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Horns: A Novel Hardcover – Feb 16 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (Feb. 16 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061147958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061147951
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #197,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“[A] compulsively readable supernatural thriller...Hill spins a story that’s both morbidly amusing and emotionally resonant. The explanations for Ig’s weird travails won’t satisfy every reader, but few will dispute that Hill has negotiated the sophomore slump.” (Publishers Weekly)

Horns is a well wrought tale with intellectual merit. Not only are we entertained, we are challenged to think as well.” (New York Journal of Books)

“On the strength of two masterly thrillers—2007’s Heart Shaped-Box and his newest Horns—Hill has emerged as one of America’s finest horror writers.” (Time magazine)

“HORNS should bring even more fans to Joe Hill . . . he has his own style, and it is very accessible as well as fast-moving. . . . HORNS is a fast-paced, fascinating murder mystery/love story with a dash of the devil himself to spice things up.” ( [horror entertainment review website])

“[Horns is] devilishly good. . . . Hill is a terrific writer with a great imagination. He has a special talent for taking us and his characters to very weird places.” (USA Today)

“Hill’s survey of the question of suffering is a wild ride, as filled with thrills as his hero’s headlong plunge down to a dark and dazzling river.” (Seattle Times)

“The wise guys point out that the literature of horror fantasy tends to be both romantic and conservative. Normalcy is idealized and so precious that its violation is the essence of horror. Joe Hill’s sweet, fanged demonology takes us there.” (Oregonian)

Horns is thoroughly enjoyable and often original.…a richly nuanced story. Fire and brimstone have rarely looked this good. ” (Los Angeles Times)

“A devilish, ingeniously designed story that positions Hill in the same realm as Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Lethem, and Stephen King.” (Pittsburgh Tribune)

Horns is a pitchfork-packing, prodigal son’s take on religion…But the real meat of the story dissects man’s relationship with good and evil wihtout sacrificing a bit of suspense…Horns is a mesmerizing page-turner.” (Tulsa World)

“Brilliant in conception...HORNS is a rollercoaster of a work filled with thrills and chills.” (

“Hill’s one incredibly talented writer with a wicked sense of humor and a master’s control of pacing.” (

“No one working in horror today is more adept than Hill …His writing is both merciless and compassionate, driving hard toward the painful truth in every story while holding fast to the desires of his protagonist. ” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

“”Darkly comic in places, touching in others, chilling on occassion…” (Valdosta Daily Times)

“[D]evilishly good…Hill is a terrificwriter with a greatimagination. He has a special talent for taking us and his characters to very weird places.” (Wilmington News Journal)

“Horns is not only scary but it’s also insightful, often funny and sometimes sweetl romantic.” (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

“[A] fresh, tough-minded take on what it means to make a deal with the devil and your own worst nature.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Fast-paced, well-made, and wonderfully weird.” (The Globe and Mail)

“This is masterful allegory as Hill proves himself…to be a compelling chronicler of human natures continual war between good and evil.” (Providence Journal-Bulletin)

“a tight and well-plotted murder mystery, as well as a thoughtful meditation on good and evil....[HORNS] establishes Hill as one of the most clever and talented writers working in the genre.” (Charleston Post & Courier)

“As the plot builds through flashbacks and clever exposition, Ig’s true nature reveals itself, and the reader is left questioning the traditional border between good and evil....Highly recommended, particularly for fans of Clive Barker and Christopher Moore.” (Library Journal)

“A satisfying and entertaining book.” ( on HORNS)

“[HORNS is] a creepy murder mystery, a tragic love triangle, and a sweetly wistful coming-of-age story. It’s the kind of book that has you laughing on one page, crying on another and making sure the doors and windows are safely locked on a third.” (Miami Herald)

Horns is dark, twisted, even sometimes funny in a macabre way.” (Connie Ogle, "Between the Covers," The Miami Herald)

From the Back Cover

Joe Hill has been hailed as "a major player in 21st-century fantastic fiction" (Washington Post); "a new master in the field of suspense" (James Rollins); "one of the most confident and assured new voices in horror and dark fantasy to emerge in recent years (Publishers Weekly); a writer who "builds character invitingly and plants an otherworldly surprise around every corner" (New York Times).

This gifted and brilliantly imaginative author catapulted to bestsellerdom with the chilling Heart-Shaped Box and cemented his reputation with the prizewinning volume of short fiction 20th Century Ghosts. At last, the New York Times bestselling author returns with a relentless supernatural thriller that runs like Hell on wheels. . . .

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

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. . . .

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Format: Hardcover
The premise of the book is that an ordinary guy, with some unordinary emotional baggage, wakes up one day to find he has devil's horns on his head. These horns give him the power to get people to reveal their deepest secrets and desires. He also has the power to give them permission to act on them. As an earlier reviewer said, some of the earlier instances where Ig was figuring out his new powers could be quite humorous, while others were truly horrifying. I don't think it is a stretch to say that every human being has a very dark side to them that shouldn't see the light of day.

So I would have enjoyed exploring that more. That is, everyday regular people confronting permission to do what they always wanted to do. Instead, the tale goes off onto a revenge thriller where the "devil" has to deal with someone who is truly a monster. Some might enjoy a tale like that, but the first part of the book promised to be something more engaging than the typical good versus evil. I wanted to know more about "the monsters" true motivations, but even under the spell of the horns, we learned nothing about what made them that way.

But I do think this is a worthwhile book to read because it certainly makes you think.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Horns is a decidedly strange book. It begins with a half-page chapter. This first chapter gives us the set up, the hook, and everything we need to know to keep reading: After a night of drinking he can no longer remember, Ignatius (Iggy) Perrish awakens to find he has grown horns. These are not metaphorical horns. These are bony growths extending from his temples and forming curved points.

Along with the horns, Iggy has gained powers of dubious value, including the ability to induce those around him to give voice--and in some cases action--to their darkest thoughts and desires. By touching them, Iggy can also see what dark deeds they have already committed.

We quickly learn that, even before the appearance of the horns, Iggy was not an average guy. Not only is he a member of a marginally famous family, he remains the prime suspect in the year old rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin. It is this crime that Iggy sets out to solve and avenge using his newfound abilities.

With Horns, Hill has crafted a genuinely original novel. How he came up with the idea would make for an interesting interview or essay. I can only imagine his agent's reaction when the pitch was made, most likely a mix of "What the hell?" and "Oh, god, yes!"

Hills' prose, overall, is serviceable. There are few truly remarkable turns of phrase and, at times, he is given to recycling metaphors and overusing particular words. The eyes of snakes, for instance, are compared--no fewer than three times, meaning every time--to golden foil. Hill has also, for some reason, fallen in love with the word "bowels," which pops up, in a variety of contexts, at least a half-dozen times but probably more.
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Format: Hardcover
Ig Perrish is having a rough go of it.

After a night of drinking, he wakes up hung over and not entirely sure what he got up to the night before. Added to that, he has two small horns growing out of his head.

He knows that they weren't there before, that they are a new edition to his body. He also quickly finds out that they influence others around him. The horns force others around him to tell him what they're thinking.

Exactly what they're thinking.

Those close to him begin to share their innermost secrets. The "I can't believe you just said that" kind of secrets. Secrets and thoughts about a past that haunts all of them.

Years ago, Ig was accused of the rape and murder of the one woman he loved, the one woman who was his heart. Though he maintains his innocence, he finds out what his family and friends really think.

Everyone believes that he did it. Everyone thinks he killed her.

With his newfound talent, Ig decides to take the only course of action left to him. He decides to find out who really killed the one woman he loved.

And then take out his revenge...

I love Joe Hill. Rather, I love his writing. His first novel, Heart Shaped Box, was one of the creepiest, scariest novels I have read in years. His collection of short stories, 20th Century Ghosts, was one of the most amazing collections of short fiction I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

I wasn't sure about Horns at first. Second novels have a tendency to be lacklustre and usually don't live up to the sacred gem of the first novel, especially one as widely heralded as Heart Shaped Box.

Before opening the book, I wondered if Horns would be a one trick wonder.
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By Rose TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Oct. 17 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I owe the fact that I'm an avid reader as an adult to Stephen King. He was the only author I read through my teens and twenties. I liked everything he wrote - it was all interesting with varying degrees of weird thrown in. That's why when I found out Joe Hill was his son, I had two, what was Stephen thinking naming his son Joe King (get it? Joking?) and two, I wonder if he writes likes his Dad.

I am pleased to report he writes both like and unlike his Dad. The boy can write. He said a lot of things in this story that I was very impressed by. Things that maybe you thought before but were never able to put into words so perfectly as he just did. He also knows how to throw in the weird stuff like it's something that happens in everyday life. The thing that sets him apart so much from his Dad, in my opinion, is how easy it was to slip into this story. For most SK books I read, I always had a hard time getting through the first few chapters. It always seemed like you had to suffer a bit of pain before the pleasure started. Horns was easy to read, interesting and original. Nothing written that didn't need to be said and nothing missing that should've been there.

If you've never read any King books before, be prepared to suspend disbelief. If you have, I think you're going to like this one. I did.
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