6. Horns, by Joe Hill (2010)
We’ve all been there: After a night filled with more alcoholic beverages than one’s brain can handle, you wake up with a beastly hangover and no recollection of what happened before bedtime. But how would you react if that killer headache was compounded by a pair of pointy horns sticking out of your temples? You’d probably never sip on Hennessy ever again.
For Ig Parrish, the protagonist in Joe Hill’s heartfelt and devilish character study Horns, his new built-in head accessories turn him into the world’s greatest listener: Everyone, in the presence of Ig’s horns, tells him their most fiendish desires, such as who they want to kill, and, in some cases, who they’ve already murdered. Which leads Ig on a chase to once and for all identify the person who left his girlfriend’s corpse lying in the woods.
Ig, as wonderfully written by Hill, is a flawed yet effectively sympathetic character, going to hell and back—almost literally—but never once leaving readers cheering for an unhappy ending.