work, you will become an instant Joe Hill fanatic. I can't even tell you how good this collection is, it's that fucking good.
In the New York Times, Janet Maslin called Heart-Shaped Box “a valentine from hell.” Really, critics and readers swooned over it so much that it made a sophomore slump for his second novel almost inevitable.
Remember when I called Hill a magician? Horns doesn’t just avoid the sophomore slump, it’s written with the winking confidence of a much older writer. He knows he’ll make you laugh wether you want to or not, deflate your cynicism to put a scare in you, and make you wonder how in the hell what's essentially a souped-up revenge story leaves you questioning the nature of good and evil.
Tomorrow night he's coming to Books & Books. I'll be doing his introduction. After the reading, we'll hang out and then become BFFs. There are hundreds of reasons why, but here are the top seven:
Top Seven Reasons Joe Hill and I Will Become Life-Long Friends:
1) "What I wouldn't give to have a tablespoon of David Mitchell's talent." - joe_hill Twitter update 3/14/2011 4:51(ish)
2) We're the same age.
4) We're both from the Northeast.
6) We both wear glasses.
I could go on but I've got an intro to write.
Stop on by and buy a book, why don't you?