Book Review: Horns (2011)

Horns by Joe Hill

Imagine waking from a drunken slumber only to find horn nubs sticking out of your head. Ignatius Perrish can imagine it. The main character from Joe Hill’s Horns is thrown into a wild journey from the moment he wakes with horns until the very last pages of the book. What he discovers is that the people he comes across don’t recoil from his devilish knobs, but instead spill their innermost darkest thoughts to him, then forget they ever saw him. Joe Hill takes the reader on a dark and twisted journey that is as compelling as it is repugnant. Ignatius has lost the love of his life, Merrin, to a brutal murder which he has been accused of. In the year after the incident, he finds himself floundering through life, in a relationship going nowhere, losing faith and gaining an alcohol addiction. 

Ig’s new horns and newfound effect on the people he comes in contact with adds humor to this dark and twisted tale. His mother can’t help but confess how she wishes he would just disappear, how tired she is of dealing with him after his girlfriend was killed. His doctor, oblivious to the horns, confesses his urge to snort drugs and chase teenage girls. At first these confessions make Ig uncomfortable, but as the devil takes hold, he begins to use the power to find out the truth about his girlfriend’s death. Ig drives around his small New Hampshire hometown in his aging Gremlin in search of clues about Merrin’s violent death, and digs deeper into the dark side of the lives of the people he knows and loves.  This darkly humorous story winds through several days and years of memories, following Ig on a journey into the darkest depths of human desire. By the end, Hill has placed the devil in a blue dress, torn apart his world, and dropped the reader into a tumultuous display of human desires that could bring Ig to his knees. 

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