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Horns: A Novel by Joe Hill
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Horns: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Joe Hill

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2,6742142,222 (3.8)226
Member:readingdate
Title:Horns: A Novel
Authors:Joe Hill
Info:William Morrow (2010), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 370 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:to-read

Work details

Horns by Joe Hill

  1. 50
    Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (sturlington)
    sturlington: Better Joe Hill, in my opinion.
  2. 64
    The Shining by Stephen King (level250geek)
    level250geek: Stephen King's seminal work of horror, this book also confronts evil and humanity, putting in the reader's face things they'd rather not see.
  3. 20
    Mike Careys One Sided Bargains by Mike Carey (level250geek)
    level250geek: Adapting the story of Faust in three unique ways, Carey examines humanity's relationship with sin, temptation, and evil.
  4. 10
    Ghost Story by Peter Straub (ktoonen)
  5. 00
    Come Closer by Sara Gran (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: Similar plotlines and styles, though the narrative in Come Closer is more personal and Horns more distant.
  6. 00
    Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry (ktoonen)
  7. 33
    Paradise Lost by John Milton (level250geek)
    level250geek: Hill was obviously inspired by this work, which frames Satan as a tragic hero, much like the way Ig is characterized in Horns.
  8. 01
    You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: If you like the darkly humorous aspects of Horns, you may like You Suck. Like Horns, You Suck has paranormal elements, and the protagonist has to cope with newly found powers after a mysterious occurrence.
  9. 01
    The Mailman by Bentley Little (ktoonen)
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Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Horns is a really good book. Annoyingly there are a few things which prevented me from loving it, but don't get me wrong. It's a really good book.

The premise is great. Simply put (and I'm grossly oversimplifying so as not to spoil anything): we have a main character with an intriguing backstory who is put in a position where he is forced to see and confront the worst secrets of everyone he meets. This is a great tool with which to tell a story, but can easily go over the top if not handled carefully. Fortunately, most of the book is done brilliantly. Unfortunately, there are a some places in which the book crosses the line from telling the story to abusing the powers it has given itself. This doesn't happen often, it doesn't happen badly, but it happens just enough to rip me out of the otherwise rather effective, and consistent, mood of the book.
There are so many scenes and moments in this book that feel completely genuine in the way the convey shock and emotion, which is why it feels a little out of place when "cheap shots" are taken to add just a bit extra. The book doesn't need the overegging, and it feels wrong.

The understated complexity of the story is also wonderful. There is always a little more to it than meets the eye. Nothing very big, but enough for the reader to pause and think back when a piece of the puzzle they didn't necessarily know existed is put in place. Unfortunately this is also slightly overplayed, and a few times I think the story goes just a little too far in making sure the reader has understood exactly what it is doing. Again, I think the story is solid enough that less would be more in some cases. That said, for a book in this genre Horns definitely has a layer of complexity to it which makes it stand out. Most of the time it does strike a balance perfectly: subtle enough not to distract, but present enough to really add a lot to the story.

I'm not sure whether or not these are the reasons for the book never properly gripping me. I enjoyed it throughout, and it dragged me in, but never far enough for me to become truly engrossed in it. I'm not complaining, it's a great book, and while it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it lacks, I just feels that it lacks something. ( )
  clq | Apr 29, 2017 |
Ignatius Perrish wakes up one morning with a nasty hangover and a pair of horns growing from his temples...

Horns was a book that sounded really cool, a man wakes up with horns and the power to make those around him their deep dark secrets. And, in a way the book was good, but it was also a book that I felt just wasn't as good as I expected it to be. Sure the part when everyone around him started to reveal what they really thought was fun, but I never really felt that the story becomes really engrossing to read. It's an OK read, nothing more nothing less. But, I wish it had been more horrifying or at least, more intense to read... ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Very enjoyable revenge fantasy. ( )
  kale.dyer | Apr 14, 2017 |
Horns is a lovingly creepy book that deals with so much: love, loss, alienation, inner secrets, confession, hope and probably even more which I can't immediately determine. It's a book that I would happily spend a week in an English Literature class discussing all the symbolism and meaning. At the same time though, it's not a pompous book that comes with an attitude; you can absolutely enjoy the book as it is and simply be touched by the sentimental aspects while simultaneously spooked by the supernatural elements.

After a night of being drunk and doing stupid things, Ig Perrish wakes up and notices that he has grown horns. Two curved horns out of his head like a devil or demon. When asking his roommate if she notices them, she confesses to some horrible things and is easily enticed to do more bad things, to her self this time. The story then follows Ig has he discovers the power behind the horns and the truth behind Merrin William's (his girlfriend) death the previous year.

As I mentioned above, the book is rich with symbolism. With horns like a devil, Ig starts to act like one; people confess some dark secrets and when it interests him, Ig pushes them into acting on those secrets. A symbol made more vivid by Ig carrying a pitchfork for half the novel. To counter that evil though, Ig was previously a volunteer at the church and regularly donated his time to help others. A symbol that is easy to compare with Ig being in heaven when his girlfriend was alive but then in hell once she was dead. And that is only the most obvious one. There are too many to discuss in a brief book review! Most importantly though is how real all the characters are. I was able to easily identify with Ig as a young boy. And then again with many of his choices and actions when he got older. Plus when Ig falls for Merrin I could feel the butterflies in my stomach too. I'm not sure what else to say but go out and read the book already. And if you are like me, you'll feel misty and sad at the end but also hopefully happy. ( )
  dagon12 | Mar 8, 2017 |
Well plotted horror novel populated by complicated characters, very well written too, although the chronological jumps were confusing at first. Some of these scenes are gonna haunt me in my nightmares. Especially the ones with snakes. Why did it have to be snakes? ( )
  SarahHayes | Feb 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Thoroughly enjoyable and often original... a richly nuanced story... fire and brimstone have rarely looked this good.
 
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Epigraph
Satan is one of us; so much more so than Adam or Eve."
--Michael Chabon, "On Daemons & Dust"
Dedication
To Lenora--love, always
First words
Ignatius Martin Perrish spent the night drunk doing terrible things.
Quotations
The best way to get even with anyone is to put them in the rearview mirror on your way to something better.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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 pergatory, 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, wealthy, 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.


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After his childhood sweetheart is brutally killed and suspicion falls on him, Ig Parrish goes on a drinking binge and wakes up with horns on his head, hate in his heart, and an incredible new power which he uses in the name of vengeance.

(summary from another edition)

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Joe Hill is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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