I picked this book because I’ve been hearing positive buzz about Joe Hill and they are making a movie of this novel. I normally like to read the book before the movie, so I decided to give it a shot. Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King, and he has his dads skill of making observations that gives the novel a realistic feel. For example, I remember in one of the Stephen King books a character blows his nose and then ‘peeks at it’. It’s that kind of careful detail that provides additional layers and reality to the characters- and Joe has a similar style. The book was fast paced, interesting and pulled me in when I was not reading it. I give this book 4 stars.
Here’s a breakdown…
My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement. Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers. Continue on at your own risk!
What is this book about?
Ignatius Martin Perrish wakes up with horns growing out of his head. He finds the horns give him power to influence others, and that they will confess their deepest sins. He can also touch someone and see their experiences. He is not oblivious to pain, but, with fire, he can restore himself. When people look away, they forget that he has horns, and when he leaves, they forget that they even saw him. Ig is a pretty good guy, and even with the power of the devil, he generally uses it for good. Mostly a nerdish rich kid, he had a girlfriend (Merrin) that he loved completely and a best friend (Lee). He also has a great relationship with his older brother (who is famous).
His girlfriend is killed in a sex-murder. Ig is the main suspect, and although they never find enough evidence, the public judges him as guilty. His best friend stops talking to him, he doesn’t take his promising job in England, and basically shacks up with high school friend.
The book is about his journey in finding who really killed Merrin (Lee), and why (Lee is a sociopath), and what he does about it.
What did I think about this book?
I liked the writing a lot- a lot of it reminded me of the style of a young Stephen King. I love they way a simple idea can be played out in a novel. It was well done.
I also like that even though Ig had horns and certain powers, he wasn’t infallible. He took a few beatings.
The characters had layered relationships, and the depth to Lee’s craziness was suspected, and shocking all at once.
I will read more by Joe Hill.