Joe Hill’s award-winning story collection, featuring “The Black Phone,” soon to be a major motion picture from Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions
Imogene is young, beautiful . . . and dead, waiting in the Rosebud Theater one afternoon in 1945. . . .
Francis was human once, but now he's an eight-foot-tall locust, and everyone in Calliphora will tremble when they hear him sing. . . .
John is locked in a basement stained with the blood of half a dozen murdered children, and an antique telephone, long since disconnected, rings at night with calls from the dead. . . .
Nolan knows but can never tell what really happened in the summer of '77, when his idiot savant younger brother built a vast cardboard fort with secret doors leading into other worlds. . . .
The past isn't dead. It isn't even past. . . .
The first collection from #1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill, 20th Century Ghosts is an inventive and chilling compendium that established this award-winning, critically acclaimed author as “a major player in 21st-century fantastic fiction” (Washington Post).
About the Author
Joe Hill is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Fireman, NOS4A2, Horns, and Heart-Shaped Box; Strange Weather, a collection of novellas; and the acclaimed story collections Full Throttle and 20th Century Ghosts. He is also the Eisner Award–winning writer of a seven-volume comic book series, Locke & Key. Much of his work has been adapted for film and TV, including NOS4A2 (AMC), Locke & Key (Netflix), and In the Tall Grass (Netflix).
“Hill’s best stories veer away from the well-trodden creep shows and back alleys of genre writing into more dangerous territory: suburban basements, ball fields and schoolyards.”
— Washington Post
“[An] inventive collection . . . brave and astute.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Fully developed characters with complex emotional lives enhance the 14 stories in Joe Hill’s extraordinary collection,20th Century Ghosts. There’s not a false note or disappointing effort in this volume.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The collection of short stories ranges from creepy to sweet, with an impressive arsenal of tactics to attack your psyche.”
— Boston Globe
“20th Century Ghosts is Hill’s first collection of short stories and displays consummate skill in a variety of genres . . . Amusing, moving, horrifying—Ghosts runs the full spectrum.”
— USA Today
“Alternately sad, scary, strange and at times even sweet, these tales will haunt you long after you’ve read them.”
“[A] lovely, earnest collection of short fiction.”
— Village Voice
“[O]ne of the best [horror] collections of the year. Hill is a relative newcomer who consistently creates creepy, very disturbing stories.”
“Each tale is unique, and the collection proves that Hill’s talent is not limited to horror, but extends well into the mainstream.”
— Denver Rocky Mountain News
“[A] new take on the fantasy-horror genre...Highly recommended.”
— The Sun Herald (Sydney, Australia)
“The selections range from the mundane to the surreal, with a strong emphasis on the kind of horror tale perfected by Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub and Stephen King.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“This solid, inventive, scary collection of stories reveals a writer who has thought hard about the problematics of horror.”
— New York Times on 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS
“Each of these chilling tales arrests you from the opening sentence and leads you — trustingly, thanks to the simple mastery of the story-teller — into a place of gulping fear.”
— Daily Mail (London) on 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS
“Subtle and disturbing in equal measure.”
— Coventry Telegraph on 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS
— Evening Herald (Ireland)