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Horns Paperback – 2 Jun 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (2 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575099992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575099999
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe Hill is a recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship and the winner of the A.E. Coppard Long Fiction Prize, William Crawford, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Awards. His short fiction has appeared in literary, mystery and horror collections and magazines in Britain and America.

Author photo (c) Shane Leonard

Product Description

Review

I've read it a few times over the years and each time I come out of the experience having a completely new interpretation. Out of everything he's written, from his numerous short stories to his novels to his comics, it's Horns I always circle back to. (Tor.com)

Horns was a terrific read which helps to bolster Joe Hill's already high status in my personal pantheon of storytellers/writers. (SFF World)

After you've watched the movie, I'd whole heartedly recommend checking out the novel, its well worth the read. (Pissed off Geek)

An instant classic, Horns commands the reader's attention from the first page to the last and serves as an excellent starting point for Joe Hill virgins. I, for one, can't wait to see the film adaptation, despite the fact that the Ig in my head bears no resemblance to Daniel Radcliffe. This is a must-read, if you haven't already, and well worth a revisit if you have. (Reader Dad)

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone. It is wretched, witty, and enthralling. The writing is clever and masterful, despite the few faults I had. I think that if you are of a sensitive or conservative disposition, it might not be the book for you. It is a tragic love story, a murder mystery, and a supernatural fantasy with a dash of theological satire to sweeten the deal. (The Eloquent Page)

'Simply put, Horns is fantastic - the author has managed to weave an incredible tale that combines elements of thriller, horror and fantasy and yet has become something very believable, convincing and utterly compelling.' ***** (SFBOOK)

Horns is pretty damn awesome. I have read my fair share of supernatural trhillers over the years but with Horns Joe Hill introduces something not seen before, it's not a complete embodient of the devil but holds in the lines. A perfect story that will creep you out and play with your emotions. And at the heart of it all yes a love story, gone wrong. (The Book Plank)

Book Description

The NEW YORK TIMES-bestselling author of HEART-SHAPED BOX returns with HORNS: a relentless new supernatural thriller.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent Page) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I think that Joe Hill has managed to tap into a genuine primal fear with this novel. What if you could read their minds with a single touch? Now part of you might be thinking, `this would be great'. But I'm going to have to disagree. Could there be anything worse than knowing exactly what the people around you think of you? I am sure the reality would be a lot like the situation depicted in Horns. You would immediately start to learn things that you just didn't ever want to know. I don't think it would take long to discover that underneath the thin veneer of society a lot of individuals are way freakier than they appear on the surface. Ig Perrish learns this the hard way as he descends into his own private hell. The good news is that the reader gets to follow him, every step of the way.

I should stress that it's not all doom and gloom though. There is some welcome dark humour particularly when Ig tries to master his new powers. He takes some amusing, if slightly petty, revenge against those that have slighted him in the past. I couldn't help but feel that all the various characters got exactly what they deserved in this regard. Almost without exception, everyone wants to see Ig just disappear, so it seems only fair that they get what is coming to them.

This is the first novel by Joe Hill that I have read and I was heartily impressed. The main protagonist is placed in a terrible situation and I was compelled to follow his journey. The novel is very dark but also surprisingly life affirming. There are some flashbacks that cover Ig's first meeting with Merrin and the beginning of their relationship. These add additional depth to the characters and made it easy to empathise with Ig's predicament.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. I. Harrison on 20 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well I bought this on the recommendation of a friend. I knew nothing about it and didn't even read the blurb on the back of the book and I have to say, for me that is the way to read it!

It's a wonderful book from the very stylish and cool cover to the unpredictable and bonkers plot.

I will give nothing away other than to say pretty much anything can happen, the easily offended and possibly Daily Mail readers should steer a path round it! And it has :-

A Great story, lots of twists and turns, it's sad, funny, gripping and has a cast of great fully realised characters. It's not really a horror or ghost story...I don't quite know how to catagorise it in fact, and I'm not sure I need to. Just read it and see what you think.

I have read a few great books this year, The Brother's Grossbart and Killer of men to name two but this is right up with them. Joe Hill is an author to be watched and has a real gift for story. Enjoy the ride!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bonbonvie on 10 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
Ignatious Perrish (Ig) is the prime suspect in the rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin, who died a year ago. No charges have ever been brought, but everyone, including his own family, believes him to be guilty. On the anniversary of Merrin's death, Ig goes out on the mother of all benders, urinates on the Virgin Mary, and wakes up the next morning with horns. He soon discovers these horns have the power to make people reveal their darkest secrets to him and after having some fun with it, he inadvertently begins to discover more than he bargained for about Merrin's murder. In between present day chapters, the tale flashes backwards to Ig's teenage years, telling the story the will eventually end in tragedy to explain what is happening to Ig now.

The story is a great idea and the sprinklings of humour are very well done. However, where it loses me is when it suddenly diverges to flashback and stays there for chapter after chapter with no warning. There is no segue, leaving the jump feel out of place. There is also a fair amount of what seems like filler. I feel the book could have been a hundred pages shorter without really losing anything. There is excessive description of people and events that aren't actually relevant to the tale. I found myself skimming quite a lot.

This isn't a mystery as we know whodunnit fairly early on. I suppose it could be a coming of age tale, but the flashbacks feel too disjointed for that to be fully realised. It seems like a book that could have used a firm hand from an editor. The sudden changes in setting, time, place and tone don't really work for me and made it difficult for me to settle in to the story and properly care about the characters.

The ending felt rushed and didn't offer anything that felt like a resolution for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AndyH on 4 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Helen H says: Kafka meets Milton meets unknown others in Tragi-comic, complicated easy-reading love-horror-thriller. Gripped me from start to finish. Appears simple in many ways, but the complexity underlying is compelling and very readable. The novel works on various levels; philosophical, in parts intellectual, in parts dark comic, in parts psychological, and in parts love story - parts, parts, parts ... But it remains intact as a whole. The characters are well written and believable - and his playing around with the ideas of perception, belief and reality are entertaining, enthralling, un-nerving, familiar and refreshing. Joe Hill has a wonderful writing style which is both unfamiliar and familiar - a book to read in one sitting, or visit again. Go for it, it won't take up much of your life and you won't come away from it with regrets thinking 'well that's time I'll never have back again'. I've never read this author before, but if I come across other stuff he's done I'll give it a go. I didn't give it a 5 star review, simply because I would have liked a little less romance and a little less satisfying closure - but that's personal and I'm hard to please - well done Joe Hill - 4 star +. A brave, bold and almost fairy-tale-like quality makes you want to keep reading just to see where he's going with it next - it must have taken a lot of concentration to keep it under control - at times it felt like the book had a mind of it's own. Christian purists may be offended, or they may even claim it for their own - I do hope not. Freudish fans could see it as a study of multiple personality-like conditions - or schizophrenia even. I get the feeling a reading club discussion held around this novel would be very interesting and entertaining.
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