Bird Box by Josh Malerman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Having spent a good amount of time in the last few years in the weird/horror space after decades of avoiding it, the one thing I’ve been surprised by up to this point is how it’s one thing for me to be uneasy or grossed out or whatever by something I read, but not often do I become unsettled or scared. So hello to Bird Box.
The conceit is creepy in and of itself, where people just randomly start going mad and killing themselves and perhaps taking others with them. It’s quickly assumed/figured out that there’s a sort of creature or monster that, when viewed by a person, triggers said madness. Society quickly shuts down, squirreling itself away in homes and only going outside blindfolded or with covered eyes. The story follows one woman who ends up with a group of survivors and how they’re dealing with the situation.
The story is super unsettling because the author just does a great job of putting the fear and uncertainty front and center. Everything is so uneasy and the way the mysteries are sometimes-but-not-fully revealed as time progresses is really brilliant. Rarely did I feel like I had an idea as to what was coming next, and some of the reveals were outright heartbreaking both in terms of how it advanced the story and the result. It’s rare for me to get that sort of response from a book, especially a horror one, so you know this is something special.
I have nothing negative to say at all about this. If you like weird, creepy, unsettling stories? Find a copy of this immediately. I’ve never read anything like it, and it’s one of the better things I’ve read as of late.
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