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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

4.0 (1153 )
5 star
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4.1 (750 )
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4.3 (745 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matthew Clayton Mendota Heights, MN United States 04-16-10
    Matthew Clayton Mendota Heights, MN United States 04-16-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Krusty?"

    Seriously, Fred Berman sounds just like Krusty the Klown and that's not a good thing. Joe Hill's book is OK, but that's about it. The idea is good and he did a nice job of handling the story from multiple perspectives and slowly revealing the important details, allowing the story to come to light piece by piece and not all at once. The problem (besides the narrator that sounds like Krusty) is that the whole thing feels very superficial and unpolished. A previous reviewer wrote that it was like a short story that got stretched and I think that's reasonably close to my interpretation. It isn't a bad book, so I disagree with those who give it one star. Go back and try to slog through Mary Shelly's Frankenstien for a truly awful read. As for the "Christian" reviewers who worry that "Christians" won't like the book; well, it's a book about a devil. That should be reasonably apparent from the title and cover art.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Hyattsville, MD, United States 04-12-10
    Tracy Hyattsville, MD, United States 04-12-10 Member Since 2009

    I love this book!!! The performance, writing and story were great. Keeps you there and makes you want to not stop listening. It takes alot for me to get into a book but this one was intense. I would love to be a narrator!

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    "Wow What a read"

    Couldn't stop listening. I would recommend it to all types of readers. Worth listening to again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Clark Minneapolis, MN United States 04-08-10
    Shannon Clark Minneapolis, MN United States 04-08-10 Member Since 2006
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    92
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    "deserves multiple ratings for its multiple stories"

    This book felt a lot like "Stand by Me" telling stories of betrayals instead of growing loyalties. I thought the concept of the horns was fantastic, his wry humor made me laugh out loud, and then we divergered from a great storyline to fragments that wear you down. The ending was so disappointing, that I will recommend you just skip the last section. Too bad, it had merit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda San Luis Obispo, CA, USA 03-28-10
    Linda San Luis Obispo, CA, USA 03-28-10 Member Since 2006
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    "EH"

    I really liked Joe Hill's first book, Heart Shaped Box - found it entertaining, clever and engaging. Horns has one element, it is clever, but it reads like a high school short story that was developed into a novel, without the character substance to support a novel. It either should have stayed a short story or offered a more complex story line or characters. The book has moments and the concept was interesting, but some of it was just boring, really boring.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Morgan Hill, CA, United States 03-19-10
    Victoria Morgan Hill, CA, United States 03-19-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Devil of a Good Time"

    Sometimes horrible, sometimes funny, the story weaves in upon itself to provide a good ride. Certainly not a book where the ending is expected.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    annette houston, TX, United States 12-01-10
    annette houston, TX, United States 12-01-10 Member Since 2010
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    "WAY TOO LONG"

    I'll be honest - I didn't "get" this book. I ploughed my way through it with the expectation that I would hear a lot more about the "horns" and the Devil that Ig became. I was disappointed. There were long interludes of what seemed to me to be needless rambling by the other characters. These passages could have been skipped totally. I had really looked forward to listening to this and quite honestly, I cannot believe this guy is Stephen King's son - and for those people who ranked him up there with his father - ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!!! A total waste of money.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Venice, CA, United States 01-29-12
    Julia Venice, CA, United States 01-29-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Joe wishes he had horns."

    But he doesn't.
    I'm a huge Stephen King fan and bought this book in the hopes that the apple had not fallen far from the tree and had high hopes that S.K. had spawned my next literary obsession. Not to be.
    There is no drama in this book, no depth, no spice, no soul...and at times I felt I was being lectured, spoken TOO and not WITH.
    I can't finish the book. It's SO empty, not to mention poorly written. I'll give Joe Hill a miss. A BIG miss.
    Didn't like the narrator either.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chas solvang, CA, United States 03-22-10
    chas solvang, CA, United States 03-22-10 Member Since 2005
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    "What was I thinking!"

    This was a very creative book, but even with that said, I could not wait for it to be over. I had forgotten how much I don't like gory, bloody snake swallowing, brutal stories. Read the Historian for a great thriller.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rio Centennial, CO United States 03-24-10
    Rio Centennial, CO United States 03-24-10 Member Since 2001
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    "Bad"

    I want five hours of my life back, and I think Joe Hill owes them to me! The lost hours were spent slogging through his pretentious book, Horns. What a monumental waste of good reading time!
    This book is apologetically pompous. I cannot understand any of the rave reviews, except that no one wants to admit that he/she didn't enjoy reading it. It's like the Emperor's New Clothes. Those who wanted to appear smart - lied, and stated that they saw clothes. Those who were honest said, 'what clothes?'
    I didn't get this book, and I'm not ashamed to say so. Wait...I must rephrase that. I got it, but it stunk so badly, it was ridiculous! Horns wants one to examine personal faith, reasoning, and the reality of one's life, but it does it in such a clumsy manner, that it really doesn't merit deep examination. The book is shallow; a transparent desire for the dollar. It reminds me of another money-grab: Congo, by Michael Creighton. Heart-Shaped Box did so well, Mr. Hill decided to hit the suckers upside the head one more time. Did it too early, though. Creighton wrote Congo well into his career. Maybe he needed a new Mercedes or something, and decided to tap the ATMs known as his readers. Hill is pretty new in his career, and a book this pitiful is a real gamble.
    Joe should read more of his father's books. Stephen King is best known for writing horror, but to me, he is the best at simply writing. I read very little horror, not my favorite genre, but the beauty of King is that his writing is complete, and he never leaves untied strings. His denouement always leaves you satisfied. Understand - a few unanswered questions in a novel provoke thought for a reader, but the unanswered, heavily veiled unanswered questions found in the trite pap Horns, invokes a gag reflex.
    I am infinitely sorry that I bought Horns, but from now on, all Joe Hill books must come from the library. Then...I may lose a few hours, but at least my money will still be in my wallet!

    9 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane Indianapolis, IN, United States 04-14-10
    Shane Indianapolis, IN, United States 04-14-10
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    "One Star Is Too High"

    I hung in with this book purely to see if there was a great ending (there was no ending). Blah blah blah what was the point in all this. What a waste of time. Boring, jumbled, disjointed, poor character interaction. Basically what the hell does this all mean. It left me not wanting anymore from Joe Hill, it will take some time before I try another. Stay away from this book. I have enjoyed his past work but this was horrible......did I mention it was horrible?

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
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