Author: Joe Hill
Publisher: William Morrow (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers) 2013
Number of Pages: 704
Format: Print (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars aligned
COME TO CHRISTMASLAND
What would you do for a lifetime pass to a place where every morning is Christmas and unhappiness is against the law?
Don’t give up on wonder! Don’t give up on dreams!
We’re looking for go-getters who love children and aren’t afraid of adventure!
“NOS4A2 is a fast-paced, wind through your hair, stomach-flipping roller-coaster ride that will make you white-knuckle the binding and refuse to let go. We follow Victoria McQueen, a Brat (as her father lovingly calls her) with enough snotty attitude to earn the name. However, Vic has a quality that will make you fall in love with her: imagination. Through the power of her mind and her Raleigh Tuff Burner bicycle, she is able to dream up ‘bridges’ that allow her to find things. Whether it be a family heirloom, a photograph, or just looking for trouble, Vic is able to find it with the help of her Shorter Way Bridge – a long-destroyed covered bridge that fell into the water. Unfortunately it is this same bridge, and Vic’s adolescent rebellion, that inevitably send her to Charles Talent Manx.”
That is an excerpt from my review of NOS4A2, for Haunt of Horrors Press. As you can probably tell by reading the above passage I am absolutely in love with this book. Hill has accomplished something special with this novel which officially places him in the running with the rest of the worlds best horror writers. Though most already know that he is an offspring of the King himself, he has done a damn good job of writing under his pseudonym, earning his way with the absence of his family name.
Hill utilizes an excellent tool within this horror/fantasy and that is the use of a portal. Both Manx, and Vic find there way through Hill’s “inscape’s” that he has mentioned in his other great novel, Horns. Through these inscapes, Vic, with the help of her Shorter Way Bridge, finds Maggie, a junkie who loves scrabble. She helps explain to Vic how her bike and bridge are part of these inscapes; “Big old hole in reality… I am reaching into my inscape to get the tiles I need. Not into a bag. when I say your bike or my tiles are a knife to open a s-s-slit in reality, I’m not being like, metaphorical.”
These inscapes are an excellent adaptation to the use of the portal tool. Hill has begun to create and expand a new universe that I wish I could join. Whether it be ‘The Treehouse of the Mind,” the Crooked Alley, a sack of scrabble tiles, or a bike, these “knives,” as Maggie calls them, are used to poke a hole in reality allowing the user to manipulate or alter it to there choosing. This opens up so many opportunities for Hill’s characters, and increases anticipation and cravings to see him continue to play around in this realm of thought.
This is a novel that every reader, casual or avid, horror fan or not, should have on their book shelf!
Check out the whole review HERE!
If you have checked out NOS4A2, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.
Title: Horns: A Novel
Author: Joe Hill
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Number of Pages: 370
Format: Print (Paperback)
Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars Aligned
When it comes to revenge, the devil is in the details.
Ignatius Perrish’s girlfriend, Merrin Williams, is dead. One year to be exact and good ol’ Ig hasn’t taken it very well. Once a prime suspect in his beautiful Merrin’s rape/murder, he has lost friends and has become the town pariah. After a night of debauchery and hell raising to commemorate his hate for the god who took his love and a wish to find her killer, Ig wakes feeling like hell and with no understanding of the night before. But what ever happened he just can’t mentally justify the sudden growth of two pointy horns that seem to be sprouting from his skull.
Horned and aching from the previous nights ramble, Ig heads out into the dark world and begins to glimpse things of an even darker nature. Any who notice Ig can’t help but to spill their darkest secrets of sin, be it lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, pride, wrath, or a combination of any cardinal vice imaginable. Even when encountering his family, they tell him how much they hate him and wish he would die for killing Merrin, even though he didn’t do it. With a single touch Ig can suddenly swim in everyone’s thoughts and memories and see their inner evils, good deeds, and triumphs. Equipped with what he starts to believe is the power of the devil, hence the horns, Ig finds new purpose in life as he walks the line between good and evil, and punishes those who cross over to the wrong side. After all, “…if God hates sin and Satan punishes the sinners, aren’t they working the same side of the street?”
Horns, is Joe Hill’s second novel and third (I believe) book publication, his first two being 20th Century Ghosts, and Heart-Shaped Box. I genuinely liked this book and I will just say it outright, that this is one I recommend to everyone. Joe Hill’s ability to penetrate his characters psyche and let us in is at times a frightening and beautiful experience. Some moments, I caught myself sneering away from the words on the page, feeling disgust (in a good way) toward some of the situations in the book. This onset of discomfort or general unease made me admire Hill’s style. It’s been a while since an author has made me feel such emotions that kept me turning the page and not putting the book down.
It may sound weird, but along with all the double entendre’s placed so delicately in the story (The Pit restaurant, deviled eggs, Terry’s show Hothouse, and the devil matches), I also felt that Horns had qualities of Dante’s, The Divine Comedy. Even though the laughs aren’t scarce in Horns, I feel it was a parallel allegory to Dante’s tales, in which a man’s soul takes a difficult journey towards God, where in Ig Perrish’s case, it’s an allegory to Ig’s journey toward the Devil and finding his loves soul. Like I said, an impression I felt while reading.
Something I found interesting is a close resemblance to Joe Hill’s fathers work. By the way, in case you didn’t know it, Stephen King is Joe Hill’s dad. Besides an obvious interest in the darker side of fiction, I found the flashback sections to be a touch of King’s style. Where I don’t usually like it when King utilizes this tool, though he does it effectively, I feel it is a risky move to stray away from the current plot to past experiences that don’t always come full circle and can feel like dead information in the story by the end of the story. Hill however takes the chance of stepping back from Ig’s current problem with his horns and masterfully ties up all the loose ends before the book is over.
Over all, this is one of my new found favorites. I plan on moving on to his other works in the future, and am looking forward to the live action adaptation of the book staring Daniel Radcliff. Hope Hollywood doesn’t ruin this one like they have half of his father’s book to movie productions. Also, something to look forward to is Hill’s upcoming novel, NOS4A2,coming out in the end of April. Follow the links to pre-order your copy today!
If your interested in the works of Joe Hill and want to take a look at some of his other publications I suggest the following choices. It’s a start in the least, and a selection that I will hopefully get to rifle through soon. Enjoy!
If you have checked out Horns, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.