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Bird Box

Bird Box

4.3 60
by Josh Malerman

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Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world—a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

Something is out there . . .

Something terrifying that must not


Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world—a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

Something is out there . . .

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?

Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?

Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

Editorial Reviews

—Hugh Howey
“A book that demands to be read in a single sitting, and through the cracks between one’s fingers. There has never been a horror story quite like this. Josh Malerman truly delivers.”
—Peter Straub
“This completely compelling novel contains a thousand subtle touches but no mere flourishes-it is so well, so efficiently, so directly written I read it with real admiration. Josh Malerman does the job like a fast-talking, wised-up angel.” -Peter Straub
—Hugh Howey
“A book that demands to be read in a single sitting, and through the cracks between one’s fingers. There has never been a horror story quite like this. Josh Malerman truly delivers.”
—Peter Straub
“This completely compelling novel contains a thousand subtle touches but no mere flourishes-it is so well, so efficiently, so directly written I read it with real admiration. Josh Malerman does the job like a fast-talking, wised-up angel.” -Peter Straub

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

josh malerman is the acclaimed author of Bird Box, as well as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band The High Strung. He lives in Michigan.

Customer Reviews

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Bird Box 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
Bird Box was highly recommended to me by a number of other readers/fellow book lovers, so I picked it up thanks to their influence despite my aversion to adult books. It was fortunate for me that I gave Bird Box a chance because otherwise I would have missed out on one of the scariest books I've ever read! Reasons to Read: 1. Fear of the unknown: Josh Malerman masters this concept with Bird Box, because the idea here is that there is something (unknown) in the world causing people to go mad and kill themselves (and, sometimes, others). The world as we know it shuts down. Survivors are left in a world of darkness with no idea as it what's happening or what's out there. To me, it's that unknown mystery that's the scariest. When I watch horror movies, it's never the moment when the monster/evil is revealed that I'm most afraid - it's the moments when fear grips me because there is something dark and shadowy behind me. 2. Intense writing: I'm a firm believer that a horror book needs suspenseful writing to be successful (at scaring me). Josh absolutely nails this style of writing in Bird Box, with just the right amount of description for a story where the characters spend a significant amount of time blindfolded. Sound and touch are extremely important senses, and attention is paid to them in a way that made me feel as if I was experiencing the events in the book as the characters were. 3. Malorie as the protagonist: This relates to why I primarily stay away from adult books, but I didn't believe I would appreciate Malorie as a main character. As a pregnant woman for much of the book (and a mother), I thought I'd simply fail to relate or empathize with her character. I was completely surprised when I connected with her almost instantly. Malorie is still fairly young (and likely not much older than I am) and we share many of the same fears and anxieties pre-Bird Box world events. But most importantly, the fact that Malorie is a mother provided a strong sense of internal motivation as to why she fought so hard to survive in the book.  I should add that I don't think you should read this book for the plot. If you're looking for answers and explanations about the events in Bird Box - you're not going to find the ending neatly tied up for you. Bird Box is not that kind of book. Rather, it is more about the journey and experience of this story which is a point in time of Malorie's life and having the same fears as she does.  In fact, I think this lack of explanation is precisely what makes this book so good - the unknown story is what scares me the most. I also found the ending to be fairly shocking - it wasn't what I expected and it left me with a lot of questions. While I'm not sure I loved the ending, it left me thinking and I feel like Bird Box is a book I'm going to need to read a few times to truly appreciate. Hardcover personally purchased.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent writing. Lame no-closure conclusion. Like books where it seems like the author got tired of writing and just stopped? Then this is for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never been so captivated by a book before! Nonstop - beautiful - suspenseful as hell. I read it in just a few days! While I realize it's pretty short, it usually takes me months to get through a book. ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a new book to read on my nook as I had just finished my last one, and saw this as a newer release. I am so glad I purchased it because it was the best book I've read in a long time. It kept me on edge for the whole 200 odd pages, amd I finished within 24 hours of purchasing. I definitely recommend it for anyone who likes horror/thrilling books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A powerful book. Kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Dark, eerie and enthralling
Geek_Girl More than 1 year ago
Great writing, really cool premise. I would've liked a little more explanation at the end but I really enjoyed this book.
Kaylexanna More than 1 year ago
Imagining a world where opening your eyes could make you go mad really made me think about walking around outside after I finished this book. AHHHHH. I loved Bird Box. I hated putting it down and every time I had to, I looked forward to picking it back up. While I did have some issues with the book, I still loved the book and my issues didn't affect my rating. I went into this book having no idea what it was about, knowing only that Malorie and her children could not look outside, and anything they did outside had to be done blindfolded. The book alternates between the present, the day Malorie and her children are preparing to leave the house they've lived in for four years, and the day in the past that Malorie learned she was pregnant. Not knowing anything about this book was so awesome. I loved learning more about what was going on bit by bit. I did have a couple of issues (I didn't like that the children weren't named... that made no sense to me, and I was also confused about something that the news reports fairly early on because I couldn't understand how they would possibly know that), but overall, those issues didn't affect my rating. I still loved the book and highly recommend it. That said, there are some pretty gruesome scenes, so I would go into the book keeping that in mind. I really hate how hard it is to write about books that you love, because I just want to throw this book at everyone and make them read it. XD Very happy that my book club picked this one out.
Anonymous 3 hours ago
This was the best Christmas present in a while! If you love psychological thriller horror stuff, you'll definitely love this book!
Anonymous 22 days ago
I love this take on life after the "end". A true page turner. It was fun and terrifying to read.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I WOULD ALSO LOVE SEQUEL. A MOVIE? Both would be great.
6488160 5 months ago
To EverAfterEsther the first reviewer of this book... Thank you for writing a 6 paragraph review of all of the important content and information of this book. You were so thorough that I just saved money due to your excellent and thorough commentary explaining the whole book! We need more reviewers such as yourself to give the entire text of the book in your own words so that others, such as myself, can save their hard earned money and not have to ever purchase books again! What an idiot you are!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Bird Box for me was pure anxiety in the best way from start to finish. While the dystopian idea is definitely not original, Bird Box is. The characters, the self vs. other, the parental elements were all real and had the reader asking - what in the world would I do in the same place?
pjg380 9 months ago
adultYA-reader More than 1 year ago
Absolutely the most terrifying book I have read in a very long time. A quick read and grabbed me from the first page. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves an intense read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gripping novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great first novel. Writing is sophomoric and lacks character development. Very suspenseful page-turner. I suspect his next project will demonstrate growth as an author. Kudos and worth the quick read.
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
Bird Box is a standalone horror novel written by musician, poet, and author: Josh Malerman. After finishing this book, I had to get some insight from Mr. Malerman himself so I googled online interviews in regards to his debut novel. I noticed in many interviews, he denies having any particular inspiration other than wanting to write a scary story. However, I did find the following response fascinating and it helped me find the insight I was looking for. "It just felt scary to me. Man vs. Infinity. I remember back when I was ten years old, sitting in the hallway of our home as the family was getting ready for some kind of night out. My brothers were passing by, my parents were talking, planning, and I was sitting on the carpet, quietly freaking out because I’d heard, the day before, that Man is incapable of understanding where Time began or Space ends. I was overwhelmed with the idea and not a little curious and so I tried to fathom those coordinates (exist though they may not.) Thing is, what I was scared of was actually fathoming it. Like, what would happen to my mind if I did? Well, the episode washed over me and I got ready with the rest of the family, but I never forgot that feeling. Infinity was a monster to me, something cruel enough to drive a man insane. And so, as a man myself, and one who is always looking to write a book, I thought of that afternoon/evening and started juggling pieces from there. It just so happens that this particular 'monster' could really mess up a man who viewed it. And so, I embarked on a story where the characters were primarily blindfolded throughout." While reading Bird Box, I was thoroughly creeped out, on the edge of my seat, and definitely disturbed at the choices some of these characters made or at least considered - (view spoiler). The group dynamics and just the thought of being responsible for the safety of children during such circumstances added so much complexity to this already intricate tale. Experiencing this story through blindfolded characters added an incredible element to the suspense factor and I even felt my own senses expanding to compensate. To say this story engaged me is an understatement...but that ending. That ending! Come on!!! Had to drop a star from what would have surely been a 5-star review. I desperately needed more closure than that. Mr. Malerman is a talent to look out for if Bird Box is any indication. He wrote this book in twenty-six days with vague inspiration and little to no research other than walking around his apartment sightless with his five finches loose. This "foggy nightmare" as he refers to it offers no warning of timeframe shifts which causes some purposeful confusion and pause, thus adding to the disorientation that comes with great horror. If you enjoy this genre, you've got to check this one out! My favorite quote: "I never would have thought that one day the world's most valuable tool would be a can opener." Note: The title: Bird Box kept grating on me once I finished reading. I had no idea why the author chose this title since I didn't find the bird box to be that much of a focal piece in the story. It seems Mr. Malerman thought of the bird box as a metaphor for how the housemates lived in the house, shut off from everything outside and afraid when something came near. While I'm still not sold on the title personally, it at least makes more sense now :)
Splatland More than 1 year ago
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this novel? (There are already 605 reviews on Amazon!) I read Bird Box in one sitting – unable to put it down – mesmerized by Malerman’s vision of a terrifying and haunting not-too-distant future. Bird Box is the story of a young woman, Malorie, who must navigate the horrors of this new world and try, against all odds, to find sanctuary for herself and her two young children. Malerman’s prose is sparse – there is not one wasted word – and the impact of this is huge. For example, consider the stains on the walls and floor of the house Malorie lives in – stains that she desperately tries to erase. The author does not need to tell us what they are – we know. And, because we haven’t witnessed the carnage, the stains are even more significant – they cut us to the core. There are terrors out there beyond the doors of this house. But even more frightening are the terrors found inside and it is these human monsters who scare you even more than the unknown creatures that keep Malorie and the others captive. I’m not going to go into detail about the plot – I don’t want to give anything away – each reader needs to experience it for him or herself. Suffice to say that if you are a fan of Shirley Jackson and/or early Stephen King, you will be enthralled by Bird Box. I know I was and I can recommend it to you most highly and without reservation. It is by far the best novel I have read in 2016 and I doubt that I will find anything better as the year progresses. Malerman is a rising star in the literary world and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was the right about of horror and mystery to make the ending awesome. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good novel, unique idea. Just missed something, but can't quite figure out what?