Listening to Joe Hill's "Heart-Shaped Box", I find that the scary bits - the ghost with the scribbled-over eyes, the compulsion to self-harm, the sight of things that aren't there but which still make you sweat with fear - roll over me. I can see that they're well done -original, powerful, deeply envisioned - but it's like polished sex scene about an orientation or fetish I don't share. I see it, admire it, but I don't feel it.
Yet when he gets into people's heads, when Judas Coin is honest with himself, when Georgia opens up and shows the person she'd like to be and the how dragged down she feels by the person she's been so far, THAT I feel. It feels true. It feels real. It makes me hungry for more.
So here's the strange desire Joe Hill fills me with: I'd like to read a novel or short story by him that has no horror in it - just people. Any kind of people that he wants to show me, I'll be there listening.