Title: The Cabin at the End of the World
Author: Paul Tremblay
From the back: Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake, with their closest neighbours more than two miles in either direction.
As Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young and friendly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologises and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault”. Three more strangers arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”
So begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are intertwined.
The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay.
The gist: I love Paul Tremblay. If you haven’t read The Cabin at the End of the World, then go and read it now. The same goes for A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. He is, hands down, one of my favourite horror authors.
And The Cabin at the End of the World certainly did not disappoint. Tremblay starts calm and ramps up the atmosphere. He cleverly sections the book into viewpoints from the different characters and he doesn’t flinch away from making big decisions that as a reader you just don’t expect. This is the sort of book that keeps you awake at night and you still get up early to finish. This is the sort of book that gets you in trouble at work for being too tired.
And this book sticks in your head. I finished it a few days ago and somehow I’m still replaying scenes in my head, still working out what I think about it, and still thankful that actually it was just fiction so I can get back to not worrying about the end of the world again. (Although, I still worry about ensuring my house is adequately prepared for a zombie infestation, but that’s probably just me. Also, I should note, there are no zombies in this book).
I’m not going to say too much here, as spoilers would be goddamn inconsiderate, and y’all should just get the book and experience the onion-skinned layers of horror that Tremblay has in store for you.
Go do it. Go do it, now.
Favourite line: And they realize again, in this darkest hour of the darkest day, they remain alone, fundamentally alone.
Read if: You are ready for a horror that will sneak up on you, lock you in your house, and make you question what you believe in.
Read with: A house that is DEFINITELY not a cabin in the woods with nobody living near you. At all costs make sure you have phone reception.