First Lines: 20th Century Ghosts

20th Century Ghosts is Joe Hill’s first publication, a collection of his early short stories. While I first learned about Joe Hill through his short story “The Devil on the Staircase” in Stories, I am not sure this bundle would have won me over.

It starts of fine, with “Best New Horror” and the titular tale, and then, well, there’s a couple of stories that are just there. Not good, not bad, just sorta kinda in the middle. In the middle of those, there’s another interesting one (“The Black Phone”) and then “Voluntary Committal” closes the book on a high note.

Seems to me that Hill was still trying to find his stride, and succeeding here and there.

Book read
Joe Hill — 20th Century Ghosts
First line
A month before his deadline, Eddie Carroll ripped open a manila envelope, and a magazine called The True North Literary Review slipped out into his hands. (from “Best New Horror”)