The Cabin at The End of The World
Author: Paul Tremblay
Publisher: Titan Books
Page count: 319pp
Release date: 26th June 2018
Award winning author Paul Tremblay’s latest novel, narrated by multi points-of-view, starts with Wen, a young Chinese girl, seven years old, about to turn eight, who has been adopted whilst very young by Daddy Andrew and Daddy Eric. We find out early, that she has gone through multiple surgeries to repair a cleft lip, and is conscious of her own smile.
Whilst her Daddies are relaxing on the back porch of their cabin in New Hampshire close to a lake, Wen is playing a favourite game of chasing and catching grasshoppers.
Her game is interrupted by a man in his mid twenties, Leonard, who is big, burly and tall, but doesn’t speak like most adults. Intentionally or not, I was reminded of Lenny in ‘Of Mice and Men’. Though Leonard does not have the learning difficulties or challenges of that character, his voice, his words, his mannerisms are distinctly off kilter.
She’s wary of him, but even more so when he says he needs to talk to her daddies because she is vitally important to the future.
It isn’t long before Wen is ensconced in the Cabin with her Dads, and Leonard, Redmond, Sabrina and Adriane are attempting to break into the home to start the most awful ‘game’ of ‘Would You Rather?’ than the reader will ever have encountered.
Andrew and Eric are given a choice they must make, whilst held hostage by these four people- in a perverse reimagining of the ‘home invasion’ subgenre of horror.
And I refuse to say anymore about the plot elements. Spoilers Darling!
Lyrical, funny, and horrific in parts, this novel is a masterclass in writing horror, and the heart of horror; shock and awe.
I gasped at least four times in genuine shock, or realisation as the jigsaw pieces clicked together.
I also really liked the realistic relationship between two gay men, the natural inclusion of diverse characters and settings, and the switch between view points.
And the ending, which I won’t talk about, was – satisfying.
A magnificent piece of horror, which I’m sure will be read by millions and studied in schools and colleges across the globe.
If it doesn’t win this years flurry of genre awards, I’ll be very surprised.