In One Word: Heart-stopping
Cannonball Read Bingo Square: The Wilds
My friends (not my friends, my pretend internet friends) on my favorite podcast Literary Disco read this book and Tod said it was the scariest thing he’d ever read, really talked up how terrifying it was. It’s been quite a while since I read anything horror, so I was intrigued. A friend of mine happened to be down for reading it as well, so a two-woman book club was born! We journeyed down this road together and I am so glad someone else was with me on this harrowing journey because I NEEDED A BUDDY. Shiver.
Tod did not oversell it: this book was so scary. The good news is that because this book is about horrors befalling a population of people I’m not a part of (Indian men) I can still sleep at night, but I will tell you just looking at the book cover still gives me both the heebies and the jeebies.
This is a story of the wild prevailing over man, in the most gruesome, calculating ways possible. Once upon a time, a decade past, four Indian men had an ill-fated hunting trip that left them shaken, but unscathed. And now, a decade later, it’s time to pay the consequences. Jones plays with the form and the first vignette is a quick one-two punch and in a few short pages, the first character meets their end, violent but brief, and he tells you it’s happening in the opening paragraph. In the next narrative, he really settles in for a while, reeling you in and winding it all up building the suspense to an excruciating crescendo. And then basically it’s a roller coaster ratcheting up up and up until the very last pages of the book. The violence is shocking and vivid. I do NOT recommend trying to read this at your child’s fencing practice unless you like gasping in public.
This was a great book to read and a great book to read with a friend to process and “oh my GOSH AND THEN” when you are done. Another friend of mine (fellow Cannonballer!) started their review with THIS BOOK IS BONKERS and that about sums it up. If like me you haven’t read any horror in over a year, you might want to baby step in because this thing is jumping off a high dive into the deep end. At night.