Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Horns: A Novel by Joe Hill

Horns: A Novel (edition 2011)

by Joe Hill

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0151633,329 (3.83)191
Title:Horns: A Novel
Authors:Joe Hill
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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
    The Mailman by Bentley Little (ktoonen)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 191 mentions

English (154)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (2)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (161)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
Bizarre premise about a man who turns into a demon overnight. Surprisingly sympathetic and funny character. complicated plot. Ignatius Perrich finds out his friend Lee raped and killed Ig's girlfriend. Ig tries to kill Lee but all goes haywire and he has to die too. Lots of symbolism and metaphor ( )
  jenzbaker | Jan 13, 2015 |
This was GREAT. The movie tie-in cover intrigued me, but the plot summary on the back wasn't selling it. Man wakes up one day with demonic powers he uses to avenge his dead girlfriend? Naaah.

Except Horns is way better than that. I'm a sucker for tricky narrative devices, and Horns uses them very, very well. Ig starts out as a bottomed-out loser who seems like the type who maybe killed his girlfriend. As the pieces fall into place, and we learn more and more about him through the eyes of the other characters, he gains an almost saintly standing as his demonic powers develop towards the end of the book.

The demon aspect is almost silly, but the story wouldn't have worked any other way. The only other mis-step was when brain damage was used to explain psychopathic behavior. I always find a knock on the head to be a too-convenient excuse for something that doesn't really need a reason to happen.

Otherwise, it was brilliant. The reveal at the end that proved the event to be a blessing, the wonderful way we just didn't get all the details until the finale, everything just fit into place so well.

I'd previously read Joe Hill's short story collection 20th Century Ghosts and loved it, and I was wavering between this and Heart-Shaped Box as a foray into his novels. Neither sounded interesting, but Horns was so good that I'm likely going to read all his novels from now on. ( )
1 vote ConnieJo | Nov 30, 2014 |
4.5/5. Wonderfully inventive, twisted tale that keeps you hooked from the very first page to the very last word. Incredibly lifelike characters and darkly funny ( you will laugh out loud on many, many occasions.) Heads up may offend the super religious. (I'm not a religious girl but while listening to a certain scene, I was thinking Joe, dude, you are going to hell for this LOL!) Really make you think too, can you imagine if people told you exactly what they were thinking with no filters whatsoever. Also brings out some fabulous points about what truly is good and evil. Was disgusted at times because Hill never holds back with his descriptions, and they can be a bit base and nasty at times. Intrigued on how this will play out on the silver screen with Daniel Radcliff. Poor Iggy, such a wonderful, damned character, you cannot help but want to go hug the guy. (But wear a cross if you do)

Some of my favorite quotes (And also a heads up for those who might be offended by this book)

“I guess Satan was the first superhero [...] In his first adventure, he took the form of a snake to free two prisoners being held naked in a Third World jungle prison by an all-powerful megalomaniac. At the same time, he broadened their diet and introduced them to their own sexuality.”

“Maybe all the schemes of the devil were nothing compared to what man could think up.”

“He paused, twisting his goatee, considering the law in Deuteronomy that forbade clothes with mixed fibers. A problematic bit of Scripture. A matter that required thought. "Only the devil wants man to have a wide range of lightweight and comfortable styles to choose from," he murmured at last, trying out a new proverb. "Although there may be no forgiveness for polyester. On this one matter, Satan and the Lord are in agreement.”

Read this as part of our Non Girly Book Club ( )
  mountie9 | Nov 24, 2014 |
This was an excellent read. I will go so far as to say that the son surpasses the father in regards to storytelling and character development. At least these days, anyway. (Don't get me wrong, old school Stephen King is amazing. I just haven't been all that impressed by his novels since the 90's.)

The character development was very well done. I loved reading about the change to something not-quite-so-nice and then to see yet another change at the end. Excellent.

While I enjoyed it, it isn't the happiest of books. What happened to Merrin was horrific, and honestly, I wanted the antagonist to be tortured to death in quite a number of slow and painful ways. The details of the plot are woven well enough to be quite realistic---realistic enough that I could believe our main character's changes.

If you like thriller, you'll love it. Just be aware that it's intense. Trigger warning indeed for rape/abuse victims. ( )
1 vote kaonevar | Nov 12, 2014 |
This review and others posted over at my blog.

From the back of the book: Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend ignatius Perrish as the only suspect. On the first anniversary of Merrin's murder, IG spends the night drunk and doing awful things. When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover...and horns growing from his temples. Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look - a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. Now it's time for revenge...it's time the devil had his due.

What I liked:
Joe Hill did it again - once I started this book I hated to tear myself away. What really grabbed me about Horns was the characters. Hill's writing made me forget that I was reading his work, rather, I felt like I was actually inside his characters. I was so transported by the - sometimes horrible - thoughts and actions of the characters that they felt real to me; I had to constantly remind myself I was reading a work of fiction.

This book was scary, but not in the usual sense. What freaked me out, was the horrible thoughts Ig was hearing from his friends and family. His horns brought out their compulsion to speak their worst thoughts and desires and I couldn't help but imagine myself in his position. That's a power I would never want! I had to try hard not to think about what awful things the people I know might be thinking as I went about my normal life.

One of the scariest moments for me was when one of the male characters in the book was misinterpreting everything the female was saying and doing and it eventually lead to violence. Unfortunately this could be a real scenario and being inside that character's head was chilling:

"The thing about Merrin was that she didn't always mean what she said but often said things that were in direct opposition to her intentions."

I even found some of his descriptions gross, even though nothing scary or gory was happening:

"She held [the box] in place, shoved her face into it, and began to eat. She made noises while she chewed, smacking her lips and breathing strangely. She gagged again, her shoulders hitching, but kept eating, using her free hand to push more doughnut into her mouth, even though her cheeks were already swollen and full."

It's not all bad though. I really enjoyed the imagery in this quote:

"The service ended, and conversation rose like water filling a tub, the church a container with a particular volume, its natural quiet quickly displaced by noise."

As usual, Hill's work kept me interested and I flew through this book. I know there were probably times when I was younger that I wished I could read minds, but like Merrin said:

"The people you love should be allowed to keep their worst to themselves."

What I didn't like:
I don't completely dislike the ending, but it made me go "huh?" and I couldn't quite picture what was happening. I don't think it was as strong as the rest of the book, and while I can't think of an alternative, it seemed to just drop off. It doesn't detract from the fact that this is a solid book.


If you've already read something by Joe Hill and liked it, you'll probably like Horns. If you're looking for a more alternative style of horror, check out this book. If you're bored or have a lot of time on your hands, check out this book! Basically, just go read it, then tell me what you thought. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Nov 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
Thoroughly enjoyable and often original... a richly nuanced story... fire and brimstone have rarely looked this good.
Mr. Hill, whose outstandingly inventive first novel was “Heart-Shaped Box” (2007), is able to combine intrigue, editorializing, impassioned romance and even fiery theological debate in one well-told story.
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Satan is one of us; so much more so than Adam or Eve."
--Michael Chabon, "On Daemons & Dust"
To Lenora--love, always
First words
Ignatius Martin Perrish spent the night drunk doing terrible things.
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.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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)

» see all 7 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

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

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
358 wanted
3 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.83)
0.5 1
1 12
2 25
2.5 14
3 140
3.5 82
4 278
4.5 45
5 142


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 95,146,039 books! | Top bar: Always visible