I enjoyed the Netflix Film Bird Box, even though the end was a little too neat for my liking.

I discovered Bird Box was adapted from a debut novel by a young writer named Josh Malerman, released in 2004. It had missed my radar when it came out. It must have gotten lost in the slipstream of my life, lost amongst the activity at the time. As it turns out, Malerman is also an accomplished singer/songrwriter and part of the Detroit rock band The High Strung.

I got a copy of Bird Box from the library yesterday, and read it in two sittings. It’s a very thought-provoking book, much, much deeper than the film, as well as darker, much darker, though the film was dark. But the novel’s darkness was deep-black, it shone, like a lump of jagged obsidian.

Though the book and the film end in a similar way, the book is much darker, and provokes deep introspection. It has a sting; a bite.

I love books that engage the mind as they entertain, making one think about our lives, but from a Parallax.

In my opinion, Bird Box the film provoked more thought than A Quiet Place (which surprised me as I loved A Quiet Place), and forget about The Happening, which can be ignored when thinking about the premises of Bird Box and of A Quiet Place.

I powered through the slim novella that is A House at the Bottom of A Lake by Josh Malerman. It’s an intriguing premise and Malerman’s voice here and narrative ability are exceptional. The book is horror and builds a sense of doom. One can’t help but care deeply for the two 17-year old protagonists. You can tell Malerman is very well read, by his writing style and sentence structure.

As it turns out I’ve discovered Malerman just in time. His seventh novel, Inspection, will be published in April. “J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.” From this skilled pen, I’m anticipating a rollicking ride. ◊

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