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Horns: A Novel | [Joe Hill]

Horns: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1411 )
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  •  
    bet 12-05-10
    bet 12-05-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "people are funny"

    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!

    116 of 124 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 04-21-14
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 04-21-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "FUN"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Rice 12-30-10
    Greg Rice 12-30-10 Member Since 2004
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    "Horns creates a classic look at sinners & saints"

    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.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Doral, FL, United States 11-08-10
    James Doral, FL, United States 11-08-10
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    "Good Job Mr. Hill"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jordan Fowlerville, MI, United States 02-25-14
    Jordan Fowlerville, MI, United States 02-25-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Makes me want a Gremlin."
    Would you try another book from Joe Hill and/or Fred Berman?

    I'd give every past and future novel written by Mr. Hill a try. I would however, rather not listen to another novel narrated by Mr. Berman.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Based strictly on character development, my favorite is Ig. The other characters are mostly non-existent, small players and what not. The other main characters do not have much development, but it is not a hindrance to the story.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator came off sounding like a washed up radio personality that is in love with his own voice. He over enunciates and has this phony feeling, gravely tone. I think the goal was to set a darker tone, but it felt harsh and forced. When he reads dialogue for a woman it feels like he uses a mocking tone the entire time, making even sweet sentiments sound bitchy.


    Did Horns inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to become an editor. Assuming the editor wasn't overruled profusely by the author, they should never be employed by another author again.


    Any additional comments?

    Several things within this novel make no sense, most extremely minor and probably only bother me. The biggest issue though is the way that everyone, including his family, treats the main character. They all assume he is guilty of murdering his girlfriend. Many characters make reference to the fact that they always thought he would do something like that, or that they always had a bad feeling about him. Yet, there is nothing in his back story that validates those statements. The character is portrayed as a loving boyfriend that dotes on and adores her. The way their relationship is portrayed, no one would ever think he would have done her any harm unless there were stacks of evidence a mile high. Even if there was that mountain of evidence, his family would still not have believed in his guilt.

    Also, as with his first novel, Mr. Hill doesn't seem to be able to write believable dialogue. However, he has greatly improved since his first novel. Primarily, it is the dialogue that is angry or confrontational that feels unrealistic.

    Overall though, this is a fascinating story and a good read, worth the money.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 04-21-10
    Kimberly Ypsilanti, MI, United States 04-21-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gripping & Innovative"

    Masterfully written & narrated. More of a morality play than a horror story, but definitely worth the credits.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Oklahoma 03-16-10
    Amazon Customer Oklahoma 03-16-10 Member Since 2009

    penelope poopendorfer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome"

    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.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie Mc Kinney, TX, United States 02-25-10
    Annie Mc Kinney, TX, United States 02-25-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Joe comes through again."

    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.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie meridian, ID, United States 01-14-11
    Jackie meridian, ID, United States 01-14-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent book and narrator!"

    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.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Williamson Arlikngton, VA 03-18-10
    K. Williamson Arlikngton, VA 03-18-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazingly Well Done!"

    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.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
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