Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Bird Box by Josh Malerman is a post-apocalyptic tale.
Something happens in Russia, but we are never quite sure what, and it spreads throughout the world. It involves some type of creature. Unfortunately, anyone who sees the creature goes mad, and commits suicide, often becoming homicidal first, so no information is forthcoming as to the identity of this creature. Everyone lives in fear. No one trusts anyone else. People start living behind closed doors, boardiing up windows, only venturing out with blindfolds. The world as we know it is gone.
The story centers around Malorie, and alternates time frames to tell her story. Things start going crazy around the same time that she finds out she is pregnant. By the time she is ready to give birth, she is living with 4 or 5 other people in a house with boarded up windows, and fear. She and another woman give birth at the same time, but as that is happening, one of the other residents goes crazy and opens all the windows and doors. Malorie manages to cover the newborns eyes as well as her own. The telephone is ringing. She somehow finds it in the chaos. Someone named Rick is telling her that she and the kids can come live with them in a new community that is safe. However, the only way to get there is to come down the river, and at one point she will have to remove her blindfold or they will not make the turn.
The suspense in this book is amazing. Malerman has created a masterful horror story. Part of the reason is because we don’t really know what the danger is. We hear the sounds of people going crazy, we hear strange sounds of the unknown, but we don’t know what that unknown is. We can feel Malorie’s angst as she tries to teach the children how to do everyday things, blindfolded. The children have never seen the outside world. Imagine leaving your doorway, knowing there is something out there somewhere, but you have to go out anyway, and you can’t open your eyes. Truly a chilling tale.
Absolutely loved this book.
Favorite Quotes From Bird Box:
“It’s better to face madness with a plan than to sit still and let it take you in pieces.”
“How can she expect her children to dream as big as the stars if they can’t lift their heads to gaze upon them?”
“Like she’s trapped in an aviary with a thousand madcap birds. It feels like a cage was lowered over them all. A cardboard box. A bird box. Blocking out the sun forever.”