I dipped straight into ‘Horns’ after my disappointment with ‘NOS4A2’, but my faith in Joe Hill still high due to ‘Locke and Key’. The worry was that I might only like Joe’s graphic novels rather than his novels. The great news is that I enjoyed ‘Horns’ much more than ‘NOS4A2’.
The main character of the novel, Ignatius, is a flawed twenty-something living in small town US. He has a troubled past, with a major tragedy defining his existence. Everybody he knows believes Ig to be guilty of a serious crime. The story starts one morning where Ig discovers he has grown horns on his head and that everyone he talks to starts telling him the truth.
Joe manages to tell a great story, with excellent flash-backs to childhood and the hopelessness of Ig’s life comes across on the page. There is violence, but I do not believe it is gratuitous and it is part of the overall story.
Characterisation is spot on, with a cast that is well-described and all have clear motivations. Look out for one of the coldest psychopaths I have ever come across.
We do get a little bit of Joe Hill magical object/ magical room here, which is one aspect of his work that I adore, but it is much more subtle than his other works I have read.
I am starting to see Joe’s voice become distinct from his fathers. This novel is not something the King would wright in my opinion. I am definitely going to have to read his other works.
One worry I do have is that I know it is currently in production as a film starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ig. Daniel Radcliffe? I’m a little worried about this casting.