Horns—Joe Hill

Fiction

Although I started Horns by Joe Hill (2010) last October for a little Hallowe’en fun, I went on a writing streak while taking a two-month poetry workshop, and ended up setting it aside for a while. I find it irksome to do that but sometimes it’s unavoidable! When the workshop ended in December I made myself a pile of the reading I had to catch up on and this book was amongst them.

It’s about a young man that grows horns. I won’t provide more of a synopsis here because I would not want to spoil the plot, but I will encourage those who like this dark subject matter to read it. I very much enjoyed the writing, the conceit, and the non-linear execution. I enjoy, and maybe even favour Third Person Limited.

I do have a favourite scene–which involve snakes, fire, and a monologue. Dark? Definitely. But so very complex at the same time; it was not just scary for the sake of fear, it was scary that included a certain, I want to say buildup of feelings and reasoning behind it.

Joe Hill’s first book won the Bram Stoker award for best first novel in the category of Horror, however, psychological thriller is what I would call Horns; there is mystery and intrigue, a love triangle (spoiler alert!), and a delving into human nature, which I am afraid, is not very positive.

On a side note, the book includes a short story that was also published in the compilation Stories by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio that is worth a browse.
Happy reading,

AF

Update—July 2016

Last week, I saw the film based on Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe, and I thought it was true enough to the book that I can say it was good. Things are missing and things are added, but that is only a natural part of the process of book-to-movie.