Horns: Joe Hill, A Review

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I have a tendency to forget about a book if the first few chapters don’t grab me, this is a terrible habit as so often the books I give up turn out to be ones I get addicted to. Horns is a perfect example of this, I started this novel last February and abandoned it until a month or so ago.

I saw this trailer to this a couple years ago and was hooked, after a bit of research I found the film was based on a book by Joe Hill, Stephen King’s son! As soon a single could get to Waterstones I bought myself a copy of the novel. And it isn’t a film cover, one of my pet peeves when it comes to books is being stuck with a film cover. Often a cover tells such a story in itself.

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After a very public drunken fight with his girlfriend, Ig walks away from her to sleep his hangover off in his car. The next morning she turns up raped and murdered, and the town as a collective can only think of a be person who could have committed the crime. A year after Merrins murder Ig wakes up feeling guilty and hungover unable to remember the night before, with a splitting headache that turns out to be a pair of horns growing from his head. Horns which make people tell the truth, and can influence people’s actions.

This is a book I was so sad to finish. The story is original, but with nods to the detailed storymanship that made me fall in love with his father’s writing.

I have a tendency to second guess situations and endings, and a prolific horror and crime fan I’m pretty good at it. Not with this story, at multiple points I thought the story had ended (even with hundreds of pages left), and each time I was on tenterhooks.

The story is incredibly multilayered, it is not only concerned with Ig’s quest for the truth, but also human motivations and the stories behind thier choices. You see the underbelly of Ig’s relationships, and hear the thoughts that people would not share under any circumstance other than these Horns.

Horns is one of my favourite books of this year, and one I feel I’ll love for an age.This story has stayed with me, and I can’t bring myself to watch the film just yet incase I hate the interpretation. I am about to lend the book to a colleague though, abd hopefully I’ll have another person I can wax lyrical with.

Have you read Horns, what did you think? What would you recommend reading next?

– Emily

Ps: the film is currently on Netflix if your intrigued but unlikely to pick this up anytime soon. And make sure your tweet me if you read/have read this! @MayToOctober_