William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780061147951, 384pp.
Publication Date: February 16, 2010
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 morehe 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 looka 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. . . .
“”Darkly comic in places, touching in others, chilling on occassion…”
-Valdosta Daily Times
“Hill’s one incredibly talented writer with a wicked sense of humor and a master’s control of pacing.”
“[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.”
“Horns is thoroughly enjoyable and often original.…a richly nuanced story. Fire and brimstone have rarely looked this good. ”
-Los Angeles Times
“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. ”
“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.”
“[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.”
“Fire and brimstone have rarely looked so good.”
“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
“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.”
“Horns is dark, twisted, even sometimes funny in a macabre way.”
-Connie Ogle, "Between the Covers," The Miami Herald
“[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
“A satisfying and entertaining book.”
-www.npr.org on HORNS
“[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.”
“Fast-paced, well-made, and wonderfully weird.”
-The Globe and Mail
“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.”
-DreadCentral.com [horror entertainment review website]
“[A] fresh, tough-minded take on what it means to make a deal with the devil and your own worst nature.”
-San Francisco Chronicle
“Brilliant in conception...HORNS is a rollercoaster of a work filled with thrills and chills.”
“Horns is not only scary but it’s also insightful, often funny and sometimes sweetl romantic.”
-St. Paul Pioneer Press
“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.”
“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.”
“A devilish, ingeniously designed story that positions Hill in the same realm as Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Lethem, and Stephen King.”
“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.”
“This is masterful allegory as Hill proves himself…to be a compelling chronicler of human natures continual war between good and evil.”