Book review: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones


Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.


Well, where to start with this one. First off, yes I enjoyed it… for the most part. BUT, I don’t think I needed to rush into because of FOMO. In fact I think if I’d let this simmer for longer, let the hype die away a bit more, then I may have enjoyed it more.⁠

I’m trying to get my head around how to review this because there were good parts and there were bad parts but I’m having trouble differentiating them. It’s almost as though all of the book was brilliant at the same time as all of it being boring.⁠

Forgive me if this feels more like a list, but here are the good parts… Really gnarly gruesome parts that get a big double thumbs up from me. Interesting and well fleshed out characters, especially Lewis! Incredibly atmospheric in parts. A very heartfelt and emotional story of revenge. Another thing I loved was the Own Voices aspect of this novel.

And for the bad parts? The writing style drove me up the wall, so difficult to get on with. Also, how about we speed it up a bit? It took a long time for me to get into this at the start, plus the pacing felt off throughout the rest of the story. Incredibly un-atmospheric in parts, basketball really doesn’t put me on edge.⁠

I’m glad I read it because some of the more gruesome aspects were brilliant, almost worth the read just for them! But I wish I had left it longer to read because I think the hype sort of flatlined this for me. Read it, don’t read it, it’s up to you.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Book Details:

Pages: 357
Edition Published:
2020, Titan Books (UK)
Genre: Horror, Fiction
Goodreads Av. Rating: 3.85

5 Replies to “Book review: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones”

  1. I’ve read a novella from this author and didn’t really like it too much. I then read one of his short stories in a anthology and liked it. I do have a couple of his novellas on my TBR to get to. Maybe I will pick this up at some point once it is less hyped.

    Liked by 1 person

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