Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 6: Horror Annotation

By Joe Hill

Publication Date: March 8, 2011

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Geographical Setting: New Hampshire, United States

Time Period: Current

Plot Summary:
Suspicion falls on Ig Parrish after his high school sweetheart, Merrin Williams, is found brutally raped and murdered in the woods. In dealing with the pain, Ig goes on a drinking binge and wakes to find a pair of horns growing out of his head. With these horns comes the ability to hear what people truly think of him and each other. He also finds that he can force people to do all of the terrible things that they have only thought about doing. These new powers allow him to conduct his own investigation of his beloved's death with horrifying results. Throughout his journey, we are shown the history of the star crossed lovers' romance as well as a glimpse into the killer's mind. We come to find that, despite Ig's demonic appearance, there are greater monsters and devils in the world. 

Subject Headings:     Revenge -- Fiction.        
                                  Devil -- Fiction.
3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Character-driven, Intensifying, Darkly humorous

Similar Authors and Works:
3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
  • You Suck- Christopher Moore: You Suck has both the humorous and paranormal elements that are found in Horns. It is about a man who wakes up to find that his girlfriend is a vampire.
  • Revival- Stephen King: I would be remiss not to include a book by Joe Hill's father Stephen King. This novel is about a man who is forever changed by a local preacher and the supposed powers he possesses.
  • Coldheart Canyon- Clive Barker: Both books involve men with physical deformities; this one features a Hollywood actor who undergoes surgery and ends up seeking refuge in a seedy place.
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors
  • The Stranger Beside Me- Ann Rule: This is Ann Rule's own account of her acquaintance with serial killer Ted Bundy. It shows that you can't always see the evil in people.
  • The Innocent Man- John Grisham: Similar to Ig Parrish's experience, but based on true events, this is the story of a young man who is accused of the murder of a local waitress.
  • Devil’s Knot- Mara Leveritt: This is the true account of the West Memphis Three. They were three teenage "gothic" boys who were convicted of the molestation and murder of three young boys despite conflicting evidence.


  1. Hi Melissa,

    Great job on the annotation! Nice touch adding the relevant non-fiction titles as well. I’ve heard Joe Hill writes some really interesting stories and he’s been on my list for a while to start reading. Of course, there’s so much I still want/need to read by his father as well. I was curious if you’ve seen the Horns movie, with Daniel Radcliffe? I’ve heard interviews with Stephen King in which he spoke on the adaptations of his books to the screen. I thought it was interesting that there were sort of mixed results whether or not audiences enjoyed them or not. Surprisingly, some of the more faithful adaptations were the ones with negative reviews. I also heard the film studio rejected his script for The Shining, of his own book! In my opinion, I always felt that the mini-series is the best way to adapt a novel. I feel The Time Traveler’s Wife is an excellent example of this. I feel that often times there is just too much to fit into a two-hour (or less) film and not much translates well because so much of the emotional or “hidden” aspects of the novel are omitted, in favor of trying to make the movie “sexy.” Just my two-cents.

    1. I agree, The Time Traveler's Wife would have been better as a mini-series. The movie didn't do the book justice

  2. I have actually seen Horns with Daniel Radcliffe and, compared to the book, it is awful. That is just my opinion. For me, it didn't convey the horror and emotion that I felt reading the book, and they changed a LOT of the plot. However, I read that Joe Hill was pleased with the adaptation, so what do I know? You're right, The Time Traveler's Wife deserved a mini-series, if not an entire TV show. There was just too much story to try to shove into an hour and forty-eight minute movie.

  3. This annotation really piqued my interest so much more than I could've expected for a horror book! The plot of this book sounds pretty wild, so, like Jonathan, what I appreciated the most was your inclusion of both fiction and non-fiction readalikes, as reading the non-fiction suggestions made me see how even this surreal plot truly does have its similarities to real life.

    Also nice to read your comment on the movie-- good to know that I'll be safe skipping that one ;)

  4. I am not a horror fan and it strikes me that one of the appeal factors is that horror titles can have dark humor in the story. I am still trying to wrap my head around it. Your annotation is well done, I am drawn to seeing what this book is about.

  5. Loved the book, hated the movie. Not even Daniel Radcliffe could save it. Great annotation, full points!

  6. I've always wanted to read a Joe Hill book because I have heard all about how great they always are. I normally am intimidated from him because his books are so long, but this seems to be a good one to start with since it is under 400 pages. I really enjoyed the fact that you gave both nonfiction and fiction titles.