Bird Box - Josh Malerman
Bird Box Analysis
I really liked the novel Bird Box. It has a gripping phraseology and curiosity is one of the greatest effects that keeps us interested. Malorie's first attitudes and her personality getting stronger upon the events are two of the best examples of the change in the book. It has one of the most immersive narrations among the books I read so far. The book successfully reflects how people and animals are afraid of something that they cannot even see. A book that deserves all the acclaim it gets. It is absolutely one of the must-reads of horror tales.
Bird Box Short Summary
The book "Bird Box" has 43 chapters, consisting of two main parts. As the chapters proceed, transitions between two parts starts to occur. First part tells the story of Malorie and kids’ river trip, while the second part focus on the period of time between Malorie’s pregnancy and giving birth.
Josh Malerman’s Bird Box starts with the step Malorie takes, to start a new life with her children. Birdbox is telling us the people going crazy and killing themselves after looking outside and Malorie’s struggle for survival in this situation. She wants to give a better life to her children who haven’t seen the sky, not even for once, because of the ‘thing’ outside.
The series of events start with Malorie and her sister moving to a new neighborhood, a new house. Information about the epidemic is given in this episode. Shannon’s concern about the attacks becomes proven to be true when the attacks spread in USA. Malorie thinks that it is an exaggerated worry, since a greater concern takes up her life; she might be pregnant. As she goes to pharmacy from her home, she sees the chaos. There is ‘something’ outside and people are afraid of it.
Having recognized the gravity of the incidents, Malorie and Shannon close all the windows and start to avoid going outside. Things get worse on tv. Reports of people killing themselves increase on both social media and news. Even though they keep in touch with their family for 3 months, at the end, they lose communication.
Watching TV, Malorie hears noise coming from upstairs and calls out to her sister. When there is no answer, she goes upstairs to see that her sister looked outside and killed herself. After then, Malorie believes that 'thing' exists. For her child's safety she leaves for the safe house she saw on the newspaper.
She joins the group of five: Tom, Don, Jules, Felix and Cheryl. Though in the first place they stay reluctant as she is pregnant, she blends in and start to live with them. Actually, there is not much to do at home, so they do every chore in order. Drawing water from well, emptying the bucket, taking the food inventory, cooking, cleaning and etc. are done by everyone. She immediately gets that Tom is the unspoken leader of the house.
Tom tells her about George, the actual landlord of the house. How he built it all by himself, how he helped them, that he got curious about the 'thing' outside and unfortunately overwhelmed by his curiosity. Whatever the thing at the outside is, it kills even when watching through camera.
Couple of weeks pass, suddenly door rings. Group becomes polarized about whether they should open the door or not. No matter how much Don opposes, Olympia, a pregnant woman, joins the house thanks to the voting.
Since the stocks are decreasing, Tom and Jules decide to go out. Giving a 12-hours promise, they leave the house. After 12 hours Don starts to tell the group to eat their foods as they would never come back. Felix and Don would be in a rough fight if the doorbell hasn't rung. Tom and Jules are back, holding leashes of two Siberian huskies.
When the door rings in the middle of the night, Malorie cannot guess that soon, she would terribly regret making a decision. A man named Gary is taken into the house. Gary escaped from his housemate who went crazy and came to 'the safe house'. As soon as he tells his story, Malorie understands that they would be divided as the others’ faces change.
Gary who comes to house with a bag that he always sticks to, looks suspicious to Malorie. Curiosity gets better of her and she finds a diary in the bag. She informs everyone in the house. Gary tells them that it was his friend's diary who went crazy, but eventually he has to leave the house as a result of majority vote. Don, lapsing into silence, locks himself into the basement.
When the right time comes, they arrange the attic, safest place of the house. Something that neither Malorie nor Olympia could think of happens; they go into labor at the same time. In the meantime, in the middle of chaos, something that Don kept for a long time shows up; he was hiding Gary for whole this time. Taking advantage of disorder in the house, Don brings all the curtains down. While everyone goes mad one by one, Gary goes up to the attic and Malorie comprehends everything at that very moment. It was too late.
Malorie blindfolds herself and the babies to protect them, while everyone kill themselves. Olympia sees that 'thing' and hangs herself. When the phone starts to ring, Malorie reaches to the phone, passing through her friends' lifeless bodies and takes the call that would take her to a new life. The man who talks on the phone tells about a place with water, food supplies and security. The only thing she has to do to reach there, is a river trip.
She waits for 4 years for this river trip. She trains her children. With her children, whom she calls as 'Boy' and 'Girl', she starts out the dangerous river trip. They go through accidents a few times, she loses blood because of a wolf attack and they come across with a mad guy.
She has to carry out the journey on behalf of the children's safety. She sees that they are well-trained. She tells them to listen to the voices, which they exactly do.
In order to reach the community consisting mostly of blind people, she paddles for a long time. With her daughter Olympia and her son Tom, they eventually arrive the safe house --Jane Tucker School for the Blind.