Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache, and a pair of horns growing from his temples. At first, Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.
Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic. But Merrin's death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.
Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It's time for a little revenge. It's time the devil had his due.
©2010 Joe Hill (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
I just popped by to rate...wasn't even gonna write and then I saw some of the reviews and just had to laugh.....
The one up top with all the seething vitriol just makes me wonder if the writer has some kind of personal grudge against Hill - could not take that seriously at all - and neither should you. Obvious some odd bias thing happening there...there is just nothing in this book to waranty such heat (lol - yeah yeah...devilish - couldn't help myself) and those offended by the take on religion - why would you read a book called Horns by Joe Hill with a pitchfork on the front? Were you expecting tales of the life and times of Jesus and his pet bunnies and kittens? Lol...unbelievable.
Honestly, this book is good. I had just finished the latest Stephen King, which I really enjoyed, and was in that awful limbo where you have to pick your next book and you just know it won't be as good as the last and since I had exhausted the King library it struck me - Hey - like father like son, right? And I was not disappointed - genetic greatness. Hill definitely has his own voice, though, not just copying pops - he really is a good, solid horror writer (something there are just way too few of these days). Inventive, funny, made me cry, laugh - kept me interested and Damnit! another hellish reference) I'm back in limbo again! Maybe I'll just go for the ghost stories....after all I really enjoyed 'Heartshaped Box' too.
and please...if you don't like horror - stop reading and then giving bad reviews to things you should have stayed away from in the first place. It's unfair to the author. Horror is a tricky thing, you either like it or you don't - like country music or...opera!
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
I am so reassured after reading/listening to a Joe Hill novel. Reassured because he relatively young writing talent, age 41, who is on track to produce numerous future great book in the horror genre. I will always look forward to the next Joe Hill novel. Hill's writing is creative, exciting, in your face, and unpretentious. He is never boring and unafraid veer his stories in multiple directions within improbable situations.
Hill's best work to date is NOS4A2, but Horns (written 3 years before NOS4A2) is an absolute delight. This story of revenge is so inventive with multiple individual story lines that you need to wait for the last 20 pages to pull it all together. Horns also includes so many classic references to Lucifer and analyzes the ultimate role of the prince of darkness. Hill gives the reader a metamorphous of man into the devil with several interesting twists, ascribing him supernatural powers that would make most crime solvers jealous.
Having lauded Hill for the last two paragraphs, I must admit that with Horns, Hill is yet a fully matured writer. He is like a big-time home hitter who strikes out too much. There are few segments in Horns when the bottom drops out of the story. This most often occurs at the start of flashback scenes, where the action/drama abruptly stops and the author resets the story.
Many of friends criticize Joe Hill's writing as an identical copy as his father, Stephen King. I feel this the strength of Joe Hill! The resemblance of his famous father's writing style is something that almost every writer would wish for if they found a genie lamp. Overall, Horns is an exciting and creative audio book with excellent narration. Hill may have some pacing problems, but this book is fun. Using my personal rank order system of the best books I read over the last two years, Horns is 20th of 65.
What is good / What is evil ? -- What do they look like ? IS Satan really the excutioner for God's judgement? So would that make Satan and God working the same side ? And as in all good books, will good conquer evil ?
Story woven by Hill contain many thought jewels beattifully crafted into the work, this requires several readovers to fully digest the spectrum meanings and impact the auhor challenged. Hill takes a pretty strong verbage discussing Jeudo Christian beliefs- which offenda few-but taken as part of the whole - strengthen the work.
But our devil has seemed to find contentment in the here after -- just got to figure out who he his
Would not be suprised to is this being considered a modern classic
Final Point-I found that Joe Hill wrote this story, Not his father, This author has jumped into his own, not rode the tails of his father, When reading this I did fell a long shadow looking over Hill's shoulder when he wrote it, and mine when I read it.
Masterfully written & narrated. More of a morality play than a horror story, but definitely worth the credits.
This book grabbed my attention and kept it there. When not listening I was thinking about it. Joe Hill definitely follows his parents footsteps. Very, very entertaining. Thanks Joe what a great ride.
This is a classic good vs. evil story, but the real villain is not wearing the horns. Thought-provoking with vivid characters, my only complaint was with a few preachy, drawn out sections that could have done with some editing - they really dragged and seemed forced. A clever pretext for the story and a few very funny parts made it worth the listen. I recommend it, especially if you are in need of a genre-bender.
Another great book by Joe Hill. I actually felt compassion and sorrow for Ig and pure hate for Lee. It is a love story but with a twist. I love the way Joe tells a story. The end was kind of tied up with a bow but I couldnt imagine any other way of ending this book.
After listening to Heart Shaped Box, I decided to find out more about the author and listened to Horns. It was really a unique story with well-developed characters. It starts off with the hero waking up with a pair of horns and describes what happens when he starts interacting with people around him, then moves on to detail how he wound up in that predicament for much of the book. I like the way it is laid out, since it keeps you guessing and also becomes a bit of a romance as well as a mystery, fantasy, and horror book. Joe Hill writes very well, and the book kept me involved all the way through. I can see why more conservative Christians might be uncomfortable with it, since it questions a lot of orthodox thought, but really don't understand why someone who might be uncomfortable with a "devil" as a protagonist would purchase a book called Horns with a pitchfork on the front. Before reading this, I'd been making my way back through old Stephen King favorites, and although I didn't realize Hill was his son until listening to Horns, their writing styles are somewhat similar, and it was a good transition. Like much of King's work, the ending left me craving more. It was a decent ending, just missed it when it was gone and am looking forward to Hill's next work. The narrator was perfect for it, and most of the time I didn't notice him in a good way, though yes, one voice was a little "crusty" for a female...overall excellent.
Rare do I write such a great review. This book kept me spellbound, jawdropping at one point.
Who would not like to take revenge on a wrong, have that power to love, be lost upon losing her, blamed for her death, and forsake life, God Himself, or Satan for that matter, for the wrong it did to us. And ah finally a great story with a great and suprise ending. That is rare it itself Ah the most amazing book I have read in a long, long time. I recommend it highly.
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.
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