Heart-Shaped Box has not only been sitting on my bookshelf for years, it has been sitting on my small "read this one next" shelf pretty much the entire time. It's funny how that happens. Thanks to some gentle prodding from my friends on Goodreads, I have finally taken Heart-Shaped Box off the shelf and given it a read. I'm very glad that I did.I love how Joe Hill jumps right into the story. We learn right away about Jude's collection of grotesque and bizarre things, and he wastes no time getting straight to the ghost of Craddock McDermott. Jude buys Craddock McDermott's ghost in an online auction and gets much more than another unusual object for his collection.Heart-Shaped Box is not your typical ghost story. Jude and those closest to him are most definitely haunted, but it goes much deeper than that. The characters are raw and the relationships complex. I did worry about the lack of mystery surrounding the ghost and its origins, but there turned out to be lots of surprises along the way.Heart-Shaped Box also made me realize how much I miss having a good, strong dog in my stories. I haven't experienced that since I quit reading Dean Koontz.If you're like me and you've had Heart-Shaped Box on your list for a while, let me prod you into finally giving it a read. You will be glad you did.