JG (The Introverted Reader)'s Reviews > Horns

Horns by Joe Hill
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's review
Oct 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, 4_stars, z_author_american, horror, z_read_in_2011, reviewed, z_setting_us
Recommended for: Donna S.
Read from September 23 to October 02, 2011

Ignatius Perrish wakes up after a drunken night with honest-to-goodness horns growing out of his head. At first, he thinks he's just going crazy. But as he ventures out into the day, he finds that other people can see them too; they're just too busy telling him their deepest, darkest secrets to really comment on them. Oh, and if they know him, they're telling him exactly what they think of him. That would be bad enough for anyone, but when you've been (falsely) accused of raping and murdering your girlfriend and the whole town thinks your famous father got you off, what people have to say to you gets real vicious real fast.

I hate the name Ignatius. Even shortened to Ig or, heaven forbid, Iggy, it's just awful. And then to pair it with Perrish. I couldn't help but think of Iggy Pop.

That aside...

This was scary but not in a horror-y way. Well, not for the most part. There's the thing with the horns, but the real scare here is how this kind of thing happens every day. Again, not the horns, but the rape/murder of an innocent girl. And we always think it's the significant other who did it. Sure, most of the time it is, but what living hell the innocent ones must go through. Not only have they lost a loved one but they've been accused of doing it as well. *Shudder* Ig shows us exactly how little it feels that life is worth living after that.

What makes this so hard to read is that Ig was about to have it all. He and Merrin have a fantastic relationship. They're high school sweethearts who look like they're really going to live the happily ever after. They're both pursuing their career dreams and then they're not. And that is what makes this book so very difficult to read.

The horror-y bit that really, really got to me was the snakes. Oh my goodness, the snakes. I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to finish. I would say I have snake-a-phobia (Ophidiophobia. Don't say you've never learned anything from my reviews). Maybe I should have expected that this guy, who is becoming more devil-like by the day, would develop an affinity for snakes. I didn't. I'm sitting here shuddering just thinking about it. I would think, "Okay, I've got to be through it," and there would be more. When it really did seem safe, here the snakes came again and they were so, so, so bad. *trying not to think about it*

I'm also wondering if all boys really get up to the crazy crap that Hill and dad King write about. I mean, these guys get up to some insanely dangerous, destructive things. Did I have my head in the sand around the boy cousins I grew up with? They did some stupid things, but nothing like this.

I really liked that I was never entirely sure what to think of Ig. He says right up front that he didn't kill Merrin, and I believed him, but there's got to be a reason for the horns. I was rooting for him, but I was still questioning him a little. He can influence people and make them act on their darkest desires, and he does that a few times. What a heady, easily-addicting power to have. Was he going to come down for good or evil? I mean, c'mon, he has devil horns. He can't really be the good guy. Can he?

Hill slowly makes us question our perceptions, i.e. what looks evil vs what truly is evil. They are not always the same and yet we insist on conflating the two. Horror with a philosophical bent. Who knew such a thing existed?

Oh, last little tidbit--I loved that Judas Coyne was mentioned in this book! Will we someday need a concordance for Hill's work as well?

I prefer Heart-Shaped Box, but this was still another very strong horror novel from Joe Hill. I will definitely continue to follow his work.
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Reading Progress

09/28 page 172
47.0% "Oh, man. Snakes. I'm terrified of them. Here's hoping this is over quickly."
09/28 page 183
50.0% "Also, I just noticed the book's catch-phrase: "When it comes to revenge, the devil is in the details..." And I really don't know how much more I can take with the snakes."
10/02 page 368
100.0% "I thought the snakes couldn't get worse. They did. Did they ever."
03/29 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3)

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Becky Huh... I didn't mind the snakes at all. I don't even really remember them except for them being audience to his speech. LOL

message 2: by JG (The Introverted Reader) (last edited Oct 16, 2011 08:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

JG (The Introverted Reader) You obviously don't have snake-o-phobia! (view spoiler)

Becky JG (The Introverted Reader) wrote: "You obviously don't have snake-o-phobia! [spoilers removed]"

Errr... yep. Seems that way! LOL ;)
Sorry this one was disturbing for you, but I'm glad you enjoyed it overall. I remember blazing through it and loving it. I should squeeze in a re-read this year maybe. :D

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