Book review: Bird Box – Josh Malerman

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Bird Box is a great book and that’s all you really need to know. I bought this for my Kindle a while back but my review queue prevented me from reading it. I’ve been disappointed by a few recently hyped books, so naturally, I approached this one with caution.

Any lingering thoughts that Bird Box would be a disappointment were soon to flee the nest. The opening chapter sucked me right in with its desperately grim and dark outlook. The world is seemingly in chaos, something outside is causing people to go crazy, making them attack each other and behave like savages. Friends become enemies, families tear each other apart, even the animals are going insane, It’s scary stuff. The book opens in fantastic style raising many questions. Why can’t Malorie open her eyes? What is outside? Why are the children also blindfolded? Many, many more questions, dear reader, most of which are answered.

Whilst the book has an apocalyptic tone, the setting is quite small. There are two timelines presented and both are equally as engaging. One timeline follows Malorie and her trip down the river with her blindfolded children, the other is a look at the past and her time spent with a small group of survivors. The pacing of this novel is excellent, and though some of the characters aren’t perhaps the most fully realised, there is so much going on, it actually didn’t hinder my enjoyment, and there are certainly times when you will question who the real monsters are.

I believe the best horror stories leave much to the imagination and contain a certain ambiguity. Bird Box‘s strength lies in the fact that you are never quite sure what exactly is out there and for me, the greatest fear of all is the fear of the unknown. Malerman knows this and he uses it expertly to propel Bird Box into terrifying waters, delivering scenes of unbelievable tension and horror as Malorie and friends stumble around struggling to make sense of what is happening whilst still trying to carry out the simplest of tasks in order to survive. Nothing is ever simple or straightforward when one cannot see, even a trip outside to a well to retrieve water is a harrowing, daunting experience, especially when you can only rely upon your ears to inform you of what is going on. Throughout the book, there are numerous chapters where the tension is almost unbearable for the reader. Bird Box is a masterclass in building suspense, it’s a book dripping with paranoia and not a chapter goes by without something happening.

Final thoughts: Bird Box is a wonderful book. I’m kind of gutted I left it this long before I read it. If you haven’t read it, don’t make the same mistake I did, go get a copy NOW!

5/5 dirty blindfolds from the Grim Reader

Pick up a copy from here.

When you have finished reading this perhaps listen to…

Imaginations from the Other Side by Blind Guardian: The German power metal act really nailed their sound with this classic slab of melodic, progressive power metal. Vocalist Hansi Kursche’s vocal performance is rich and powerful, and so is the music. Lyrically the band tell tales of Arthurian legend and other fantastical themes. This album is worth the price of admission alone for the epic Bright Eyes; one of the bands most popular songs. If you’ve never checked the band out, this is a good place to start. Imagine if Helloween, Iron Maiden and Queen forged a supergroup, Blind Guardian is what they would sound like. Classic stuff!

 

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Birdbox has been waiting on my shelf for a long time too. Maybe it’s time I shifted it ahead of some others. I loved Blind Guardian’s contribution to Dio’s tribute album a few years back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’ll really like it, Tom (Bird Box). I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That reminds me that I’ve to finish this books. I started listening to the audiobook a couple years ago and enjoyed it a lot, but had to stop for a while, and forgot to finish it after. The audiobook is awesome, the narration is well done, and listening to it at night with your eyes closed makes it even better

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can well imagine the audiobook being great.

    Like

  4. I’m pleased you liked it, man, some creepy shit right there! Dunno if I’m diggin the musical accompaniment this time but I can’t think of anything birdy right now, maybe the birdie song?? Loving the new extras to your reviews though, great stuff!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha! I’m not a big power metal fan but I love Blind Guardian. The song Bright Eyes takes me back to the days of staying up late to watch videos on Headbangers Ball with Vanessa Warwick!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shit, I remember that! Do you remember noisy muthas too, with Krusher’s cosmos? Aahh, those were the days!!

      Like

      1. I do! Noisy Muthas was ace!

        Liked by 1 person

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