Thursday, 9 September 2010

Horns by Joe Hill, Gollancz

Horny, eh?
Not like that. Ignatius Perrish wakes up after a night when he did ‘terrible things’, and finds horns growing on his head.
Not a good look
Actually, nobody notices. Except that they want to tell him their darkest desires and get his permission to do bad things. Like give that screeching kid one good slap.
Ig’s a bad boy?
Son of a legendary musician, brother of a TV star, he’s grown up in wealth and privilege. But Ig’s the kind of sweet innocent who is a beacon of truth. In fact, his evil friend Lee Tourneau - our villain - lives his life by thinking ‘WWID’ - What Would Ig Do - and mimicking his behaviour.
A good villain’s important
Lee Tourneau’s native water is deception. And there’s others: a few nasty cops. And Ig’s family don’t come too well out of it. Lots of badness.
And Ig…?
Everyone in town thinks Ig raped and murdered his girlfriend, Merrin, when she tried to break up with him.
What’s this girlfriend like?
They meet in church, where the pretty redhead flashes a message in Morse code using the gold cross she wears.
Small-town life, then?
All kinds of strange, dreamy magic happens, at the same time as a townie childhood of jokes and japes. Hill writes beautifully about the secret life of kids - the wild, dangerous things they do without their parents ever knowing. And about treachery.
Then he turns into Satan?
Kind of. But still a sweet guy. Hill, the writer of Heart-Shaped Box - a big hit last year (and Neil Jordan is going to film it) - and the Locke & Key comics, brings his reader on a hold-tight ride through the story.
Serious stuff?
With some jokes that make you burst out laughing. And a great story, with a spiralling series of shocking twists at the end that leave you open-mouthed and going “Wow!”.
A buy?
A definite buy.
Author's site

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