Coffee and Contemplation: Horns by Joe Hill

This is the second novel of Joe Hill’s I’ve read. I enjoyed this one so much more than his first novel “Hear-Shaped Box.” You can read my opinion of that at This Post from back in March. The writing and the story in “Horns” was superior to Hill’s first novel and compared to most novels I’ve read. It is one of my all-time favorites. The was a movie adaptation starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple. The first time I saw the movie, I enjoyed it. When I saw it years later after reading the novel, I felt the movie was terrible. Don’t watch the movie.

I wouldn’t call this novel scary though it does deal with a lot of adult content. The horror aspects are more supernatural than gory. The monsters in the story are only humans. The story may give the reader a different view of the devil and its purpose. This novel was a lot of fun to read. It has a strong suspense, thriller vibe in some parts. If there were no supernatural themes to the story, it could have easily been film noir mystery. I am definitely looking forward to reading more by Joe Hill. 

I recommend this book to everyone. It may not be for younger teens or children.

Spooky Spider Scale (How scary was the book?): 7 spiders 🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️

Overall rating: 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Coffee and Contemplation: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

After a brief hiatus, we are returning to discussing supernatural fiction. Tremblay’s novel “A Head Full of Ghosts” was not what I expected. It was much better than it first sounded. It’s a kind of story where the reader isn’t sure what’s real or not. It’s open for interpretation but that was Tremblay’s purpose for the story. There are a couple of references to “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. That story is also open to a lot of interpretation. The reader will have to decide what kind of story they’re reading, and they have to decide if they want to believe the narrator. 

One of my favorite things about discussing stories is deciding on the validity of the narrator. Is the narrator lying? Are they projecting their own biases on the story? Are they telling their story or someone else’s? What gives them the authority to tell this story? Consider these questions after reading Tremblay’s novel. This is the only novel I’ve read by Tremblay so I can’t speak much on his style, but he makes everything feel rooted in the real world. Even the supernatural events have a way of being explained but the reader isn’t sure which parts of the story are truth and which are fiction. One of many reasons I enjoyed this book so much.

I recommend this book to everyone.

Spooky Spider Scale (How scary was the book?): 6 spiders 🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️

Overall rating: 4 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Coffee and Contemplation: The Damnation Game by Clive Barker

Today’s discussion is on “The Damnation Game” by Clive Barker. This was an unusual story. It took a while for things to get going. The beginning had enough going on to keep me interested, but it took it’s time getting there. I would say it was about midway through the book that the story took off and the pacing picked up. The origins of the supernatural being are not fully explained. This makes things interesting because it’s as if the reader knows about as much as the main character. The story had some interesting visuals that make me wonder why this hasn’t been adapted to film or television.

This is the first time I’ve read anything by Clive Barker. While I’ve seen the “Hellraiser” films I’ve never read those books. I am more interested in those stories after having read “The Damnation Game.” Of the many books I’ve mentioned in these discussion posts, this one was not my favorite. I enjoyed reading it, but it’s not one I would want to revisit. It was an interesting story. I think it could have been executed better. My biggest complaint is the pacing in the beginning. I also wish it had more terrifying moments. There were some but I didn’t feel the terror the same way the characters did. 

I do recommend this book though it isn’t my favorite.

Spooky Spider Scale (How scary was the book?): 5/10 spiders 🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️

Overall rating: 4 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐