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Mapping the Interior: A Tor.com Original Kindle Edition
"Brilliant." —The New York Times
Mapping the Interior is a horrifying, inward-looking novella from Stephen Graham Jones that Paul Tremblay calls "emotionally raw, disturbing, creepy, and brilliant."
Blackfeet author Stephen Graham Jones brings readers a spine-tingling Native American horror novella.
Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.
The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you'd rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.
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Brilliant. --The New York Times
Stephen Graham Jones's Mapping the Interior is a triumph. So emotionally raw, disturbing, creepy, and brilliant. You will not be unmoved. You will not be unaffected. It's a ghost story in the truest, darkest, most melancholy sense. Stephen knows we are haunted by our parents, our families, and our shared pasts as much as we are haunted by ourselves; haunted by who we were, who we become, and who we could've been. --Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock
Stephen Graham Jones's chilling Mapping the Interior is part S.E. Hinton and part Shirley Jackson. It's about being young and broke, and that moment when you first wonder who your parents really are. The answers are out there, but they will leave you haunted forever. --Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim series
Mapping the Interior is Jones at his best. --PANKMagazine
A chilling tale told from a less-heard perspective, Mapping the Interior is the type of horror story you keep on your shelf for regular hauntings. --Rue Morgue
Mapping the Interior is thus a masterful critique of time, place, and memory in (post/de)colonial contexts that surfaces questions urgent for Native literature, horror fiction, and American history. --World Literature Today
Wonderfully refreshing and not to be missed. --Publishers Weekly--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
- ASIN : B01N8VPCNY
- Publisher : Tordotcom (20 June 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 734 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 112 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 95,864 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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I discovered this novella via PerpetualPages on YouTube. It’s a little out of my comfort zone but I’m glad I picked it up as it was a delightfully creepy read!
The reservation setting and culture is woven so deeply into the fabric of this story that it truly becomes a character in and of itself. I’ve not read many (any?) ownvoices Native lit, and I want to make a concerted effort to change this in 2019 because this was such a fantastic reading experience.
The writing style is admittedly confusing and difficult to get into at first, yet somehow it added to the strangeness and otherworldliness of the story. You’re never quite sure how much to buy into what’s happening; unsure whether this is a genuine supernatural occurrence or perhaps a tale of mental illness and grief.
And the way in which this story comes full circle is nothing short of masterful. It’s not often that books will take my breath away, but I audibly gasped when I realised where the story was headed!
Be warned that there is some nasty animal murder/gore depicted on page. I’m really sensitive to this and wish I’d known going in - though I ultimately found it less upsetting than animal cruelty in crime fiction, if that counts for anything.
Such a good book. Such a good book.
Top reviews from other countries
Mapping the Interior is a story of the protagonist, a sleepwalker, who at fifteen years of age sees the silhouette of his dead father (or at least he thinks it is his father) in the house where he, his mother, and younger brother who suffers from seizures live. Nothing is clear about the father’s death who died mysteriously before the family left the reservation.
In all of this, the boy wants to know more. So, he decides to understand where he came from, where his family came from – their culture and roots but also about the house and its hidden corners and passages, and to comprehend the haunting (if that’s what it is).
Stephen Graham Jones’ writing is beyond superlative. The way he blends coming of age with a supernatural story, and also about what it means to be clueless about identity is staggering, and that too with such brevity. It is so short that it can be devoured in a day, and that was also one of my issues with it – I wish it were longer because it is so good. At the same time, I am also conflicted in thinking that the length is just right for the story Jones wanted to tell. I cannot begin with explore his other books and read them all, one after the other.
Mapping the Interior is a unique piece of fiction in many ways. For one, Jones’ prose is unbelievably beautiful; almost lyrical. It has a deceptive flow to it which lulls the reader into appreciation of Jones’ story-telling without at first noticing that the story’s narrator is totally unreliable. In some ways, Mapping the Interior is reminiscent of what now may be an almost forgotten, albeit brilliant novel, The Kryptonite Kid (1979) by Joseph Torchia in which the reader is forced to evaluate and try to detect fantasy from reality. Jones’ narrator, however, makes it even more difficult than does Torchia’s.
There is no doubt that by time Jones’ narrator sees his father’s ghost that the boy is haunted; but by exactly what? Determined to see his father again, the boy tries to trigger more sleep-walking episodes and he goes so far as to draw a map of the family’s floor plan to their inadequate modular house—including under it—to try to find evidence of his father’s presence. The book’s title, thus, becomes a wonderful metaphor for the boy’s internal search of the house as well as himself.
During all of Mapping the Interior there are moments of realist family drama and interactions between the two brothers and between the brothers and their mother. Some scenes reflect great love. Some reflect tragedy and fear. Growing up for those that are considered different and who do not have much of any luxury to fall back upon is difficult. However, in Mapping the Interior there are also genuinely frightening events—made all the more alarming by the fact that the line between reality and fantasy is a blur throughout and the narrator’s citing of events is filled with misleading contradictions. The ground upon which the reader stands is ever uncertain and shifting.
By time readers reach the end of the novel they will most likely have gained some greater appreciation of modern American Indian life and the trials many of those individuals face without having been preached to by Jones. As per the plot and story, readers who must have everything spelled out for them in black and white with every loose end neatly tied up are likely to be disappointed. Mapping the Interior will best be appreciated by readers who revel in superb writing and who enjoy experiencing a wonderful literary experience and a small glimpse of the terrors of the unknown and the confusion that can be wrought by the human psyche. Because of its length, readers will be tempted to consume all of Mapping the Interior in a single sitting, but that would be like chugging a fine wine meant to be sipped and would not do justice to this short, but phenomenal work of art.