Title: Mapping the Interior
Author: Stephen Graham Jones
From the back: Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.
The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you’d rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.
The gist: Stephen Graham Jones is surely one of the best horror writers out there, and I’m always excited to get my teeth into his books. His horror is reliably filled with heart.
Mapping the Interior is beautiful and raw and cuts to the bone of what it means to love and the horrors that are committed and the depths you might go to. There’s many layers to this short book but it works its horror in a very personal way for me. It tells the story of a boy protecting his younger brother with special needs. I have a severely disabled brother and this book spoke to that and made me ache inside.
I’m not going to go into the details of the book because there’s too much that could be spoiled in the recounting of it. Suffice to say I highly recommend it, and it’s a story that I think would give something more on every reading. So, read it, and maybe expect some tears.
Favourite line: If anything, being inhabited by yourself like that, what it tells you is that there’s a real you squirming down inside you, trying all through the day to pull up to the surface, look out.
Read if: You want a short horror tale, with enough layers to warrant revisiting.
Read with: Tissues.