TITLE : The Only Good Indians
AUTHOR : Stephen Graham Jones
GENRE : Speculative Fiction, Literary Fiction, Horror, Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal
FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐ (3.5 Stars)
DATE OF PUBLISHING : 14th July 2020
DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and Gallery/Saga Press for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones is my first experience with this author. I have heard some amazing things about this book on bookstagram. A couple of people recommended this and so I requested it on Netgalley. I was very excited to dive into this book. Horror is not typically my genre and I am a huge wimp when it comes horror. I get scared very easily too. So picking this up was intentional. I wanted to try new genres, especially the ones I normally don’t try, hence horror.
The book follows a couple of characters and we get to learn their stories as we move forward. The story is about a supernatural entity that hunts 4 Indian men for something that they did in their past. The story combines speculative fiction, horror, and social commentary wonderfully. Lewis an Indian man who left the reservation at a young age moved to the city working as a postal worker. He and his wife were leading their life happily when some hallucinations and certain supernatural events take place that leaves him unsettled. With him dealing with the guilt of what happened ten years ago and struggling to understand the forces that are at play in his life it was easy for the entity to draw him out. He loses his sanity slowly and gradually leaving behind a man who is unstable to the point where reality is blurred.
The book was interesting and I did like how it concluded as well. I had issues with the writing and at times found difficulty in keeping track of things without losing the momentum. The writing was difficult to follow with the flow of the story being erratic made it a challenging read for me. This is not just a straight-up horror, but rather elements of horror being woven into literary fiction. The book also portrays a grittier version of life in the reservation, the Native American lifestyle, and the struggles of the youth in today’s world. The horrors the men faced were brought on by their actions and how terror and guilt then eventually descending into insanity is exceptionally done.
The supernatural entity was quite the surprise and was bent on taking revenge on the men. Every scene with the entity was terrifying and I had a hard time sleeping on the days I read those scenes. Everything about the entity and how it takes revenge was simply horrifying and will cause spine-tingling feelings. The scenes in this book featuring the entity and the characters often were hard to read because of the graphical descriptions of torture and violence exhibited. I had to put down the book and pick it up later on because I couldn’t stomach the descriptions and things that were happening. The horror factor was done well in my opinion.
I have no idea how to say anything about this book without spoiling it. The story is going to give you the creepy, horror vibes with a lot of things to think about as well. The message of everything coming full circle and that epic climax all lead to a bone-chilling read filled with a pure vengeance from the unlikeliest entity possible. I enjoyed the story and gave a 3.5 stars rating for this book. The rating is low because of the writing and my experience with it. I still think it’s a great read for people who loves horror and books that blend social commentary along with horror. I recommend checking it out. It’s unlike anything I have ever read before.
The creeping horror of Paul Tremblay meets Tommy Orange’s There There in a dark novel of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.
Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way