Cover Image: The Only Good Indians

The Only Good Indians

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Member Reviews

I appreciate this book for its indigenous representation and the horror aspect. Both pieces rang true throughout the entire book, and although there were confusing portions and parts that didn't relate to me, I really like a story that can capture characters and plot in this certain way.

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I don't think this is as good as My Heart is a Chainsaw, just showing me how much power SGJ has gained as a writer.

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This was a pretty interesting story that included Native American lore. That said, the story was a little slow and confusing at times. Pretty graphic violence in a few spots. I just didn't connect with any of the characters and I didn't find the story spooky. Gross, yes. I'm always looking for something to give me a good fright and this wasn't it.

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I had a hard time getting into it at the beginning, which I feel like I've had before with other books by this author. Had a hard time putting it down as the story progressed. What a crazy ride of a book.

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I’m not big on horror but I found myself intrigued by this book. I do find his writing reminiscent of Tommy Orange’s. Thanks for the review copy.

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This was a wild and excellent book. The characters were well made and the story was so strange. I will be working my way through his back catalog.

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As an estranged group of Native friends find themselves alone in sanity-rending situations, that question arises again and again. In The Only Good Indians, everyone struggles to get a look at the objective truth for long; the task is made nearly impossible by the dubious veracity of stories and perception from the past, whites, and the people around them. It’s a clever subversion of the Rashomon style of storytelling, which normally has multiple characters describing one point in time: the cast of characters have sections from their point of view, as the inciting factor of this story moves itself steadily forward, showing just enough of itself to create confusion and a feeling of impending doom. Each protagonist is truthful about their past deeds and their beliefs, though they’re obviously biased—it’s the world and others around them that the reader can’t trust.

The less you know about this book going in, the better. Jones captures the frenetic thought patterns and twisting logic of its characters with grace and quietly building dread, which can only be cheapened by knowing too much. However, it’s never so esoteric or confusing to turn a reader off; for every little bit of evidence that doesn’t add up, there’s a dozen insights to be drawn from the interactions between its characters, the worldly anxieties that plague them even when they’re in mortal danger, and the way each one has learned to cope with the thousand little cuts that come with growing up on a reservation.

In terms of genre, there’s a subtype of horror for anyone to like in this: The quiet, creeping kind when things aren’t just right. The heart-wrenching, emotional class when something is never able to be undone. The gaslighting, trembling-hand type of horror when you can’t trust your own senses anymore. The existential dread of everything in your world falling apart, while the days still go by as usual for everyone else. And, lastly, the sort that makes you feel glad that you’re safe, reading in your cozy spot, with all of your skin and bones just where they’re supposed to be.

I rarely would describe a book as perfect, but I really can’t think of anything that could improve upon this title. I would recommend this to anyone who loves horror, but especially anyone who cares about diverse voices in literature, the connections between fellow humans, and a perfect mix of hope and tragedy.

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This book was well written, but was not the book for me. The characters were well thought out, and the story line had substance that helped me finish the title, but I probably wont pick up another book by this author.

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What is there to say besides: Wow! I am such a fan of Stephen Graham Jones' writing style. What a devastating and brutal ready and at the same time truly, truly heartbreaking.

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This was my first full-length novel by Jones and I was not disappointed. Stephen Graham Jones can write the most grisly, horrifying details with the most beautiful language imaginable. Every blood-soaked moment, every gruesome twist, Jones had me hooked. This man writes unreliable narrators like no other.

CW: animal death, death, murder, gore, body horror, racism

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Incredible. This novel is like reading poetry. Stephen Graham Jones’s writing creeps into your brain and stays there with its vivid descriptions, rich characters, and racing plot. There were so many twists and turns I didn’t know how to process them all, and I mean that in the best way! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Overall, The Only Good Indians is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it!

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This wasn't a bad book, by any sense, but I put it down multiple times over the course of reading it because I just couldn't really get into it all that much. I guess it's just one of those "you have to be in the mood" type of reads, because at some points, I read 15-20% in one sitting and at others I could only get through a chapter or so and then would read other things before finally going back to it.

I think a lot of what threw me off with this one was the writing style, as it's kind of all over the place, with run-on sentences, lots of repetition, and an almost stream-of-consciousness rambling at times. There's also a TON of basketball involved, which pulled me out of the story, not because I'm not a fan but because it just made it feel like a story about the sport and its players rather than what the book was REALLY supposed to be about, since there was just SO much time spent on it across various chapters.

I've read some of SGJ's other works, and I kinda had the same feelings with them as well, just not having that "connection" with the story to hold my interest from start to finish in one go, though maybe I just haven't found the right one for me, and I'm definitely willing to keep reading to find it.

3 stars

**I received a review copy from NetGalley and am leaving this review voluntarily. All thoughts and comments contained within are my own.**

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Have you ever picked up a book without actually reading the summary? In an "I liked the cover art moment," I picked up The Only Good Indians, not even registering that it was written by Stephen Graham Jones. Imagine my surprise right off the bat. Holy smokes!

The Only Good Indians is suspenseful, scary, full of lore, a monster, legacy, and vengeance. Recommend if you like Steven King or Joe Hill.

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I have read several things by Graham Jones now and can really appreciate his writing style. It is beautiful and told in a unique way. I enjoyed The Only Good Indians because it was not what people think of as a traditional horror. It has great social commentary.

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This book has been on my tbr for so long I was so happy to finally read it. What a ride. This book feels so fresh and I absolutely adore the different and surprising directions it takes. At times it feels like a fable and almost like a dream. A group of native men face the consequences of choices they made as boys as their past comes back to meet them. The highlight for me was the ending which felt so pure and honest. Definitely recommend.

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It has literally been three years since I devoured this book, and for reasons unknown to me, I didn't review it at the time. That is truly unfortunate as I can tell you that three years later, it is a book I still think about with regularity. The second book of Stephen Graham Jones that I read (Mongrels being the first - a fabulous read, unlike any werewolf tale I've ever read), it was the book that cemented him as one of my favorites. Because I love horror. I love weird. And I love having no idea what to expect next and being thrilled by the surprise. And The Only Good Indians is all of that and more.

After three years, can I recall a full synopsis for you? I cannot. Can I recall with visceral clarity the pictures I made in my head while reading certain scenes? Hell to the yeah. And for me that is a huge part of what makes a phenomenal book, when an impression is left in my mind and heart so indelibly that, years later, thinking of it brings me back to the original reading experience. Few stories can do that for me, but The Only Good Indians is one of them.

If I could give it more than five stars, I would.

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Sgj has proven time and time again his ability to write horror with great characters, settings , and atmosphere. This book was no different. His characters flawed and believable , live in a world all too few outside of other Native Americans could understand. A story of revenge where 4 men find that no matter how much time has passed the bill always comes due. Also a world where reality and mythology are entertwined. The violence is visceral at times and very well written.
( I did think at times it dragged a bit especially the basketball parts.)
Overall an excellent horror story I was grateful to read early.
( I wrote a review forever ago and posted on old phone no idea why it never uploaded)

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Finished this last week, and then immediately started the journey again on audiobook. The Only Good Indians, by Stephen Graham Jones. A moving and mesmerizing experience.

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I immensely enjoy SGJ's writing, you can greatly tell he truly loves horror and what he does. I found the story intriguing and will continue to insta-buy his work.

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I had shelved this book for a good six months. I felt like the beginning was boring and going nowhere. I decided to pick it back up and realized I had stopped right before the horror hit (literally pages away). I was floored! This book went from mundane to gruesome quickly! Once it started it didn’t stop.

The Only Good Indians is a horrifying read, in a very good way. A supernatural Native American horror story, I have not read anything like this book and I will be looking for more.

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