“In a world where you can’t open your eyes, isn’t a blindfold all you could ever hope for?”
Bird Box is a debut novel of Josh Malerman, first published back in 2014. My colleague mentioned this and of course I am reading whatever accidentally or non-accidentally gets mentioned. Bird Box is a delicious read, it’s like a mix between two of my favorite dystopians: Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Blindness by Jose Saramago. Except that, the blindness here is voluntary and it protects you and Malerman’s work is not quite as frustratingly ambiguous as The Road was.
In Bird Box, something is out there. Something that cannot be seen or understood and if someone does see it, then that person is driven to mad acts of violence. So survivors keep their windows shut and only go outside with blindfolds. Story focuses on Malorie and her two children, whom she call “Boy” and “Girl”. Story is told in flashbacks from three different time periods.
We learn in the beginning that Malorie is about to leave with her two 4 year-old kids to look for a better place that just happens to involve a boat and crazy amount of rowing. Blindfolded. We also learn about the time before this all came to happen. And so we are eventually pulled into a story for survival…
“How can she expect her children to dream as big as the stars if they can’t lift their heads to gaze upon them?”
I was so happy to have come across this one, I find the whole idea of wearing blindfolds ridiculously good. Just imagine. Would you take a little peek if it would guarantee your survival but there’s a chance that it might kill you too? And the kids who have no idea what is going on with the outside world or what do the animals look like. I don’t think I would be able to survive in this world… I think I would go a little mad and take a look. Or take a look and then go mad…. who knows. Moreover, there were a lot of unpredictable plot twists and I just love those.
I would give this book a solid 4/5 stars. What I didn’t like were the constant flashbacks and moving back and forth in three time periods. It was well-written and did not confuse me, however it’s not what I like in books.
How-To Read Bird Box
1. If you’re pondering whether to read this or to go watch it on Netflix… of course your’re reading it first ;) Really worth the time though.
2. If you love Cormac McCarthy, Jose Saramago, Joe Hill or Stephen King, then I think you’ll love this one too. And makes perfect read for any horror/suspense/ dystopia fans out there.
3. Flashbacks might be a little crazy sometimes when you just want to get back to the story, however worth the suspense it provides I guess.
“Maybe a thing has to be smart enough to lose its mind.”
Thoughts? Have you read this? Should I see this on Netflix?