Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box by Josh Malerman


Once again, I have found myself too enthralled by the concept of a book that my expectations were too high. I’ll read the back of the book and imagine how it goes and how it will end. I’m rarely right but I’m rarely disappointed. The exceptions being classics, the pressure to fully appreciate and understand it can ruin an experience. But I’m not talking about 1984 or Fahrenheit 451, I’m talking about a new book on the block: Bird Box.

This is the premise: “…the Internet died. The televisions and radios went silent. The phones stopped ringing and we couldn’t look outside anymore.” No one knows what is happening but one glimpse outside and you turn violent, a killer. Our narrator and survivor is Malorie. She was pregnant at start of this all and now it’s five years later. Am I right in assuming you’re nodding? Impressed?

I was too. I will say this before I continue; I read it over a long period, nearly two weeks which is unusual for me. There were days when I didn’t read a page but I kept reading. I needed answers, whenever I felt close we were taken back to the beginning. I read and read and read. I needed an answer. What on earth was going on? Spoiler alert, you don’t get one. I hated that. I really fucking hated that.

Yes, it was interesting look at the descent of civilisation but aren’t we slightly over exposed to that idea? Plenty of books have done well to show us our true nature, we will not be sympathetic or understanding in the end. We will be helpless and selfish, we’re certainly not prepared. I wanted to hear from more people, not just Malorie. I wanted to know how different people coped with not being able to look outside. This review doesn’t seem fair but I wanted a rational explanation to why people couldn’t look outside, what triggered our terrible (and truer?!) self? Unlike Indie 4, aliens would have been an acceptable plot twist. Maybe. To be honest, I probably would have had a problem with that too.

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