An introverted excavator.
I really enjoyed this story and was eager to get back to listening to it. It is a great premise. I love a good sympathy for the devil story. That said:
1) I only tolerated the narrator. Maybe it was the director's fault. His reading of the protagonist's lines didn't resonate with what we know about Ig. Ig is kind of a big wimp, and nothing makes him seem otherwise, except for the narrator's intonation. The acting didn't match the writing.
2) Hill is a better storyteller than he is a writer. He is still early in his career and I want to read more by him, but he was often too "on the nose."
3) I didn't like any of the characters to really root for them. Sometimes that is OK in a book, but with this book, everyone was so terrible that I wanted someone, anyone, to be vaguely likeable.
Those are a few caveats about what was ultimately a fun listening experience.
Very original idea, great story and loved the ending, listened to it twice.
Keep the stories coming please Joe, Heart Shaped Box was awesome as was Horns.
Credit-worthy, good narrator, great author.
Joe Hill has some very interesting, "What Ifs". What if a box had a Ghost in it, What if a little boy was born Inflatable, or What if you wake up one morning and have horns? Wrap that up in a really fun mystery and a very sad love story and you have Horns.
The bad guys where very Dean Koontzish in the hole, REALY RALY Evil Bad guy that you want to beat to death with a shovel and take a long time to do it. There is ALOT of flash backs and some are very long to the point you start to think you are reading a different book. I could rally have used a little more of the horn stuff. I would like to have seen him have a little more fun with them before everything got serious and started flashing back to before the horns.
This was a good book. Joe Hill stories are fun reads. I had lots of emotions while reading this. Happy, Sad, Anger, Fun. Read it, you will know what I mean.
I can think of a number of ways it could haved ended for Lee, but Joe Hill had other ideas. Yes the ending was a bit weird, but the story for much of the time is an absolute hoot when Ig crosses paths with people. I thought Fred Berman did an outstanding narration of the book.
Print is probably better.
Annoying, phony, creepy
Glenna. She was just so desperate for love that her character stayed stuck in my brain.
It was a good book but I couldn't get past the narrator's voice.
Yes - but only one who wasn't devoutly Christian! The religion themes get stronger as the book goes along - it's tolerable but a little overdone at times. I'm an atheist so it was no problem for me but may be hard to tolerate for those sensitive to religious themes.
I liked the writing - I'm excited to read more from this author. I always liked his dad Stephen King's stories but not his writing so much. This was the opposite - The story wasn't the best ever but I loved his writing, I found myself smiling at his turns of phrase and symbolism in a way that I do with Gillian Flynn.
I loved the first few scenes when he finds out what the horns do. Such an interesting concept that I think he could have taken even further - it went to far into the Biblical theme for me, I would rather he had explored Ig's new powers further.
Not sure but the theme song would definitely be Devil Inside by Inxs :)
The writing kept me reading but some scenes felt unnecessary - the story could've been half as long. Will definitely try something else from this author though, seems to me that he has all the best bits of his father.
I like a book that mixes horror and comedy - it's an awkward blend of suspense and release.
I'm so glad Joe Hill finally let go of riffing on his dad's writing. NOS4A2 is one of my favorite books, so I've gone back to check out his earlier books. They're good, but there's just way too much of his dad's style in them.
The story requires a lot of effort to stay engaged in. It does a lot of flashbacking, out of order. And I get it, it helps build up the story, but there's unannounced flips and I spent a lot of time backtracking to find out if I'd skipped a chapter or a tiny clue what was happening.
And there's a ton, a BIG GIANT ton of extra character development/exposition in there that just didn't contribute all that much to the story. This book could've been 1/3 shorter and would have been a tight, good novel.
As it stands, it's still a good book, but I'm not left wanting to know more; the times I put it down, I didn't spend my time reflecting on the story so far, nor worrying about what was coming up, (unlike NOS4A2, which pulled me in and kept me almost the entire time).
Joe, you are a great writer, and this book is much better than your last one, but the ending really needed to be better written. It's like, you lay out this great story, give it plot twists and charactor developements that carry me along, then it seems you needed to wrap it up and rushed the ending with a quick fix-it-all. I still enjoyed it though. It's worth the credit.
There are a lot of good ideas here, but they never completely gel. The book also tends to break down into novellas right when things get interesting. Once you are finally hooked into the story of Ig and his mysterious horns, the book spends hours in flashback mode with "Cherry", which starts off well but suffers from overstaying it's welcome. You then get back into the story only to have it come to another halt with "The Fixer", another novella length section going over events that were already implied pretty clearly as well as other events completely extraneous to the story. All would be redeemed by a satisfying climax, but alas, the climax is a mess, both literally and figuratively. Hill is a writer with abundant talent, as Heart Shaped Box and his current comic series Locke & Key proves in spades, but this one needed to stay in the oven a little while longer.
The dilemma is whether to give Horns 4 stars or 5.
Joe Hill is a great writer. Heart Shaped Box was brilliant, and Horns doesn't disappoint. The book has much symbolism and irony. It's loaded with devil-related imagery. The guy who looks like the devil really isn't, and everyone who looks angelic really isn't. Ig's father and brother play horns (instruments), but Ig's asthma precludes him from doing so, even though he yearns to do so. In the end, his horns break through.
The only irritating thing about the book is the lack of clear chapter transitions. The story is told from Ig's point of view, but it isn't always clear initially whether what is being related is the current story set in realtime, or whether it's a flashback. The realtime story extends throughout and chronicles the day Ig wakes up and discovers he has horns and their effect on those around him. The flashbacks relate to pivotal moments in Ig's past -- those he knows about first hand, and those which he doesn't know about. The flashbacks are disordered, but they provide tidbits of insight and explanation of significant events.
Joe Hill does a great job with characters, dialogue and description generally. His descriptions are vivid and evocative without descending into parody. He has Stephen King's brilliant gift for the inner monologue.
This is a thriller with a twist. It's not really horror, but there are some neat supernatural or paranormal elements. It's an interesting look at what people are really thinking as Ig's horns seem to have the power to make people use their outside voices for what are very much inside voice thoughts.
If you want to be really literary about it, there are themes of death and resurrection, blindness and vision, faith and faithlessness, and hope and redemption.
But mostly it's just a great and very vivid story about a guy who unexpectedly grows horns and then seeks the truth about and revenge for the death of his former girlfriend.