What's Your Favorite Scene in Heart Shaped Box?

Joe's first novel.

What's Your Favorite Scene in Heart Shaped Box?

Postby mark_james on Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:32 am

My favorite scene is actually a "still shot" portrait of Craddock. It comes when Jude first takes a good long look at Craddock sitting in the Shaker chair in the hallway.

The way the scene builds the portrait of the ghost made my hair stand on end. It's one of the few scenes I've read in a book where absolutely nothing is happening, but the suspense builds and builds to a crescendo, until finally, Craddock shows Jude the mini pendulum on his chain.

It worked so well comparing Craddock's pendulum to Poe's Pit and the Pendulum, because it immediately brings to mind the horror of a slow, painful death stalking you, and that you can see coming, moment by moment.

This was Craddock's first intro into the book, and it was extremely well done.

What scene really made your hair stand on end? Or just made you think, "wow, that was great", or made you turn the page so fast, you almost ripped the paper?
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Postby Samoa_Girl on Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:31 pm

I really liked the part where Jude realized that the dogs were the only way to keep Craddock at "bay". When Jude is crawling outside to let the dogs out of thier pen and then the "black shadows" jump out of the dogs and attack Craddock. I absolutely loved that! Maybe because I have a dog and I would like to think that is how she would protect me against this creepy old man. ( Even if she is the size of a chow and has the attitude of a pom).
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Postby LauraK on Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:12 pm

Oh Mark, that gives me the chills and makes my eyes water a bit right now thinking about it! Same scene you mention, when he sees Craddock in the chair.

I actually had to put the book down. :shock:

It was very late and my husband and son were fast asleep and it creeped me the hell out! Which I loved.....but then I decided to read more in the daylight! Must be getting old....

I really can't remember the last time a book has spooked me like this one did, though, and that was a really great feeling!

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Postby mark_james on Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:50 pm

When Jude is crawling outside to let the dogs out of thier pen and then the "black shadows" jump out of the dogs and attack Craddock.


I also enjoyed that scene very much, and for pretty much the same reasons. The loyalty of the dogs was such an important element of the story, and I loved the idea that they were "familiars", suggesting they're somehow connected to Jude's "shadow self".



it creeped me the hell out!


me too, Laura. I was laying in bed, listening, before I fell asleep, and that woke me right up. I ahh. . .oh. . what the heck. I got up and turned on the light in the hallway. There were one too many shadows in my bedroom after listening to that scene.
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Postby Lou_Sytsma on Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:39 am

I like the Craddock introduction scene plus the sequence that takes place during the Denny's with the nifty addition of the old man with the voicebox. Scary stuff in familiar settings in daylight hours in a real demonstration of excellent writing chops and Joe pulled this part of the book off beautifully.
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Postby veruca on Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:20 am

I just finished it last night . My favorite part where I visulize it is when Georgia is describing her Gram's twin sister 's ghost . Wow that gave me goose pimples. I really got spooked but was excited and the whole book gave me that great goose bump feeling!
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Postby mark_james on Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:36 am

. My favorite part where I visulize it is when Georgia is describing her Gram's twin sister 's ghost


Veruca: this scene was a close second to the Craddock intro scene. I loved the description of the little girl, and the way Joe foreshadowed it with Georgia's telling of the story. The foreknowledge of what was going to happen really heightened the dramatic tension of the scene, and made me feel the grief of losing someone so innocent, who is beyond your help.

It was also wonderful how Jude manages to cry out to the little girl, but he still can't change her fate. That really made me think. There are times in our lives when there are others we want to help, but they never seem to be able to hear our voices of warning, and they go rushing headlong to their doom, and leave us behind, horrified witnesses. Very, very well done scene.



the sequence that takes place during the Denny's with the nifty addition of the old man with the voicebox


The Denny's scene was excellent, because it completely defied the human expectation that we are safe from something dark and evil if we are among our own kind and in a clean, well lit place.

Putting Craddock's voice in the in voice box was a stroke of genius, and utterly terrifying, that the mundane can, unexpectedly, rise up against us. As I read that scene, I thought, "isn't it true that the monsters are, many times, walking among us, unseen in their disguises of decency?" It brought to mind monsters who walked among us and stalked us like prey, like John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy. There are no safe places when the monster is us.
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Postby veruca on Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:42 am

YES!! I too loved the dennys scene Because I feel I could relate somewhat on being judged on apperances alone. I have my left arm totally tattooed. A sleeve have you, and people that dont see it at first think nothing of it, But when I pull up my sleeve or a bit gets exposed people instantly "change" towards me, Based on that alone which is sad.

But yeah the whole lifting her over the fence that scared me..
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Postby val04463 on Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:37 pm

I think that crawling into a bathtub is a creepy thing...I guess it bothers me much more than shower scenes..despite Psycho...I think being in a tub is when we are most vulnerable...at least in a shower you are standing up..being in a tub will forever creep me out...

and not just because of the "stuff" in my tub!!
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Postby Patrick on Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:48 pm

One of my favorite scenes was when, after so much build up to it, Jude finally sees Bama's twin sister's ghost. The way the whole scene plays out, I'm rooting for him to be the one to finally speak to her, then he actually does, and we expect something to happen - because that's what we're conditioned to think, some small sign of victory, then... nothing. Followed by the doubt and hopelessness he feels about what that signifies for them.

I loved the way that one played out.
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Postby annmarie on Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:52 pm

My fav part was the part that freaked me totally out, and that's when Jude see Georgia in the dark room with the tv on and he winds up with the gun to her head while Craddock is telling him to shoot her....

Just the whole thing, the idea/image of this guy, with his cock in some chick's mouth, while he holds a gun to her head.........well it was so OOOOGGGYYYY!!!!!!!

I was reading it on a plane and actually closed it shut and whispered "Holy shiiiiiit....." and then I re-opened it and went back to reading.

Very powerful stuff there.
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Postby Dana_Jean on Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:57 pm

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Postby annmarie on Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:01 pm

Well I could have said pee-pee :lol:

I just chose COCK because that's the word Joe used in that scene.

Just for you DJ........cock cock cock cock-ety cock
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Postby Dana_Jean on Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:04 pm

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Postby annmarie on Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:09 pm

Oh those are the worst ones of all.......
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