Jun 012010

Imagine if you woke up one day and there were horns growing out of your head. And I’m not talking about goat horns or antlers. You know the kind of horns I’m talking about. So begins “Horns,” a book that was so good it made me jealous. 

Joe Hill writes great characters. I’ve always found Stephen King’s characters lacking in depth simply because King resisted going far enough with them. They were always waiting to be explored and yet we only learned enough about them to advance the story. Joe Hill, King’s son, helps us love his characters. As a result what happens to them is even more powerful. “Horns” is tender and heart wrenching. It is also a horror book, so there are moments of terror and grossness that are not for everyone. Still, I loved it. And if I can become one quarter the writer that Joe Hill is, I’ll be ecstatic.

At the center of “Horns” are some intriguing questions about the nature of evil. Do we choose evil? Are we born that way? Are there perfectly valid reasons for becoming evil? Are there reasons behind those reasons? All of these are great questions, and Hill does not answer them. That is the same thing we tried to do in Get Low: ask questions. As a pastor I’ve found that when I toss out answers like candy they seldom stick. When people find answers for themselves, though, they can transform their lives. That was my hope for “Get Low,” and the reviews so far say we’ve done that. I know Joe Hill has, and I hope you will pick up a copy of “Horns.” If you like great characters and deep questions, and can take horror, it will be right up your alley.