Review: Bird Box

Bird Box

  • Author: Josh Malerman
  • ISBN: 9780062259653
  • Genre: Horror/Suspense/Post-Apocalyptic

The above ISBN is for the hardcover edition, but I listened to the audiobook I purchased.

This is a story about what happens when the world goes violently insane, and just like a Shirley Jackson story, Bird Box kept me riveted.  So it was no surprise to find out that Josh Malerman’s novel was a 2014 Shirley Jackson Award Nominee.

The story is told by Malorie by going back and forth between her and her two children’s present situation and Malorie’s past in which you find out how they got to the point of trying to row down a river blindfolded.  This construction is why the book sucked me in and kept me listening.  Not only did I want to know what would happen to Malorie and the children, but I wanted to know even more how it all happened and why Malorie is the way she is.  There were so many questions I wanted answered that I got through the book in a matter of days.

Has this story been done before?  Yes, as is the case with most Post-Apocalyptic novels.  However, never once did I feel the story was contrived or overdone.  Instead, it was a refreshing take on the subgenre that didn’t, for once, involve zombies or The Stand style super-virus.  I also appreciated that we never really know what the monster is or looks like, where it came from, or why everyone is driven to extreme violence after seeing them.  To me, that’s realistic and horrifying.  Aren’t we often more afraid of what we don’t know than what we do know?  I recommend Bird Box to anyone who loves Horror and Suspense, Post-Apocalyptic stories, and fans of Shirley Jackson.