Horns by Joe Hill (unabridged audiobook read by Fred Berman; 13 hrs 45 min on 12 discs): Ig wakes up one morning, hungover and with no memory of the previous night’s activities, to find he has grown horns on his head. Even more disturbing, everyone he meets starts confessing their most horrible deeds and desires to him. He remains the only suspect in the rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin, a year prior, so many of these confessions include people’s belief in his guilt. Ig’s brother Terry is a famous trumpet player with a late-night variety show; his best friend Lee is a bit of a weirdo who works for a local politician; his new sort-of-girlfriend Glenna is a good-hearted girl who is pitifully desperate for love. The story of Ig’s search for Merrin’s real killer is interlaced with flashbacks of high school events when his relationships with her and Lee began. Though there are some undeniably horrifying moments and this book is certainly not for the squeamish, nothing ever felt gratuitous. I felt a surprising affection for Ig and Terry; there were parts during the last few chapters when I was smiling through tears. Definitely recommended.
A note on the audio: Berman’s character voices were subtle but distinct. I could recognize Ig and Lee and Merrin and Glenna even before they were named as speakers. There were a few screams that Berman reproduced with gusto – a bit disconcerting to hear while driving – and overall the whole narrative was well done.
Also posted on BookCrossing.