Re-Read: Horns (Joe Hill)

Horns is Joe Hill‘s second novel. [Here’s my first review.]

A year ago, Ig had it all: a nice girlfriend, a good family, a great best friend and he was about to get the job he always dreamt about. And then his girlfriend, Merrin, gets raped and murdered – and Ig is the only suspect. Bit by bit, his life and he himself fall apart.
The day after the anniversary of Merrin’s death, Ig wakes up with the worst hangover of his life – and horns growing out of his head. While Ig still wonders whether the horns are really there or not, he notices that they have an effect on people: They tell him all their darkest secrets and lowest impulses. Soon Ig decides that he will use the horns to finally learn the identity of Merrin’s killer.

Even on re-reading, Horns is a compulsive read that tells an interesting, layered story where probably most people will find something that interests them.



Even though it’s been a while that I read Horns, I still had a rather vivid memory of it – which I only very rarely have of the books I read. I will remember impressions and emotions connected to them, but with Horns, I not only know where I was when I read certain parts (I kept flashing to certain places – that part I read waiting for a train. That part I read at my uncle’s house etc.) but I quite distinctly remember parts about the plot and certain scenes that happen in the book. That surprised me, but it also proves how evocative Hill’s writing is. [I still didn’t remember everything, of course.]

That still holds true for the re-read. I was completely engrossed again, fevering along with Ig at every point, even when his choices are not particularly good.

But some things also felt very different too me, especially when it comes to Lee. I don’t think I was that creeped by young Lee already. But his misogynistic rants really hit home for me, making is psychopathy very clear – and also showing how entrenched these thoughts are in our society since Ig doesn’t really see much wrong with it and would have never suspected Lee to have killed Merrin.

I had forgotten how much the book concerns itself with religion. It makes sense, of course, when your main character turns into the devil, that you would reference god as well. And I loved Ig’s satanic interpretation of Christian lore and the bible. But these parts still bothered me a bit. Maybe I’m becoming too much of an atheist…

In any case I really, really enjoyed the book again and I do hope that the film adaptation comes to Austria soon.

Summarizing: Love it.

1 thought on “Re-Read: Horns (Joe Hill)

  1. Pingback: Horns (2013) | kalafudra's Stuff

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