Video Book Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box is a wonderfully creepy story of a society that’s been torn asunder by monsters.

Mysterious creatures walk about. To even look at them drives people to destroy themselves and often times each other. Seeing the outside world quickly becomes a death sentence because you never know when one of the monsters will cross your sight line.

The world has very quickly devolved and rules no longer apply. Government, money, commerce; it all quickly dissolves as chaos takes over.

Bird Box flashes between the post-apocalyptic present in which a mother and her two young children attempt a blindfolded escape to a better home, and the past events that led to where they are now.

As with any good supernatural book, the monsters aren’t the only thing to be wary of. People can be just as monstrous.

Interestingly, the monsters themselves remain a mystery.

We never get an idea of what the monsters look like, where they came from, or why some people can look at them and others can’t. We never even know their intentions. Good? Evil? Total annihilation?

I even wonder if there’s a theological reference in there that I’m missing. Perhaps the monsters are simply more than the human mind can comprehend; they’re the right creature existing in the wrong place.

For some, this ambiguity about the monsters is a major stumbling block in the book. I see it as more of a wonderful mystery to analyze. Was the author lazy or remiss in not fleshing out these monsters more? Or was he purposefully vague, giving us room to ask and ponder these questions?

Similarly-situated monsters in other books don’t offer much insight on the monsters. Medusa, for example, was a woman from Greek mythology with snakes for hair. Looking at her face would turn a person to stone.

Basilisks from European folklore were snake-like creatures who only had to look at a person to kill them.

The only parallel I can glean from these stories is that weasels were immune to the basilisk. Similarly, it seemed that weasley, untrustworthy people were the ones immune to the Bird Box monsters.

Bird Box

Josh Malerman
Published May 2014

Watch this book review of Bird Box and other booky videos on my Read Remark booktube channel on YouTube.

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