By – Stephen Graham Jones
Stephen Graham Jones’ new book (The Only Good Indians) shows the unfolding destiny of four friends, American Indians of the Blackfeet Nation, who appear to have crossed paths with something in the soul world. I state “appear to” because the writer is skilfully strategic by the way he unpacks the story and how he presents reality.
This is horror, and it chills and frightens as readers would expect, yet it is not simply horror. (I mean it is not the grisly components that make the book, they simply make it more visceral.) The story constructs characters that one is fond of and can also understand (empathize with), and it even sneaks in an ethics.
We discover about the death of one friend, Ricky, in a preamble of “The Only Good Indians” — which everybody believes caused due to Ricky getting beat to death by some present day cowboys outside a bar. There is a ten-year jump after that, and the first half portion of the book informs us regarding Lewis, who has moved off a reservation and is living with a pretty Caucasian lady that everyone – including Lewis – acknowledges is out of Lewis’ league. Lewis is progressively losing his mind. We realize that, yet what we cannot make certain of is whether it’s the common sort of losing one’s brain, or whether it’s the sort of insane that is the main sensible reaction to a considerably more crazy world.
The rest of the book informs about Gabe and Cassidy, the friends who’ve kept living on the reservation and yet in close contact. Gabe, we learn, has a marriage that didn’t worked out well and brought about one kid, a girls child with immense talent for basketball. He was inclined to over-drinking and was given a restraining order to shield him from going to his daughter ball games – a request that failed to restrain him from joining but succeeds in getting him not to express his pride and support. Cassidy appeared as a responsible one, however one is told that is because of an ongoing relationship with a girl, Jo, which has affected him. Jo’s accomplishment in fixing Cassidy makes a strain in the bro-mance between the two friends.
I do not read a lot of horror novels, however I was hooked by this book. The characters well developed and interesting enough that one isn’t simply sitting tight for the minutes when the things happen in the middle of everything, one is enrapt with questions like whether Gabe can make his connection with his little girl, and whether the next generation will wind up good, more awful off, or equivalent to that of the four companions. Throughout there is this issue of the characters having one foot in past and one in the future, and that is an uncomfortable and unappealing spot to be in.
I highly recommend this book for fiction readers.