Title: The Only Good Indians
Author: Stephen Graham Jones
Genre: Literary Horror/Thriller
Number of Pages: 310
This was my third book by Stephen Graham Jones, and I’m glad I went into it not knowing much about it because it turned out to be a pretty crazy read. I didn’t like it as much as the other two (Mongrels and Mapping the Interior,) but I still definitely think it’s worth reading. The Only Good Indians follows three men from the same reservation who make a fatal error on a hunting trip, invoking an angry spirit that follows them down their separate paths in life.
The racial themes was a little more heavy-handed than Jones’ other books, and I didn’t find myself connecting to the characters as much as I’d liked to. I didn’t actively dislike them but I didn’t care that much what happened to them either. However, I really liked the novel’s monster (a shape-shifting deer woman) and the author did a fantastic job bringing it to life and making you both fear and pity it at times.
I was impressed by his imagination and I can definitely say it wasn’t predictable, the author makes it clear that no one is safe at the very beginning and the story was full of surprises, not to mention shocking and gory deaths. Some of the deaths felt over-the-top (a la Stephen King) but it fit the genre. I actually think Stephen Graham Jones is a better writer than Stephen King and he is becoming one of my favorite authors.