Not for the squeamish — this story starts with a rush and rarely lets up. Along with the horror, though, comes a heartbreaking, eye-opening look at the consequences of the tectonic stresses building and releasing at the borders between the Indigenous and white cultures. Recommended By Warren B., Powells.com
I managed to avoid any reviews that betrayed the plot of this one, and was rewarded with such a fierce, propulsive, unsettling read that I’m not about to spoil it for you. Just know this: Stephen Graham Jones’s latest novel is definitively not for the squeamish, and every bit of buzz swirling around it is warranted. Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year
In this latest novel from Stephen Graham Jones comes a "heartbreakingly beautiful story" (Library Journal, starred review) of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition.
Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians is "a masterpiece. Intimate, devastating, brutal, terrifying, warm, and heartbreaking in the best way" (Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts). This novel follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in violent, vengeful ways. Labeled "one of 2020's buzziest horror novels" (Entertainment Weekly), this is a remarkable horror story "will give you nightmares — the good kind of course" (BuzzFeed).
"This novel works both as a terrifying chiller and as biting commentary on the existential crisis of indigenous peoples adapting to a culture that is bent on eradicating theirs." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A violent tale of vengeance, justice, and generational trauma from a prolific horror tinkerer. Jones (Mapping the Interior, 2017, etc.) delivers a thought-provoking trip to the edge of your seat in this rural creature feature." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"A heartbreakingly beautiful story about hope and survival, grappling with themes of cultural identity, family, and traditions." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Subtly funny and wry at turns, this novel will give you nightmares. The good kind, of course." Buzzfeed
"The best yet from one of the best in the business. An emotional depth that staggers, built on guilt, identity, one's place in the world, what's right and what's wrong. The Only Good Indians has it all: style, elevation, reality, the unreal, revenge, warmth, freezing cold, and even some slashing. In other words, the book is made up of everything Stephen Graham Jones seemingly explores and, in turn, everything the rest of us want to explore with him." Josh Malerman, New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box and A House at the Bottom of a Lake.
"How long must we pay for our mistakes, for our sins? Does a thoughtless act doom us for eternity? This is a novel of profound insight and horror, rich with humor and intelligence. The Only Good Indians is a triumph; somehow it's a great story and also a meditation on stories. I've wondered who would write a worthy heir to Peter Straub's Ghost Story. Now I know the answer: Stephen Graham Jones." Victor LaValle, author of The Ballad of Black Tom and The Changeling
"Jones... has written a masterpiece. The book is... as instinctive and essential as it is harsh. Despite the blood and bleakness, The Only Good Indians is ultimately also about hope and the promise of the future." Locus Magazine
"I like stories where nobody escapes their pasts because it's what I fear most." Terese Marie Mailhot, New York Times bestselling author of Heart Berries
"Stephen Graham Jones is one of our greatest treasures. His prose here pops and sings, hard-boiled poetry conspiring with heartbreakingly-alive characters." Sam J. Miller, Nebula-Award-Winning author of Blackfish City
"The Only Good Indians is scary good. Stephen Graham Jones is one of our most talented and prolific living writers. The book is full of humor and bone chilling images. It's got love and revenge, blood and basketball. More than I could have asked for in a novel. It also both reveals and subverts ideas about contemporary Native life and identity. Novels can do some much to render actual and possible lives lived. Stephen Graham Jones truly knows how to do this, and how to move us through a story at breakneck (literally) speed. I'll never see an elk or hunting, or what a horror novel can do the same way again." Tommy Orange, Pulitzer Prize finalist of There There
About the Author
Stephen Graham Jones has been an NEA fellowship recipient, has won the Jesse Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, a Bram Stoker Award, four This is Horror Awards; and has been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the World Fantasy Award. He is the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Kelsey Ford on PowellsBooks.Blog
Personally, I think October gets too much credit during spooky season. November is (in my opinion) just as spooky, and since November is also Native American Heritage Month, I wanted to pull together a (by-no-means-exhaustive) list of horror titles from Native American authors...