No Peeking

I had to jump on the bandwagon with my next read, Bird Box by Josh Malerman.   This book was so uniquely appealing to me. I found myself looking forward to each chance to read more.

The book’s apocalyptic setting moves back and forth between then and now. In the “now,” Malorie is on her own with two young children (all blindfolded) planning an escape route that brings them down the river in hopes of finding a refuge. 

“Then” takes the reader back to discover the events leading up to this escape. Mayhem rapidly spreads through the world.  People are seeing something which prompts them to extreme violence. Ultimately they take their own lives in desperately gruesome ways.  It never becomes clear as to what the “creatures” are, but there is definitely an understood presence causing these deaths.

Malorie’s sister is a victim.  She moves on, and manages to find a house of other random people, including Tom, Don, Felix, Cheryl, Jules and his dog Victor.  Malorie is pregnant and there happens to be another pregnant woman, Olympia, who arrives at the house too. They survive by keeping all windows covered and wearing blindfolds whenever they go outside.  Bird box refers to their alarm system – birds kept in a box outside their door to alert them if outsiders approach. There is a great parallel here, since the people/survivors are boxed in as well. Eventually they let in an outsider, Gary, and this begins the house’s unraveling.

The night that Malorie and Olympia both go into labor changes everything once and for all for their household.  Malorie raises the children, named Boy and Girl, to be keen listeners.  Hearing is their most important sense in this dangerous world.

While there are many end-of-world stories, this one really stands out. We only know as much as the characters. We don’t see or ever find out what the others have seen, and for me, this makes the book captivating.  I had to watch the movie after reading the book. Despite some notable differences, I felt the movie portrayed the book well.  I’m glad that I jumped on this bandwagon.

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