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Horns by Joe Hill

Gatos

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I just finished this book a few days back and really enjoyed it. For those of you that don't know, Joe Hill is the pen name for Stephen King's son. IIRC his debut novel was "Heart-Shaped Box", which I haven't read.

But "Horns" was good and definitely reminiscent of his father's writing style. I don't want to give anything away but a very short direct plot summary is a guy grows horns (like the devil) overnight. Anyway, that premise probably sounds super silly to most. But there is much more to the story. And it goes back and forth in time quite a bit. Entire chapters recall significant events during the protagonist's childhood. These in turn relate back to stuff going on in the present.

Well clearly I have a future in literary review and criticism. But I'll close with this, IMO the strength of Stephen King as a storyteller based on the novels of his that I have read, is the character development and the relationships. He never really has cardboard characters, and you could easily remove the horror, supernatural etc. elements of his books and still be left with solid stories of human drama. I think this is equally true with Joe Hill.

The End.
 

Neglify

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Best literary analysis I've read today.
 

That One Guy

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I have this in my to-read pile, and am looking forward to it. If you haven't read Heart-Shaped Box or 20th Century Ghosts, you should do so - thus far I've found Joe Hill to be as good as Stephen King at his best, and I'm open to the suggestion that he may actually be better. The character drama underpinning Heart-Shaped Box is magnificent and could easily stand alone without the supernatural elements of the story; similarly the sheer range of characters and genres explored in 20th Century Ghosts is impressive and shows his grasp of writing craft.

Obviously I'll post again when I've gotten around to reading it.
 

Gatos

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That One Guy said:
I have this in my to-read pile, and am looking forward to it. If you haven't read Heart-Shaped Box or 20th Century Ghosts, you should do so - thus far I've found Joe Hill to be as good as Stephen King at his best, and I'm open to the suggestion that he may actually be better. The character drama underpinning Heart-Shaped Box is magnificent and could easily stand alone without the supernatural elements of the story; similarly the sheer range of characters and genres explored in 20th Century Ghosts is impressive and shows his grasp of writing craft.

Obviously I'll post again when I've gotten around to reading it.

Yeah Heart-Shaped Box is definitely on my to-read list. 20th Century Ghosts is a book of short stories, right?
 

That One Guy

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Gatos said:
Yeah Heart-Shaped Box is definitely on my to-read list. 20th Century Ghosts is a book of short stories, right?

Yeah, according to Wikipedia it's the first of his work published but I thought was surprisingly good - there's a short in it called The Cape in particular that was chilling not because of the events of the plot but the nature of the protagonist's character. I'd say I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed King's Skeleton Crew (I first read it about fifteen years ago, but I re-read it when The Mist came out, and it's still a great book with some genuinely chilling stories).
 
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