A horror-thriller from Bram Stoker Award-winning author Tremblay. Eric and Andrew are vacationing with their seven-year-old daughter, Wen, at remote Gaudet Lake in New Hampshire when their cabin is invaded by a quartet of weapons-wielding strangers, each of whom has been driven there by a shared vision: that the world will end unless one member of this family sacrifices another.
Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World (Titan) opens as seven-year-old Wen is collecting grasshoppers outside her family’s remote New Hampshire cabin. She knows she shouldn’t speak to the friendly stranger who arrives – an unusually large man called Leonard – but she chats to him for a while, until, even to her young mind, things start to feel a little wrong. When his “friends” arrive, bearing makeshift weapons, she runs to find her parents, Daddy Eric and Daddy Andrew, and her little family are catapulted into a nightmare … Tremblay skilfully keeps his readers guessing about the reality of Leonard’s ominous warning as he lets his horrifying scenario play out.
Read Paul Tremblay's new novel, The Cabin at the End of the World, and you might not sleep for a week. Longer. It will shape your nightmares for months–that's pretty much guaranteed. That's what it's built for. And there's a very, very good chance you'll never get it out of your head again ... I want to tell you everything about it. I want to detail every switchback and psychological reverse that happens, deconstruct how Tremblay layers in these genius feints of paranoia and disbelief, explain how he builds to these perfect trigger points where everything explodes into blood and violence, then settles, then starts again. I want to, but I can't. It would ruin it. There is a meticulousness to The Cabin that depends entirely on the slow reveal; on the tension of misunderstanding and inherent bias.
I had to put the book down. It was later than I'd intended to stay up, my partner was asleep and begging for the light to be turned off, and my heart had walked directly out of my throat and into the middle of the busy road next to my apartment building. For the first time since I watched The Cabin in the Woods (sensing a cabin theme, here?) alone late one night in college, I was unable to sleep because I'd been scared shitless ... The Cabin at the End of the World succeeds in part because it trades in frights rooted (or not) in totally unprovable motivation. It doesn't dwell for long in the godliness of it all, thankfully, making the novel tense and muscle tightening, crackling with uncertainty. Are these just crazed home invaders who met on an Internet forum for like-minded conspiracy theorists? Is some higher power really speaking to them? Is it all a stand-in for Trump and his followers? The answers to these questions, in the end, don't come, and don't matter. None of it matters. It's fight or flight. When our backs are against a wall, when we're tasked with protecting the ones we love most, when we're asked to consider the greater good: What would we do?