Bird Box

Bird Box

by Josh Malerman


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Bird Box by Josh Malerman

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062259660
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/10/2015
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 19,025
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Josh Malerman is the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band the High Strung. He lives in Ferndale, Michigan.

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Bird Box 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 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 9 months ago
This book is intense af. I read it in 4 nights. After reading The Haunting of Hill House, I was looking for another horror. I am so glad I started this one. I'm seeing some complaints about the ending not explaining things. That is the most ridiculous complaint about this book. These people want to be spoon-fed. The way this story is told, it's so believable because the characters are normal people. Imagine if, in 28 Days Later, Cillian Murphy figured out the cause and cure for the Rage virus. See how ridiculous that sounds? For a book that's all about fear of the unknown, were someone to outright explain the situation to us, would you not feel cheated? I know I would. This book is great because it has you questioning the characters, questioning yourself, and questioning your understanding of the universe. Parts of it creeped me out beyond belief. The climax is so intense. It's not unpredictable by any means, but the writing had me holding my breath. There is a level of suspense that reaches maximum capacity at the climax, then carries you through to the end. It's not even just the "unknown" that makes this book so darn creepy. It's the sense of violation. These creatures have taken over our world. Our lives. We can no longer experience the world the way we once did. The idea that you are standing there, unable to open your eyes, while one of those things might be mere inches from your face, waiting, biding its time, is the most debilitating, hopeless feeling there is. But the fact that these characters are driven, rather than passive, makes for a level of suspense I've never before experienced in a work of fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dark, eerie and enthralling
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
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 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.
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.
Barnseys_Books 7 days ago
The news begins to report murders and suicides on a global scale. Something is driving people insane. But no one knows what the 'something' is - once it's been seen, it's too late. The world is panic-stricken as reports increase. It's spreading like a deadly virus. People board up their windows. No one dares to look outside. No one can step outside unless their eyes are covered. Following the suicide of her sister, pregnant Malorie seeks refuge in a 'safe house' inhabited by other strangers. Together they form a close bond and learn to survive in the New World. But everything changes when Gary knocks on their door seeking a place to stay. Malorie thinks he's a potential threat. Is he what he appears to be or is there something darker lurking within? OH MY GOODNESS, this book is outstanding! It totally blew me away! I loved every single word, paragraph, page and chapter. I was chilled to my core; genuinely scared to within an inch of my life. I couldn't read quickly enough - I HAD to know how it ended. The horror within the story is merely hinted at and boy oh boy, how the reader's imagination goes into overdrive! What is the 'something' that awaits outside? Monsters, demons, creatures from another planet? Imagine not being able to step outside with your eyes open; forever trapped in a world without nature - the sky, the river, the fields. All are gone, yet still existing. You can touch but you cannot see. Don't go into this novel expecting a gorefest - you wont get it. It's so much more. It's all the worst nightmares you've ever dreamed; the worst you can imagine dreaming. It's intelligent, it's suspenseful, cloying, claustrophobic, atmospheric. It''s just amazing! How can you fight an enemy you cannot see? Read it...if you dare!
Anonymous 27 days ago
Very entertaining.
Candice_S 5 months ago
If you read one single suspense/thriller/horror novel this year, let it be this one. I fully admit, I did not have this book on my radar until I read an article about how they were turning this into a movie (with Sandra Bullock as the lead character) and that completely piqued my interest. Once I read the synopsis I was invested, because this book sounded GOOD. Synopsis: There is an epidemic taking over the world - the only problem is, no one is able to understand it or try to solve it because of the very nature of the disease; there is something terrifying outside, and with one glimpse a person is driven to deadly violence of those around them, and then to themselves. The onset of symptoms is too fast to try to interview ill patients, or work on a cure. And it is spreading fast. Malorie finds herself living with a group of survivors as they try to navigate this deadly new world, where trusting anyone and anything comes at a cost. This book is MAGNIFICENT - I cannot recall another book that truly raised the suspense bar to horror movie proportions for me, simply by me reading the pages. Josh Malerman does amazing work moving the story between when the epidemic first started spreading in the world, to present day, five years later, as Malorie is forced to leave her house with her two children to try to make a trip 20 miles downriver to find sanctuary - a trip that must be made blindfolded, and as quietly as possible. If I didn't think it was possible to have a moment of "I can't watch this, I need to cover my eyes and watch from between my fingers" with a book - I was wrong. I did that more than once in this book, where the stakes were so high, and the tension was so strong that I was terrified to see what was going to happen next - in the BEST possible way. This book demands to be read in a single sitting, and I would be amazed if there was anyone who could actually put this book down before finishing it. I devoured it, and honestly, this story has sat with me since I read it - it feels frighteningly like something that could really happen to us, and that is the mark of a perfect read for me. I would give this book well over 5 stars, because it deserves it. And I cannot WAIT to see what they do with this book for the movie - I will be in that theater with my hands over my eyes, terrified to see what comes next. Get this book on your to-read pile, suspense lovers. You will not be sorry.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Loved the story telling structure and knowing just as little as the narrator does about what deadly force they face. I felt her fear
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I had written my review before I read the very end I would have given it 5 stars. The whole story is captivating and scary and the fear of the unknown is powerful. There are a few parts that were really hard for me to read because they are pretty intense but as a whole the book had me thinking about it even when I wasn’t able to be reading it. The ending was only ok. There was no resolve. Hopefully that means there is a book to follow?? I don’t like that you never get even a description of the creatures. But at the same time that lets your imagination run wild adding to the effect. Overall I would definitely recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this! It is such an amazing story. If your a fan of horror, this is a must read.
uncmicha More than 1 year ago
Terrible writing, no character development, improbable plot, extremely unsatisfactory end (read: no thought put whatsoever into the ending...the book just stops). Do not recommend this at all. Cannot believe the high ratings this book has gotten. Really? Are people so out of touch with what constitutes great (or even just good) literature???
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story about surviving in a world gone wrong
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book when it first came out. I hadn’t had time to read it until yesterday. I simply could not put it down until it was finished! FANTASTIC book!!! I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to imagine what exactly goes bump in the night!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just amazing stuff. The use of present tense fuels an anxiety like none other I've known while reading. I would have liked some closure on the creatures, but the story is still masterful without it. This is the book I wish I'd written. :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy to follow. Had to read to the end before I could go to sleep.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A unique story. I would have liked to have a little more in detail about the mysterious "creatures" but I really enjoyed the story and read it in one afternoon. I will be looking for more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the best Christmas present in a while! If you love psychological thriller horror stuff, you'll definitely love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this take on life after the "end". A true page turner. It was fun and terrifying to read.