Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Horns by Joe Hill Review

Title: Horns
Author: Joe Hill
Publsihed: Harper, 2011
Pages: 368
Rating: 8.5/10 lightsabers
Goodreads Summary
At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin's death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It's time for a little revenge. . . . It's time the devil had his due. . . .

Horns is divided into five parts: Hell, Cherry, The Fire Sermon, The Fixer, and The Gospel According the Mick and Keith.

Part 1 "Hell" really grabs your attention. It is a fun, thrilling, and cringe worth read. and I mean cringe worthy because of the horrible things people say. Ig and his new horns have a weird affect on people. They make them confess their worst thoughts and desires. Things you wouldn't even want to admit to yourself. For example, Ig was at the hospital getting himself looked at by a doctor because he thought he was hallucinating the horns which meant he had a tumor. Anyways, here's a little of their conversation:
Ig said, "I don't know if this is happening or not. I think I'm going crazy. How come people don't react more when they see the horns? If I saw someone with horns, I'd piss down my own leg." Which, in fact was exactly what he had done, when he first saw himself in the mirror.
"They're hard to remember," the doctor said. "As soon as I look away from you, I forget you have them. I don't know why." 
"But you can see them now."
Renald nodded.
"And you've never seen anything like them?"
"Are you sure I can't have a little sniff of Oxy?" the doctor asked. He brightened. "I'd share. We could get fucked up together."
Ig shook his head. "Listen, please."
The doctor made an ugly face but nodded.
"How come you aren't calling other doctors in here? How come you aren't taking this more seriously?"
"To be honest," Renald said, "it's a little hard to concentrate on your problem. I keep thinking about the pills in my briefcase and this girl my daughter hangs out with. Nancy Hughes. God, I want her ass. I feel sort of sick when I think about it, though. She's still in braces."
"Please", Ig said. "I'm asking for your medical opinion-- your help. What do I do?"
"Fucking patients," the doctor said. "All any of you care about is yourselves." --Horns by Joe Hill, page 19.
This is just one example of the awful things people admit to Ig in the book and I love it. I was literally cringing through this entire first part! "Hell" ends in a cliff hanger and then of course, part two "Cherry" is a damn flash back. At first, I was really annoyed with this flash back. I was so into the first storyline that I wasn't prepared to start investing in a completely different timeline. However, after a few chapters I started seeing why the flashback was very important. Actually, the flashbacks are really important to the ending. Anyways, we get to see Ig, Merrin, his creepy best friend Lee, and his brother Terry as kids. The flashbacks can be a little slow, but I liked them for the most part.

I really loved the third part of the book "The Fire Sermon". Ig learns he can mimic voices. There's a scene where Ig gives a sermon to a crowd of snakes and Joe Hill did a great job with it. The place where Ig is staying has a fireplace. After a few bottles of wine, Ig starts hearing the fire preach to him. After some time, Ig goes out on a hill with his pitchfork and preaches to thousands of snakes. Smoke starts coming from his nostrils. He spits out a couple of great devilish lines like "The devil is first a literary critic, who delivers this untalented scribbler the public flaying He deserves."(Horns, Joe Hill, pg, 218 It was great. I actually reread the sermon part twice because I thought it was that cool.

I won't discuss the last two acts because I don't want to give away any spoilers. All I will say is that I really enjoyed this book. It actually wound up being different than I had expected. I was going into this book thinking it would be a general horror with a murder mystery, but it was more than that. I wasn't expecting it to be as tragic as it was. It also helps that the ending didn't suck. Anyways, this is one of my favorite reads of 2013!

Oh! Apparently this book is being made into a movie! Daniel Radcliffe is playing the lead role of Ig. I'm not mad about it.


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