Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Horns - Joe Hill


Enough has been said about Joe Hill inheriting his father's talents, and any doubts readers may have that he was published simply because of who he is and not how well he writes should now be buried. With his first book Heart Shaped Box and his collection of stories, 20th Century Ghosts, Joe Hill proved he's his own man and his own talent. With Horns, he reinforces that proof with bells on. Or horns, if you prefer.

Ig Perrish lost his girlfriend Merrin a year ago when she was raped and murdered. A year to the day after this event, he spends the night blitzed out of his mind and wakes up with no memory of the night before - and horns growing out of his head. The horns force people to confess their darkest secrets and as most of his family, friends and anyone else believe he killed the lovely Merrin, it's not long before Ig learns what people think of him. It's also not long before Ig realises his hellish powers might have some benefits when it comes to finding the real killer.

Ig Perrish is a powerful figure. He's a man filled with a righteous rage (think Brandon Lee's character in The Crow) and there aren't many people who at the very least wouldn't be tempted to do as he does in his position. After all, vengeance is a great motivator as is knowing your vengeance is justified. However, Horns is much more than a story of revenge and grief. This is a love story at its most basic level. Ig is a man who hasn't just lost love; it's been stolen from him and this is a hanging offence.

While King Senior's talents are best read in his portrayals of `regular' people in small towns, Joe Hill excels here in writing about love in its glories and its dangers. Horns is a staggering book and one I completely recommend even if horror isn't your thing.

9 comments:

  1. I think Horns fell apart a bit at the end, but I enjoyed it enormously regardless. I don't care who his daddy is - he's a hell of a writer.

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  2. I'm so glad you said this was good - I have ordered it from Amazon. Can't wait to read it :)

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  3. I enjoyed 20th Century Ghosts and Heart Shaped Box as well, but Horns was the winner for me.

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  4. I'm a huge fan of Joe Hill. I do see bits of his father's influence in his writing, but in the best way possible. I agree, of all his books, HORNS was the winner for me, too.

    And you didn't like Love, Actually? I enjoyed it - it's super sappy, though. Mind you, I watched over Christmas holidays and was in the mood for warm and fuzzy...

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  5. Love, Actually is my nemesis, Jen. I hated everything about it. Apart from Alan Rickman but only because he was in Die Hard.

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  6. I'm definitely looking forward to reading HORNS. I was fortunate enough to do some translation work for Joe, and he's sending me a signed copy of this book. Yea, I can hardly wait!

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  7. Let me know what you think of it, Jonathan. Hope you enjoy it.

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  8. Just got my book the other day, and I'll have to say, after only 90 pages or so - I'm taking it slow and savoring it - it's really good. In fact, it's so good, it inspired me to put up a horror post on my blog.

    There are quite a few times throughout the book so far that I've been extremely jealous of seeing a sentence written and wishing to God I'd written that exact same sentence, because it's friggin' perfect!

    And one thing that probably makes me love the book even more is that Joe is an awesome person in addition to being a great writer. I've had the pleasure of interacting with him a lot on Twitter, and he's a great guy. I would so love to collaborate with him on a book someday!

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  9. I might have to read Horns again soon. All this talk has got me wishing I didn't have such a big To Be Read pile.

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