The Only Good Indians

by Stephen Graham Jones

Hardcover, 2020

Status

Available

Publication

Gallery / Saga Press (2020), 320 pages

Description

Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.

Media reviews

The Only Good Indians is a disturbing horror novel about revenge and sorrow that houses a narrative about identity and the price of breaking away from tradition at its core. And that identity, Native American, isn't monolithic here; the four friends are Blackfeet, and while that means being Indian,
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not all Indians are the same. Also, the horror is unlike anything you've read before. It goes from disturbing flashes of thing that may or may not be there to in-your-face explosions of gore and violence tinged with supernatural elements.... Besides the creeping horror and gory poetry, The Only Good Indians does a lot in terms of illuminating Native American life from the inside, offering insights into how old traditions and modern living collide in contemporary life.... the novel is also an outstanding narrative of creeping horror in which guilt is so present it's almost a character and grief, pain, and desperation combine to feed the monsters of the past and allow them to haunt the present. Jones is one of the best writers working today regardless of genre, and this gritty, heartbreaking novel might just be his best yet.
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5 more
Jones writes in clear, sparkling prose. He’s simultaneously funny, irreverent and serious, particularly when he deploys stereotype as a literary device. Lewis gets “trophies for having avoided all the car crashes and jail time and alcoholism on his cultural dance card.” ... The three friends
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judge themselves harshly. They try to do right by the people who are in their lives, though not necessarily by those they’ve left behind.... But the best intentions may not matter when you’re complicit in murdering a pregnant elk. And basketball may not quite be basketball, either, but instead a metaphor for what’s really in competition here — fate vs. human will. If that seems heavy for a book billed “one of 2020’s buzziest horror novels,” it’s not. “The Only Good Indians” is splashed with the requisite amounts of blood and gore, but there’s much more to it than that.
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Is Elk Head Woman’s destruction a ruthless warning against losing one’s way, against adopting the colonizer’s mind-set? Or is she simply evil incarnate, a manifestation of centuries of American carnage? ... The men’s banter, their affection for one another, their personal choices and
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troubled journeys frame their wrongdoings, big and small, as consequences of their complex lives on a reservation, not of their nature. And so the harrowing misfortunes that await them seem strangely undeserved.... “The Only Good Indians” strains to weave a horror story with robust character studies. In the end, there is enough in each strand to appeal to both the genre fan and the literary reader, even if neither is fully reconciled to the other.
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Good horror novels often have you reading and turning the pages as fast as you can. With a great horror novel – one that so arouses a sense of dread, connects so profoundly with that which is just beyond the normal world, is written with such superb craft and charac­terization that it draws you
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into the souls of the fictional beings – you sometimes read slowly.... The Only Good Indians is a great horror novel. Jones, long a prolific and notable sui generis writer, has written a masterpiece. Because this is the story of four men and the spirit of a vengeful female they killed as youths, I’m sure apt comparisons will be made to Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. Here, however the men are contemporary Blackfeet rather than old, almost-dead white guys. The book will be seen as effective “social commentary,” but it is not “commentary”: it is simply the truth displayed and injustice portrayed clearly for all to read.
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Aviolent tale of vengeance, justice, and generational trauma from a prolific horror tinkerer.... Horror’s genre conventions are more than satisfied, often in ways that surprise or subvert expectations; fans will grin when they come across clever nods and homages sprinkled throughout that never
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feel heavy-handed or too cute. While the minimalist prose propels the narrative, it also serves to establish an eerie tone of detachment that mirrors the characters’ own questions about what it means to live distinctly Native lives in today's world—a world that obscures the line between what is traditional and what is contemporary. Form and content strike a delicate balance in this work, allowing Jones to revel in his distinctive voice, which has always lingered, quiet and disturbing, in the stark backcountry of the Rez.... Jones hits his stride with a smart story of social commentary—it’s scary good.
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Jones’s writing is raw, balancing on the knife-edge between dark humor and all-out gore as he forces his characters to reckon with their pasts, as well as their culture’s. This novel works both as a terrifying chiller and as biting commentary on the existential crisis of indigenous peoples
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adapting to a culture that is bent on eradicating theirs. Challenging and rewarding, this tale will thrill Jones’s fans and garner him plenty of new readers.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member richardderus
I RECEIVED A DRC OF THIS NOVEL FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY. THANK YOU.

Y'ALL. AIN'T. FOUND. HIM. YET. I mean, in your millions who buy Clive Barker and Stephen King. That's the audience that Stephen Graham Jones merits. Major film franchises. TV development deals. The whole shootin'
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match.

Because this is top-quality writing, using the bones of the genre fleshed out in new and interesting ways. Psychological splatterpunk. Rez Noir. Gore with more.

And now the literary crowd is making "get-up-and-leave" noises. No, no! Sit down. This book isn't another exploitation of "Noble Savages Get Revenge Via Folklore" (seriously, go to Goodreads and search "the wendigo" to see what I mean about exploitation...monsterporn galore and white people writing from their deep personal knowledge of Native American life as far back as 1910). It is #OwnVoices do horror. The point of #OwnVoices is moot if it is construed by the very white people who celebrate it so vocally if it can't be applied to *sniff* mere genre fiction. (And for the record I'm all down with white people reading more Otherwork. I just find the labeling a bit depressing and not a little bit condescending. Do y'all really need roadmaps to find an interest in people who are-but-aren't like you?)

You are defined by the worst thing you've ever done. We all are. But what if the worst thing you've ever done offended not only the social norms and personal dignity of the community you live in, but the very powers of the Universe your community resides among? (There are different powers in every community...?) What the hell is wrong with you, first...you can't not know what you're doing is offensive when you are sneaking around...and second, when you're going against the Universal powers that little sick feeling in your gut should tell you to break the hell off, abort, and go back to where you were before. I speak from experience. As does our point-of-view character, Lewis. One of four buddies who need to get their freezers full before winter hunger attackes their families, these goofuses trespass on the Elders's land to bag an elk. They do that, alright, so strike one. It's a female, strike two. She's pregnant, strike three. The game police, the tribal councils, AND the Universal powers are all lined up to take turns beating up these criminals.

The rest of the review is on my blog.
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LibraryThing member EBT1002
Being classified as a horror novel by the author himself as well as critics and readers, this is not my usual fare. And it was excellent. Four young Blackfeet men were involved in a pretty ugly hunting incident ten years ago. Over the decade, they have moved on their lives, grown up and largely
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grown apart. This novel is the story of how that long-ago incident finds them, haunts them, and affects them. It is a tale of revenge, of the settling of scores. It is also a tale of family, of hope and heart. Suspend your disbelief and dive in, but perhaps not late at night when your alarm will go off early. It is definitely not a cure for insomnia.
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LibraryThing member DedDuckie
The Only Good Indians, authored by Stephen Graham Jones, was a birthday buy for myself. It was released on my actual birthday, along with Wonderland by Zoje Stage, so I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself; both hardcover editions had hauntingly lovely covers.

I rated this 5 stars.

By the end of
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the opening chapter I felt as if a great clock had begun ticking down, to what I did not know; but it didn’t look good for those involved. There were many points while reading, I’ll admit I was doing some sniffling, had to widen my eyes a bit to stop the waterworks from getting started, or as a last line of defense, looking up from the page to stare at the wall or Biscuit (my cat). I had to give up the ghost by the end, give in to a little emotional break, fully; akin to lancing a deep hurt, I was left feeling lighter but weary. Mapping the Interior was my introduction to SGJ, a novella that wasted no words in wringing out everything, leaving me gutted and a fan for life. This novel is a heavy hitter in the same way, showcasing the human bonds that we forge that can last us a lifetime, shining a light on the indigenous people that are always further and further swept into tighter corners of a land that used to be open, beautifully wild, and theirs; but now often burning or drowning.

I have watched or read horror from single digits; Hitchcock, Poe, then Lovecraft and some King were my introductions via my dad’s library and blessing. I adopted a quirk for keeping myself from getting too scared while diving into my horrors, it couldn’t happen to me because I’m not breaking whatever rule the poor characters in question were breaking. Example, I did not allow myself to enter the house of redneck cannibals of my own volition, ending in my murder. That doesn’t really hold up with SGJ. Innocents are just as liable to be struck down, if not more so, before the guilty. And then this even harder one, what if there are no seriously guilty ones being punished, no tremendous enemies to hate on? Four friends make a memory. There are parts that all of them share equally, they could agree easily “That’s the way it happened.” But one made a secret pact, a private promise; he sealed the fate of his friends as well as his own, and even past that, to those attached by association or circumstance. So many lives were held accountable to one man’s promise, and I still got to the end and can’t say where there is an enemy. That’s the thing that tore me up, that SGJ wrote in a way that hit me right between the eyes like a freaking brick; the debt has to paid, sorry isn’t enough, and I can mourn both sides. There are many elements present in this novel, this is one that made the book that touch more horrific to me, kept my mind from resting, gave my pulse that little drop and catch, and coupled with that ending, led to my liberating, messy and over the top cry fest at the end.

10/10 am going to do it again.
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LibraryThing member technodiabla
I picked this book up at a used bookstore on a whim. It's not a genre I read much of but something about it intrigued me. This novel tell the story of 4 American Indians who cross the line and hunt on sacred grounds. Years later, the past starts to haunt them as the plot turns supernatural-horror.
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It turned out to be a very good read. The writing was very good and there's a lot going on besides the primary plot line. There' much social commentary about identity, revenge, and tradition. I would recommend this book with a caveat that there's quite a lot of gory scenes and horrific things happen to both people and animals. So it isn't for everyone.
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LibraryThing member IreneCole
I loved the first half of this book, and the theme of revenge.
Years ago, four Native Americans went hunting, and their lives were forever changed.

Has revenge manifested as a supernatural being? Or perhaps the weight of living under this oppressive cloud of guilt is so heavy that it has caused
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paranoia to set in. The guilt has certainly become a pervasive and tangible thing. Palpable, visible. inescapable to the end, and I loved it. I enjoyed the characters. flaws and all. I enjoyed the slow build up and the ever increasing creeping fear. However at about or right before the halfway mark there was what seemed to be the climax and then instead of ending it felt almost like the start of a different book. Slower, more drawn out, even draggy in parts. Especially for people like myself who don't care a thing about basketball. I think the story line, while compelling could have flowed a little better.

I received a complimentary copy for review.
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LibraryThing member Strider66
Pros: very tense, interesting characters

Cons: is a bit gory at times

Ten years ago four friends went into the forbidden elder’s section of the reservation for their end of season elk hunt. Now the spirit of one of the elk they killed is back for revenge.

This is the first contemporary fiction book
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I’ve read in years so it took me a while to get into (in part because I’m not conversant with the shorthand for car names so spent some time trying to figure out what the character was talking about). The book is split into 4 sections, each dealing with a different point of view character involved with the elk event.

I wasn’t a fan of Ricky and Gabe, but really enjoyed reading Lewis and Cassidy’s stories, hoping they could shake the horror coming their way. The pacing was great, really ratcheting up the tension in all the right places.

In the first sections the author makes you doubt what’s going on, especially with Lewis. Is there really an elk spirit or is he having a psychotic break from reality? Either way things get horrifying fast. I almost stopped reading it was getting so intense.

While the horror is mostly one of anticipation, there is some gore. Thankfully the descriptions aren’t overly graphic. Part of the earlier horror is simply seeing the level of everyday, casual racism natives face. The characters are constantly double checking their surroundings for danger, ignoring slights, conscious of how ‘native’ their actions appear, due to criticism from others: natives and non-natives alike, for being both too native and not native enough. There’s a strong undertone that no matter what the characters do it will never be ‘enough’, whatever ‘enough’ even means. Because the characters aren’t just up against the supernatural, they’re against the biases and prejudices of themselves and everyone around them.

I was shocked by some of the people who died. Which made the ending, that last section, very tense. I DID NOT want that character to die. Not this way. I was on the edge of my seat urging them on, not to give up, just one more step.

The ending fits the story.

If you can handle horror this year (no shame if you can’t, 2020’s horror enough for a lot of us), this is a good read.
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LibraryThing member alliepascal
I like Stephen Graham Jones's work because he gets some things about writing really really right.

For horror, buildup and tension are key, and these elements in The Only Good Indians are executed incredibly. It's not like I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, but no scene really dragged for
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me. It was plain old well-paced.

With that done right, there's the writing itself, and Jones's prose is stylistic and expert. I'm the sort of reader who obsesses over a well-crafted run-on sentence, and this one (an early passage) is just, so good:

"Ricky remembered that the boy selected to drape a calf robe over his shoulders and run out in front of all those buffalo, he’d been the one to win all the races the elders had put him and all the other kids in, and he’d been the one to climb all the trees the best, because you needed to be fast to run ahead of all those tons of meat, and you needed good hands to, at the last moment after sailing off the cliff, grab onto the rope the men had already left there, that would tuck you up under, safe."

The repetition, that natural flow of it, and it ending on a sudden sort of tender note-- "tuck you up under, safe."--I just love this sort of writing. It adds so much depth to a book like this, makes it special. At least it did for me. This is one of my favorite 2020 reads so far.
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LibraryThing member jphamilton
The Only Good Indians is just fabulous, such a grand and horrific way to enter a new year of reading. It’s a fascinating twist of Native writing and beliefs, mixed with some intense basketball, thrown together with some grizzly violence, and horror is always lurking. It is folklore come to life
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when a vile act from ten years before not only haunts the characters, but kills the responsible ones. There’s a weirdness to the story that solidly hooked me early, and then pulled me through some wild, bloody, and surreal scenes.

The central act of the story was the disrespectful slaughter of too many elk on sacred land, and an elk calf that passes through time and rationality. Lewis was one of those four Blackfeet hunters, and he had to take extra measures to kill one doe, who had been carrying a calf that survived. That calf will haunt him in many ways throughout the book, ways that the reader will have to decide which are real, delusional, or mystical. Lewis has hallucinations about the calf, and later the shape-shifting Elk Head Woman. The hunt happened just before Thanksgiving, but as they were caught by the game warden, the irony is that they came away from it with no meat, a ten-year hunting ban, and that calf.

The writing has an intricate sensitivity to it, and shows how guilt can warp and crush what some call reality. A brutality lurks. A line from the author Terese Marie Mailhot is quoted on the back cover and it fits perfectly here, “I like stories where nobody escapes their pasts because it’s what I fear most.”

Stephen Graham Jones is writing from deep within the Blackfeet people, focusing on these four hunters who are all very unique and flawed in their own ways. The four friends (Lewis, Gabe, Cass, and Ricky) are pure blooded Native Americans, but they prefer the term Indians, as ‘One little, two little, three little natives’ simply doesn’t sound right to them.

The book is a captivating collection of culture, reality, paranoia, violence, belief, and guilt, and it’s all from such a unique viewpoint. The book made me jump, cringe, laugh, and love the characters and the writing. This would be the perfect book for some bookstore to start their Native Horror section with.
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LibraryThing member gothamajp
Based on reviews and critical acclaim a lot of people really like this book - unfortunately I’m not one of them.

It has an interesting premise and provides some eye-opening insights into the Native American perspective. But I found the rambling narrative style and strange grammar choices and
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sentence structure off putting to the extent that I had to work hard at times to figure out what was going on.

When I read I generally forget I’m actually going through the process and mechanics of reading I just exist within the story and get drawn along with the narrative. With this book I was way too aware that I was “reading” and felt like an outsider looking in, and as a result I just didn’t care about any of the characters or what happened to them.
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LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
I found The Only Good Indians by Steven Graham Jones a strange story of supernatural revenge as four American Indian men find themselves fighting for their lives against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them as payback for how they exterminated an elk herd 10 years ago. Lines were crossed
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that day when they opened fire upon the elk, killing more than they should have, including one young female who was pregnant. Tribal and cultural rules were also broken as the young men should not have been hunting at that location as this was land designated for use by the tribal elders.

The book opens with the death of one of these young men, Ricky. The official cause of death was that he was beaten to death outside a bar, but from Ricky’s perspective, there were elk there that night. We next read of Lewis who is still haunted by the memory of that day. When he starts to see visions of the female elk, his suspicions and guilt overtakes him. As the entity gains in strength it finally goes after the last two men, Gabe and Cass, who still live on the reservation. They experience the anger of the elk as well.

I never was fully absorbed by this story, and the changing perspectives, including that of the elk, was confusing. Although I felt a certain amount of empathy for the all the characters at one time or another, the sheer weirdness of the story and the level of violence made The Only Good Indians a rather disturbing horror novel.
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LibraryThing member dagon12
This is an amazing, impactful, and gripping book! It hit me in the gut multiple times; each time with more power and emotion than I expected. I know that I've read short stories by Jones before but this was my first novel by him. And it was incredible.

I tried to sum up the plot to a couple friends
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while I was reading it but got weird looks from them. A "what the hell are you reading?" kind of looks. So I'm going to try a different approach here. The story is about a bunch of friends who in their youth do something they shouldn't. Then some years later, something happens to make them rethink what they did. It's vague. It fits the trope of many horror novels and movies. It sounds easy to forget or skip. Don't! The story will get you.

Jones provides an excellent tone throughout the book. You feel what it is like to be one of the friends; the details of their American Indian lives are splayed out on the page for you to absorb. This sets the mood quickly and pulls you into the story. I thought I knew where the story was going when the pacing suddenly picked up and slammed me into the wall. I had no idea that "pivot" at about 40% of the way through was coming. I was stunned. I was lost as to what was next. The story continued and I saw the new pieces of the puzzle. I understood more and was again sucked into their lives. Then the second "pivot" at about 80%. That one left me in tears. Needless to say, the rest of the book was read in a blur. The ending left me drained. When I finished the book, I thought the story was about revenge. Then not too long after, I realized it was more about righting wrongs, fixing mistakes. Now, as I'm writing this, I wonder if it's about family and love. I suppose it's all about your point of view and perspective. A fitting conclusion for the book. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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LibraryThing member tamidale
I’m afraid I abandoned this one. I felt like I came into the middle of a story that I knew nothing about and after reading up to 25% of the book, things never got any better. I’m really disappointed because I was hoping this would be an exciting read.
LibraryThing member ClareMacGregor
On par with Edgar Allan Poe's tales of terror rooted in revenge or wrongdoings, The horror in The Only Good Indians sneaks up on the reader, but always has the reader on edge. Just like the four main characters in the story, you know the danger is out there, but never when it will strike. The Only
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Good Indians is a story of: the consequences of acting without thought, the strength of the female spirit when protecting what it loves. It is a story of the respect the land's four legged children deserve and demand. It is a story of revenge and attempts to make amends, even with one's last breath. It is a story of hope. Highly recommended! Content Warnings: Graphic depictions of death
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LibraryThing member brangwinn
Only reason I cannot rave about this book is because I don’t like horror stories. This one was a hair-raiser. It was scary and every other synonym you can think of for creepy. Following the three Blackfeet men who have been friends since they were failures as kids, along with the violence it
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emphasized the treatment Indians have gotten from society since the beginning of the European invasion, so maybe a horror story is the best way to treat the subject.
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LibraryThing member aickman
I had read some of Jones's work prior to picking this book up, and, while I thought it was solid stuff, it didn't really excite me greatly. This novel, however, is a quantum leap forward for Jones. An absolute knockout of a horror story! Rich, emotionally powerful, terrifying, and a definite
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page-turner.
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LibraryThing member munchie13
Phenomenal book that kept me ensnared from start to finish. I look forward to exploring other works by this author.
LibraryThing member out-and-about
Read for bookriot #readharder challenge. Number 24, Native American author.

I enjoyed the story tremendously. Slow build, but some scenes were definitely scary, and the overall premise was unique enough to be worth the read.

I wanted to understand the characters more. It was a short book with a lot
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of key characters so not much room to really attach yourself to them. But likable enough and a good peek into life as a Native American.

I didn’t like the slips into second person either. I understand it was likely to make you feel for the “villain” but it was done so sporadically and suddenly that it only succeeded in pulling me out of the story.

I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a Native American spooky contemporary story.
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LibraryThing member sprainedbrain
This is only my second book by Stephen Graham Jones, but I’m fairly confident that it has solidified him as one of my favorite contemporary horror authors.

I read this book in one day, and supplemented with audio when I absolutely had to get up and do responsible adult things. As much as I read,
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the one-day book is still sort of a rarity for me. Read: this is a great book.
First and foremost, this is a horror novel. Reading it was a bit like watching a slasher movie. It’s gory, there’s lots of death, a bonafide monster, and I was genuinely frightened more than once. That the ‘monster’ has a legitimate case for revenge adds another interesting layer to the story.

The Only Good Indians is more than a scary horror novel, though. Stephen Graham Jones gives us a look into the lives and minds of his Native characters. Lewis and his friends aren’t bad people, and the glimpses I got of their individual stories made me invested in them. This makes it all the more distressing to have their stories descend into madness and pain. It’s absolutely devastating.

Jones’ writing is fantastic. Descriptive and deceptive, with frequent switches in POV that add so much to the experience. Such a gritty, heartbreakingly sad, fear-inducing read that I could not stop reading. And then that ending. Such a surprisingly hopeful, kick-ass ending.

If you like horror with well-crafted characters, read this freaking book. And if you like audiobooks, consider the brilliantly narrated audio read by Shaun Taylor-Corbett. The acknowledgements read by the author at the end are worth a listen as well.
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LibraryThing member RidgewayGirl
This is a literary novel that uses the framework of horror, or maybe it's a horror novel that is just very well-written and features well-developed characters and a vivid setting. In any case, Jones is an excellent author whose books I will now seek out.

There are four teenage boys who go hunting
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one day, trespassing into the part of the reservation where only elder Blackfeet are allowed to hunt. What transpires sticks with them to varying degrees, but it's some years later, when they are all adults, that the consequences manifest themselves.

This isn't the kind of horror novel where there's a central character that you know will make it out alive. Jones opts instead to make each of his characters fully realized, which increases the impact of the things that happen. I'd like to go into what Jones is doing here, but this is a book best entered into without any idea of what happens. It's worth reading, though. I'd go into how Jones has written a novel about what it is to live as a Blackfeet living both on a reservation and outside among non-Native Americans and it's fascinating for that alone, but there's also a fast-paced plot and some scary stuff, too, with a strong ending, but I don't want to give anything away.
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LibraryThing member TheYodamom
Freaking Frightening Stuff. A wonderful mix of Native Culture and Karma Nightmares. I tell you what I'm so happy to be a vegetarian who has never killed an animal. This wicked is not playing games, it's pissed and has no fear and hides in plain sight. Gods what a wonderful novel. I love a get what
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you give story :P Karma baby. Audiobook (perfect narrator)
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LibraryThing member mhartford
Bleak and beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful, with a really intense ending - definitely one of the best books I've read this year. It had some surprising twists - I thought it was one thing when I started, then it very abruptly became something else entirely - and great characters.
LibraryThing member jnhk
In my opinion, The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones falls under the slow burn style of horror fiction. I can see how this author has been compared to filmmaker Jordan Peele and author Paul Tremblay (and if you haven't read Paul Tremblay, then you should - especially Cabin at the End of the
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World).

Anyhoo... Jones takes a bad decision made by four childhood friends and turns it into a creeping tale of revenge. The setting, an Indian reservation and the surrounding areas, is unique, the "big bad" is definitely creepy, the writing style is detailed and the characters are well developed. This is absolutely a one-of-a-kind horror story.

And I do have to add this... usually the printing/covers of advanced reader copies are pretty basic, but this one is great! A soft touch finish on the cover including textured spot printing on the horns of the elk is a really nice touch. I really do enjoy a book that feels nice to hold!
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LibraryThing member DianaTixierHerald
Generally if I don't finish a book it is because I don't like it. The Only Good Indians, I think, is the only time I have stopped reading a book that is powerful and beautiful but too intensely tragic for me to continue. Horror is not my genre but after reading and loving Mongrels some years ago,
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Stephen Graham Jones became one of my favorite authors. In the case of this book, my psyche cannot withstand the empathy he builds for the characters and the horror they face. I highly recommend this to those who love good writing and can stomach visceral horror.
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LibraryThing member rivkat
After a group of young male friends slaughters elk where they shouldn’t have, the spirit of Elk Head Woman comes after them. While racism and poverty structure their lives and explain something about why they did it, Elk Head Woman doesn’t care. Warning for gore.
LibraryThing member booksandliquids
Stephen Graham Jones touches a lot of serious topics Indigenous people face, all while crafting a truly suspenseful horror story that felt classic and fresh in all the good ways. I was entertained by this book, and I also feel I have learned so much from it, and for me, these are the best kinds of
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books.

Altough I love the folk horror elements, I think the true heart of this story are the characters. They are layered and conflicted and we get to see them through their own eyes as well as through the eyes of others, we get to see their expectations of themselves, the expectations that are placed on them and how that effects every single life - theirs and the ones they touch. We see different faces of intergenerational trauma, what it does to people and how it might be overcome.

It took me a minute to get used to the writing style, but it does fit the brutality and honesty of the book perfectly. And yes, this book is brutal in many ways. And honest. And I loved the ending

I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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Awards

Shirley Jackson Award (Winner — Novel — 2020)
Audie Award (Finalist — Thriller/Suspense — 2021)
LA Times Book Prize (Finalist — 2020)
Locus Award (Finalist — 2021)
World Fantasy Award (Nominee — Novel — 2021)
Alex Award (2021)
Bram Stoker Award (Nominee — Novel — 2020)
British Fantasy Award (Nominee — August Derleth Award — 2021)
RUSA CODES Reading List (Winner — Horror — 2021)
Ignyte Award (Shortlist — 2021)
Dragon Award (Finalist — Horror — 2020)
Globe and Mail Top 100 Book (Fiction — 2020)
LibraryReads (Monthly Pick — July 2020)
RUSA CODES Listen List (Selection — 2021)

Language

Original language

English

Barcode

9116
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