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The Only Good Indians The Creeping Horror Of Paul Tremblay Meets Tommy Orange S There There In A Dark Novel Of Revenge, Cultural Identity, And The Cost Of Breaking From Tradition In This Latest Novel From The Jordan Peele Of Horror Literature, Stephen Graham Jones Seamlessly Blending Classic Horror And A Dramatic Narrative With Sharp Social Commentary, The Only Good Indians 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 A Violent, Vengeful Way Comanche Chief Tosawi reputedly told Union General Philip Sheridan in 1869, Tosawi, good Indian, to which Sheridan supposedly replied, The only good Indians I ever saw were dead Wikipedia You hide in the herd You wait And you never forget Payback s a bitch, with antlers Lewis, a Blackfeet, has lived off the rez for a long time In his 30s, he s a postal worker, with a beautiful, athletic wife, Peta, friends, a home, a l Comanche Chief Tosawi reputedly told Union General Philip Sheridan in 1869, Tosawi, good Indian, to which Sheridan supposedly replied, The only good Indians I ever saw were dead Wikipedia You hide in the herd You wait And you never forget Payback s a bitch, with antlers Lewis, a Blackfeet, has lived off the rez for a long time In his 30s, he s a postal worker, with a beautiful, athletic wife, Peta, friends, a home, a life An intermittent spotlight seems to be popping on in the house and shining on their mantel He climbs a tall ladder to check it out and sees on his living room floor the carcass of an elk doe he had killed ten years ago He still has her hide Losing his balance, Lewis is plunging straight toward a likely death by skull intersecting brick, when Peta saves the day, tackling him out of harm s way at the last second It was not the first close encounter suffered by the crew of childhood friends who had gone out hunting elk where they had no right His late friend Ricky had already received a very harsh and pointed reception from a large dark elk in the parking lot of a bar Stephen Graham jones Image from Fiction UnboundThere were two other guys on that hunt, one in which they killedelk than they could ever use, Gabriel Cross Guns and Cassidy After following Lewis for a while, we track these guys Something else is tracking them, too There was a particular element of that epic kill that created a monster, and vengeance is sought I Know What You Did Last Decade.The POV shifts from third person when we are with Lewis, to that of the avenging elk when she is going after Gabe and Cass, then shifts back to third person for the big finale.This is a slasher book with a Native American touch You ll get enough gore to matter, but it is not the sort of viscera fest favored by films with the words saw or chainsaw in their titles But it does sustain the ethos, to the extent that there is one, of such entertainments, namely that the dark force coming after you is doing so in response to something you did Yes, a vengeful she elk monster is tracking down these Blackfeet guys for something they did, and her pursuit is relentless, in the same way that Jason, or Michael Myers, Jigsaw, Freddy Krueger, or Leatherface pursued the targets of their ire Antlers and hooves can definitely do mortal damage, just as well as metal based weaponry She is as impervious to death as the above named sorts, so just keeps on keepin on, regardless It makes for some very scary scenes, particularly in an epic pursuit near the end Definitely something to rev up the blood pressure But there are other elements at work here as well It is not merely a frightfest Jones is giving us a look at Native life Not a rosy, people of the land idyllic vision This is a world in which old trucks sit on cinder blocks in family yards, a world in which sweat lodges are small, three person, makeshift tents, a world of orders of protection, and degraded expectations There is guilt about having moved away from reservation life Lewis has even married a Caucasian woman The headline kicks up in Lewis s head on automatic, straight out of the reservation not the FULLBLOOD TO DILUTE BLOODLINE he d always expected if he married white, that he d been prepping to deal with, because who knows, but FULLBLOOD BETRAYS EVERY DEAD INDIAN BEFORE HIM It s the guilt of having some pristine Native swimmers cocked and loaded but never pushing them downstream, meaning the few of his ancestors who made it through raids and plagues, massacres and genocide, diabetes and all the wobbly tired cars the rest of America was done with, they may as well have just stood up into that big Gatling gun of history, yeah As seen in the above quote, Lewis maintains a running wry commentary on his own actions with imagined self deprecating newspaper headlines INDIAN MAN HAS NO ROOTS, THINKS HE S STILL INDIAN IF HE TALKS LIKE AN INDIAN Not exactly ha ha funny, but there is a vein of humor throughout.There is also recognition of Native American stereotypes, Really, Lewis imagines, he deserves some big Indian award for having made it to thirty six without pulling into the drive through for a burger and fries, easing away from diabetes and high blood pressure and leukemia And he gets the rest of the trophies for having avoided all the car crashes and jail time and alcoholism on his cultural dance card Or maybe the reward for lucking through all that meth too, he guesses is having been married ten years now to Peta, who doesn t have to put up with motorcycle parts in the sink Jones applies genre tropes, like view spoiler killing a pet before going after its owner hide spoiler , or a young female taking on the beast Where it breaks from the Jason Mikey Myers physical form is in giving the monster the ability to shapeshift The monster s targets are not bad people They are decent people who did a bad thing And it is something that Lewis has suffered years of guilt over It would have been an easy out to have written them all as dark hearted souls I particularly enjoyed a gem of a sporting contest, the biggest game of the year, view spoiler that is a roundball version of The Devil Went Down to Georgia hide spoiler It is riveting I had one particular issue with the book Why the time differential Ricky is killed a year after Lewis leaves the rez, but the rest of the onslaught takes place much later There is an explanation in the book, but I found it unpersuasive Other than that, I m good Minor aside the book was originally titled Where the Old Ones Go I can understand why it was skipped Sounds like the latrine at the senior center Next up was Elk Head Woman, which is certainly descriptive, but might have been a bit too open to snarky intentional misinterpretations FWIW, I am not sure the title they finally settled on is the best of all possible titles either, as the story isabout the misery that these Indians have brought on themselves than the misery inflicted on them by Eastern invaders Not that I have anything better to offer So, overall, this is a pretty good, substantive horror read, offering some spine tingles along with a portrait of a segment of Native American life And some serious twists and gut punches, as fear descends into madness, enough to generate out loud exclamations of Oh, shoot , or something very like that But no lost winks for me from this one, which is par for the course But that is a very high bar, as it is exceedingly rare for horror books to keep me up It s the political ones that do that best But for most humans this should be plenty scary Death is too easy Better to make every moment of the rest of a person s life agony Review posted April 10, 2020Publication date April 7, 2020 what is on the spine of my ARE or maybe May 19, 2020 What shows up on the GR page for the book , or, who knows Maybe July 14, 2020 on Edelweiss and in Simon Schuster s digital catalog I received this book from the publisher in return for a reasonable review, but I wonder, if they disapprove of what I have written, whether some years hence I might be pursued to a dark end by a vengeance crazed editor, armed with a sheath of sharpened colored pens.And thanks to MC EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal, Twitter and FB pagesInterviews The first two deal mostly with Mongrels, but are still interesting Muzzleland Press CUT MY FINGERTIPS, THEY BLEED TEXAS AN INTERVIEW WITH STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES ON HIS NEW NOVEL MONGRELS by Jonathan R from Westword With Mongrels, This Is Stephen Graham Jones s Time to Howl by Jason Heller Ghoulish December 15, 2019 Slashers with Stephen Graham Jones Max Booth audio 28 20 Fiction Unbound March 7, 2020 Dead Dogs and Final Girls An Interview with Stephen Graham Jones by C.S Peterson Los Angeles Review of Books July 13, 2019 Writing in the Shadow of V Adventures in Speculative Fiction with Stephen Graham Jones by Billy J Stratton More2Read Interview Stephen Graham Jones on Writing, The Only Good Indians, and inspirations by Lou PendergrastMy review of the author s previous book MongrelsSongs Music The Charlie Daniels Band The Devil Went Down to Georgia D.A.D Trucker from the Special album SGJ listened to this a lot when he began writing this novel D.A.D Jonnie dittoItems of Interest Electric Lit November 27, 2019 Being Indian Is Not a Superpower Philip Sheridan James Dickey A Birth one of the works that inspired SGJ THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is a masterpiece Intimate, devastating, brutal, terrifying, yet warm and heartbreaking in the best way, Stephen Graham Jones has written a horror novel about injustice and, ultimately, about hope Not a false, sentimental hope, but the real one, the one that some of us survive and keeps the rest of us going And it gives me hope that this book exists. Review originally published May 5th at Cemetery Dancehttps www.cemeterydance.com extras I read an interview with Stephen Graham Jones where he said, I just figure I am Blackfeet, so every story I tell s going to be Blackfeet Uncanny Magazine Julia Rios This one, simple statement is manifested in SGJ s body of work each book wildly different from the last, but distinctly identifiable as his own because they bear his fingerprints, unique storytelling voice and personal context.Over th Review originally published May 5th at Cemetery Dancehttps www.cemeterydance.com extras I read an interview with Stephen Graham Jones where he said, I just figure I am Blackfeet, so every story I tell s going to be Blackfeet Uncanny Magazine Julia Rios This one, simple statement is manifested in SGJ s body of work each book wildly different from the last, but distinctly identifiable as his own because they bear his fingerprints, unique storytelling voice and personal context.Over the last few years, I have been a fan of his short fiction Dirtmouth , novellas Mapping the Interior , novels Mongrels , and experimental fiction The Last Final Girl I will gladly show up for anything he has to offer.The Only Good Indians begins with a swiftly paced narrative, aptly balancing social commentary and real time drama Readers are drawn into the life of a Blackfeet Native American named Lewis It takes only a few sentences to fall in love with him He has an infectious personality when he s interacting with those around him, but it s Lewis inner thought life that reveals his sense of humor and vibrancy I found so endearing.The narrative is two fold Lewis present day circumstances peppered with flashbacks to an elk hunting trip with his friends It becomes increasingly clear that whatever transpired during this hunting trip almost a decade ago has haunted Lewis all of his days Something bad happened there As Lewis goes through his day to day life, unsettling suspense begins to build surrounding Lewis past it s almost unbearable as Stephen Graham Jones expertly winds the tension tighter and tighter and tighter until there is an unexpected break We finally learn Lewis secrets and once the reader sees the truth you can t unsee it It colors everything from that moment forward This is the magic of SGJ s storytelling everything comes at you from all sides A barrage of human experiences told through people who feel real to you, their feelings uncomfortably tangible Stephen Graham Jones expertly switches POVs, head hops, transitions the entire story into a new one halfway through, kills his darlings with unflinching decisiveness, and basically is able to get away with everything authors are told to never do SGJ makes his own way, by his rules And thank goodness for that.This is a story that is shared so intimately, it s hard to separate and let go of the connection that is formed when it s over I almost feel possessive of it this book is mine Nobody will engage with it the way I did I wonder if other readers will experience that same feeling of ownership over this story There is something so devastatingly heartbreaking as a reader to feel a kinship to a protagonist and his story but at the same time, know that the stakes are too high the hunter has become the prey I wanted to jump through the pages and protect Lewis from what I was sure was coming for him.I loved the time I invested in this story There were some major payoffs the ending is spectacular This will likely be the book that catapults SGJ s name on the lips of all readers, not just die hard horror junkies who already know and love his work He ll be everyone s new favorite and it is well deserved This is the new benchmark for slasher revenge stories SGJ just flipped the script and staked a new claim A gold standard for the genre.Blurb WHOAAAAAAAA Writing up my review for Cemetery Dance but mark my words It s this book by SGJ that is going to be made into a movie I m already calling it This is the kind of horror people want right now The characters are memorable, interesting, flawed, funny REAL.This horror has something to say.A modern revenge story with biting social commentary that eats away at your soul My heart and my mind ached after I finished THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is a superb, gut wrenching novel, and it wrecked me I ve been sitting here struggling to come up with some words that don t sound like the same old thing This book is not the same old thing I ve been sitting here struggling to find a way to relate to you the mind warping effects of this novel, because it is mind warping I wish I had a way to explain how the guilt here was wrapped up and entwined with grief and shame and then buried under the burdens of Native American l THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is a superb, gut wrenching novel, and it wrecked me I ve been sitting here struggling to come up with some words that don t sound like the same old thing This book is not the same old thing I ve been sitting here struggling to find a way to relate to you the mind warping effects of this novel, because it is mind warping I wish I had a way to explain how the guilt here was wrapped up and entwined with grief and shame and then buried under the burdens of Native American life I wish I could tell you that the tragic truths told in this book were not true, but I d be lying if I did With beautifully written prose that demands your full attention, the ugliest of stories unfolds here I loved every black and brutal, dark and gray minute of it I don t what else to say My highest recommendation Available May 19th, 2020, but you can pre order here Thank you to Saga Press and NetGalley for the e copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback This is it Four young American Indian men find themselves fighting for their lives against an entity who wants revenge after an event that occurred during an elk hunt ten years earlier Many are really enjoying this book and I encourage my fellow readers to read those reviews This book just wasn t for me I struggled with the writing style, I found it slow in parts, and overall just not my cup of tea I love a good horror book, but this one just didn t work for me end of story I thought the book started Four young American Indian men find themselves fighting for their lives against an entity who wants revenge after an event that occurred during an elk hunt ten years earlier Many are really enjoying this book and I encourage my fellow readers to read those reviews This book just wasn t for me I struggled with the writing style, I found it slow in parts, and overall just not my cup of tea I love a good horror book, but this one just didn t work for me end of story I thought the book started on a high note, and really grabbed me but then it lost me, and I never found my footing with this again.We all can t love the same book, and this is the case here I am in the minority on this one, so give it a try and decide for yourself.Thank you to Gallery, Pocket Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All the thoughts and opinions are my own Jones has written a chilling and original story of revenge set in contemporary Indian Country that had me staying up late turning pages as fast as I could The book is bloody and brutal at times, but also intimate, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful Jones boldly and bravely incorporates both the difficult and the beautiful parts of contemporary Indian life into his story, never once falling into stereotypes or easy answers but also not shying away from the horrors caused by cycles of violence Jones has written a chilling and original story of revenge set in contemporary Indian Country that had me staying up late turning pages as fast as I could The book is bloody and brutal at times, but also intimate, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful Jones boldly and bravely incorporates both the difficult and the beautiful parts of contemporary Indian life into his story, never once falling into stereotypes or easy answers but also not shying away from the horrors caused by cycles of violence I highly recommend Being an Indian and loving horror I was excited to get this ARC The premise was original and intriguing, it drew me in It turned out to be a huge disappointment The writing was flat, banal and confusing It was slow paced and just never grabbed me. It s always tough to write a middle of the road review for one of your most anticipated releases of the year, but I hope to do so with the respect and honor that the author deserves What it comes down to is this my 3 star rating isa case of my not being wholly compatible with the story than any fault of the author s Going into this expecting something along the lines of The Ritual, I had to adjust my preconceived notions on this being straight up horror, when it is indeedliterary It s always tough to write a middle of the road review for one of your most anticipated releases of the year, but I hope to do so with the respect and honor that the author deserves What it comes down to is this my 3 star rating isa case of my not being wholly compatible with the story than any fault of the author s Going into this expecting something along the lines of The Ritual, I had to adjust my preconceived notions on this being straight up horror, when it is indeedliterary The social commentary and own voices writing about Indigenous life in the United States is top notch, and I connectedeasily with this portion of the story than the actual horror plot I have another of the author s books here to read on my backlist shelf, and while The Only Good Indians didn t end up being my favorite book of the year, I m sincerely excited to pick up All the Beautiful Sinners and experience his version of an own voices detective procedural If you enjoy thedisturbing side of literary fiction, I highly encourage you to give this one a try for yourself, and take the opportunity to support a diverse voiceMany thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley. Wishes really do come true Thank you to Gallery Books for providing me with an ARC I love the sounds of this Y all know, I am always down for a strong revenge plot Early reviews for this are encouraging and I can t wait to pick it up Happy day Wishes really do come true Thank you to Gallery Books for providing me with an ARC I love the sounds of this Y all know, I am always down for a strong revenge plot Early reviews for this are encouraging and I can t wait to pick it up Happy day


About the Author: Stephen Graham Jones

Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels and six collections He really likes werewolves and slashers Favorite novels change daily, but Valis and Love Medicine and Lonesome Dove and It and The Things They Carried are all usually up there somewhere Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado It s a big change from the West Texas he grew up in He s married with a couple kids, and probably one too many trucks.


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