Thursday, July 25, 2013

Horns by Joe Hill | Audiobook Review

I hate when everyone loves a book but me!

Book Description

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin's death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It's time for a little revenge. . . . It's time the devil had his due. . . .


After Ig Perrish's girlfriend is murdered, he wakes up with horns coming out of his head. He also notices that those around him openly share their deepest secrets and desires. Does everyone have such horrible thoughts? I don't know if it was because I was listening to it on audio, but uncensored people are not fun to be around. I fear how many wrinkles this book may have caused me.

I think part of my problem with this book is the humor was lost on me. All of the horrible thoughts people were having seemed like shock value to me. I love horror so it's not that I mind horrible thoughts or bad people, I was just having trouble getting behind everyone being that way. Every person Ig came across was worse than the last. I started wondering if my library had punked me.

This book wasn't entirely without merit. Ig is trying to discover what happened to his girlfriend the night she was murdered. He learns that his horns also yield power over others. I found myself getting sucked in, but then inevitably something would force me back to thinking I hate this book and I can't wait for this to be over.

Part of what made Horns so unlikeable was the characters were so unlikeable.

I forgot there was going to be a movie with Daniel Radcliffe until someone mentioned it in a comment earlier this week. I guess my relationship with Horns isn't over yet as I will likely still watch the movie. I'm too curious not to see Harry Potter with horns. I'll just get drunk before I watch it.

So, I'm obviously not recommending this to anyone. If you want to read Joe Hill, and I recommend that you do!, Heart-Shaped Box was a great debut and NOS4A2 was awesome. I'm apparently the only one who didn't enjoy Horns, but I still can't bring myself to suggest you give it a try for yourself.

3/10: Didn't Like it


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  1. Awww... bummer! Wonder if it was the narrator, I may have to listen a bit to see. :)

    1. I don't think it all could have been the narrator, but some of it could have been. I might have enjoyed it more in print.

  2. Too bad! I've heard of Heart-Shaped Box a lot and how good it was. I sometimes find myself enjoying audiobooks less than I know I would had I read it so that can make a difference. But I hope your next one is better!

  3. I really enjoyed this one and wasn't a fan of Heartshaped box. I do want to read the new one.

    I don't remember thinking everyone is having negative thoughts etc and I enjoyed the sarcastic dark humor.

    1. See. I really do think the humor was lost on me. The narrator could have affected that. All of the characters were pretty vile, though.

  4. I liked Heart Shaped Box, and really liked Horns, and then I loved NOS4R2. Hill's short stories in 20th Century Ghost are pretty amazing. It's okay that you didn't love this book, I don't even love every single book King writes, it's hard to connect if you don't like the characters.

    I cannot wait for the movie version, and I'll join you for a few (or a dozen) pre-movie drinks, mostly because I'm having trouble imagining this on the big screen, but can't wait for Harry Potter to push the old man in the wheelchair down the hill. ;)

  5. That would be so awesome if you could join me for a drunken viewing of Horns.

  6. That's ok, I didn't like Heart-Shaped Box and couldn't wait for it to be over!


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