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Novels > Horns ***SPOILERS***

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message 1: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments WARNING: DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED HORNS AND DON'T WANT THE STORY TO BE SPOILED.




message 2: by Shaun (new)

Shaun (shaunjeffrey) | 245 comments After HSB and Gunpowder, I won't be rushing to read it. Love his short stories. Anything longer, and he doesn't do it for me.


message 3: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I liked HSB but I think Horns is much better. Not familiar with Gunpowder. He does it for me.

I'll just say that out of all the powers I could have, the ability for people to tell me exactly what's on their mind is way down on the list! What Ig's mom and dad tell him when he visits them at their home is just horrible. Especially from his mother. Kids go to their moms to be comforted and forgiven, and she just wanted him and his complicated life to disappear for good.

Lee's mother's death is terrible. He is one deranged sociopath. When Ig and Lee first meet, I thought the story was going to have a more lighthearted Stand By Me quality to it. I was wrong, obviously.

I was glad Ig found out that his brother Terry had nothing to do with Merrin's death.

I thought the change in Merrin right before Ig was to leave town was odd. She seemed very much in love with him and it was such a shocking sudden change of heart. I'm not finished with Horns yet, but I can see that what happened at the treehouse is the reason for the breakup.


message 4: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments Tressa wrote: "I'm not finished with Horns yet, but I can see that what happened at the treehouse is the reason for the breakup. ..."

And you - Tressa - are in for one heck of a tear jerking surprise!!! Get your tissue box ready.


message 5: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I love tear jerker endings! Why, O why, didn't I bring it with me today so I could finish it now instead of later?


message 6: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments OK. I was way off on the reason Merrin broke it off with Ig. Just didn't make sense to me, and I thought it was a result of the weird satanic stuff that happened in the hidden tree house.

I also thought she had been coming on to Lee, and was pleased to find out that wasn't the case. She knew what he was about since they were teenagers. Smart girl.

I liked how it was revealed who was bumping the trapdoor of the tree house. I had a glimmer of hope that maybe Ig the Devil could do something to alter events, but neh.

I'm not sure I understand Ig's statement to Terry about why he became a devil. He said something like without Merrin that's what he would be. I don't understand it and I don't believe that at all. But maybe I missed something important. I do that occasionally when I'm reading.

The morse code note Merrin left Ig is a beautiful part of the book. I liked how she didn't want to share that part of her and Ig's life with Lee, and so made up the story about playing squares with her roommate. It was sweet what word Merrin flashed Ig in church that day: US.


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1437 comments I also thought Ig's statement to Terry was a little off, we know from flashback scenes that he wasn't a bad kid, just a bit of an exhibitionist. Maybe it was just really low self self-esteem coming off his life turning to crap. The one thing I learned from this book is I definitely would not want to know what people secretly think of me. I've had enough trouble with some of the stuff that's been said to my face.


message 8: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments Tressa wrote: "It was sweet what word Merrin flashed Ig in church that day: US. ..."

sure was. Also VERY cool that Ig actually had it worked out not long after he first saw it.
GOOSE bumps and all that, lol


message 9: by Patrick (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 83 comments Well I would rather know what people have in store for me rather than get blindsided when I find out that person hates me or holds me in contempt so I can avoid that person a lot quicker before I get my feelings hurt and humilated in public.


message 10: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Well, Patrick, I would want to know if a stranger's planning to rape or beat or kill me. I would NOT want to be privy to what the people who purportedly love and admire me--you know, family and friends and colleagues--REALLY think about me. It's the little negative things from people like these that hurt so bad.

I'm sure Ig would rather have not known what his mother and father thought about him. What man wants to avoid the only loving family he has? His mom was at least reacting to the misfortune Ig supposedly brought to his family. But his dad hated Ig for being himself and even favored Merrin over his own son.

I'm glad Terry was written as a good guy. So many times when brothers are written about one's the good guy and the other's the bad guy; very cut and dried. They both had the usual sibling jealousies but didn't let that ruin their relationship. They even laughed about their confessions about earlier petty behaviors.

Anyone else really like Glenna? I grew to like her a lot. I thought she was going to be the garden-variety town skank but her heart shone through every scene she was part of. I have a special place in my heart for guileless people. That's such a rare thing in this world.

Do you think Ig and Merrin stumbled upon the tree house or did the tree house choose them that day they were walking through the woods?


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1437 comments I really liked Glenna. I think she was written very sympathetically. Her skanky behavior and appearance was deep rooted in a lack of self worth. I think she just wanted to belong.

I don't think Ig and Merrin stumbled upon the treehouse at all. It was there when they needed it.


message 12: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments But did them entering the tree house have something (everything?) to do with Ig turning into a devil? That's sort of hazy to me.

I do like the concept of a devil character not being evil. He was less evil than Lee, even as a devil. When I started Horns I thought Ig was slowly going to turn evil and do a lot of damage to good people. Not the case.


message 13: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1437 comments I think Ig destroying the treehouse had something to do with him turning into a devil. I wrote a review of Horns and said that none of the characters were strictly good or evil but varying shades of gray.


message 14: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Huh. I must be getting sequences mixed up. I thought he destroyed the tree house after he turned into a devil.

Get this: I was almost halfway through the book when Ig talked about hurting his grandmother and reading Terry's mind about what happened that night. I didn't remember ANY of that and went back to look for it. I think I knocked the book off a table and lost my place; ended up skipping a chunk of story and had to go back and read what I missed.


message 15: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1437 comments I just went back and looked but Ig destroying the treehouse is part of his flashback to the night before he woke up as a devil. Wow, you skipped some important stuff there. :)


message 16: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Ha ha. Sure did. I'll have to go back and read those passages again. I think I'm getting time passages mixed up since it moves back and forth between past and present.

How old were they when they first found the tree house? They left it intact that time. There was talk about not being able to find the tree house again, but didn't he go back once to make sure the candle left lit didn't start a fire? The tree house appeared at the end of the book. Er, I'm confused.


message 17: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1437 comments I think they were in high school when they found it and the treehouse was a place they could be alone. Ig got a little OCD about finding it again which annoyed Merrin until he finally let it go. Merrin looked up and saw it as she was dying and then Ig found it while he was struggling to light himself on fire so he could heal and save Terry.


message 18: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Oh, God, that was sad when Merrin was being raped while she was dying and she "left" herself to focus on the peace of the tree house.


message 19: by Rachel (last edited Feb 23, 2010 10:40AM) (new)

Rachel | 1437 comments Yeah that was really sad. Also, IMO, that was the place where Lee went from being just messed up in the head to really evil.


message 20: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments True. He tested just how far he would allow himself to go on his mother. Those scenes of him (not) caring for his mother in her last weeks were very upsetting. I loved the moment of clarity she had when she asked him "what are you?" Ha! Not "who" but "what." She got that right.

Lee was gearing up for a lifetime of getting away with murder. I'm sure he was planning on murdering Glenna at the foundry because he made a point to ask if she had called anyone else. I love the way Lee was taken out: gored by Ig's horns and a snake stuck in his mouth. I did feel sorry for the snake.


message 21: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1437 comments yeah, I love that the snakes were innocents and had personalities. I just added God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer to my TBR list. Hill mentions reading it while writing this and it sounds interesting.


message 22: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I liked the inclusion of the snakes as innocents, too. Just another good example of how you can't assume the direction Hill's book is taking.

Not saying some snakes don't scare me because the poisonous ones certainly do, but I've never been afraid of the harmless snakes and like touching them and always move them out of harm's way. I hate when homeowners kill the harmless ones just just because they're afraid of them.

Our Social Sciences dept. has God's Problem. I might give it a look-see, too. Here's an interesting article about Joe's sister, Naomi: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/19010....


message 23: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1437 comments That was a great article Tressa, I knew some stuff about Naomi King. I knew a lot of Unitarian Universalists growing up and always had an appreciation for the religion's open nature.


message 24: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I got married in a Unitarian church. It was a lovely, simple wedding.

Stephen King has talked about his daughter being a kind and gentle person who didn't read his really scary books. I think he said he wrote Eyes of the Dragon for her.


message 25: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments Tressa wrote: "Anyone else really like Glenna? ..."

I Loved Glenna! My kind of girl; rough on the outside, with a tender heart. Her biggest shortcomings earlier on were her desire to do what others wanted instead of looking out for herself. Ig helped her get past that; in my mind her and Terry will go far and be good for each other.


message 26: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments Rachel wrote: "Yeah that was really sad. Also, IMO, that was the place where Lee went from being just messed up in the head to really evil."

He was pure evil before then; torture killing his mother . . . he was scheming from before he and Ig first met.


message 27: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Tom, I think Lee was scheming to steal Merrin from Ig, but he was trying to woo her away or encouraging her to break up with Ig when she confessed doubts about her and Ig's future together. He didn't plan Merrin's murder at all; it was a spur-of-the-moment act when he saw that Terry was passed out in the backseat and Merrin was half-naked in the woods.

When he went to her in the woods and tried to romance her, he was surprised at her disgust and shock that he thought she'd ever want to be with him. Her laughing at him reminded him of his mother's mistreatment (or his perception of mistreatment) and that's when he snapped and brained her with the rock.


message 28: by Jason (new)

Jason | 176 comments I found it interesting when Ig said this is how he was before he met Merrin, she was keeping me from being this way.


message 29: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Jason, that was interesting AND confusing. I could understand if Lee made a comment like that, but Ig seemed good from the start. There must be a meaning to this statement that I'm missing.


message 30: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments Tressa wrote: "Jason, that was interesting AND confusing. I could understand if Lee made a comment like that, but Ig seemed good from the start. There must be a meaning to this statement that I'm missing."

Ditto. My take on him was that he had always been a good guy; even as the devil he was a good person.


message 31: by Rusty (new)

Rusty (rustyshackleford) | 134 comments Halle-frickin'-llujah. I just checked my library account, and Horns is waiting for me to pick it up. Thought the day would never come.


message 32: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1437 comments Rusty wrote: "Halle-frickin'-llujah. I just checked my library account, and Horns is waiting for me to pick it up. Thought the day would never come."

hehe go Rusty! Go Now! :)


message 33: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments You're in for a treat, Rusty!


message 34: by Rusty (new)

Rusty (rustyshackleford) | 134 comments Sounds like it. I'll just have to neglect my other books for a little while.


message 35: by Laurie (new)

Laurie   (barklesswagmore) | 1471 comments It's worth the wait.


message 36: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Hope you didn't read any spoilers, Rusty.


message 37: by Rusty (new)

Rusty (rustyshackleford) | 134 comments I've been very careful, so I don't think so.


message 38: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Good. :)


message 39: by Tammy (new)

Tammy (tardolf) | 28 comments back to the treehouse. Didn't Ig find it three times? Once with Merrin, the night before he awoke as a devil (he remembers in a flashback that he was the one banging on the door, wanted to save the young Ig and Merrin), and at the very end of the book when he climbed into the burning tree house and embraced a burning Merrin?


message 40: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I think so, Tammy.


message 41: by Anna (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 252 comments Tressa wrote: "Well, Patrick, I would want to know if a stranger's planning to rape or beat or kill me. I would NOT want to be privy to what the people who purportedly love and admire me--you know, family and fri..."

I really liked this book, it was so well written, the dialogue and people seemed so real.
I think sometimes people do say mean things that are the truth at the time "I hate you, I hate this place, you're such a jerk", but that that truth isn't a constant. I think they were venting, and saying only the worst things, as Dale said. There was good and love in the parents also. I'm not so sure about Eric though...
I think Ig meant that Merrin brought out the best in him; that he had the choice, as do we all, to be bad, but that she kept him whole and honest. Merrin was pretty impish herself, when she pretended she hadn't flashed "us" to Ig in morse code. She did seem to be the more worldly of the two. Iggie (why didn't they call him that?) was such a sweet soul! I think maybe this was Joe Hills' idea of pre-destination, that everything comes together for a reason, and that there are two sides to every story. Glenna had such a good heart, I'm kind of glad we don't have too much of a family background on her, I didn't feel sorry for her, just sad to see someone who tries so hard to be loved and lovable.
And poor Lee! Yeah, he was a creep, but he wasn't born a demon, I think that fall he took scrambled his brains, and if his mother had been any kind of a mother she would have checked him out.


message 42: by Tressa (last edited Mar 02, 2010 05:37PM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Good points, Mari. I do believe that Ig's mother was only reacting to what had recently happened to the family. She didn't say anything near as bad to Ig as her husband. It seems that his mother did love him but couldn't handle being around him. The father seemed to have a deep seated dislike for his son that went back to childhood.

I think that fall he took scrambled his brains, and if his mother had been any kind of a mother she would have checked him out.

Ha! If you think Lee's mother is bad you should read
Stitches A Memoir by David Small .
THAT'S some f***ed up parenting.


message 43: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments Another - non-fiction - is _A Child Called It_.


message 44: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments I read A Child Called It once and that's the ONLY time I'll ever go near that book again. I want to murder abusive parents.

Have you ever read When Rabbit Howls? Horrifying.


message 45: by LinBee (new)

LinBee I finally finished! I loved, loved this book. Such a roller coaster ride. Reading each chapter is like finding a piece of a large puzzle.
I can't do it, I can't feel sorry for Lee. Honestly, I know much of his evil maybe wasn't his fault, but I don't know if it could all be caused by a bump on the head, or by his father leaving, or if it was just his nature.
My least favorite part was the snakes getting killed, especially the one that chokes Lee. They did have a personality, and I just cringe thinking they had to die the ways they did. Decapitated for a hazing or inside a evil person or slammed against the concrete or stepped on or shot in half. It made me sad. I do like the part where Ig is sermonizing to them about how the devil will at least help people out for the idolization while God demands praise and worship for doing nothing.
I'm also so glad that in the end, Ig gets his Merrin back. I do so love a happy ending sometimes.


message 46: by Laurie (new)

Laurie   (barklesswagmore) | 1471 comments I'm with you. I can't feel sorry for Lee either. Lots of us have horrible stuff happen to us when we're young but it doesn't turn all of us into self-centered, raping, murderers. He was a scheming, lying, deceptive jerk way back when he first met Ig. I don't know if a knock on the head made him that way or not but I have a feeling it was there from the beginning and I feel no pity for him.

I also felt bad for the snakes and loved the darkly gorgeous reunion between Ig and Merrin.


message 47: by Anna (new)

Anna (stregamari) | 252 comments Tressa wrote: "I read A Child Called It once and that's the ONLY time I'll ever go near that book again. I want to murder abusive parents.

Have you ever read When Rabbit Howls? Horrifying."


I did read that, or as much as I could, if I'm remembering it right. I did order "stitches", so I'll read that, it sounds pretty horrific


message 48: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) | 19935 comments Yeah, WRH is a tough read. Stitches is done in graphic novel form which was less easy on my stomach and his parents aren't abusive but neglectful. And his father's a doctor!


message 49: by Maicie (new)

Maicie | -62 comments Hands down, my favorite part of this book is how Joe Hill flips the roles of God and the Devil.


message 50: by Garrett Cook (new)

Garrett Cook | 35 comments I loved this and what it has to say about people's perspectives on faith, the moral relativism is a little bit simplistic, and Merrin and her sister both having names that reference the exorcist was a bit too much, but it's a great commentary on human nature and how dishonest we are about the devil inside us.


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