Your boy loves his tried and true horror books. However, there comes a time when you encounter something that familiar yet told in an unconventional and creative way. In that way, it is a new book. With that, I discovered author Stephen Graham Jones and his recently released novel, “The Only Good Indians.”
WHAT IS IT?
Written by Stephen Graham Jones and published in 2020, “The Only Good Indians” is a supernatural horror book about a group of friends that, as adults, are hunted down one by one by the entity that they wronged when they were younger.
WHAT DID I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
Stephen Graham Jones writes in way that’s different to what I’m used to. It’s the kind of voice that has me using context clues, which I thought was great as it makes the story feel more personal. I felt like I was really in the heads of our characters, who have their own distinct ways of speaking and thinking. The writing, to me, is very grounded yet feels sophisticated at the same time, which I liked.
The way the story is written is that we follow one character and their life as the entity comes to them and haunts them, if you will. Each “haunting” is different from each other while being connected that it felt like I was reading related short novel segments. The author gets you comfortable and snuggled up with the lives lived by our protagonists before the entity strikes. And that’s when the author surprises you with spurts of violence that often catch me off guard.
Finally, another aspect that I liked about the book is that the story revolves around indigenous characters in the modern day. We read about perspectives that we don’t normally get to see, especially in horror literature.
WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
As I mentioned, I did like Stephen Graham Jones’ writing style, however, it did take me a bit to “feel” through the way that it’s written and jive with it. Otherwise, once I got past that, a door was opened for a great story.
Author Stephen Graham Jones brings his unique voice to “The Only Good Indians”. On simple terms, it is a revenge story but one that is told in a meaningful conversational narrative. The book is many things — atmospheric, suspenseful, gory — told through indigenous characters’ experiences. I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like this, and I hope to explore more of the author’s previous and future books.
My personal copy of “The Only Good Indians”.
Dustin is a horror fan and sometimes short story writer who hails from the Philippines. He likes a lot of the horror genre but usually goes for slashers and arthouse/slowburn stuff. Currently, he’s trying to make up for lost time in the horror literature world by digesting as many horror books as he can.