Horns: A Novel

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Horns: A Novel

by Joe Hill

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | February 28, 2011 | Trade Paperback

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TheNew York Timesbestselling author ofHeart-Shaped Boxreturns with a relentless supernatural thriller that runs like Hell on wheels . . .

Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend Ignatius Perrish as the only suspect. On the first anniversary of Merrin's murder, Ig spends the night drunk and doing awful things. When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover . . . and horns growing from his temples. Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look-a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. Now it's time for revenge . . .

It's time the devil had his due. . . .

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 pages, 8.38 × 5.63 × 1.05 in

Published: February 28, 2011

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0061147966

ISBN - 13: 9780061147968

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from exciting read with some slow bumps in the road Didn't find this story scary at all. It is more of mystery, whodunnit and what the "devil" happening to ig? the book is mainly from protagonist's pov- Ignatius Parrish, but there are povs from Ig's older brother Terry Parrish and childhood friend Lee Tourneau. 1. Who murdered Merrin Williams? 2. Ig is growing horns from his head? These are the 2 premises of the book. Parts of the book are dark and sad. Reader right away meets Ig and his horns growing out of his head. He has powers he never had before that help him solve the mystery of his murdered beloved gf- Merrin. Not much gore, but there is fair bit of violence. I found Lee's pov the most interesting...as you read on you'll know why. Honestly Ig's pov had it's highs and lows. There are a few twists here and there but nothing that will shock and haunt the reader. Interesting story/ concept but nothing too spectacular here. Good pre-halloween read.
Date published: 2014-09-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hell of a Good Read! Great novel from Joe Hill, spawn of horror meister Stephen King. The novel has some weak spots in the middle but overall a great murder-mystery case with Ig Perrish seeking the truth about the demise of his girlfriend, Merrin. The book's strongest parts were Ig's transformation into Lucifer Jr. and the nature of God. As bad as the Devil can be, human nature by itself can be even worse. Cannot wait to see the Hollywood adaptation.
Date published: 2013-09-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Giving the Devil His Due I've just finished reading +Joe Hill's "Horns". Absolutely loved it. I'd been hesitating for months about getting this book, picked it up and put it down a dozen times before finally deciding it was something that I should grab. Now I'm kicking myself for not having picked it up sooner. There's a saying, I don't remember by whom, that goes, you get the book you need when you need it. Horns' protagonist is Ig Perrish, who's having a very very bad year. First his girlfriend is murdered, then he's suspected of having done it and, then he wakes up with horns (no literally horns growing out of his head.) What he does with his horns is the driving action of this novel, Hill's second, and watching Ig play with his horns is a rollicking adventure into the dark side of the human condition. Joe Hill plays with the trope that we can never know the mind of another to gritty, disturbing effect. What if all you could know was the worst that people thought, of you, of themselves, of others? Could you survive the onslaught? The beautiful thing about Ig Perrish is that he can, and uses the information, mostly, to do good. "Horns" is a wonderful, richly nuanced book, with moments of laugh out loud humour and a few playfully devilish cliches. As you can probably tell, I don't write reviews. Ig is a decent human being, flawed for sure, but fundamentally good. His only goal is to find out who murdered the love of his young life, Merrin. Sure, he exacts petty revenge, but only on those who richly deserve it and it doesn't necessarily turn out the way he planned, thereby proving the adage that the best laid plans of mice and men....(thank you Robert Burns) Joe Hill has a consummate understanding of the celebrity obsessed culture of the early 21st century evidenced by his exchange with a waitress in a bar whose only goal is to get on TV (read get famous), seemingly at any cost, including her own murder. Joe also knows about the heart of darkness that can lurk in even the most civilized of men. This is exposed and to some extent explored with the character (antagonist) Lee Tourneau. I really like the name of this of this character and I'm not sure how Hill came to it, but the depth of it really struck me as significant. "Tour" is French for Tower and the locale of the murder is near a tower-like structure. The name also contains in it the French word for water "eau" a motif that also runs through the book. Digging a little more, the concept of turning is also encapsulated in this name and echoes the 'turns' of Lee's own life. One of my favourite lines in the books is when the congressman Lee work for tells him he could be the Republican Party's next Reagan and Lee responds that he's rather be the next Karl Rove. Honestly, I had to put the book down because I was laughing so hard. What I found most interesting in the novel was the enigma that was Merrin. She is perhaps the most opaque of characters and I loved the book all the more for it. She is fully rendered, rich and deliciously flawed. But it her ability to wear different skins that makes her all the more human. Her sacrifice is stunning. I'm not sure if I've given away too much, but I enjoyed this book and I hope that this poor excuse for a review will spur others on to read it as well.
Date published: 2013-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eight Bookcases Check out my review of Hill's work on my blog at: http://8bookcases.blogspot.ca/2012/09/horns-by-joe-hill.html
Date published: 2012-09-03
Rated out of 5 by from I am not a big reader, but I heard about this book and gave it a try! You can tell the writer was influenced by his fathers work but he definitely took it to a new level of creepy and weird! I absolutely loved this book and had a hard time putting it down. It captures your interest every step of the way and makes it an enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book, it is a great dark adventure mystery which will capture your interest!
Date published: 2012-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Talent can be inherited. I’m going to begin this review by saying that the first 10 chapters of this book are simply amazing. Never before had I felt so many emotions for a character – and that includes the constant anxiety and helplessness I felt while reading The Road. That being said, I’m not in any way stating that what follows them is of lesser quality; the book is quite the experience – it’s just those first few chapters are agonizing. That fact that Ig is genuinely a nice guy is what rips your heart out. Hearing all the townspeople hold nothing back when verbally tearing him apart can be heartbreaking. Joe Hill refuses to give you any time to digest each tirade as the one that follows turns out to be far worse than the last. While it's not always possible, there are some situations out there where people have shown that talent can sometimes be inherited. I can't speak for Hill's other work (I hope to change that soon) but with Horns, he at least shows that he has the talent to be a great storyteller like his father.
Date published: 2012-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story but it falls short This book definitely had a very different and interesting concept. What I did not expect was the comedy that went along with it. Ig’s new found power (which took me a bit to figure out what it was) is an interesting gift, and could potentially be either; very dangerous, hurtful, or downright hilarious. Throughout the first bits of the book I couldn’t stop laughing. The moments of Ig’s childhood years (the shopping cart incident) and the situation with the two policemen made me laugh, and kept me reading the book. Yet there were serious moments too, with Ig finding out the truth about Merrin and her death, who was really behind it, and the real true feelings of people close to him (like his parents). It’s a bit shocking, to read how his parents really felt of the situation surrounding Ig and at a certain point of the book I really felt sorry for him. The first half of the book was really enjoyable to read. The middle part where it focuses on Ig, Merrin, and Lee wasn’t so bad. Lee’s a jerk. A real jealous one. I never really liked him to begin with and when you see his true colors, I hated him even more. Ig was such a nice guy and Lee just took advantage of that and stepped all over him. I liked Ig as a character although throughout the second half of the book he just got really strange and started behaving rather odd. This is where I thought the book was rather stuck in a rut and it suddenly dragged. I felt the pace of the book just stopped all of a sudden and started to crawl. The ending was good and after that rut, the pace starting picking up a bit. I was definitely unprepared for the ending and it caught me by surprise. When I finished this book, I wasn’t sure how I felt. I had an empty feeling, I guess because the ending wasn’t what I expected, but also because I thought perhaps it could have ended differently. For a book that had such a promising start, the ending lacked the punch to finish it. I would still say, give this book a chance. The idea and concept is really entertaining and interesting. If you don’t mind reading through the little stall in the middle of the book you’ll find the book isn’t so bad after all. Even though to me, it had a disappointing ending, but read it to be entertained and to have a laugh. It’s certainly worth a look through.
Date published: 2010-12-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Starts off good, but... I really enjoyed the first part of this book, though I couldnt care about any of the characters. Even the main character. Its very interesting when our 'hero' first gets his horns and the way people react is very entertaining, but after that things get dull quick. The writing felt very simple to me. I'd have to give this book a pass.
Date published: 2010-11-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from SOMETIMES BAD IS GOOD What would you do if you woke up one morning and discovered you had grown horns overnight? If it was the morning after a bender you would think it was a hallucination. Ig did! But no such luck! Ignatius Perrish had everything a young man could want. He was born to a privileged family in a small town. He had good friends and finally someone he loved and, amazingly who loved him just as much. All that was tarnished when Merrin Williams was murdered and he was the prime suspect. He was never charged, but all of sudden everyone in town looked at him a little differently. They proclaimed his innocence, but it wasn’t what they truly believed. It’s hard to take the high road when everyone thinks the worst, so Ig resigns himself to never knowing the truth and never feeling comfortable in his own skin again. Turns out the horns that miraculously grew one day were his saving grace (so to speak) because anyone in their presence was compelled to tell the truth; their deepest, darkest secrets. So we follow Ig on his quest to find the real murderer. I didn’t like this book … and then I liked … and then I liked it more … and finally I was undecided. Unlike his first novel HEART SHAPED BOX (which I loved), HORNS is not a straightforward tale. It takes the reader down a few bumpy, uncomfortable paths before we see the light. The characters are gritty and for the most part unlikable. Even our hero Ignatius is a little hard to warm to, but those are the qualities that made this book work. A good read that takes seriously the phrase “sometimes you have to be bad to be good”.
Date published: 2010-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Absorbing! I ripped through this book in two days. It just drew me right in and would not let me go. The writing style is very similar to Stephen King, which is only natural since they are father and son. So maybe thats why I went through it so quick, because I like Stephen King's work. This is the story of a young man named Ignatious who after a night of binge drinking winds up with horns growing out of his head. He is also now able to coax the innermost thoughts and secrets from people. Just by seeing him, they spill they're guts and ask permission to do what they're hearts desire and society says is a no no. These encounters are the most interesting, as it gives us a glimpse at the veneer of civility that we and the world are coated in so that we get along and don't kill too many of each other off. We come into Ig's life one year after his girlfriend was murdered to the day, as the night he binged was the night of her death. Ig is still coping with her loss, as well as the loss of his friends and family because he was the prime suspect in her murder and was never officially cleared so things never really went back to normal. Its chilling to see how his family REALLY thinks of him once he get his horns. Everything that seemed so normal and ok to him is just turned on its head. What I like most was the evolution/devolution of humanity in this book. Ig becomes more and more devil/demon-like in appearance as the book progresses. His horns grow bigger, he communes with snakes, and his skin turns red. The great thing is that as he devolves physically, he evolves emotionally. He has the power to let a lot of bad stuff happen, and instead he uses it to right his relationships with people as well as have them move on from him. We also see the devolution of hummanity in his best friend Lee. Lee is a congressman's aide, poster ivy-league looks, and at first he acts them, but as the story progresses we see his actions and thought patterns devolve into something belonging to a creature more fitting of Ig's physical appearance than Lee's. I liked the flash backs least. Hill starts off the story in the here and now, and flashes back to Ig and Lee's past, obviously for character development. I read it all, I knew it was all important to the story, but I could not help but think, "ok, great, but whats happening NOW?" My favorite part was Ig's relationship with his girlfriend and how it develops throughout the book. At first you get the picture of a fairy tale romance that ended tragically. Then you see that all was not well between the two and you wind up hating her for a bit, until you get closer to the end where you fully understand her motives for her actions and can sympathyze with both her and Ig. An excellent choice for King fans. This book will have you running the emotional gambit and enjoying every second of the ride.
Date published: 2010-04-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A new voice in horror.... I really enjoy Joe Hill's books.....Heart Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts were both excellent reads. In his new novel Hill writes a great tale, Ig Parrish is a man with not much good in his life, espcially since the murder of his true love Merrin a year ago. After a night of debauchery he wakes up literally with a pair of horns, ones that make people tell their darkest secrets. With this new found ability Ig sets out to discover the truth behind Merrin's death. Really good book.....I'm sticking with reading Hill's books because I have not been disapointed yet.
Date published: 2010-04-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engrossing It took me about 120 pages before I really got into the novel and then, oh boy, did it have me. The back stories of the characters are both mesmerizing and haunting. The story was strongest when it wasn't focused on Ig's deformity but rather on his humanity. I was a little disappointed with the ending however, it felt like Hill just tacked a few things on to add unnecessary emotion and wrapped it up really quickly. Definitely a dark tale worth reading
Date published: 2010-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I just finished reading this novel by Joe Hill (anyone else hope his real name is Joe? Joe King? say it out loud and chuckle *^_^*). It was absolutely fantastic. It is not just for horror fans but for anyone who likes drama with a dash of weird and macabre.
Date published: 2010-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular! Within the first few chapters of this book, it became apparent that Joe Hill really does follow after his father in this darkly funny and painfully human tale. Despite the transformation of the main character, he alone remains the most human of all the characters and you cannot help but root for "the devil in the blue dress". All in all, bravo Mr. Hill, bravo. I fully intend on purchases your older work within the week.
Date published: 2010-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's not only a great song... If you are reading this, you've probably already read this book's synopsis. That alone made me want to read it but it is so much more than that. This is a wonderfully told story about friendship, family and love. I couldn't put it down...while reading this I did in fact have Sympathy for the Devil. There were moments that made me laugh and moments that made me cry. Ig is the kind of guy that you can't help but like. You root for him all the way. The story becomes less about the horns and more about the man as you get deeper into it, moving from the past to the present with no confusion or awkwardness. Really, Joe Hill is a great storyteller.
Date published: 2010-02-22

– More About This Product –

Horns: A Novel

by Joe Hill

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 pages, 8.38 × 5.63 × 1.05 in

Published: February 28, 2011

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0061147966

ISBN - 13: 9780061147968

About the Book

The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Heart-Shaped Box" returns with a relentless new supernatural thriller. Hill spins a story that's both morbidly amusing and emotionally resonant.--"Publishers Weekly."

From the Publisher

TheNew York Timesbestselling author ofHeart-Shaped Boxreturns with a relentless supernatural thriller that runs like Hell on wheels . . .

Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend Ignatius Perrish as the only suspect. On the first anniversary of Merrin's murder, Ig spends the night drunk and doing awful things. When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover . . . and horns growing from his temples. Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look-a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. Now it's time for revenge . . .

It's time the devil had his due. . . .

About the Author

Joe Hill is the author of theNew York TimesbestsellersHorns,Heart-Shaped Box, andNOS4A2. He is also the Eisner Award-winning writer of a six-volume comic book series,Locke & Key.

Editorial Reviews

"Horns is a pitchfork-packing, prodigal son's take on religion.But the real meat of the story dissects man's relationship with good and evil wihtout sacrificing a bit of suspense.Horns is a mesmerizing page-turner." (Tulsa World)