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Bird Box PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
Publisher: Published May 13th 2014 by Ecco (first published March 27th 2014)
ISBN: 9780062259653
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place w Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it's time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat--blindfolded--with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster? Interweaving past and present, Bird Box is a snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

30 review for Bird Box

  1. 4 out of 5

    karen

    this is an incredibly original horror/psychological suspense novel that reminds us that with all great horror, the unseen is so much more terrifying than the seen. this is why japanese horror movies are so effective. they don't rely on graphic special effects to build the suspense, and the way they manipulate shadows, sounds, and background space creates an unparalleled atmosphere that leaves a more lasting, haunting impression than "crazy chainsaw-toting psychopath" splatter films. which, don't this is an incredibly original horror/psychological suspense novel that reminds us that with all great horror, the unseen is so much more terrifying than the seen. this is why japanese horror movies are so effective. they don't rely on graphic special effects to build the suspense, and the way they manipulate shadows, sounds, and background space creates an unparalleled atmosphere that leaves a more lasting, haunting impression than "crazy chainsaw-toting psychopath" splatter films. which, don't get me wrong, are also super-entertaining. Bird Box takes place after an eerie phenomenon begins to occur on a global scale. starting in russia, moving to alaska, and eventually making its way to "a nice suburb of Detroit" where our story picks up, people begin to see…something. no one knows what this "something" is, because once it has been seen, it drives people to madness and suicide, frequently with some homicides along the way. people begin boarding up their windows, blackening their windshields, and staying away from other people. there is no way of knowing what this "something" wants, where it came from, what form it takes, or what the future of humanity will be. malorie is living in a house with two children, both only four years old. from the time of their birth, she has been training "boy" and "girl" to live in this new world, making them wear blindfolds outside and putting them through rigorous tests to train them until they have the preternatural hearing of bats. all this preparation is for the day they will finally leave the house and try to find others, to find a safer place to live. the story is told in alternating chapters between malorie "now" and malorie at the beginning of the event, finding out she is pregnant just as the world begins to collapse.we don't learn much about the origin of the event, but we do get to witness how people respond to the experience, which for me and my survival bent is book-gold. this book does tension and people-thrown-into-isolated-community so, so well. under the dome, take notes. how terrifying is it to not be able to see?? to hear a noise right behind you and not know what it is?? to leave a safe house to forage for food and not be certain you will ever find your way back?? to drive a car blindfolded through corpse-studded roads and not know if you will hit a pole or fall into a ditch?? to determine what is danger and what is just a leaf falling? this is the best kind of building, creeping horror, and the writing is perfectly suited to the story. it is maddening at times when you want to be able to "see" what is happening, but you are at the mercy of the characters' limited vision. impeccably done. and that attic scene?? holy shit - that was so freaking intense. i still have a handful of minor questions (and one very major one) but they don't detract from my overall positive impression of the book. the premise alone gives it an edge over most horror novels, because it has been a long time since i have come across anything "new" in that genre, and you cannot beat the killer, page-turning suspense. debut novel from a musician?? quit your day job, friend. come to my blog!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”Creatures… infinity… our minds have ceilings, Malorie... these things... they are beyond it… higher than it… out of reach… out of-- BUT HERE” Whatever you do DON’T OPEN YOUR EYES!! Malorie has just confirmed she is pregnant the very day that people begin killing themselves. News travels so fast now. Something can happen in Cairo. Someone can film it, load it to the internet, and within minutes of the event occurring someone in Des Moines is watching what happened. News, mostly tragic news, from around ”Creatures… infinity… our minds have ceilings, Malorie... these things... they are beyond it… higher than it… out of reach… out of-- BUT HERE” Whatever you do DON’T OPEN YOUR EYES!! Malorie has just confirmed she is pregnant the very day that people begin killing themselves. News travels so fast now. Something can happen in Cairo. Someone can film it, load it to the internet, and within minutes of the event occurring someone in Des Moines is watching what happened. News, mostly tragic news, from around the world now impacts us instantaneously. The world, consequently, feels like a much more dangerous place than it did 50 years ago. So when this new phenomenon starts happening everyone knows about it very quickly. Terror escalates exponentially, and has reached a highly sustained level long before this catastrophe has contaminated the whole world. ”What kind of a man cowers when the end of the world comes? When his brothers are killing themselves, when the streets of suburban America are infested with murder...what kind of man hides behind blankets and blindfolds? The answer is MOST men. They were told they would go mad. So they go mad.” It turns out everyone was right to be afraid. There is something out there. If you see it... you go insane. It goes through the world population like a pestilent storm. We have windows in our dwellings, in our work buildings,and in our schools because we WATCH the world. It only takes a moment, a need that can’t be ignored, one parting of a curtain, for us to see one of these creatures, and become deranged. We do violent things to ourselves.The lizard inside us meant to fight when flight is not an option turns inward. To live, we must reside in darkness, shrouded by blindfolds, tucked in dwellings behind blanketed windows. It is maddening to have our world reduced to so little. So what are these creatures and do they know what they do to us? After Malorie’s sister Shannon kills herself with a pair of scissors, Malorie is all alone. Some kook has been offering sanctuary at his house in newspaper ads when this manifestation first started to appear. Suddenly, with her changed circumstances, the kook becomes her best option. The kook is dead, but the people he sheltered are still alive. Tom and Jules are the alpha males who take chances, range the farthest away, blindfolded and with sticks to guide them, to find necessary supplies. Don is the weakest, the one that has found it hardest to adjust. He is also the most cynical. ”They’ll eventually get us, Don said. There’s no reason to think otherwise. It’s end times, people. And if it’s a matter of a creature our brains are incapable of comprehending, then we deserve it. I always assumed the end would come because of our own stupidity.” For a few blissful months Malorie can feel reasonably safe nestled in the routine of this small group of survivors. Meanwhile her tummy is getting rounder. Then Gary arrives. He whispers things to Don. Like any good charlatan he can pick the most vulnerable out of a crowd. He can sense their doubts before he ever hears them express them.. Gary thinks he is immune. Which begs the question, if the bindings that keep our minds anchored in sanity have long been shorn away can the creatures do anymore damage? There are two time lines at play in this book. One is during the few months when Malorie is with the sanctuary group. The other is four years later when she is raising two children that have never seen...well...anything beyond the cramped world of one house. ”The same colors. The same colors. The same colors for years. YEARS. Are you prepared? And what scares you more? The creatures or yourself, as the memories of a million sights and colors come flooding toward you? What scares you more? Josh Malerman does a fantastic job building the suspense, allowing the tension to stretch nerves to the breaking point. Information is opaque. He doesn’t cheat and give the reader information before the characters figure something out. I kept thinking of the movie Monsters from 2010. There are monsters; and yet, we are not allowed to see them. We hear them. We see the reactions of the characters, and somehow the terror is more acute when our brain does not have a shape, an entity to project our fear onto. Our mounting terror is allowed to gallop unrestrained, and each of us conjures our own version of a terrifying specter. ”You add the details, she thinks. It’s your idea of what they look like, and details are added to a body and a shape that you have no concept of. To a face that might have no face at all.” Malerman has created a dystopia that will play on all your fears and will stir up all your insecurities. You will question whether you can live in a world where one glimpse of a sun dappled street might cost you your life. Highly recommended for those that like books that will cost them some sleep. As a companion volume read Blindness by Jose Saramago If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  3. 4 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    (rating bumped from 4 up to 5 stars after thinking about it more) A few days ago when I finished this book, initially I was pissed off and disappointed at the ending. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but upon a few days' reflection I've realized that it was the only realistic way this could end. SO, if you are wary of reading this because you don't want an open ending, don't be! Malerman made the right choice in leaving some things unknown, because ultimately it works best for this type o (rating bumped from 4 up to 5 stars after thinking about it more) A few days ago when I finished this book, initially I was pissed off and disappointed at the ending. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but upon a few days' reflection I've realized that it was the only realistic way this could end. SO, if you are wary of reading this because you don't want an open ending, don't be! Malerman made the right choice in leaving some things unknown, because ultimately it works best for this type of story. NOW, THE BOOK. This book was fantastic! The general idea is that there is an unknown force that causes people to become murderous and suicidal when they see it. Nobody knows if it's a race of strange creatures, or any other number of things, but they know that it's out there and it's killing people. This strikes so much fear in the entire population that most people stop leaving their houses, but when they do, they blindfold themselves to prevent themselves from seeing this strange enemy. In the end, that blindness is what makes this book so terrifying. Since the characters you're reading about are wandering around in this messed-up, apocalyptic world with only their senses of smell, touch, and hearing essentially, every little unexplainable noise or feeling is horrific. They never know if there could be something right next to them that is capable of killing them, and as a reader, neither do you! It was so scary! The way the book is written is really immersive, and you feel like you're right there along with Malorie, her children, and the rest of the gang. Another thing that was great about this book was the non-linear timeline. Normally this type of storytelling gets a bit tiresome to me, because it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what's going on. That was not the case with this book. It skips between a number of time points across a 4-year span, and it never became confusing somehow. I didn't even really realize how well done it was until after I finished the book. This method also added a lot of suspense to the story, and my heart was literally racing throughout most of the book. So, if you couldn't tell, I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it for anybody who wants a really spooky thriller novel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Holy crap on a cracker, y'all! This book! Creepsville!! Don't freaking go outside without your blindfold or you might open your eyes. I must say, if I had to choose what apocalypse I would be in, I would pick the zombies because at least you can go outside and see them and kill them. Unless you're blind and then your up sh•t creek. One day they start getting reports of people seeing things and then turning violent and killing people and themselves. And of course you start thinking, wth? Malorie Holy crap on a cracker, y'all! This book! Creepsville!! Don't freaking go outside without your blindfold or you might open your eyes. I must say, if I had to choose what apocalypse I would be in, I would pick the zombies because at least you can go outside and see them and kill them. Unless you're blind and then your up sh•t creek. One day they start getting reports of people seeing things and then turning violent and killing people and themselves. And of course you start thinking, wth? Malorie was with her sister when these events started happening and she also found out she was pregnant. Oh happy day! Malorie ends up with some people in a house and they only go outside when they need to look for more food. They make sure they are blindfolded and stuff. Sometimes when you're out there you feel something touch you. Or is that your imagination. Then of course you freak out some more. People, I would never exist for more than a second in this world! I liked some of the people Malorie was living with and they were doing okay, until . . . that one day they let the wrong person in. . . sigh. . . . . . I mean you have a nice little set up with your dogs and birds and food and then, BAM! Anyhoo, none of that happens until later on during a very crazy night. That's all I'm saying. Malorie lives in a house for 4 years. She raises children. Then what happens? Read the book and find out =) MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    Hold on tight...this trip is going to blow your mind! Horror is a genre that I normally avoid completely, but with the rave reviews from my GR friends for this book I felt I needed to step out and give it a try. And it was so incredibly good! Oh my God! Malorie and her sister Shannon move in together in Detroit. Life immediately throws her a curve ball. Malorie learns she's pregnant from a brief encounter with someone she didn't know well, and thinks this is as bad as it gets. Not even close! Some Hold on tight...this trip is going to blow your mind! Horror is a genre that I normally avoid completely, but with the rave reviews from my GR friends for this book I felt I needed to step out and give it a try. And it was so incredibly good! Oh my God! Malorie and her sister Shannon move in together in Detroit. Life immediately throws her a curve ball. Malorie learns she's pregnant from a brief encounter with someone she didn't know well, and thinks this is as bad as it gets. Not even close! Something is out there causing people from all over the world to take their own lives. One look at this unknown entity is all it takes. Soon the world around her goes silent. Has everyone succumbed to this strange phenomenon? Malorie embarks on a journey to find a safe haven and any survivors. What do you fear most, the known danger of man or the unknown? Heart pounding, reading furiously. This book actually scared the crap out of me! Yet like a moth to a flame I was drawn back. I was so engrossed in this book I barely took a breath, was completely caught up in the action. My husband sitting next to me quietly reading (a tame David Baldacci novel) suddenly sneezed! He spent the next few minutes peeling me off the ceiling fan! I don't know if I have ever felt so spent at the end of a book. I just had to sit quietly and digest the whole thing. Absolutely speechless and exhausted. I recommend to anyone that enjoys a horror / post-apocalyptic book. Even if you have never tried one...venture out over the edge a little! I am so glad I did! Blindfolds off…take a breath…it will be OK…wait!! Did you hear that???

  6. 4 out of 5

    Norma * Traveling Sister

    Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda   Holy Sh*tty Balls this was one heck of a creepy book!   5 creeped out Stars for Norma & 4 freaking out Stars for Brenda! So for the purpose of this Sister Read it gets a combined rating of 4.5 Stars!   BIRD BOX by JOSH MALERMAN is a wonderfully creepy, scary, eerie, and downright terrifying tale that grabbed our attention right from the very start to the heart-pounding finish.  This book was extremely hard to put down!   BIRD BOX made us both feel fearful Sister Read Review by Norma & Brenda   Holy Sh*tty Balls this was one heck of a creepy book!   5 creeped out Stars for Norma & 4 freaking out Stars for Brenda! So for the purpose of this Sister Read it gets a combined rating of 4.5 Stars!   BIRD BOX by JOSH MALERMAN is a wonderfully creepy, scary, eerie, and downright terrifying tale that grabbed our attention right from the very start to the heart-pounding finish.  This book was extremely hard to put down!   BIRD BOX made us both feel fearful of the unknown and we could definitely feel the eerie presence of the mysterious creatures in all of the surroundings while we were totally engrossed in this novel.  We couldn’t even imagine living and carrying on everyday life blindfolded or with our eyes closed.           To sum it all up it was an extremely entertaining, unsettling, interesting, and fast-paced read that left us both a little fearful of leaving the house without a blindfold. Highly recommend!!!   Review written and posted on our themed book blog Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading. https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com Coulee: a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley.  

  7. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Close your eyes and imagine the basso sound of voiceover icon Don LaFontaine intoning, “In a world gone mad…” and that is pretty much where Bird Box begins. Open your eyes and go mad. Kill others, yourself. Can you keep from peeking? For how long? In Josh Malerman’s post-apocalyptic, eye-opening scare-scape, something happened. An invasion? Some natural phenomenon? No one is really certain. But what has become clear is that anyone who steps outside with their eyes open goes insane, not just gibb Close your eyes and imagine the basso sound of voiceover icon Don LaFontaine intoning, “In a world gone mad…” and that is pretty much where Bird Box begins. Open your eyes and go mad. Kill others, yourself. Can you keep from peeking? For how long? In Josh Malerman’s post-apocalyptic, eye-opening scare-scape, something happened. An invasion? Some natural phenomenon? No one is really certain. But what has become clear is that anyone who steps outside with their eyes open goes insane, not just gibbering or confused, but violently and destructively, homicidally mad. In the near-future today of the story, Malorie is a young mother, with two small children in her charge. She has been training them for over four years, to hear, with a sensitivity and acuity more usually associated with flying mammals. They embark on a river journey to what she hopes is a safe haven, twenty miles away, blindfolded. Any noise could be someone, or something following them. She must rely on the skill she has rigorously drilled into the boy and girl every day to help guide them, and alert them to danger. And we must wonder if the destination she aims for will offer relief or some version of Mistah Kurtz. Chapters alternate, mostly, between the river journey and Malorie’s back story. We follow her from when The Problem began, seeing death and destruction in first a few isolated locations, then spreading everywhere, seeing loved ones succumb, then finding a place to live, a refuge, with others, and watch as they cope, or fail. In horror stories, it helps to have an appealing hero. I am sure most of us have seen our share of splatter films in which the demise of each obnoxious teen is met with cheers rather than with dismay. The other sort is of the Wait until Dark variety, in which our heart goes out to the Audrey Hepburn character beset by dark forces. Bird Box is the latter type. Malorie is a very sympathetic character, an everywoman trying her best under ridiculous circumstances, more the Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) of Nightmare On Elm Street or the Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) of Halloween, than the Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) of Alien, but Malorie does what she must to survive and to prepare with patience and diligence to sally forth against the unknown. Author image taken from Fearnet.com Malerman was bitten by the horror bug as an early teen: My big introduction wasTwilight Zone: the Movie, the first horror movie I ever saw. After that came Saturday Shockers and sneaking in whatever I could at a friend’s house (Faces of Death, Psycho… Blacula…Prom Night.) I was also reading a lot. There’s a great period of horror fiction history, before the novel-boom of the 70’s spearheaded by Rosemary’s Baby, The Other, and The Exorcist, in which the short story ruled the genre. That period is golden and completely bursting with ideas. I read M.R. James, H.P. Lovecraft, Poe, Blackwood, Bierce, et al. When you first approach it, the genre, it feels infinite, but it’s not. So, come high school, I was trying to write my own scary stories, weird poems, strange tales. (from Detroit CBS Local news interview) He likes to write with horror movie soundtracks on. And he is a musical sort as well, singing and playing in the band The High Strung. In fact, fans of Shameless, on Showtime, have already been exposed to Malerman’s work, as the writer and performer of that show’s theme song. The dynamics of the house-full of refugees in the back story will feel familiar. Who to let in, or not, concerns over sharing limited resources, discussions over what adventuresome risks might or might not be worth taking re looking toward the future, or in trying to learn more about the cause of their situation. One might be forgiven for seeing here a societal microcosm, but I do not really think this was what Malerman was on about. He does offer a bit of a larger, thematic view though, tied to the central image of the book, which definitely adds to the heft of the story. A wondering at more existential questions She thinks of the house as one big box. She wants out of this box. Tom and Jules, outside, are still in this box. The entire globe is shut in. The world is confined to the same cardboard box that houses the birds outside. Malorie understands that Tom is looking for a way to open the lid. He’s looking for a way out. But she wonders if there’s not a second lid above this one, then a third above that. Boxed in, she thinks. Forever. You really want Malorie to reach safety with the children, but there is a gauntlet to be run, and there is no certainty that any of them will make it. The dangers are human, natural and eldritch, and I mean that in a very Lovecraftian way. You will definitely not want to put Bird Box down once you pick it up. This is a very scary, and gripping novel. If you are reading on the train, you may miss your stop. If you are reading at bedtime, you will definitely miss a few winks, and might want to sleep with the lights on after you finish. I think some horror authors are trying to scare you, but with me, I’m as scared as the reader is of the story. I’ve always been that way, since watching the Twilight Zone movie — watching Firestarter when my parents were out, or sneaking out to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street at a friend’s house because I couldn’t watch it at my house. That makes you doubly scared — of the movie, and of the possibility of Mom finding out. (from Metrotimes interview) A generic problem I have with the book is that the dark elements here sometimes tend to step back when they have decided advantages, failing to make the most (or worst as the case may be) of their positions. It was not obvious to me that there was some point being made by these unexpected choices. Nevertheless, Malerman takes the notion of the unseen and pushes readers to create the scariest thing of all, that which lurks in the imagination. It is not at all dangerous to see how much fun this book is. Usually it is considered a good thing to think outside the box, but in this case it is clearly a far, far better thing that Malerman has done his thinking inside one. Posted - November 19, 2013 Publication date - May 13, 2014 Trade Paper edition - February 10, 2015 =============================EXTRA STUFF Interviews Huffington Post Detroit CBL Local News Metro Times JM on FB The High Strung on FB

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    Where the hell do I start with reviewing this book? Unlike nothing I've read in a long time this one is a stand out read like no other for me this year. I had wanted to read this for ages and so glad I finally did. Emotions stirred reading this book I think covered them all, I noted how on edge I was constantly reading this novel. From early pages to the last I was fixated, addicted and full of tension, bordering on fear at times. Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. Where the hell do I start with reviewing this book? Unlike nothing I've read in a long time this one is a stand out read like no other for me this year. I had wanted to read this for ages and so glad I finally did. Emotions stirred reading this book I think covered them all, I noted how on edge I was constantly reading this novel. From early pages to the last I was fixated, addicted and full of tension, bordering on fear at times. Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it's time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat--blindfolded--with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster? The book interweaves past and present and whilst both aspects are critical and important I have to admit to loving the "past" moments. The chill factor was high. You cannot really say what this book is about which is why it's sheer genius. You don't know what they are all afraid of and fear of the unknown is often the worst type of fear at all. What can lead human beings to cover their eyes permanently? What is it that people see that causes personal hell? Nobody can tell because if you see "it" you are no longer around to share what you saw. Aspects of these book almost feel post-apocalyptic as survivors huddle together to try to survive. The dynamics between the survivors focused on in the book is brilliant and complex. Who do you trust? What would you do? Scenes had my heart in my mouth, terror in my mind and tension in my body. It really was a book that genuinely scared me. Therefore I loved it! Brilliant and clever plot along with a mix if broken, damaged characters made for great reading. But the main driver behind reading page after page? Desperation to know what "it" was. A truly stunning book in so many ways. How some rate this 1 or 2 stars stuns me. It really does. I can't recommend enough and I give it 5 big Booklover Catlady paw prints. Don't uncover your eyes, no matter what you do, even better, get rid if your own eyes to be safe... For more of my reviews see me at: https://www.facebook.com/BookloverCat... Follow me on Twitter! I talk back! https://www.twitter.com/promotethatbook

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Wow! Just wow! Bird Box was amazing! This definitely lived up to the hype that everyone spoke of. I highly recommend this book if you want your mind to be twisted and turned in ways you can't imagine. Creepy, terrifying, horrid, and downright scary! Loved it! Would make an interesting movie......

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    2.5 stars. I would not last in the apocalyptic world set out in this book. My dad used to say I had nose problems because let's face it. I have to know what's going on. Walking around for 4 years with a blindfold on every time I went outside? Yeah, dead in less than 60 seconds. Not this kind of blindfolded either. This book doesn't give the reader many answers. I do know what the author was going for. The whole scary in the mind of the reader thing. The thing is I need some answers. I get all ants 2.5 stars. I would not last in the apocalyptic world set out in this book. My dad used to say I had nose problems because let's face it. I have to know what's going on. Walking around for 4 years with a blindfold on every time I went outside? Yeah, dead in less than 60 seconds. Not this kind of blindfolded either. This book doesn't give the reader many answers. I do know what the author was going for. The whole scary in the mind of the reader thing. The thing is I need some answers. I get all antsy and shit if I don't have them. I don't like thinking of things that I don't know what is sneaking up on me. I did finish the book. I will give it that. The writing sometimes did make my teeth grate together though. I think this author likes the apostrophe more than I do..and I ain't an author. Would I recommend this book? Who knows. Several people like it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Trudi

    4.5 stars Whoah. This is some really good shit. Color me very impressed. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked this one up, but it totally delivered on tension and suspense, a palpable dread, and a suffocating sense of doom. Just as a launching off point I'm going to throw two pop culture references at you that I couldn't stop thinking about while reading this book. The first is the music video "Just" by Radiohead. Remember that's the one where there's this guy who just lies down in the 4.5 stars Whoah. This is some really good shit. Color me very impressed. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked this one up, but it totally delivered on tension and suspense, a palpable dread, and a suffocating sense of doom. Just as a launching off point I'm going to throw two pop culture references at you that I couldn't stop thinking about while reading this book. The first is the music video "Just" by Radiohead. Remember that's the one where there's this guy who just lies down in the street for no apparent reason and when this other guy starts screaming for a reason why he's done this and when the man finally tells him, everyone who is in earshot lies down too, as if whatever he's said is just too huge and overwhelming for the mind to process that the only human response is to collapse. The second reference I'm going to throw at you is a Twilight Zone episode from the '80s called "Need to Know" where everyone starts going insane in this small town and it's eventually discovered that the source of the problem is not a physical disease, but an idea, a single short phrase, that is being passed from person to person by word of mouth. That horrible phrase is nothing more or less than the purpose and meaning of existence; the moral of the story being -- Knowledge we are not ready to receive will drive us mad. I freaking love that Radiohead video and I was twelve years old when I saw that Twilight Zone episode and it scared the crap out of me (which is Trudi speak for I loved it). So in a lot of ways I was already primed to love this book where a mysterious pandemic plague is causing the "infected" to go on homicidal killing sprees before killing themselves. In the escalating chaos and confusion, the source of the infection is identified as having seen something the human mind cannot fathom, a creature that is so beyond our comprehension we are literally driven mad by it. But who is to know for sure, since no one has survived to confirm what it is that they saw. Your only defence is to close your eyes, and keep them closed. Humans hide in houses behind windows that are painted, covered with blankets or boarded up. They dare not venture outside for water or food unless they are blindfolded. If you thought surviving the end of days was tough with all of your faculties and sight, try doing it completely blind and feeling hunted and watched the entire time. I love survival stories of all kinds: but an apocalypse scenario where the group must survive together is my favorite. And it's done so well here, I really can't stress that enough. The way the tension builds gradually as the unknowable threat outside the doors of the safe house becomes more menacing and tangible. How so much is implied rather than relying on big gushy scenes of gore and explicit violence. How the daily trek to the well blindfolded to get fresh water becomes an exercise in exquisite pulse-pounding suspense to unnerve the most steely-nerved of all readers. Did you hear that? Sssshhhhh. I think it came from behind you. Whatever you do, don't open your eyes. Readers who have a perpetual desire for answers and reasons may find the lack of explanation here troubling. I didn't. I was okay that we really don't know what the hell is going on and can only guess (and imagine our worst fears). If something like this ever goes down for real we'll be just as much in the dark as the characters in Bird Box discovering we are as much at the mercy of our ignorance and fear of the unknown as anything that may or may not be hunting us.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Gavea

    ''There are things out there that will hurt you.'' Even though thrillers aren’t among my favourite reads, this one had all the right ingredients. A mix of Dystopian Fiction with a healthy dose of Paranormal and two extremely interesting main characters. It was creepy and fascinating. News of a series of completely abnormal action begin to reach the USA. In a contemporary world, violent deaths start from an area in Russia and escalate, spreading everywhere. What is it that makes these deaths horr ''There are things out there that will hurt you.'' Even though thrillers aren’t among my favourite reads, this one had all the right ingredients. A mix of Dystopian Fiction with a healthy dose of Paranormal and two extremely interesting main characters. It was creepy and fascinating. News of a series of completely abnormal action begin to reach the USA. In a contemporary world, violent deaths start from an area in Russia and escalate, spreading everywhere. What is it that makes these deaths horrifying? They take place without a reason. Everyday people, citizens of quiet towns, people like us start attacking others and kill them in terrifying ways. They attack family and friends. They know no boundaries and then they kill themselves. And the explanation can be found in a source that is even more terrifying than the deaths. Something they saw turned ordinary people into vicious murderers. What is it? Nobody knows. Are they creatures? Is it a virus? No matter the cause, the result is a world that is now empty, devoid of life and time. Everything we've ever known falls into darkness because to open your eyes means death. ''The world, the outdoors, is being shut down.'' The story itself is the main reason I enjoyed Bird Box so much. Malorie, the main charcater, is a young mother of two unnamed children. They're just called Boy and Girl. They only know the house they were born into as their world. In this house, Malorie found a refuge four years ago, along with a few people who wanted to survive, each one having gone through a terrible loss. I don't know what kind of environment could be more claustrophobic and nerve-wrecking. Is there anything more valuable than our sight? Imagine a world where we are forbidden to look outside, to look at a fellow human being, our own family...In this house, the characters toy with their lives. Each day, each passing moment. It is a fight for everything. To bring water into the house, to make sure every possible opening is covered. There is fear and there are questions that can't be answered. And I couldn't help but anticipate danger from every person we met. When would madness strike?Who could possibly have the weakest composure to jeopardize everyone's survival? One of the things that prevent me from appreciating thrillers is the lack of developed characters and the cliché  dialogue. This novel is different, in my opinion. Malorie is a really well-written character, one I could see as realistic and a leader, with her feet firmly on the ground. Her actions were fully justified. Everyone would have acted in the same way if we had been in her situation. I pray we never will....And Tom is a character I was interested in from his first appearance. Both the characters and the dialogue were really satisfying, in my opinion, and combined with the haunting prose they created an extremely memorable read. I don't need to feel frightened in order to like a book. If the story is properly put together and the characters are interesting and as realistic as possible, I am satisfied. With Bird Box, I wasn't frightened per se but I felt anxious, nervous and, yes, there were a few moments when my blood froze a little. I found the concept creepy and the execution successful. You know there is danger out, in the open, but you don't know what it is. If you don't know what threatens you, how can you fight it? So, I don't think it can get scarier than that.... ''And what scares you more? The creatures or yourself, as the memories of a million sights and colours come, flooding towards you? What scares you more?'' My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Masterson

    4 1/2 stars but I'm rounding it to 5 for originality. I could not put this book down for the last 100 pages. If you like the Walking Dead, horror or just a good scary thriller than this is the book for you. I hope there is a sequel and a movie!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maciek

    Bird Box offers a well-known premise - the world as we know it suddenly coming to an end, and the few who survived trying to cope with the new reality - but with an interesting twist (certainly a desirable addition to the formula which, much as I enjoy it, is now beginning to resemble a really dead horse). This is both a good, and a bad thing - and the book is also both these things, as it began well but ended up being disappointing. The hook of Bird Box is, like in much post-apocalyptic fiction, Bird Box offers a well-known premise - the world as we know it suddenly coming to an end, and the few who survived trying to cope with the new reality - but with an interesting twist (certainly a desirable addition to the formula which, much as I enjoy it, is now beginning to resemble a really dead horse). This is both a good, and a bad thing - and the book is also both these things, as it began well but ended up being disappointing. The hook of Bird Box is, like in much post-apocalyptic fiction, The Event: a phenomenon which single-handedly destroys the old world order, and usually also depopulates most of the planet*. A typical example of The Event is the Pandemic - such as the flu outbreak in The Stand. The Cold War brough about the very real fear of a Nuclear Holocaust, when the possibility of nuclear powers annihilating one another and the world with them seemed very real. A great example of this is Nevil Shute' On the Beach - a moving novel, set in Australia after the nuclear world war which destroyed the northern hemisphere, and where the protagonists can only wait for the cloud of nuclear dust to reach the southern hemisphere and claim them too. There are other causes, of course, but these are easily the most popular. *A relatively common variant of depopulation has most people not actually dying, but losing their humanity and turning into strange creatures hostile to humans. A classic example is the global pandemic turning all of humanity into vampires in Richard Matheson's great I Am Legend, whose protagonist - Robert Neville - is literally the last (hu)man on earth. Bird Box, although set in Michigan, begins with a series of events in eastern Russia - first reports of people inexplicably attacking others and murdering them, and taking their own lives afterwards. There seems to be no link between these events and people, except for one thing - all of them apparently saw something which affected them so badly that they completely lost their minds. Expectably, the phenomenon spreads across the Bering Strait and first reports from Alaska soon follow - and soon it's chaos and death everywhere. We met the protagonist, Malorie, a young mother hiding with two small children in a house somewhere in the suburbs of Detroit. The children have never seen the outside world - Malorie has been training them for over four years to hear and understand many different sounds, and be able to orient themselves with only their hearing, because she will need their ears to help guide them all on a journey across the river, towards what she believes to be a safe haven. To survive they must tie blindfolds across their eyes and not look at the world, where something might be waiting - something which only a sight of is enough to drive a person to insanity and murder. The novel alternates between the present day and Malorie leaving the house and rowing across the river, and flashback chapters which tell the story of how she came to be in the house with the children in the first place. She was pregnant when the chaos began to unfold, and through personal effort found solace with fellow survivors who barred their windows shut and covered them with carpets to block the insanity of the outside world. What follows is a typical societal microcosm - cabin fever, worry over dependence on shared resources, discussions on the nature of the horror. There's an existential question or two thrown into the mix, but it's all neither very deep or new - it's just another trope of this genre, its obligatory element. I purposefully avoided reading anything about Bird Box prior to reading it, and while I appreciate the author's creative idea - being forced to retire your sight and have to move about a hostile world depending entirely on hearing, smell and touch is terrifying as we realize how we depend on one sense almost entirely on one sense and understand the feeling of being blind. The threat of a something so inexplicably horrifying that the mere sight of it is enough to turn anyone insane is reminiscent of Lovecraft and his creations. All the factors are there - so why the low rating? To say it best, the novel simply didn't work for me as a novel. When I was a young boy I adored listening to radio theater - ofen when I was supposed to be asleep I'd smuggle my walkman in bed with me and put the earplugs in my ears, very late at night, to listen to the performance (to the big annoyance of my even younger brother, with whom I shared a room and who was just a kid who wanted to sleep). Being in the dark in a quiet house heightened my sense of hearing, and I could hear things I would otherwise be unable to notice. This is why I think Bird Box would be a much better audio experience - especially when created specifically as a dramatization, with all the proper sound effects in their place. I would love to listen to a project like this - close my eyes and stop seeing, be unnerved, frightened and shocked by what I only could hear. It was especially interesting to learn that the author is a musician, someone who deals with and specializes in sound - just think of the possibilities! But this is obviously not the case, and as soon the novelty of the idea wore down, it became obvious that the book will not be a compelling study of fear and how it is manifested, but rather a pretty standard horror story depending on shock and plenty of "boo!" moments, when we're constantly going to be told how something unbearably scary is just around the corner. But this jack won't pop up from its box; while Lovecraft created an entire universe around his Elder Gods, the things which are happening in the book are purposefully left almost entirely to the reader's imagination. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but in a novel based largely on the build up of suspense I found it to not be acceptable. I didn't demand a revelation, but I could take a few gospels - something to give momentum to my imagination, to let it spin. What I got was an ending which was too neatly tied, too ideal,too perfect; it felt like a cop out, an anticlimatic cheat. Perhaps I've been reading too much Cormier? To sum up - while Bird Box is a book which shows promise, it unfortunately falls squarely into the box of those which didn't deliver. It's not a bad book, certainly not bad for a debut, but it marks more of the same territory - and we've been there and we've seen it before. For an intriguing novel which features creative and original take on blindness and its impact on human personality, please do check out Rupert Thomson's great and underrated The Insult - one of the eeriest and weirdest novels I've ever read, and one of my personal favorites.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Creepy, tense, scary! (The below lines are kind of spoilerish . . . but nothing the description on Goodreads doesn't already mention) Unable to use your eyes for fear of madness . . . Unseen and unknown terrors roaming outside . . . Trapped inside with the windows covered . . . The sanity of your companions in question . . . Running out of supplies . . . Seeking salvation, but not sure where to find it or who to trust . . . Pregnant . . . This was intense and a must read for horror and thriller fans eve Creepy, tense, scary! (The below lines are kind of spoilerish . . . but nothing the description on Goodreads doesn't already mention) Unable to use your eyes for fear of madness . . . Unseen and unknown terrors roaming outside . . . Trapped inside with the windows covered . . . The sanity of your companions in question . . . Running out of supplies . . . Seeking salvation, but not sure where to find it or who to trust . . . Pregnant . . . This was intense and a must read for horror and thriller fans everywhere.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Annet

    Wow, what a book! Seriously scary and creepy. You just have to keep reading to know how it ends. At least, I had to.... Who can think of such a story... Suspension and creepiness from start to end, intriguing story. What's going on? What happened leading up to this situation? Will she and kids survive? .... Wew.... one h*ll of a story. I say, this is also a seriously impressive case of woman power! Great, great, entertaining book. AB: Looking back at my books in 2015, upgraded this one to five s Wow, what a book! Seriously scary and creepy. You just have to keep reading to know how it ends. At least, I had to.... Who can think of such a story... Suspension and creepiness from start to end, intriguing story. What's going on? What happened leading up to this situation? Will she and kids survive? .... Wew.... one h*ll of a story. I say, this is also a seriously impressive case of woman power! Great, great, entertaining book. AB: Looking back at my books in 2015, upgraded this one to five stars. Seriously, this book is a great read. Wew... creepy..

  17. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    fantastic book. there are a bunch of excellent 4-star reviews out there and I'm not sure I have a whole lot more to add. synopsis: it's the end of the world as we know it. creatures from somewhere roam the streets. to gaze upon them means certain doom, or at least a murderous, suicidal insanity. the world soon realizes that something very wrong is happening everywhere. four years later, our heroine and two children must take a blindfolded river journey to an uncertain destination. sound is a key fantastic book. there are a bunch of excellent 4-star reviews out there and I'm not sure I have a whole lot more to add. synopsis: it's the end of the world as we know it. creatures from somewhere roam the streets. to gaze upon them means certain doom, or at least a murderous, suicidal insanity. the world soon realizes that something very wrong is happening everywhere. four years later, our heroine and two children must take a blindfolded river journey to an uncertain destination. sound is a key part of Bird Box. I loved that. there was a spareness to the prose and to the narrative that I found to be pleasingly but not ostentatiously literary. quite surprised that this book is the author's first novel - it doesn't read like it. I particularly enjoyed how little interest Malerman had in making his protagonist likeable, yet she remained entirely sympathetic, relatable, even admirable. I was impressed by how the creatures are never truly described and the mystery remained a mystery. ambiguity is always a plus, especially when the novel still has a satisfying ending. the whole experience was an original one for me. and it made me very tense - a genuinely scary story. oh man those scenes with the animals going insane! here's what I assume the creatures look like: (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] just stare at that image for a while. you'll see what I mean.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sh3llraiser

    1 DEC 2016: Only $1.99 on Kindle! Totally worth it (to me at least.) You can't ever look at it or you will go violently insane. That is basically the premise of this book. What is it? What are they? Why are they here? What is it that people see that makes them go crazy? You'll have to read it to find out. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I can't believe it was a first novel either. This guy knocked it out of the park, if you ask me. So creepy. A perfect blend of suspense and horror mixed in with an end-of-the-w 1 DEC 2016: Only $1.99 on Kindle! Totally worth it (to me at least.) You can't ever look at it or you will go violently insane. That is basically the premise of this book. What is it? What are they? Why are they here? What is it that people see that makes them go crazy? You'll have to read it to find out. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I can't believe it was a first novel either. This guy knocked it out of the park, if you ask me. So creepy. A perfect blend of suspense and horror mixed in with an end-of-the-world dystopian vibe. Malorie was amazing. By the end of the book, you are floored by all she has gone through and how she survived with two newborns for four and a half years ALONE. This chick KICKED ASS. And did it blindfolded for about 95% of the time!!! I hate Don and Gary but it was fascinating to read about them. I loved Tom. What a fascinating story. I could read more in this world. I even cried at the end. The pacing was great and the flashback story-telling worked really well here. I highly recommend. SO GOOD. After reading a lot of my friends reviews, I'm going to add some spoiler comments. It's really interesting how people can have such different experiences reading a book. haha (view spoiler)[About Mallory being blah or just not really doing much... I can see this. She was passive for awhile. She stepped up when Tom left a little. I think it was just her personality. She seemed to be more of an introvert even with her sister, right? Her sister kind of led that relationship too, if I remember correctly. I don't really blame her for keeping the kids in that house for four years. The calling them boy/girl thing? That was strange. I guess it was because she didn't want to get too attached? I guess I can see how some people couldn't connect to them because they were written sort of generically? I liked the ending, actually. I do wish we found out more about the creatures. But the ending was touching, I thought *shrug* Also, the attic scene - I found - was VERY intense and crazy! I thought leaving a lot up to the reader worked here. I didn't mind there being human villains as well as the creatures. I do have a lot of questions about them? Did they come from another reality/dimension, were they aliens? (hide spoiler)]

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 3.5 Stars EDIT: 4.5 STARS AND ROUNDED UP BECAUSE IDGAF For maybe the second time in the history of Goodreads, I'm changing my initial rating of a book and floating my review. I don't really give a shit if you don't like this book - I liked it enough for everyone. I liked it so much that I constantly think about it whenever I hear a creepy noise in the dark or think how terrifying it would be if I had to face potential superbadawfuls blin Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ 3.5 Stars EDIT: 4.5 STARS AND ROUNDED UP BECAUSE IDGAF For maybe the second time in the history of Goodreads, I'm changing my initial rating of a book and floating my review. I don't really give a shit if you don't like this book - I liked it enough for everyone. I liked it so much that I constantly think about it whenever I hear a creepy noise in the dark or think how terrifying it would be if I had to face potential superbadawfuls blindfolded while walking to the creek behind my house for drinking water and I find myself continually recommending it to anyone who asks me for a creepy read. So, there you have it. #bump #promiseIwon'tmakeahabitofthis #becauseitmakesmewanttokillpeople #readmorebumpless #devilhorns I hope not, ‘cause that’s how you’re going to be living out the rest of your days. The world as we knew it no longer exists. First, the people started dying – then the internet, phones, power, and water systems all went down. Then we all learned to barricade our doors, cover our windows, and stop going outside except when absolutely necessary. Of course, when obtaining water means venturing down to the creek behind your house – you find yourself outside A LOT. No matter what you do, you must wear your blindfold and never look at what is waiting outside your doors . . . Malorie has lived this lifestyle for years and has raised her children the same way. Always blindfolded, always terrified, always knowing there is something waiting outside. Until one day, it was no longer outside . . . Now Malorie and the children must risk everything in order to make it to a potential safe haven that may or may not exist. Bird Box is the embodiment of a psychological horror – because all the horror you experience is going to be created in your own head. You will (literally) never be able to see the bad guy coming . . . because the characters remain blindfolded the entire book. Any time you find yourself losing your shit, it will be because your brain thinks it is hilarious to f*&^ around with you. Per usual, the only thing I knew about this book before starting was that a lot of people were reading it all of a sudden. What do I think now that I’m finished??? What a debut! So many times I find the “super bad awful” in horror novels to be extremely lackluster, so I found never knowing who (or what) the transgressor might be to be a very effective approach. My brain kept telling me that everyONE and everyTHING was the bad guy and I found myself on the edge of my seat during several pivotal scenes. I look forward to reading more by Josh Malerman.

  20. 4 out of 5

    j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]

    FOUR STARS I'm not a huge fan of horror, so I always sort of pushed back on this book and never read it when it was published in 2014. This, despite the wonderful ratings it had received from some of my favorite reviewers on Goodreads. Then, it happened. I saw the labels “dystopian” and "post apocalyptic”. Now we're talking! Those are descriptions that speak my lingo. Some of my most beloved books are a mixture of both of those sub-genres: Station Eleven, Dark Matter, The Girl With All the Gifts. FOUR STARS I'm not a huge fan of horror, so I always sort of pushed back on this book and never read it when it was published in 2014. This, despite the wonderful ratings it had received from some of my favorite reviewers on Goodreads. Then, it happened. I saw the labels “dystopian” and "post apocalyptic”. Now we're talking! Those are descriptions that speak my lingo. Some of my most beloved books are a mixture of both of those sub-genres: Station Eleven, Dark Matter, The Girl With All the Gifts. Hmmm, suddenly I was attracted to this audiobook. BIRD BOX is definitely heavy on the terror and horrific aspects, but not in a supernatural, ghost-y way. It is a realistic look at “what if” one day, people starting killing themselves violently en masse around the world. YIKES. Our cast of characters are in the most dire situation imaginable. Locked in a safe house with covered windows, a small group of strangers huddle together and try to understand why the world they know has literally gone to hell in a very short time. The small amount of knowledge they discover involves the fact that the living souls left can never look outside. Ever. A necessary trip to get water out of the backyard is a terrifying experience where you NEVER can peek out of your blindfold, NO MATTER WHAT. It is frikken’ scary as hell. And brilliant! “It's better to face madness with a plan than to sit still and let it take you in pieces.” As a bonus to this horror story, we get a completely lovable protagonist in Malorie. Malorie is smart, brave and a true mother bear caring for her two children. She trains her kids in ways that seem harsh, but absolutely necessary for them to survive. She doesn’t start out this tough, but by the end of the book she has transformed into a first rate, fighting heroine that refuses to give up. I wish I could have given a 5 star rating, but I desperately wanted answers to some loose ends left in the story. The audiobook production is fantastic with an amazing narrator. Definitely worth your time, just be prepared for a frightfest!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    4.5 stars A big thank you to my wonderful book buddy Jan for picking this book for me to read. I had initially marked it, but when I started seeing people place it on their “horror shelves” I backed off. I do not do horror, no way. When I was told this was more “creepy” than “horror(ible)”, I thought I would go ahead and give it a shot. Boy, was I surprised at how much I got into this novel! Josh Malerman is an author to watch for sure. I was immediately drawn into this strange tale and was totall 4.5 stars A big thank you to my wonderful book buddy Jan for picking this book for me to read. I had initially marked it, but when I started seeing people place it on their “horror shelves” I backed off. I do not do horror, no way. When I was told this was more “creepy” than “horror(ible)”, I thought I would go ahead and give it a shot. Boy, was I surprised at how much I got into this novel! Josh Malerman is an author to watch for sure. I was immediately drawn into this strange tale and was totally hooked till the very end. Some reviewers criticize his writing style. I loved it. Not since Mark Edwards’ The Magpies (five-star read for me) have I been subjected to such unrelenting creepiness (a really good thing)! Something is happening outside. People are seeing “a thing”. When that happens, the person is instantly driven insane and suicidal (relatively nongraphic). Therefore, the survivors are holing up in houses, blanketing the windows, and using blindfolds when forced outside. Not many are surviving. This is the environment of the story, which switches back and forth between 2 time frames approximately 4 years apart. Things are told from the perspective of Malorie, a woman who is pregnant (not a spoiler) in the earlier time period. We really never find out that much about Malorie’s background or that of any of the other characters for that matter. This would normally bother me as I’m a big fan of excellent characterization, but in this novel it did not seem all that necessary. It seemed to me that the whole setting was a character in and of itself, and I was more interested in that than in the human cast. The pace is steady as it goes, the chapters are short, and the suspense is killer good. Though things are not all laid out nicely at the end and some questions remain, I felt amazingly content with how it all played out. To me, the beauty of the book is in the journey we take with Malorie, taking joy (sorry, Malorie) in the process of her fight for survival, and “surviving the read” along with Malorie, rather than anything else. I understand the author has a second book in the works, and I am hoping it will be a sequel. I strongly recommend this book to everyone who wishes to be really creeped out. Do not believe the “horror” label that is attached to this book—non-horror fans are encouraged to give it a go. This is different, and I loved it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    After having this book so highly recommended to me by one of my friends on Goodreads, I decided to delve in to see what Josh Malerman might have to say in this twisted novel. Early into the story, Malerman introduces readers to his protagonist, Malorie, a young and somewhat fearful woman. Scrubbing the walls and carpets of blood stains, Malorie appears highly agitated and yet focussed on her task at hand, which serves only to up the ante of what is yet to come. The reader soon learns that someth After having this book so highly recommended to me by one of my friends on Goodreads, I decided to delve in to see what Josh Malerman might have to say in this twisted novel. Early into the story, Malerman introduces readers to his protagonist, Malorie, a young and somewhat fearful woman. Scrubbing the walls and carpets of blood stains, Malorie appears highly agitated and yet focussed on her task at hand, which serves only to up the ante of what is yet to come. The reader soon learns that something sinister is going on in the world; something that cannot be easily explained by anyone. It appears that out there, lurking in the open air, is something or some THINGS that will turn people mad simply by making eye contact. People are shut into their homes, covering windows and isolating themselves from the sights and sounds of the world beyond their doors. When venturing outside, blindfolds are used and aural stimulation becomes key. Malorie is set to challenge this world and after the death of her sister, answering the call in a newspaper, to find a group of people who are putting up a united front against whatever might be lurking. Arriving, Malorie makes the untimely admission that she is pregnant, wondering how she will raise a baby in these conditions and almost has herself ostracised before she enters the 'safe house'. As the group prepares to reach out with others in the world, everything around them is crumbling. Running water becomes more scarce, food is strictly found within one's pantries, and telephone lines begin to fizzle out. As the child inside her grows, Malorie encounters another woman who arrives at the safe house, also with child, and they work together to allay fears of the others that their offspring will not be detrimental to the greater whole, but a blessing. Trapped in their house as a bird might be in a cardboard box, Malorie and the others must find a way to subsist and not come into contact with the forces that could be anywhere at any given time. The narrative is interspersed with a 'flash-forward' of Malorie travelling in a boat with two small children who call her 'mommy', heading on an unknown adventure, though visual precautions are still high. What lies out there, in a world where a single twig cracking might mean imminent danger? Malerman offers readers little time to relax and ponder this, as things get more and more disturbing with each page-flip. A stellar piece that will keep readers up well into the night, for a multitude of reasons. I'd not heard of this book before the other day, so when it received such hype, I had to see what Malerman might have done. The book reads very easily, though it is not 'simple', layering ideas and eerie thoughts between two time periods. Malorie is a well-developed character with complexities build into her backstory, as do some of the other characters that emerge as the story progresses. It is their individuality and the zig-zig pace of the narrative that gives this story some of its odd development, though one would be remiss not to think about the larger 'happenings' outside the four walls of the house. While there are some threads that remind me of Stephen King, more because of the odd way the characters act in the face of this unknown terror, Malerman stands firmly on his own two feet in his writing. Fair warning to the reader, once you start this book, you will find yourself enveloped in its progress and may find it hard to put it aside. It is that creepy that one must forge onwards, as Malorie and her children did in the boat, if only to see when and where terror might strike next. Beware and keep your eyes down, on the page (or the audiobook player, in my case) and do not interact with anyone until the final sentence. You'll be glad you followed this simple rule! Kudos, Mr. Malerman for a stellar thriller. I will surely be putting this book out there for anyone who has an interest in the slightly (or extremely) eerie and psychologically stirring novel. Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/

  23. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    Amazing, Fantastic, Eerie, Atmospheric, chilling, engrossing....WOW! Eerie, Atmospheric, chilling, engrossing. These are the words I would use to describe this book. For those who enjoy derie and dark books, this book will be a perfect fit. This is a horror type book but without the gore. There are some plot holes but you forgive the first time Author that for his originality and heart he put into this book. It's getting a lot of buzz right now and it deserves it. It's not for everyone but most p Amazing, Fantastic, Eerie, Atmospheric, chilling, engrossing....WOW! Eerie, Atmospheric, chilling, engrossing. These are the words I would use to describe this book. For those who enjoy derie and dark books, this book will be a perfect fit. This is a horror type book but without the gore. There are some plot holes but you forgive the first time Author that for his originality and heart he put into this book. It's getting a lot of buzz right now and it deserves it. It's not for everyone but most people I know have loved it. Something is out there. Something so terrible that once it is seen, it causes people to commit terrible acts of violence. What could be so bad? We never know as the Author never shows us the Monster(s) in this book. The horrible "Something" that is out there is never described. The reader just knows that it is so terrible it is causing those who see it to go insane. Survivors have to cover their eyes with blindfolds to protect themselves. They have to walk around blindly trying to find food and water. Malorie and her two young children are the main characters who are tying to survive in a horrible world. Through the storytelling we learn what Malorie is experiencing both before and after the children are born. When the children are old enough, Malorie decides to go down the river in search of others. Will they make it? Will they survive? Read and find out. This is the perfect book to read on a dark night! Eerie and Dark. Loved it! See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  24. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    4 Unsettling Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 don’t open your eyes! What the **** did I just read? This book was NOT what I was expecting... at all! It was disturbing, creepy, and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.... just going to put it out there if I were in this situation, in this post apocalyptic world, I would so be gone in the first day.... just saying.... Something is out there, something that makes you go mad if you lay your eyes on it.... mad to the point you will kill others, yourself, or both.. 4 Unsettling Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 don’t open your eyes! What the **** did I just read? This book was NOT what I was expecting... at all! It was disturbing, creepy, and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.... just going to put it out there if I were in this situation, in this post apocalyptic world, I would so be gone in the first day.... just saying.... Something is out there, something that makes you go mad if you lay your eyes on it.... mad to the point you will kill others, yourself, or both.... mad to the point of no return.... so how do you survive? You board up your house with cardboard and cloth, you never go outside unless completely necessary, and then you wear a blindfold.... sounds fun, right? Oh yes and I forgot to mention sometimes when you’re outside you will feel or sense whatever is out there around you...... creepy! Mallory the protagonist in this book was a quietly strong woman.... when things started going completely sideways not only did she find her way to a safe place, but she was also pregnant.... The story is told in alternating time periods... Mallory on a river trip trying to find her way to an even safer place... and Malory‘s backstory.... I have to give it to Mallory... not only did she have herself to take care of but two young children who she needed to train to escape and survive.... I’d recommend if you like postapocalyptic books, creepy books, or are just in the mood to be freaked out.... 🎧🎧🎧5 huge stars for the audiobook narration by Cassandra Campbell... I absolutely 100% enjoyed this book more because of her fantastic narration, she made me feel as though I was there on that rowboat with her going down that river.... *** thank you so much to my amazing blog partner V, this is a Sunday Swap read and I probably would have never picked it up otherwise *** 📚🌹 find all my reviews on our lovely blog https://audiokilledthebookmark.com/

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brenda - Traveling Sister

    Sister review with Norma! So freaking out creepy, GOOD! Those are not words I thought I would ever put together. What were those things? Our full sister review can be found on our sister blog http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...

  26. 4 out of 5

    RedemptionDenied

    Well, this had a different take after an apocalyptic event. The craziness starts in Russia, where people are going on a murderous rampage; then killing themselves. Malorie who lives in Michigan, with her sister Shannon - is in the bathroom examining herself in the mirror: as she believes she may be pregnant after having a one-night-stand. Shannon is watching the news reports of similar incidents to those in Russia and advises Malorie that there are people going insane in Alaska and Canada, as wel Well, this had a different take after an apocalyptic event. The craziness starts in Russia, where people are going on a murderous rampage; then killing themselves. Malorie who lives in Michigan, with her sister Shannon - is in the bathroom examining herself in the mirror: as she believes she may be pregnant after having a one-night-stand. Shannon is watching the news reports of similar incidents to those in Russia and advises Malorie that there are people going insane in Alaska and Canada, as well (though Malorie is more interested in her stomach). Apparently, there is something outside that if seen, is causing people to go bat-shit crazy. It's not long before it reaches Michigan - and other parts of the country; and people start wearing blindfolds, putting drapes over the windows (or boarding them up) and not looking outside; hoping they won't be the next victim. As people are inquisitive by nature; most will die - but there will be some survivors. When Shannon succumbs to the madness; then kills herself, Malorie answers an ad she remembers seeing in the newspaper: offering any survivors sanctuary. This is why she ends up driving to the property and meets: Tom, Don, Cheryl, Felix, Jules and Victor the dog. The story oscillates from the present to the past. The present being: fours years after the event; where she is preparing to leave the property to go to another place. And the past details how and why she eventually reached that decision. The journey in itself is pretty scary. There were also preparations she had to make before leaving - which took four years; for a specific reason. I really liked the book. There were times when it was truly terrifying: not being able to see the outside world; no cars being driven, empty homes, malls, restaurants, and not being able to look at the sky, the isolation etc. How she managed, I'll never know. I wouldn't be able to do it, that's for sure. It was intriguing throughout, though I'm still not sure about the prose. I don't think anyone else had an issue with it though - so it might be me?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    WOooooOow. This book was thrilling. It was an addictive, (somewhat) scary, fascinating read. I feel like this would be a great book to recommend to people who don't read a lot because it's not too long, it's easy to read, and it is unputdownable. I don't want to say anything else about this book because it's so much more fun going into it with no previous knowledge. Also I imagine this would make a great audiobook too. So if you like creepy thrillers definitely check this one out!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Reading Corner

    4.5 stars Wow!This book is incredibly good and quite creepy.The story follows Malorie who is stuck in a post-apocalyptic world where people are killing themselves, in any manner possible and no one knows why.The premise of the book is completely enrapturing and leaves you anxious for the next chapter.I absolutely loved the post-apocalyptic element in this book as it was done so well and was unique. For the most part, the plot switches between the past and present to reveal the the direction of the 4.5 stars Wow!This book is incredibly good and quite creepy.The story follows Malorie who is stuck in a post-apocalyptic world where people are killing themselves, in any manner possible and no one knows why.The premise of the book is completely enrapturing and leaves you anxious for the next chapter.I absolutely loved the post-apocalyptic element in this book as it was done so well and was unique. For the most part, the plot switches between the past and present to reveal the the direction of the story in the present and fill in the blanks.The writing managed to really create tension in certain scenes and create a chilling atmosphere. The only problem I had with this book and why I didn't give it five stars is because of the lack of answers.(view spoiler)[I know the author wanted to leave it to the readers imagination but I anticipated at least some answers, like where did the creatures come from? and did they mean harm or was it just accidental? (hide spoiler)] Someone on Goodreads recommend this book to me ages ago(I can't remember who) and I've never been more glad of picking up a recommended book.I think anyone who loves the horror or post-apocalyptic genre would love this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

    “It's better to face madness with a plan than to sit still and let it take you in pieces.” Finally I read this - been hearing about it for years. One of those books I wanted to read but kept procrastinating on starting for some odd mystery that will never be solved - much like the creatures in this book. Tense and gripping with an isolated, claustrophobic atmosphere, Bird Box was hard to put down once the somber, surreal tone sucked me in. I didn't get into the beginning right away - it was out “It's better to face madness with a plan than to sit still and let it take you in pieces.” Finally I read this - been hearing about it for years. One of those books I wanted to read but kept procrastinating on starting for some odd mystery that will never be solved - much like the creatures in this book. Tense and gripping with an isolated, claustrophobic atmosphere, Bird Box was hard to put down once the somber, surreal tone sucked me in. I didn't get into the beginning right away - it was out there - but once the explanations started coming it the story grew fascinating. As with most apocalyptic or disaster scenario books, the close-knit group settling in for the battle is the most fascinating part. Who will betray who, who will go crazy, can the new outsider be trusted? This adage isn't unique but the author kept it from feeling stale. The sky is falling, the sky is dying, the sky is dead.” Josh Malerman's writing is beautiful and perfectly suited for such a dark, mentally dreamlike tone. I almost felt half-drugged (just not in a sleepy way) reading it. A book worth it's reputation, but the ending felt off. It wasn't bad, but it didn't explain as much as I'd hoped. There's a bonus to mysterious fears remaining mysteries, but for this book I'd like to have at least some legitimate explanation.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I should have read this book blindfolded. People are killing themselves and no one knows why. They know whatever is out there, if they should see it, it will cause them to go mad and end in their death. They are being hunted but without sight, they can survive. A quick and easy read but one that will leave you feeling tense and on edge. I don't typically run to these kind of reads and in this case, I was trying to run from it. Not a lot of depth but who needs it when you have a lot of fear. Go a I should have read this book blindfolded. People are killing themselves and no one knows why. They know whatever is out there, if they should see it, it will cause them to go mad and end in their death. They are being hunted but without sight, they can survive. A quick and easy read but one that will leave you feeling tense and on edge. I don't typically run to these kind of reads and in this case, I was trying to run from it. Not a lot of depth but who needs it when you have a lot of fear. Go ahead. I dare you to read it .. with your eyes wide open. 4★ A special thanks to Kelli, Carol & Bill for the reco.

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