Monday, March 26, 2012

Horns; Joe Hill

Title:  Horns
Author:  Joe Hill
Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Harper Audio
Edition: audio
Setting: New Hampshire
Reader: Fred Berman (very good)
Source: Library
Date Completed: 2/27/2012
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: yes

Having been quite impressed with Joe Hill's first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, I decided to try the audio version of another one of his books, Horns. This audio book was read by Fred Berman who did a very good job.

The story takes place in a small town in new Hampshire, and tells the story of Ig (Ignatius Perrish), a young man who wakes up one morning with a horrible hangover, and unable to recall anything that happened the night before. His drinking binge was sparked by the (1) year anniversary of the death of his former girlfriend, Merrin Williams.  If that isn't bad enough, after this binge, Ig notices two horns protruding from his temples.  First he thinks that he is seeing things, and it seems like if other people notice them, no one is reacting or commenting about them.

It isn't long before Ig realizes that these horns seem to serve as almost a confessional to the people he comes in contact with.  Some of the people wish to bear their souls to him,  and ask permission to act on some self-serving impulses or fantasies that they have been struggling with.  This gives Ig an idea -- maybe he can use this power and effect he is having on others to get to the bottom of, Merrins rape and murder.  A crime for which the entire community sees him as the prime suspect, but yet he's never been charged.  If he can just find out who was really responsible, he feels he will finally be able to escape the private hell he has been living.  However, when people start talking the opposite seems to occur.

The story has a cast of unlikeable characters, and typically when that happens to,  I sometimes end up disliking the book I've been reading.  With Horns, the opposite seemed to occur.  There were several things I liked about this book. I loved the way that the author depicted small town life in new Hampshire.  I loved all the twists and turns, and was enjoying the ride along the way. This book examines the evil in some people, even those we love the most. The writing was addictive and even humorous at times, but the ending left me less than thrilled.  I'm still happy I listened to this one and would love to hear your thoughts if you read it. I will definitely read another book by this author.


  1. Sometimes it's fun to dislike characters. This book sounds fun with all the twists and turns.

  2. I have been on the fence about this book, and decided it was not for me, but now after reading your review, I am re-thinking that decision!

  3. I read a few pages of this one ages ago and then never picked it up again. I really need to as he is Stephen King's son and all.

  4. I loved this one, and was a little confused by the ending. It was a really inventive and thoughtful read, and one that had me interest all the way through. There were some characters that I just HATED, and I am sure you know which ones I mean! It was a really great book though, and I am glad you liked it!

  5. Sounds like maybe he has a bit of his father's bizarre view on the world. I haven't tried any of his books yet, but maybe I should. Thanks for the review.

  6. I enjoyed the book when I read it more than a year ago. I had never read anything like it, so it was very intriguing for me. My review is here:

  7. I enjoyed the book when I read it more than a year ago. I had never read anything like it, so it was very intriguing for me. My review is here:

  8. Hmmmm…sounds like a bit of downer. Still, it might be a good listen for the RIP challenge.

  9. I listened to the audiobook of this a little over a year ago and I really liked most of it. There was a section near the end when Ig has a bit of a monologue about becoming the devil or something and I thought it was a little heavy-handed, but otherwise it was very good.

    Joe Hill has a really great collection of short stories called 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS that I highly recommend. His other novel, HEART-SHAPED BOX was quite scary, but I didn't really connect with the story. Regardless, Joe Hill is certainly a writer that I'm watching closely!


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