Bird Box

Malerman, Josh

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Bird Box
In Bird Box, brilliantly imaginative debut author Josh Malerman captures an apocalyptic near-future world, where a mother and her two small children must make their way down a river, blindfolded. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them -- but is it man, animal, or monster? Within these tracks, Malerman, a professional musician, discusses his love of horror and invokes an ethereal and atmospheric experience in an homage to Orson Welles à la War of the Worlds.

Publisher: New York, NY :, Ecco, An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 0062259652
Characteristics: 262 pages ;,24 cm


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Feb 26, 2015
  • samdog123 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Certainly a very different book for me since I don't usually read much horror/suspense. This one has the right mix of the unknown, unexplained and unresolved. When 'creatures' begin to cause human's to go mad, the survivors band together and learn how to exist. One of these ways is avoid seeing said 'creatures' so everything outside is done blindfolded and windows are covered with blackout blankets. Main character, Malorie, narrates from the past to the present, remembering events as they lead up to her current predicament as she takes her two young children to safety on a rowboat. Spooky--I'd love to read a sequel.

Nov 26, 2014
  • nidofito rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is for you if you like 1) Unknown, other-worldly, unexplainable baddies, 2) slow pacing and 3) are okay with general vagueness. But see, it needs to be done right to be enjoyed. And the author certainly does it right. Don't expect answers in this book as it is one of survival and has a very narrow world consisting of maybe a dozen characters, a house and a river for almost its entirety.

Regardless, the story kept me hooked once I got the sense of it. It was original and interesting and it had this feeling of being watched throughout that kept me tense until the very end.

And I cried.


Nov 19, 2014
  • gendeg rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Usually this kind of restrained, lurking something-in-the-shadows storytelling kicks up my amygdala. I really should have liked this book. But good horror is all about the suspense and the uncanny, when the author can take something familiar and safe (think haunted houses and possessed demon dolls) and reveal its strangeness or otherness. But Bird Box offered none of that for me. I'm amazed at readers who have said this was the most terrifying thing they've read. Really? When it comes to psychological horror, it doesn't come close to The Haunting of Hill House, House of Leaves, The Shining, or anything by Edgar Allan Poe.

Another reviewer pointed this out already but Bird Box would have worked brilliantly as radio theater or even a stage production. Instead of a novel, it should have been a play. And I'm not talking about an audiobook, where a reader just reads the text out loud. No, this should be re-adapted as a theatrical production, something with an enhanced audio experience, the interplay of light and shadow. I can imagine listening to this story in the dark, hearing what the characters hear as they are making their way blindfolded through the world. Heavy breathing, gutteral sounds, high-pitched minor chords from an eerie orchestral arrangement, all in surround sound.

But this story is told as a novel and it should be judged accordingly. Overall, the Bird Box didn't deliver and devolved quickly into something a tad gimmicky. We're constantly being told that something scary is going jump out and get our characters and after a while the effect wears off. I wasn't creeped out anymore, just tired and wanting some revelation to happen. Alas, the suspense peters out into a very unsatisfying ending for me. "That's it?!" The worst thing a book can do to you is make you feel cheated. And in the end, I guess I do want more interaction with my monsters, whether in corporeal or imagined form. The characters are petrified—Malerman scares them well. He just didn't scare me.

Nov 04, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is the most immersive horror novel I have ever read. It reads a bit tacky I admit, especially with the movie like "don't open your eyes" tagline but it really is every bit as scary as it makes itself out to be.

It's a normal day until it's not. People black out their windows and shut their eyes if they have to go outside at all. When we meet Malorie, she is looking to escape from her current location with her two children - whom she has taught to be better listeners than anything. Interspersed with this tale of blind flight is the story of how it began. How Malorie found herself pregnant and alone with a house full of strangers trying to survive in a world where the outside is the enemy.

It's a book you're going to want to finish in one sitting for sure. So once you get started prepare to commit - you're not going to want to shut this book or your eyes.

Oct 29, 2014
  • StephFurlan rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Looking for a suspenseful, creepy read? I’m talking all about: Bird Box by Josh Malerman. It’s my very first review on my YouTube channel Feisty Little Woman too!

Complete Review:

Aug 06, 2014
  • Kellie777 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very good read. Lots of suspense, couldn't put it down. Hope to see more of this author.

Jul 30, 2014
  • fatcat21 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you like to be freaked out by a book, make sure you read this one. This was just excellent.

Jul 24, 2014
  • nanajoe rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best, most terrifying book I've read in a long time. Josh Malerman sets the tone right from the beginning and doesn't let up. Loved every minute. I hope the sequel can keep the same pace.

Jul 07, 2014
  • sfujimura rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. Could not put it down, it was such a page turner. I could not wait to see how it all ended, and when it did, I wanted it to keep going. I did read The Road, and I do see the comparison, but this blows it out of the water. Excellent debut and I'm anxious and eager for the author's next body of work (and hopefully it will come sooner than later!)


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