I was recently put on to Joe Hill by a friend reading his comic Locke & Key (which, btw, is fucking awesome, and I HIGHLY recommend picking up the trades). Immediately, I was hooked. Being a huge Stephen King fan, I stepped cautiously into Hill’s work, not being able to recall a circumstance when the child of a legend was successful in the same field. Horns isn’t Hill’s first novel (the first being Heart-Shaped Box), but it was the first I could get my grubby mitts on.
I was amazed. The book reads like a Stephen King (in his prime)/Chuck Palahniuk (in his prime) amalgam, the likes i have never noshed on. So many weird places and complex characters makes me tingly down below, just recalling it now. Also, there is no “Stephen King Hump”. I find that when I read King, there is inevitably 200-500 of unnecessary fodder, making it hard to continue for a bit. This book is trimmed of all that fat.
Essentially (and, trying not to give too much away), the story focuses on Ignatius Perrish, who wakes up to find that a) he cannot recall anything from the night before, and b) he has two horns starting to grow out of his forehead. Kind of cheesy, right?…its not, trust me. I can’t go into too much more detail for fear of spoiling, but what I will say is that Ig finds that when he talks to people now, they can’t help but to blurt out their inner most desires, and if he chooses, he can tempt them into acting on those desires.
Oh, also, he has a girlfriend that was brutally raped and murdered some time ago, her killer never found.
While, I found some of the symbolism to be a bit transparent, I have to say…this book was a lot of fun, and I am starting to read Heart-Shaped box this week…I am so looking forward to more from Hill, and can’t wait to watch him grow as a writer. I feel like I am getting in on our generation’s King, at the ground floor, and up is the only direction.
Here is a clip of joe talking about the book.