cover image The Only Good Indians

The Only Good Indians

Stephen Graham Jones. Saga, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982136-45-1

Jones (Mapping the Interior) spins a sharp, remarkable horror story out of a crisis of cultural identity. Lewis and his three childhood friends, now in their 30s, have all moved away from the soul-sucking depression of the Blackfeet Reservation where they grew up, leading Lewis to believe “he deserves some big Indian award for having... avoided all the car crashes and jail time and alcoholism on his cultural dance card.” Then a mysterious entity in the form of an elk begins to dog Lewis’s every move. Though he doesn’t understand why the elk-shaped demon has come to haunt him, he slowly realizes it wants revenge for him distancing himself from his ancestors’ beliefs. As people around Lewis start to die, his paranoia about the elk mounts, leading him to acts of violence of his own. Jones’s writing is raw, balancing on the knife-edge between dark humor and all-out gore as he forces his characters to reckon with their pasts, as well as their culture’s. This novel works both as a terrifying chiller and as biting commentary on the existential crisis of indigenous peoples adapting to a culture that is bent on eradicating theirs. Challenging and rewarding, this tale will thrill Jones’s fans and garner him plenty of new readers. Agent: BJ Robbins, BJ Robbins Literary. (July)