Sunday, December 30, 2018

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Length: 262 pages

Published: May 2014

Last week, I watched Bird Box on Netflix, starring Sandra Bullock. While I found the movie enjoyable, I felt like the plot was missing some essential elements. So, I decided to read the relatively short book by Josh Malerman in hopes of answering some questions I had. The novel, Bird Box, serves as my last completed read for 2018. 

Bird Box is an apocalyptic suspenseful work of fiction. Set in Michigan, there is something taking over the world that causes people to commit suicide once they make eye contact with it. The "it" isn't really clearly defined, but it has caused the world to go into complete chaos. Most people are struggling to survive by living indoors most of the time. 

The book opens with the main character, Malorie, learning that she is pregnant from a seemingly one-night stand. Shortly thereafter, chaos ensues. She and her sister, Shannon, bunker down at home. After some time the inevitable occurs, and Malorie is forced to seek alternate shelter. She answers an ad posted by a group of people who have combined resources in a community home. From there, the book alternates between the past, providing a back story and the present day where Malorie and her children and traveling down a river (blindfolded) to a new safe house. 

Malerman does an excellent job of providing insight to Malorie's personality and psyche through mental, self talk. This is a lot easier to do in print versus on screen, which is why I believe the novel is more complete and leaves the reader more satisfied. The author also creates tension and suspense with his writing style. I kept reading one more chapter until I was quickly done - even though I already had a pretty good idea of the ending, having watched the movie. 

Reading the book provides more depth as to what "bird box" could mean. There are several events in the book that lead the reader to speculate on the title's meaning.

RecommendationI read on Goodreads that Malerman intends to write more books that focus on each of the senses. If his subsequent books are anywhere near as suspenseful as Bird Box, I have a feeling he will garner a cult following. I highly recommend this book. You can probably finish it over a weekend. Read the book first, then check out the Netflix movie. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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