This one is a bit of a psychological thriller with a paranormal twist combined with some religious overtones, and for me, it didn’t work. Despite its short, almost novella length, I couldn’t wait for The Cabin At the End of the World: A Novel to be over. Paul Tremblay’s try at suspense was simply gratuitous violence which was painful to read.
It starts out sweetly with a strange man stopping at a little red cabin deep in the woods which a family had rented to relax for the summer in New Hampshire. Leonard is talking to a seven year girl, Wen, who is catching grasshoppers and transferring them into a glass jar, naming and recording each one for further observation. This precocious child had been adopted in China by two dads, Eric and Andrew, who together were a genuine, loving family. (While there is a touch of homophobia in this book, the inclusion of a same sex marriage is secondary to the overall theme). Leonard and his three “friends”, have a different sort of agenda, one which should appall every reader. The rationale for their actions is questionable, if not insane, while the couple’s reaction to the situation is totally understandable. I suppose Tremblay wanted the reader to make some sense out of the chaos caused by these intruders, but the clues he does give do not begin to explain the reasons for this lunacy, leaving us more confused at the end then we were when we started.
While I don’t go looking for titles which feature blood and gore, I don’t necessarily avoid them either, but in this case I question, not only the premise, but the results – and a biblical reference or two just seems like a sop for a weary reader to justify all the bizarre behaviors.
The story is told from the viewpoint of several of the characters, but their thoughts are disjointed and the change in tenses (I’m not a fan of present tense narration) is annoying at best. Perhaps this story would translate better as a visual via Netflix or Amazon Prime for those who like the carnage of Horror Movies, just don’t expect me to be one of the viewers.
Overall, not my favorite.
Two and a half stars and a thank you to Edelweiss for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.