Review of ‘Horns’ by Joe Hill


After the grief suffered after the murder of his soulmate, Ig Perrish finds himself recovering from one of the worst hangovers of his life. There are the usual signs: migraines, muscle pain. Yet unlike the other times he finds himself also addressing the issue of two tiny horns protruding from his forehead. Along with this he seems to have developed some unusual powers. Suddenly his world becomes instantly clearer as well as unrecognisable in a second, so he does what any man would do; he goes in search of his lost love’s killer.

‘Horns’ is a powerful modern allegory of the struggle between good and evil. It asks questions of faith, love, sex, devotion, while also placing extraordinary events in characters and places that could not seem more mundane and accessible. We are encouraged to hate the menagerie of characters that flank Ig; his horn playing and charismatic brother Terry; his mysterious and elusive nemesis Lee; and his ethereal love Merrin. All are broken and fallible in their own way, but somehow redeemable. Their resurrections and falls are heartbreaking and never cliche.

The book is also rife with religious symbolism. The ideal of theology as a construct within the mind is expanded into a construct of our entire being; mind, body, and soul. A far more dynamic interpretation in my opinion.

In short, I loved this book. It reads easily with excellent pace. If I’d had the energy and time I would have read it in one sitting. Its conclusion may confuse some readers, but remember that it is open to interpretation by design. Enjoy!


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