Cherylcan's Blog

Life and Literature

Archive for May, 2014

“Bird Box” a Novel by Josh Malerman

9780062259653Thrillers that allow readers to conceive the terror are enthralling. In the novel Bird Box, Malerman gives readers free rein to imagine what is out there. One look at this terrifying creature drives people crazy culminating in deadly violence.

The story begins five years after terrible things started to occur. Unfolding through present day and flashbacks. Creating narrative tension that pulls you swiftly through the box and into a world where vision can be fatal. Malorie lives alone with her two four year old children, but dreams of a better place. Malorie’s strength through potentially paralyzing fear is awe inspiring. I cannot fathom giving birth in an attic with an unseen terror and no chance of medical assistance. Presently, she must escape her family’s lonely subsistence, but are the children trained well enough to make the journey 20 miles down river in a rowboat blindfolded without peeking?

Initially the flashes from present to past were confusing. I was not sure where, or more specifically when I was in the story. As the characters emerged, the time periods resolved. The social implications of living in confined spaces and with people you can find are absorbing. Many hands make light work, but what if one is alienating others. How do you protect yourself? The psychological and supernatural aspects combined to create a riveting read. It is the first book in a long time that I bought and read in the same day. I loved that the creatures where never “shown” but left to my imagination.

Even weeks after reading, I am still visualizing the terror of either living in a darkened house or going outside blindfolded. Imagining how I might have resolved issues like child-rearing in a world where your eyes can be your enemy, or navigate down a river without looking. What would you do? Read the book and feel the gripping terror.