I don’t know if I ever would have picked up Horns, simply because it wasn’t on my radar. I would have ended up extremely sad if I hadn’t. So thanks to Daniel Radcliffe I watched Horns and learned it was a book and picked it up. It was so good.
The ability that Ig developed that drove people to be brutally honest, often in a way that ended up insulting Ig in all sorts of ways was fascinating. However, it was his journey after the horns sprouted as he still reeled in the aftermath of Merrin’s death.
At the end of the day I really loved this book and will likely recommend this book to a lot of people.
From here on out there will be spoilers many spoilers. If you haven’t read the book, I would suggest that you don’t read any further.
The story is all about Ig Perrish in the aftermath of the death of the love of his life. Everything kicked off when he woke up one morning and had horns. Well, that’s truly only the start of it all. The horns gave him new power over others. When others were just in his presence, they were overwhelmed with the urge to be completely truthful, no matter how nasty or obscene it was. Jut the slightest prodding from Ig could lead them down a tirade. It was fascinating seeing Ig encounter the various people through his life and hear their uninhibited thoughts. The reactions and truths that these people spew range from a bit depressing to aggressive to surprisingly scary.
All of those surprising revelations are so compelling, not just because of what is being revealed, but because of the tone in the writing. It is the snark that oozes out of the writing. It’s how crass everything comes across. It made me want to jump for joy. It’s not often that I pay such attention to the writing. Often, I’m most happy when the writing just fades into the background. Horns is one of the few exceptions where it was so fantastic that I found myself falling in love with lines on every page.
Nearly everything Joe Hill wrote felt visceral. This was perfectly exemplified with lee. He painted a man that was so deeply disturbed that it would terrify you. The movie did not do justice to how terrible lee actually was. Lee Tourneau was the worst. THE WORST. Let me paint a picture of how much I despised this character. I went on three separate rants about how I hated him. This is the kind of character where every time there was even a reference to him, you found the hatred growing more inside you. It could have been a turn off, but it was handled so well that your disgust for Lee and all the horrible things he’d done was a positive driving point in the book.
Ig on the other hand was positively sweet. Yes, he was angry and he was trying his damnedest to find out what happened to Merrin, yet never once do you feel like Ig is a bad guy. He lets things happen and he wants the best for the people around him. Even as his horns are influencing others, he’s still not doing anything that would hurt anyone. When you think of what say, Lee would do if the tables were turned, I can only imagine the entire world burning. Ig just wanted to find the truth and stay away from people. He wanted people’s lives to go on and he didn’t want to drag anyone down. It was a real sign of how selfless he was. I kept wanting to see him think of himself and do something that will make him happy.
Despite Merrin being dead the entire time of the novel, she was one of the most fleshed out characters. Despite being fleshed out, she was still a mystery. We never got to see much of Ig and Merrin together. Somehow, you still felt how strong heir relationship was. In fact, you really understood the depth of their love.
There were a number of character’s in the book, but it was the two characters that we begun the novel and ended it with that felt so fitting. Aside from Ig the first character we met was Glenna. Sweet, down on herself, Glenna. The last person was Terry, Ig’s brother and the one person who never had any bad thoughts directed toward Ig. The fact that they seemed to heading toward pairing off felt surprisingly fulfilling and happy after all the horrors we saw throughout the book. It was a last light of hope that even when things around you are literally going up in flames, there can still be happiness found.
Lastly, I want to mention the movie adaptation. I saw a number of reviews that were terrible, but I didn’t care. I sat down I watched it. I didn’t love it, but I enjoyed it. That said, aside from the ending the movie was fairly faithful to the novel. Again, this is another example of the book being better than the movie.
What did you think of Horns by Joe Hill? Did you enjoy the movie as well?