Horns by Joe Hill

bookshelves: e-book, tbr-busting-2014, halloween-2014, autumn-2014, published-2010

Read from October 18 to 27, 2014
nutty nuut

Description: Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. . .

To Leonora - love, always.

Satan is one of us: so much more so than Adam or Eve.
– MICHAEL CHABON, “ON DAEMONS & DUST”

Opening: Ignatius Martin Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He awoke the next morning with a headache, put his hands to his temples, and felt something unfamiliar, a pair of knobby pointed protruberances. he was so ill – wet eyed and weak – he didn’t think anything of it at first, was too hungover for thinking or worry.

In Ig’s case it is not just a mistranslation by an errant student:

34:29 And when Moses came down from the mount Sinai, he held the two tables of the testimony, and he knew not that his face was horned from the conversation…

It tickled me that I was learning about the hornéd Antenocriticus, a god only found on Hadrian’s Wall, at the same time

Not to be confused with this guy: Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle, Sweden, and also known as Joseph Hillström (October 7, 1879 – November 19, 1915) was a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, also known as the “Wobblies”). A native Swedish speaker, he learned English during the early 1900s, while working various jobs from New York to San Francisco. Hill, as an immigrant worker frequently facing unemployment and underemployment, became a popular song writer and cartoonist for the radical union. His most famous songs include “The Preacher and the Slave” (also known as There’ll be Pie in the Sky By-and-By), “The Tramp”, “There is Power in a Union”, “The Rebel Girl”, and “Casey Jones—the Union Scab”, which express the harsh but combative life of itinerant workers, and call for workers to organize their efforts to improve conditions for working people.

Joel Emmanuel Hägglund, October 7, 1879. Gävle, Sweden

1* Heart-Shaped Box
2* Horns

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