Horns – Joe Hill

Horns   When I was a teenager I was a great fan of Stephen King, which seems a little surreal for me now, since most of his books I would consider being of a vague category of “difficult” in a way. Somehow, though, it escaped me that his son is now a published author, as well – until I watched “Horns” a few weeks ago at the movie theater. That is a sad time for me when I watch movies not only before I read books they were based on, but before I even knew there was a book. So, after that rather embarrassing (for me) statement, let’s cut to the chase – since right after having watched the movie adaptation, I ran to the local library and started reading.

The books tells a story about a guy, Ig Perish, who grows horns on his forehead. His girlfriend was raped and murdered and everyone in the little town he lives in, thinks that it was him who did it. One day Ig gets drunk and curses God. As a result, the next day he wakes up with horns that have supernatural powers and that eventually turn him into the devil/demon of some kind.

I could summarize this novel with one sentence – a perfect premise that got ruined somehow. Unfortunately, it’s once again a feeling more than anything concrete, actually. The beginning of the book for me was genius. It got fast pace, interesting characters and fascinating story. I especially liked how everyone was telling the deepest and darkest secrets/sins to Ig, without as much as blinking. The conclusion – we are all sinful.

The novel in most part is a revenge novel, for we – and Ig – find out who the killer is fairly quickly. Later on, the events of that last night in Ig’s girlfriend’s life is unfolded from a lot of characters’ points of view. Maybe that is the problem I had with this book – it got a little boring to read about the same night yet again after a while.

It’s hard for me to summarize this book, so I’ll try to answer the question if I’d recommend it? I think I would. It has some brilliant parts of dark humor, especially in the first part. Later it becomes too much of a tragedy of someone whose life was destroyed and it focuses too much on the past. Also, not sure how I feel about the ending. I liked one side of it, couldn’t get my head around the other one. But maybe that’s proof that it’s a good ending, after all? Not sure, but I know this – it’s worth to read, even if only for the first half of it.


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