Review of Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Updated: Jul 6, 2019

Bird Box is a decent horror/thriller dystopian novel. It has the writing going for it but nothing else.

I didn’t find the story particularly original since this concept has been explored before. I think there is a Dean Koontz novel (though I don’t remember which one) which is similar. As is the Doctor Who story ‘Blink’, which is the exact opposite in terms of premise – got to keep your eyes open. Basically, if you do X (X=body related, you are going to die a horrible death kind of scenario. Stories based on this kind of trope need to have good character or some innovating story telling going on, since the premise will start to bore by the second page. Btw, just for the record, I thought ‘The Quiet Place’, which is based on sound, is a shite movie – TLoU did it better.

What kept me invested is the excellent writing. Somehow Josh Malerman manages to take this simple premise and keeps the tension going. He uses a non-linear style along with a lot of flashback sequences to keep us guessing at the back story. I am not usually a fan of flash-back story telling but I think it works in this book. If the book were structured linearly, it would be have far more difficult to maintain the sense of foreboding and tension.

There are a few howlers in this book too. The thing about blind people – yeah, that is quite obvious. And the author does not seem to make up his mind about animals being affected.

In any case, I had some fun reading this book and its not bad.


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