Narrator: Amy Landon
Published by Harper Audio on 26 June 2018
Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
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The Bram Stoker award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts adds an inventive twist to the home invasion horror story in a heart-palpitating novel of psychological suspense that recalls Stephen King’s Misery, Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, and Jack Ketchum’s cult hit The Girl Next Door.
Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.
One afternoon, 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, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, "None of what’s going to happen is your fault". Three more strangers then 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."
Thus 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 entwined. The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay.
©2018 Paul Tremblay (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers
It was only after listening to this story that I learn that ‘home invasion horror’ was a genre – and one I’m curious to pursue. Is there anything more claustrophobically awful than the idea of being overpowered in your own home? Probably being buried alive, but hush.
This book is about a small family (two dads and adoptive daughter, I only mention this because it’s not used as a horrible plot point as a reason to do horrible things to the characters) who are holidaying in a cabin by a lake, until their peace is shattered by four strangers who come knocking at the door. These strangers tell them that they have to sacrifice one of the three, to save the world.
This is one heck of a slow burn as stories go, the story takes place over a couple of days and the audiobook itself is 9 hours 27 mins. I’m usually a fan of fast-paced action so I had to adjust to sink into the narrative pace – it’s worth it! The extra time the narrator takes to tell the story helps amp up the fear factor of not knowing what’s going to happen next.
Amy Landon is a fantastic narrator, every inflection is perfectly considered and her character voices are amazing – you can easily distinguish between them when multiple characters are conversing which is vital in this book as there’s a lot of bickering between characters.
The story pings back and forth between the perspectives of the family members and a couple of the strangers, I did find this a bit muddled near the end but it was interesting to see inside the heads of the different characters involved in this unthinkable situation.
I very much enjoyed this book – it’s packed with suspense, paranoia and mind games which leave you breathless at the end.
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