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: IT by Stephen King

I’m posting a little late today. Don’t hold that against me. Today’s book discussion is about “IT” by Stephen King. What can I say about this book? It came into the world around the same time I did. It was published in September of 1986. I was also “published” in September of 1986. Coincidence? I think not. But I digress. This book was long. Longer than it needed to be. While I enjoyed the back-and-forth of childhood and adulthood with the main characters, half the novel could have been left out. And the ending was anti-climactic.

I did enjoy the newest film adaptations of the book. The ending of “IT Chapter 2” was still lackluster. The first film was perfect and is still in my top ten favorite films of all time. But back to the book. Lots of scary sequences. I enjoyed most of the novel. As I mentioned earlier, several parts could have been cut out to make the overall novel stronger. Part of me also wants to know more about Pennywise before meeting the kids that eventually killed the hungry clown. It’s worth reading once. It doesn’t feel like something that needs to be read multiple times.

I do recommend this book. Definitely not for children.

Spooky Spider Scale (How scary was the book?): 8/10 spiders 🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️

Overall rating: 4 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐