By: Nimra Khan
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dive into a creepy murder-and-revenge story like Horns by Joe Hill. Horns tells the story of Ig, a man who wakes up the night after the one year anniversary of the rape and murder of his girlfriend to find horns poking out of his skull. These horns also have a strange effect on people: whenever he talks to someone, they are forced to spill their deepest, darkest secrets and sins to him. Needless to say, Ig is scared, but soon finds information about who might be the real killer of his girlfriend.
It’s hard to describe how this book made me feel. I loved it, but it was a painful read that made me feel a bit drained. I was thoroughly squeamish with some of the grotesque things that happened in this story, but I was still in a rush to know what happened next. Horns is a book that makes the read uncomfortable, and I loved it.
Much like The Lovely Bones, Horns explores the idea of a psychopathic killer that no one would expect; someone among us that you would overlook because of their kindness. Too often the character in this story made me want to run away and hide, and I often had to reassure myself that he wasn’t real. I silently send up a prayer that no one has to ever meet a person like that, proving just how compelling a read Horns was. With plenty of exploration into the bible, God, and the Devil (surprise, surprise), Horns explores the idea of a “devil” in all of us. It challenges what it means to be good or evil, and makes the reader wonder if we really have a choice in the matter. To quote Ig: “maybe all the schemes of the devil were nothing compared to what man could think up.”
I found out about this book after seeing the trailer for the movie adaptation of Horns, starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ig. The movie had its premiere during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, but will be released in theatres for the public on Oct. 31. I’m always one for reading the book before seeing the movie, and after reading Horns I am definitely looking forward to it.