The Horned Man

The Horned Man The Horned Man opens with a man losing his place in a book then deepens into a dark and terrifying tale of a man losing his place in the world As Lawrence Miller an English expatriate and professor o

  • Title: The Horned Man
  • Author: James Lasdun
  • ISBN: 9780393324389
  • Page: 426
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Horned Man opens with a man losing his place in a book, then deepens into a dark and terrifying tale of a man losing his place in the world As Lawrence Miller an English expatriate and professor of gender studies tells the story of what appears to be an elaborate conspiracy to frame him for a series of brutal killings, we descend into a world of subtly deceptive appeaThe Horned Man opens with a man losing his place in a book, then deepens into a dark and terrifying tale of a man losing his place in the world As Lawrence Miller an English expatriate and professor of gender studies tells the story of what appears to be an elaborate conspiracy to frame him for a series of brutal killings, we descend into a world of subtly deceptive appearances where persecutor and victim continually shift roles, where paranoia assumes an air of calm rationality, and where enlightenment itself casts a darkness in which the most nightmarish acts occur As the novel races to its shocking conclusion, we follow Miller as he traverses the streets of Manhattan and the decaying suburbs beyond, in terrified pursuit of his pursuers Written with sinuous grace and intellectual acuity, The Horned Man is an extraordinary, unforgettable first novel by an acclaimed writer and poet of unusual power Reading group guide included.

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    About “James Lasdun

    • James Lasdun

      James Lasdun was born in London and now lives in upstate New York He has published two novels as well as several collections of short stories and poetry He has been long listed for the Man Booker Prize and short listed for the Los Angeles Times, T S Eliot, and Forward prizes in poetry and he was the winner of the inaugural U.K BBC Short Story Prize His nonfiction has been published in Harper s Magazine, Granta, and the London Review of Books.



    477 thoughts on “The Horned Man

    • A study in madness or paranoia A character study or mystery A tale of the supernatural Perhaps Lasdun s THE HORNED MAN is all of these things and I still dwell on this book at times, even though I read it many years ago.


    • I found out about The Horned Man through reading Nicholas Royle s First Novel it s one of the, er, first novels the central character of that book is preoccupied with When researching some of those first novels which I hadn t previously heard of, the intriguing plot summary of this one immediately jumped out at me, and I tracked down a secondhand copy on eBay As I read it, however, I became aware of a significant number of similarities between the two stories The protagonist works at a universit [...]


    • I learned that to repress a desire is to be ruled by it.I learned that unicorns aren t all virgins and rainbows.One of my most treasured random finds, a piercing and illuminating exploration of gender, memory, and desire Modern fiction rarely dazzles me not because I feel it to be inferior but because I often wonder if I really get it This one engages, delights, and devastates all at once, written in clearheaded yet entrancing poetic prose, navigating the treacherous bridge between reality and w [...]


    • Sinister Freakish Surreal Dissonant Bizarre Absurd Hallucinogenic Discomfiting Also, I giggled a few times.


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    • The only reason I didn t stop reading this book after 100 pages is because I needed to finish it for an English assignment The Horned Man follows the story of Lawrence Miller, a gender studies professor, as he tries to puzzle out a conspiracy to frame him for a murder It starts with little things that grab Miller s attention his bookmark moving from where he placed it and a mysterious phone call made from his office in the early morning hours But then things begin to escalate quickly as Millar s [...]


    • Here goes very a fine slice of literary gothic psychological thriller fiction, one that kept me reading with great interest all the way thru This reader was excited not just by the creepy, dark story, but by the very high quality of the writing Lasdun writes deceptively simple prose in which stunning sentences grab one s attention like jewels catching candlelight in a darkened chamber.From the very beginning, one senses that there is something not quite right with the narrator, England born Lawr [...]


    • What a weird book I really liked it It s complicated and playful, and kind of really feminist I think Or at least centrally concerned with issues of gender and masculinity and sexual power So the narrator is this pseudo enlightened, progressive gender studies professor, but actually may or may not be an abusive violent stalker type If he is an abusive violent stalker type, he is incapable of recognising himself as such, and instead believes himself the victim of a vast conspiracy to frame him wh [...]


    • I finished reading The Horned Man this morning after breakfast It is an extremely odd book I have absolutely no recollection of buying it it s possible, but somewhat unlikely, that it was a gift.I m not sure how to characterize it I guess I d describe it as the story of one s man s descent into apparent madness The story is a first person narrative by Lawrence Miller Significant parts of Lawrence s backstory are left unsaid, so the reader is frequently left wondering what is going on Lawrence is [...]


    • Such a peculiar book Lasdun s writing is wonderful so much so that sometimes I find myself lost in the prose not knowing what exactly it was I had just read The Horned Man is not for those who want answers or resolution By the time the final page is turned you ll find yourself with questions than you had at any other point in the book But, oh are there some fantastic scenes within I should really mark my own copy so that I can open it anytime and read my favorite parts When Lasdun gets a scene [...]


    • Awesome A very strange, well written and never dull tale of self realization, gender, and memory I read it in one 3 hour sitting and started reading it faster and faster by the end, delirious to know what happens next Made me think of the chilling, fantastical stories of Kafka mentioned in the book , Poe and O Connor Skip the movie one night and read this instead.


    • Not the best ending, but an interesting, Kafkaesque modern Gothic look at gender roles and the sexual puritanism of our era The vocabulary will definitely keep you on your toes, and the language is amazing Kafka meets Fight Club meets Stevenson.


    • weird and wonderful but maybe slightly disappointing at the end or maybe i don t get it Hitchcockain, Nabokovian give it a whirl.


    • This book was a NY Times best book of 2002 and the reviews on the back were excellent It was engrossing to a point by admittedly I just didn t get it


    • vials all over the sidewalk like mutant hailstones 23 Just time for a quick smoke before the girls find my balls 30 I d like to say that one day He remembers how, without explanation, the official then handed him a small sachet marked BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE, how he opened it, mystified, to find a towelette inside, and realized it was for cleaning his finger, and had to choke back tears of joy at this marvelous grace note in the official procedure, noting merely as an added glory that the towelett [...]


    • I admit to being spoiled lately with excellent books, but this was not one of them In all fairness, I have never been a fan of Kafka, and this is so very much in that voice I also relate to Camus Having been so involved in either Russian novels or modern day fantasy, cynical and raw, this was too tortured snag for me I mostly wanted to smack the main character and throw the book across the room I kept reading it out of a sadomasochistic belief that it would get interesting Alas, no .


    • My partner shared Joe Haldeman s quote Bad books on writing tell you to WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW , a solemn and totally false adage that is the reason there exist so many mediocre novels about English professors contemplating adultery I was reading The Horned Man at the time, and it made me think about the author s insightful and GOOD commentary on some of the absurdities of a academic work, which I know of secondhand This was a compelling and enjoyable read, which was harrowing in its seemingly rati [...]


    • This is a darker type of fiction than what I normally read, but I recently met Mr Lasdun and wanted to expose myself to his writing I liked this book than I expected to it is a complex and mysterious page turner I have to admit I did not totally understand the ending, but that did not make it any less of a satisfying read.


    • Gave up after 120 pages The author can turn a phrase, but I was never convinced that he could tell a story I finally realized that I just didn t care about learning anything about the character or his predicament So I punted.


    • This is probably one of the creepiest books I ve read in a long time Lawrence Miller is an English expatriate and professor of gender studies at an American college His wife has recently left him When he finds things he didn t realize were there in his office that had recently been occupied by a now deceased professor, his life begins to unravel He becomes and divorced from reality as his life spirals downward The writing in this book is outstanding This is truly what should be called a litera [...]


    • Uses the same unreliable narrator trick as the Egyptologist and The Usual Suspects Why would I read a whole novel just to find out it didn t happen Does the illusion of reality mean nothing any



    • This was such an odd story, but the writing was gorgeous I found myself rereading many paragraphs so that I could fully grasp what Lasdun was saying.


    • A professor in Manhatten experiences weird events as he notices that his office is possibly being used by someone else Throughout the story, Lawrence, the professor, goes searching for who is responsible Being continually consumed with paranoia over what is happening in his office, Lawrence also is coping with other situations in his life such as with his separation from his wife Throughout the book, Lawrence is caught up in and believes some hard to believe theories The way in which the story i [...]


    • The Horned Man is laced with references to Kafka, and indeed heavily inspired by the works of that esteemed literary legend That s not a bad thing But if you re familiar with Kafka, you probably see what s coming from a mile away No matter the story will likely hook you all the same Lasdun crafts the story with such tension, it would be hard to put this book down and fail to pick it back up again unless you re the type of reader who prefers plots to be neatly wrapped up at the end As a fan of li [...]


    • Fantastic, surreal, confounding, disturbing, and engaging are terms that capture Lasdun s book for me If his writing weren t so good at creating a believable voice for the troubled protagonist, I question whether the twists and turns would have worked Lasdun has a gift for descriptive language that captures the changing scenes and the confused, tormented mind of his main character His extensive use of metaphor and simile are both illustrative and sometimes overdone for my taste That said, this b [...]


    • I have no objection to unreliable or unsympathetic narrators, but I do start to lose patience when one has no apparent attributes beyond a boundless capacity for self delusion, and its attendant train of poor life choices Events which I assume are meant to have an ineluctable dream logic instead come across as simply a cascade of idiocy And casting the lead as a lecturer in gender studies serves mainly to foster the suspicion that, while mostly related in suitably bloodless prose, his misadventu [...]


    • This was the story of a university professor who lived in New York This book opens with him talking to his therapist He is the newest member on the sexual harassment board at the university and soon they end up going after another teacher for inappropriate behavior with a student Bruno, the man accused of sexual harassment, is British and trusted the protagonist, a fellow Brit, to have his back and was shocked when he did not Most of this book is ranting s about how much the protagonist misses h [...]


    • I don t know where I got this book and don t even remember hearing or reading anything about the author, which is eerily appropriate considering the events in the story I ve since learned he teaches at Princeton and has had one of his short stories adapted into a film by Bernardo Bertolucci However the book got in my possession, I m pleased it did Unintentionally, this is the fifth consecutive novel I ve read about expatriates While the previous four were about Americans abroad, this one s about [...]


    • James Lasdun s formidable writing skills are largely wasted in this surrealistic novel whose point is elusive at best The only real plot is a conspiracy real or imagined against the protagonist, Lawrence Miller A series of apparently unrelated coincidences foster Miller s paranoiac worries, which culminate in an ending that is hard to swallow even by surrealistic standards Open the book to a random page and you ll find some excellent writing and perhaps some suspenseful moments however, they unf [...]


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