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The Only Good Indians

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Member Reviews

The book was very unique. I just had a hard time getting through parts of it because of the way it was written.
Because of that awkwardness, I did not feel that I could rate this higher. However, I know that many people found this book frightening so I don't want stop anyone from picking this one up.

Thank you to Net Galley for the chance to read and review.

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Seeing the many positive reviews, I expected a good read. This was not it. I made it through half of the book before just giving up. My opinion is definitely in the minority so you may like this book.

The Indian life described is bleak. The four main characters were trying to hold onto the old ways when they went out hunting for elk before thanksgiving. Lewis could not believe the elk he shot through the spine was not dead. This is the start of his undoing.

The story just didn't hold my interest. I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from Simon and Schuster through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
#TheOnlyGoodIndians #NetGalley

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I am going to be an outlier in review of this book. Lots of great reviews, I just wasn't feeling it and it was a struggle to get through this one. I like a good horror/thriller/mystery and this one just wasn't it for me.
I appreciate and understand the supernatural aspect with the elk, the revenge, the "karma" so to speak, but it wasn't scary, it wasn't gory, it wasn't mysterious - it was wrapped in an obscure writing style that tried too hard to be something it just wasn't for me.
I am grateful for the ARC, and I got through it, but it was not a fave of mine by far.

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I had previously read another novel by Stephen Graham Jones and loved what came of it, so when I saw that this new novel was available, I jumped at the chance to get a preview, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I think the horror of the novel was memorable, it was visceral. Jones brought injustice up to the plate and eviscerated it in a terrifying way that spanned generations. I think the brutality of it all managed to never be too much, even though there were times when it was beyond unsettling. The ending was one of my favorite parts, because it dragged us back from the horror and into the reality of it all again. This novel will make you uncomfortable, it will make you worry and laugh, and it won’t let you put it down.

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So, I feel a little guilty about this one. I REALLY enjoyed the writer's style, language, characters, and imagery and tried many many times to keep pushing through reading the book. There's just too much animal suffering described (way too well, thanks to this awesome author) for me to stomach it. Which makes me really sad. I'm going to read some of Stephen Graham Jones' other books though, because I liked the writing so much.

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This was great story and I really enjoyed the book. Stephen Graham Jones is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. The story is from 4 different perspectives all connected by 1 event in the 4 men's past. Toward the end as it switches focus and ties everything together it becomes a different story again and very intriguing. Highly recommended. I will be reading more of Jones' work for sure.

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So, this book is not *bad*, it just isn't for me. I'm not a fan of surreal horror that doesn't feel grounded in reality enough, but I know many people really like that stuff. (For example, White Tears by Hari Kunzru.) So, not my jam but I can see it really being other people's cup of tea.

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This is the first book I've read from Jones but definitely not the last. I kept thinking of what Ann Radcliffe said about horror writing while I read this; roughly that "terror" is the feeling that precedes an event, while "horror" is the revulsion felt during/after said event. Jones absolutely nails both of these again and again throughout the narrative while veering in and out of 3rd person close which I appreciated. As a reader, I like getting as close as possible to multiple characters instead of being stuck in one mind.
There were some places where the prose got sticky and I found myself reading and re-reading passages to make sense of them which kept me from 5 stars but not sure if that's just his style or things that a copy editor might massage out before publication.

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Four American Indian hunting illegally on tribal elder land run afoul of a dangerous entity in Stephen Graham Jones' latest, The Only Good Indians. This book is a fantastic trip, mixing the classic horror trope of a pissed off entity of nature with some timely social and environmental commentary. Graham Jones expertly utilizes different point of views and characters to flesh out the story, and each main figure in the story has a complex and often sympathetic backstory.

Of course, a horror story wouldn't have legs if the scares weren't there, and Graham Jones does not disappoint here either. There are various passages that are difficult to read, and the creeping tension in the first third of the book is a particular highlight. Despite the terror, it's the book's ultimate message of cautious hope that ends up being Graham Jones' finest accomplishment: the ability to stare bleakness in the face and see glimmers of light.

**I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Gallery, Pocket Books**

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I will be honest. I found this book a little confusing and it didn't hold my interest. I am a tough read, this I will admit. A book has to grab me from the start or at least suck me in after chapter or two. This did neither, and for that I am sorely disappointed. I've seen the good reviews it has gotten by members of the horror community, but frankly it did nothing for me.

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This book shook me to my core. I am rarely ever frightened by horror novels. Usually the descriptions of the terrors are too vague, the characters so blank you can't bring yourself to care about their fates, and the climaxes predictable and forgettable. But this is not the case with The Only Good Indians. Jones has written a work that struck me in a way no other book has, and I'll be sure to have an irrational fear and deep respect for elk for the rest of my life.

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Having read this author before I was looking forward to this one. Graham Jones writes with a beauty that few authors can match and this book was the same. Since I was familiar with this one and being that I was given an advanced copy I saw this through to the end, however i probably would have quit on it otherwise. While I'm not familiar with the symbolism of the elk in this story, I went with it but didn't find a satisfying solution here. This element and the Native American culture in it are things Graham Jones expects you to keep up on, there is no hand holding if you don't get it.

The back half of the book was even more scattered for me. While I love the prose I just can't imagine a reader I would reccomend this too unless they are big fans of the author.

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Haunting and suspenseful, The Only Good Indians is one of the best horror books I've read recently. I read it about three hours and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The beginning is a little slow, but keep reading because it picks up. The book is well-written and you can easily envision the story as you read it. I anticipate that this book will be adapted into a movie or miniseries and I look forward to that.

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First, thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this!

4 stars I think? This one is a weird one because I read the first 50%, got distracted and read the last 50% on a flight while I was nauseated. So like most of this is a fog for me but I did really enjoy the book overall. I really just need to re-read it to give it a better chance.

I also don't read lots of horror, so I can't speak to any horror tropes in this really.

There was a really good use of 2nd person in this, and I just loved that aspect so much. The story being told was also done very well. I could follow the plot and I didn't really feel loss as to why things were progressing that way.

A lot of the reason this is ranked as just a 4 even though I really loved it is because one of the more graphic sequences had me lost when it came to what was going on. Like I thought some characters were alive only to find out they had died and I had apparently missed that paragraph while reading, but even on re-reading I was still confused on some of the action taking place.

The book is split into sections, the first one is the longest (and a REALLY good build-up), and the last is the shortest. The first and last sections are also the best. The second section has the 2nd person I love, but certain parts just felt dragged out or like it took too long to buildup.

There is also a REALLY good section that follows someone that thinks they're going crazy and I think it was done very well, like it was believable that the character was losing it. Overall a really great book, and I recommend it to anyone who likes horror.

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Wow, what a creepy, twisted read! Well written, shocking, scary, chilling to the bone, and so much more! Wasn’t sure what I would think of this one; but when I started I was hooked and could not put it down! Really shows that karma is not the nicest, so be careful on what/who you decide to hurt! If you like scary stories, with some good thrills and mystery worked in, this is for sure your book! Preorder now!
Will make sure to buzz this one up.

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I know this book doesn’t release until May, but I simply could not wait. 2019 is the year I started reading Stephen Graham Jones. I’ve only read/reviewed Mongrels and All the Beautiful Sinners , and I am so thankful there are many more back titles for me to get to in 2020.

I wanted to mention the other two books I’ve read because, while the other two are different, there is something at play between these three. All of them focus on a Native American character or characters, and all three include a search for identity. If you haven’t yet read Jones (fix that!), you won’t miss out on anything if this one is your first, just know that some of the same themes arise in others as well.

The title itself, The Only Good Indians, could reference any number of things in Native American history. Is it something that Sheridan or Roosevelt said? Maybe it references a previously written book. Or perhaps, it is just what it is, a phrase the friends grew up with and internalized as they traversed life in and outside the reservation.

At any rate, we see mainstream racial stereotypes, but Jones gives a very raw look at the internalization of harmful behavior, not only outside of the reservation, but from within as well. If you’re reading this thinking “ugh, pass on the social commentary”, first, check yourself, and second, this book has a lot more to give; without the depth, it just isn’t the same.

Jones isn’t one of the most prolific and versatile horror fiction authors for no reason. Be prepared for truly gnarly body horror, supernatural happenings, and a complete sense of “what the hell is going on”. No worries though, with Jones at the helm it all makes sense. This book is going to leave a mark. In the best way. The Only Good Indians made me laugh, ugly cry, and hide my eyes in revulsion. Want a great story? This is the book. Want to be terrified? Yep, this book. Pre-order or wait until May, just get this one in front of your face.

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This has been getting raving reviews... so I want you to take this review with a grain of salt ;).


I really really struggled with this book. I found it extremely slow and had issues with the writing style. I feel like the story never grabbed me from page one and was waiting for something to happen.... it just lost me. I love a good horror book but this just wasn't for me and feel like I wasn't the best reader for this book.


There have been many positive glowing reviews so give it try you may love it.

Thank you so much to Gallery and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date: 5/19/20
Published to GR: 12/24/19

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Be careful what you sow because you reap what you sow…
Ten years ago, four young American Indians went hunting and had killed some elks, illegally… and they had no idea what would be the consequences of their actions…

Fast forward to present day, the 10th anniversary of the said killing, one of these Indians keeps encountering some unexplainable hideous incidents until…
I like the creepy horror and suspense of this “The Only Good Indians” by Stephen Graham Jones. Nonetheless, the flow of the story is a bit choppy; at some points, the story-telling lacks some strength.


Author Stephen Graham Jones has great potential to write good horror, creepy and haunting novels, and I am looking forward to reading Mr. Jones’s future novels of such genre.
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this eARC.

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I finished The Only Good Indians last week and I have been thinking about it since then. I really enjoyed the novel and am thankful to Saga Press for gifting me this title. I love that this story is Native American based because it shares with the reader some of the believes and rituals of the Native Americans. We are all connected. I believe this story is pure fantasy but it feels so believable. The four boys and the way they savagely destroy the herd in a frenzy leads to the their ultimate demise. We need to all think clearly before we act because the consequences of our actions impact our entire lives. I know I can not properly convey the spirit of this story but I feel that it is a must read because of its rich symbolism and moral story. I feel as though I could read it again and take even more away from it the second time. I really am not sure that I fully agree with its placement as a Horror Novel but even though it has some gory scenes. The Only Good Indians by Steven Graham Jones is a book you should read for its great story telling, I know I will be looking for more from this author.

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Phew! What an incredible read!

I give this book major points for creativity and uniqueness. I don't think I've ever read a book like this before. Four American Indian men go hunting only to end up being hunted themselves. This is a story of revenge and justice, with a splash of gore thrown into the mix. But I wouldn't qualify it as overly excessive violence, especially if you're a big horror fan. There are animal deaths, so beware if that's a trigger.

It started a bit slow, but picked up in the second act. The book is broken into sections, and it takes a little effort to really sink into each new bit of the story. However, once the action starts, it captivates. The characters are memorable and tragic, while giving a bit of insight into life as an American Indian. The entity haunting them is an enigma that kept me guessing until the final chapter. Sure, there were parts with the pacing lagged a bit, but the pay off was worth it.

I highly recommend! Thanks for the free ARC Netgalley!

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