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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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2,4832012,460 (3.81)222
Member:lexxnet1972
Title:Horns: A Novel
Authors:Joe Hill
Info:William Morrow (2010), Hardcover, 370 pages
Collections:Russian, Ebooks, Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:devil, horror, thriller, adult

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 193 (next | show all)
"Ignatius Martin Parrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke the next morning with a headache, put his hands to his temples, and felt something unfamiliar, a pair of knobby pointed protuberances. He was so ill — wet-eyed and weak — he didn’t think anything of it at first, was too hung-over for thinking or worry.

But, when he was swaying above the toilet, he glanced at himself in the mirror over the sink and saw he had grown horns while he slept. He lurched in surprise, and for the second time in twelve hours he pissed on his feet."

So begins Joe Hill's Horns and so we meet Iggy Parrish, a man who has subsisted personal purgatory for the past year without the benefit of Virgil by his side. It's the one year anniversary of his girlfriend's death; a gruesome, horrible death that everyone believes Ig committed. His life has stagnated since the night Merrin Williams was ripped out of it, become a smoke-tinged brew of anger and irresolution. As things start boiling for Ig after a hellish bender and facts (and horns, can't forget the horns) surface about Merrin's last night, both Parrish and the reader will start to question what exactly is the nature of man and devil.

I watched the movie Horns prior to knowing anything about Joe Hill's book. The movie is screwed up; the book is screwier.

It's a bit difficult to rate and review this book. Though I liked it overall and it kept my interest, there were a few things I disliked - things that mattered enough to blanket this read with a film of discomfiture. As I read more, I understood Hill's context and I ended up quite liking his ability to portray personal devils and comparative evil. Discomfiture is just a part of this book, really. For good reason. These are unlikeable characters steeped in the malformations of anger, misunderstandings, grief, and weakness. Do we like that which is malformed in us through circumstance and character? No. I don't believe it's something we're encouraged to look at, to accept in our society. But whether we look at it, accept it, try to improve it - it's there. As is the necessity of unlikeable characters in fiction that desires lifelike relevance.

So, my dislikes... I disliked the perception, generalization, and treatment of a character named Glenna. Yet this falls under the scope and actions of the aforementioned unlikeable characters. I disliked the imbalance of Iggy, how he seemed surprisingly mature in parts and yet devastatingly immature in others. Again, aforementioned unlikeable... as well as simply realistic when you take into account his character's background, age, and emotional circumstance. I disliked reading from the view of the just-plan-evil; well, hello, it's evil - you're not exactly feasting on cotton candy wonders here, darling, of course it's going to be hard to stomach. And so the thought process continues as of finishing this book. Hence the indecision; seriously, I can hear Jeopardy music in the background.

What stands past personal preference is this: both the ending and an earlier part that included monumentally important information felt unsatisfying to me. Hill plunges in horns-first in the setting of many scenes which is probably why the irresolution of both these parts was so off-putting. Contrary to my typically fast-held belief that 'the book is always better,' the movie handled both of these parts more cohesively... by changing them completely.

It's an uncomfortable read but one that is largely uncomfortable because of it's context and the exploration of such rather than lack of talent exhibited by the author. While there were a few quirks of Hill's throughout that didn't hit home for me, I can see myself reading other books written by him. For now, I just want a few characters that I don't want to stab in the foot or other body parts with a pitch fork. ( )
  lamotamant | Sep 22, 2016 |
After reading and mostly enjoying NOS4A2, I decided to give Horns a shot when I saw the audio version was available at my local library. I'm very happy I did. The story was interesting and didn't go the way I had expected in quite a few places. Hell, I even got a little misty in one place.

My only real complaint is the POV switch that happens pretty late in the book and only lasts a few chapters. I didn't care for that at all. I understand that Hill wanted us to get some info and insight into one of the characters but it didn't feel right after having the only one POV up until that point.

Beside that, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the narration. I liked it more than I did NOS4A2. Now I need to watch the movie to see how it compares. ( )
  amcheri | Aug 22, 2016 |
I found the premise of this book interesting, but it just seemed to drag in places. I felt like there was a really interesting book in here, just surrounded with a bit too much filler. ( )
  duchessjlh | Aug 4, 2016 |
I loved it. It was hilarious. And so many twists. ( )
  Ahtoosa | Aug 3, 2016 |
I read this while waiting in endless lines at Comic Con. It was amazing at helping me pass the time! ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 193 (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.
 
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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.)
Disambiguation notice
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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.


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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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