Book review: The Cabin at the End of the World – Paul Tremblay

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For me personally, It’s been a bumpy old road reading Paul Tremblay. I enjoyed A Head Full of Ghosts but failed to finish Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. The reason for me failing to finish it was largely down to the way in which everything was described in excruciating detail…and I mean everything! Unfortunately, The Cabin at the End of the World suffers the same fate. And this is just one of the problems I had with the book.

To start off, I read this book on Kindle and I really enjoyed the first 10%. There are lots of questions the reader really wants to know the answers to and the story is set up perfectly. Sadly, the wheels come off from here on in and the story almost grinds to a halt before trudging along at a snail’s pace with lots of repetitive dialogue. This is a book that should make you feel isolated, a book that begs to build tension, paranoia and fear. Instead, the moment any tension arises during a scene, Trembly tasers it immediately through a change of character and the narrative loses all momentum. Then we have the recurring problem with the constant, explicit descriptions. By chapter 3, I was more than familiar with the cabin layout and in particular its furniture. One scene, later on, we read of a body being taken outside. It takes 4 Kindle pages for them to get the damn body out there! FFS!!

By the halfway mark I was ready to throw the towel in. I was getting bored with the story and I wasn’t paying attention to what was happening. I began to skip through the pages (not a good sign!). However, something compelled me to finish it. I wanted to know if my suspicions about the intruders and the circumstances surrounding the world’s end were correct and so I plodded on. I’m kind of glad I did in a way but only because I don’t like leaving books unfinished.

The Cabin at the End of the World didn’t work for me at all. However, I’ll highlight a positive aspect I found with the book. It was great to read a story with some diverse lead characters instead of the standard man, wife, child combo seen all too often. I quite liked Eric and Andrew, Wen, too. Their outcomes were my only reason to continue reading.

I’ve seen a lot of folk fawning over this book, and that’s fine, I’m happy it worked for them (really I am. Some of these folk I truly respect and I’m pleased to call them friends). We all like different things and the world would be a dull place if we didn’t, right? What I don’t like is an idea stretched so far that it almost snaps and endless padding to increase the page count.

My work here is done, on to the next book.

1.5/5 homemade weapons from the Grim Reader.

Pick up a copy from here.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Book review: The Cabin at the End of the World – Paul Tremblay

  1. Interesting…I’ve heard nothing but good about this. Now I wonder if those reviews are from “yes men”. I’ve actually yet to read anything by Trembley, though I did win a copy of DISAPPEARANCE I plan on reading. I hear he’s great.

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    1. There are some lot of “yes men” in publishing I’ve found. I didn’t rate this book at all. I’ve read much better this year, but hey, Stevie King blurbed it so what do I know? 😉

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  2. Wow… what you describe would send me into fits if I had to read it… I absolutely despise when the momentum is taken away from me, it just frustrates me soooo much in books… but good on your for going all the way! 🙂

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