Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Guest Review: Horns

My guest reviewer, Sarah is back with a book that I think I need to get my hands on soon...

- Joe Hill

Publisher: UK- Gollancz

Ignatius William Perrish wakes up bleary and confused after a night of drinking and "doing terrible things" to find he has grown horns. In addition to being horribly unsightly, these inflamed protuberances give Ig an equally ugly power--if he thinks hard enough, he can make people admit things (intimate, embarrassing, I-can't-believe-you-just-said-that details). This bizarre affliction is of particular use to Ig, who is still grieving over the murder of his childhood sweetheart (a grisly act the entire town, including his family, believes he committed). Ig's attempts to track down the killer result in hilariously inappropriate admissions from the community, heartbreaking confessions from his own family, and of course, one hell of a showdown.

Horns was one of those books that had been on my Amazon wishlist for a while, I got bought for Christmas, looked at the back and went ‘hmmmm’.  And then I started reading it…..

Horns is the story of the once-good, now-blighted life of Igantius Perrish, or Ig – a decent, normal bloke who a year before the story was set, was arrested and accused of the brutal rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin.  A fire at the lab examining the evidence meant that no case could be brought against him, and Ig was released.  A year later and Ig is a shadow of his former self, living in a shabby flat with a dead-end girlfriend, surrounded by people convinced of his guilt.  He hates his life, hates the accusations, and then, he wakes up with horns.  Devil horns.  Horns that make everyone he meets tell him their deepest, darkest secrets.  Horns that allow Ig to manipulate people into doing dark deeds.

This story is quite simply, brilliant.  It’s fiendishly dark, often gory, swinging between hope and despair in a whirlwind ride.  At times you are afraid of Ig, only to love him all over again a chapter later.  How would you deal with those you know and love spilling their darkest desires and thoughts to you?  Could you deal with it?

Lighter moments keep Horns from being depressive, but it is utterly heart-breaking in places and at one point I was sitting on a packed commuter train with tears running down my face.  It is also an intelligent, lucid look at Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil.  After all, if God hates sinners, and the Devil punishes them, aren’t they kind of on the same side????? 

One for Stephen King fans, but I would recommend it to everyone, 9.5 out of 10.


  1. I picked up a copy of this book a week or so ago because a) it's one I've had my eye on for a while, and b) it was on sale for $5. I'm more excited to read it now than ever! Thanks for the review.

  2. HA! Love the last conclusion. Perfect.

    I've been wanting to read this one for quite a while. Looks like I need to get it soon!

  3. I am not one for the horror kind, never read King (except that fantasy book he write).

    But *waves* nice review :)