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Book Ramblings

Long winded reviews

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Kiln People
Beth Meacham, David Brin


Horns - Joe Hill As Horns is basically about a man who wakes up one day and finds that horns have sprouted on his head it is very tempting to start with a very lame joke “here is a guy who wakes up feeling horny - LOL!”. Fortunately I would never stoop to that level (plus it has already been done).

OK, so Ignatius Martin Perrish wakes up with a couple of horns and some supernatural power which most people would rather do without. Horns starts off like some dark and surreal comedy but as the story unfolds the narrative tone gradually shifts into a more serious, reflective and tragic territory. Horns is the second novel by Joe Hill but it feels more substantial, more allegorical and meaningful. The origin of the supernatural element is not explained, I imagine as it is not the point of the story. The book is generally a pleasure to read though there is one chapter where the narrative switches to the villain’s point of view that I feel is longer than it needs to be. Incidentally, the villain I speak of is not the devil; I wonder if the story is somehow inspired by The Rolling Stones’ Sympathy For The Devil.

There is also a long section of flashback with no supernatural element that reads like a dark coming of age story that features young love, friendship, romance, and bromance. I do not think Horns is a horror novel as none of it is scary to me, there are some disturbing images but nothing that puts me off my lunch. The characterization is quite well done though it seems unrealistic that nobody gives the protagonist the benefit of the doubt for the heinous crime he is accused of. I enjoy the thematic exploration of religion and religiosity, love and revenge, good and evil which makes the novel richer than I expected.

So yes, highly recommended.