I’m so behind on this; I actually finished Horns before the cruise.
I’d read one of Joe Hill‘s books before — Heart Shaped Box, his debut novel — but somehow missed out on Horns when it was released, and then it went into the perennially sifted “I’m gonna read that…” pile. I shouldn’t have delayed.
Horns is great fun from the start. Instead of slowly building to a monstrous development after hundreds of pages of hinting, Hill drops us right into the mess from page one. Ig Perrish wakes up with devil’s horns. They have odd effects on people. Given the immediate past circumstances of his life — everyone thinks he murdered his girlfriend Merrin a year before — there’s plenty of opportunity for these effects to create amusing developments.
It’s only after you’re hooked on the story that Hill paints the rest of the picture — Ig’s childhood, his family, his friends, his relationship with the dear, departed girlfriend, etc. — and if I have a complaint here it’s that these sections kind of drag a bit, and I felt at times like I really wanted to get back to the first story thread, which I was sure would be full of righteous retribution. And then, in those moments, you realize that you are reading a book that has you rooting for the devil.
Here’s a little bonus, btw: Horns is already being made into a film, starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ig and Juno Temple as Merrin. Principal photgraphy started last September.