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The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel

The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel

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The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel

3.5/5 (87 valoraciones)
339 página
5 horas
Jun 26, 2018


 “A tremendous book―thought-provoking and terrifying, with tension that winds up like a chain. The Cabin at the End of the World is Tremblay’s personal best. It’s that good.”  — Stephen King

The Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts adds an inventive twist to the home invasion horror story in a heart-palpitating novel of psychological suspense that recalls Stephen King’s Misery, Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, and Jack Ketchum’s cult hit The Girl Next Door.

Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.

One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, "None of what’s going to happen is your fault". Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: "Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world."

Thus begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are entwined. The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay.

“Read Paul Tremblay's new novel, The Cabin at the End of the World, and you might not sleep for a week. Longer. It will shape your nightmares for months – that's pretty much guaranteed.” NPR

“Gripping, horrifying, and mesmerizing.” GQ

“A tour-de-force of psychological and religious horror.” — BN.com

“A blinding tale of survival and sacrifice.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Tremblay has a real winner here.” — Tor.com

Jun 26, 2018

Sobre el autor

Paul Tremblay has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards and is the author of Growing Things, The Cabin at the End of the World, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, and the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly online, and numerous year’s-best anthologies. He has a master’s degree in mathematics and lives outside Boston with his family.

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The Cabin at the End of the World - Paul Tremblay


for Lisa, Cole, Emma, and for us


Then back in the ground / We look at our hands / And wonder aloud / Could anyone choose to die / In the end everybody wins / In the end everybody wins

—Future of the Left, The Hope That House Built

Meanwhile, planes drop from the sky / People disappear and bullets fly . . . Wouldn’t be surprised if they have their way / (Tastes just like chicken they say.)

—Clutch, Animal Farm

. . . because when the blanket of death came for us we kicked it off and were left naked and shivering in the world.

—Nadia Bulkin, Seven Minutes in Heaven, She Said Destroy



Title Page



Come and See

One: Wen

Two: Eric

Let’s Make a Deal

Three: Eric

Four: Andrew and Eric

Bloody Like the Day You Were Born

Five: Leonard

Six: Eric

This Is the End

Seven: Andrew and Eric


An Excerpt from Survivors Song


P.S. Insights, Interviews & More . . .*

About the Author

About the Book

Read On

Praise for The Cabin at the End of the World

Also by Paul Tremblay


About the Publisher

Come and See



The girl with the dark hair walks down the wooden front stairs and lowers herself into the yellowing lagoon of ankle-high grass. A warm breeze ripples through the blades, leaves, and crablike petals of clover flowers. She studies the front yard, watching for the twitchy, mechanical motion and frantic jumps of grasshoppers. The glass jar cradled against her chest smells faintly of grape jelly and is sticky on the inside. She unscrews the aerated lid.

Wen promised Daddy Andrew she would release the grasshoppers before they got cooked inside the homemade terrarium. The grasshoppers will be okay because she’ll make sure to keep the jar out of direct sunlight. She worries, though, that they could hurt themselves by jumping into the sharp edges of the lid’s punched-in holes. She’ll catch smaller grasshoppers, ones that don’t jump as high or as powerfully, and because of their compact size there will be more leg-stretching room inside the jar. She will talk to the grasshoppers in a low, soothing voice, and hopefully they will be less likely to panic and mash themselves against the dangerous metal stalactites. Satisfied with her updated plan, she pulls up a fistful of grass, roots and all, leaving a pockmark in the front yard’s sea of green and yellow. She carefully deposits and arranges the grass in the jar, then wipes her hands on her gray Wonder Woman T-shirt.

Wen’s eighth birthday is in six days. Her dads not so secretly wonder (she has overheard them discussing this) if the day is her actual date of birth or one assigned to her by the orphanage in China’s Hubei Province. For her age she is in the fifty-sixth percentile for height and forty-second for weight, or at least she was when she went to the pediatrician six months ago. She made Dr. Meyer explain the context of those numbers in detail. As pleased as she was to be above the fifty-line for height, she was angry to be below it for weight. Wen is as direct and determined as she is athletic and wiry, often besting her dads in battles of wills and in scripted wrestling matches on their bed. Her eyes are a deep, dark brown, with thin caterpillar eyebrows that wiggle on their own. Along the right edge of her philtrum is the hint of a scar that is only visible in a certain light and if you know to look for it (so she is told). The thin white slash is the remaining evidence of a cleft lip repaired with multiple surgeries between the ages of two and four. She remembers the first and final trips to the hospital, but not the ones in between. That those middle visits and procedures have been somehow lost bothers her. Wen is friendly, outgoing, and as goofy as any other child her age, but isn’t easy with her reconstructed smiles. Her smiles have to be earned.

It’s a cloudless summer day in northern New Hampshire, only a handful of miles from the Canadian border. Sunlight shimmers on the leaves of the trees magnanimously lording over the small cabin, the lonely red dot on the southern shore of Gaudet Lake. Wen sets the jar down in a shady patch adjacent to the front stairs. She wades out into the grass, her arms outstretched, as though treading water. She swishes her right foot back and forth through the tops of the grass like Daddy Andrew showed her. He grew up on a farm in Vermont, so he’s the grasshopper-finding expert. He said her foot is to act like a scythe, but without actually cutting down the grass. She didn’t know what he meant and he launched into an explanation of what the tool was and how it was used. He took out his smartphone to search images of scythes before they both remembered there was no cell phone service at the cabin. Daddy Andrew drew a scythe on a napkin instead; a crescent-shaped knife at the end of a long stick, something a warrior or an orc from The Lord of the Rings movies would carry. It looked really dangerous and she didn’t understand why people needed something so large and extreme to cut grass, but Wen loved the idea of pretending her leg was the handle and her foot was the long curved blade.

A brown grasshopper, big enough to span the distance across her hand, with loud, rasping wings flies up from underneath her foot and bounces off her chest. Wen stumbles backward at impact, almost falling down.

She giggles and says, Okay, you’re too big.

She resumes her exploratory swipes with her scythe-foot. A much smaller grasshopper jumps so high she loses sight of it somewhere in its skyward, elliptical arc, but she tracks it as it lands a few feet to her left. It’s the same fluorescent green as a tennis ball and the perfect size, not much bigger than the clumps of seeds at the ends of the longer grass stalks. If only she can catch it. Its movements are quick and difficult to anticipate, and it leaps away the moment before the quivering trap of her hands is in place. She laughs and follows a manic zigzag around the yard. She tells it that she means no harm, she will let it go eventually, and she just wants to learn about it so she can help all the other grasshoppers be healthy and happy.

Wen eventually catches the miniacrobat at the edge of the lawn and the gravel driveway. Cupped in the cave of her hands, this is the first grasshopper she’s ever caught. She whisper-shouts, Yes! The grasshopper is so slight she can only feel it when it tries to jump through her closed fingers. The urge to open her hands a crack for a little peek is almost a compulsion, but she wisely resists. She sprints across the yard and deposits the grasshopper into the jar and quickly screws on the lid. The grasshopper bounces like an electron, pinging against the glass and tin, and then stops abruptly, perches on the greenery, and rests.

Wen says, Okay. You are number one. She pulls a palm-sized notebook out of her back pocket, the front page already gridded into wavy rows and columns with headings, and she writes down the number one, an estimate of its size (she writes, inaccurately, 2 inches), color (green), boy or girl (girl Caroline), energy level (hi). She returns the jar to its shaded spot and wanders back into the front yard. She quickly catches four more grasshoppers of similar size: two brown, one green, and one a color somewhere in the spectrum between. She names them after schoolmates: Liv, Orvin, Sara, and Gita.

As she searches for a sixth grasshopper, she hears someone walking or jogging on the forever-long dirt road that winds by the cabin and traces the lake’s shoreline before snaking off into the surrounding woods. When they arrived two days ago, it took them twenty-one minutes and forty-nine seconds to drive the length of the dirt road. Wen timed it. Granted, Daddy Eric was driving way too slowly, like always.

The sounds of feet mashing and grinding into the dirt and stone are louder, closer. Something big is trudging its way down the road. Really big. Maybe it’s a bear. Daddy Eric made her promise she would yell for them and run inside if she saw any animal bigger than a squirrel. Should she be excited or scared? She doesn’t see anything through the crowd of trees. Wen stands in the middle of the lawn, ready to run if necessary. Is she fast enough to get inside the cabin if it is a dangerous animal? She hopes it’s a bear. She wants to see one. She can play dead if she has to. The maybe-bear is at the tree-obscured mouth of the driveway. Her curiosity shifts gears into becoming annoyed to have to be dealing with whatever/whoever is there because she’s in the middle of an important project.

A man rounds the bend and walks briskly down the driveway like he’s coming home. Wen is not a good judge of height as all adults exist in that cloud-filled space above her, but he is easily taller than her dads. He might be taller than anyone she has ever met, and he’s as wide as a couple of tree trunks pushed together.

The man waves with a hand that might as well be a bear’s paw, and he smiles at Wen. Given her many lip reconstruction procedures, Wen has always focused on and studied smiles. Too many people have smiles that don’t mean what a smile is supposed to mean. Their smiles are often cruel and mocking, like how a bully’s grin is the same as a fist. Worse are the confused and sad smiles from adults. Wen remembers presurgeries and postsurgeries not needing a mirror to know her face wasn’t like everyone else’s yet because of the crumbly, you-poor-poor-thing smiles on faces in waiting rooms and lobbies and parking garages.

This man’s smile is warm and wide. His face opens its curtains naturally. Wen can’t fully describe the difference between a real smile and a fake one, but she knows it when she sees it. He is not faking. His is the real thing, so real as to be contagious, and Wen gives him a tight-lipped smile she covers with the back of her hand.

The man is dressed inappropriately for jogging or hiking in the woods. His clunky black shoes with thick rubber soles piled beneath his feet stand him up even taller; they are not sneakers and they are not the nice dress-up shoes Daddy Eric wears. They are more like the Doc Martens Daddy Andrew wears. Wen remembers the brand because she likes that his shoes are named after a person. The man wears dusty blue jeans and a white dress shirt, tucked in and buttoned all the way to the top, squeezing the collar around his fire-hydrant neck.

He says, Hi there. His voice is not as big as he is, not even close. He sounds like a teenager, like one of the student counselors in her after-school program.


My name is Leonard.

Wen doesn’t give her name and before she can say let me go get my dads, Leonard asks her a question.

Is it okay if we talk a little before I talk to your parents? I definitely want to talk to them, too, but let’s you and I chat first. Is that okay?

I don’t know. I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.

You’re right and you’re very smart. I promise that I’m here to be your friend and I’m not going to be a stranger for long. He smiles again. It’s almost as big as a laugh.

She returns it and doesn’t cover this one up with her hand.

Can I ask you what your name is?

Wen knows she should say nothing more, turn around, and go inside, and go inside quickly. She’s had the stranger-danger talk with her dads countless times, and living in the city, it makes sense for her to be vigilant because there are so many people there. An unimaginable number of people walk on the sidewalks and fill the subways and live and work and shop inside the tall buildings and there’re people in cars and buses that jam the streets at all hours, and she understands how there could be one bad person mixed in with the good people and how that bad person could be in an alley or a van or a doorway or the playground or the corner market. But up here, in the woods and on the lake, standing in the grass, under the sun and the sleepy trees and blue sky, she feels safe, and she believes this Leonard looks okay. She says so inside her head: He looks okay.

Leonard stands at the border of the driveway and grass, only a few steps away from Wen. His hair is wheat colored and moppy, swirling in layers, swoops of icing on a cake. His eyes are round and brown like a teddy bear’s eyes. He is younger than her dads. His face is pale and smooth and he doesn’t have a hint of the beard-stubble shadow Daddy Andrew gets by the end of each day. Maybe Leonard is in college. Should she ask him what college he goes to? She could then tell him that Daddy Andrew teaches at Boston University.

She says, My name is Wenling. But my dads and my friends and everyone at school calls me Wen.

Well, it is very nice to meet you, Wen. So tell me what you’re up to. Why aren’t you swimming in the lake on such a beautiful afternoon?

That’s something an adult would say. Maybe he isn’t a college student. She says, The lake is very cold. So I’m catching grasshoppers.

You are? Oh, I love to catch grasshoppers. Used to do it all the time when I was a kid. So much fun.

It is. But this is more serious. She juts out her lower jaw, a purposeful imitation of Daddy Eric when she asks him a question with an answer that isn’t yes right away, but will be yes eventually if she waits long enough.

It is?

I’m catching them and naming them and studying them so I can find out if they are healthy. People do that when they study animals and I want to help animals when I grow up. Wen is a little light-headed from talking so fast. Teachers at school tell her to slow down because they can’t understand her when she gets going like this. Substitute teacher Ms. Iglesias told her once that it was like the words leaked out of her mouth, and Wen didn’t like Ms. Iglesias at all after that.

I’m very impressed. Do you need any help? I’d love to help. I know I’m much bigger now than when I was a kid. He holds out his hands and shrugs like he can’t believe what he’s become. But I’m still very gentle.

Wen says, Okay. I’ll hold the jar so the other ones don’t jump out, and maybe you can catch a couple more for me. No big ones, please. They can’t be big. No room. Just the small ones. I’ll show you. She walks to the stairs to retrieve her jar. She goes up on her tiptoes and peers through the cabin’s open windows that flank the front door. She looks for her dads, to see if they are watching or listening. They are not in the kitchen or the living room. They must be out on the back deck, reclined in the lounge chairs, sunning themselves (Daddy Eric will most certainly get sunburned and then insist his lobster-red skin doesn’t hurt or need aloe), and reading a book or listening to music or boring podcasts. She briefly considers going out back to tell them about catching grasshoppers with Leonard. Instead she picks up the jar. The grasshoppers react like heated popcorn, pattering against the lid. Wen shushes her charges and goes to Leonard, who is in the middle of the lawn, already hunched over and scanning the grass.

Wen sidles up next to him. She holds out the jar and says, See? No big ones, please.

Got it.

Do you want me to catch them and you can watch?

I’d really like to catch one at least. It’s been a long time. I’m not fast like you anymore, so I’ll just move real slow to not scare them. Oh, hey, there’s one. He bends and stretches out his arms on either side of the grasshopper that is hanging upside down from the tip of a dried-out stalk. The grasshopper doesn’t move, hypnotized by the giant eclipsing the sun. Leonard’s hands slowly come together and swallow it up.

Wow. You’re good.

Thanks. Now how do we want to do this? Maybe you should put the jar on the ground, let the ones inside calm down a little, and then we can open the lid and put this one in, too.

Wen does as he suggests. Leonard goes down to one knee and stares at the jar. Wen mimics his movements. She wants to ask if the grasshopper is jumping around in the darkness of his hands, if he feels it crawling on his skin.

They wait in silence until he says, Okay. Let’s try it. Wen unscrews the lid. Leonard slides one hand over the other until he is holding the grasshopper in one mighty fist and then delicately tilts the lid open with the newly freed hand. He drops the grasshopper inside the jar, replaces the lid, and turns it once clockwise. They look at each other and laugh.

He says, We did it. You want one more?

Yeah. Wen has her notebook out and writes in the appropriate columns: 2 inches, green, boy Lenard, medeum. She giggles to herself that she named the grasshopper after him.

Leonard makes quick work of catching another grasshopper and deposits it inside the jar without incident or inmate escape.

Wen writes: 1 inch, brown, girl Izzy, low.

He asks, How many do you have now?


That’s a powerful, magic number.

Don’t you mean lucky?

No, it’s only sometimes lucky.

His response is annoying as everyone knows seven is a lucky number. I think it’s lucky, and I think it’s lucky for grasshoppers.

You are probably right.

Okay. That’s enough then.

What do we do now?

You can help me watch them. She puts the jar down on the ground and the two of them sit cross-legged and across from each other with the jar in the middle. Wen has her notebook and pencil out. A gust of wind rattles the paper held beneath her palms.

Leonard asks, Did you punch the holes in the lid yourself?

Daddy Eric did it. We found an old hammer and screwdriver in the basement. The basement was a scary place with shadows and spiderwebs in all the corners and angles and it smelled like the deep dark bottom of a lake. The cement slab floor was cold and gritty on her bare feet. She was supposed to put shoes on to go down there, but she had been too excited and forgot. Ropes, rusted gardening tools, and old life jackets hung from exposed wooden beams, the battered bones of the cabin. Wen wished their condo in Cambridge had a basement like this one. Of course, once they were back upstairs, Daddy Eric declared the basement was off-limits. Wen protested but he said there was too much sharp and rusty stuff down there, stuff that wasn’t theirs to be touching or using in the first place. In the face of the no basement allowed proclamation, Daddy Andrew groaned from the love seat in the living area and said, Daddy Fun is so strict. Daddy Fun was the mostly playful nickname for the family worrier and the one quickest to say no. Daddy Eric, ever calm, said, I’m serious. You should see it down there. It’s a deathtrap. Daddy Andrew said, I’m sure it’s terrible. Speaking of a trap! and he pulled Wen into a sneak-attack hug, spun her around, and gave her what he called his face kiss: lips planted on the space between her cheek and nose and he playfully smooshed the rest of his big face into hers. His beard stubble tickled and scratched and she giggled, screamed, and squirmed out of it. She ran to the front door with her jar and Daddy Andrew called after her, But we have to listen to Daddy Fun because he loves us, right? Wen shouted, No, back and her dads reacted with mock outrage as she closed the front door behind her.

Wen looks up from the jar and Leonard is staring at her. He’s bigger than a boulder, and his head is tilted and his eyes are either squinting in the bright sun or are narrowed like he’s trying to figure her out.

What? What are you looking at?

I’m sorry, that’s rude of me. I thought it was, I don’t know, cute—

Cute? Wen folds her arms across her chest.

I mean cool. Cool! Cool that you use your dad’s first name like that. Daddy Eric, right?

Wen sighs. I have two dads. Wen keeps her arms folded. I use their first names so they know who I’m talking to. Her friend from school, Rodney, has two dads, too, but he’s moving to Brookline later this summer. Sasha has two moms, but Wen doesn’t like her very much; she’s way too bossy. Some of the other kids in the neighborhood and at school only have one mom or one dad, and some have what is called a stepparent, or someone they call mom’s or dad’s partner or someone else without any sort of special name at all. Most of the kids she knows have one mom and one dad, though. All the kids on her favorite shows on the Disney Channel have one mom and one dad, too. There are days when Wen goes around at recess or the playground (but never at Chinese school) tapping kids on the shoulders and telling them she has two dads to see their reaction. Most of the kids aren’t fazed by it; there have been some kids who are mad at one of their own parents and tell her they wished they had two dads or two moms. There are other days when she thinks every whisper or conversation across the room is about her and she wishes her teachers or after-school counselors would stop asking her questions about her dads and telling her that it’s so great.

Leonard says, Ah, of course. That makes sense.

I think everyone should use first names. It’s more friendly. I don’t get why I have to call people Mr. and Miss and Mrs. just because they’re older. After you meet Daddy Eric, he is going to tell me to call you Mr. Something.

That’s not my last name.




Never mind. You have my official permission to call me Leonard.

Okay. Leonard, do you think having two dads is weird?

No. No way. Do other people tell you that having two dads is weird?

She shrugs. Maybe. Sometimes. There was one boy, Scott, who told her that God didn’t like her dads and they were fags, and he got suspended and moved into a different class. She and her dads had a family meeting and had what they called a big, serious talk. Her dads warned her that some people won’t understand their family and might say ignorant (their word) and hurtful things to her and it might not be their fault because of what they’ve been taught by other ignorant people with too much hate in their hearts, and, yes, it was very sad. Wen assumed they were talking about the same bad or stranger-danger people that hide in the city and want to take her away, but the more they talked to her about what Scott had said and why others might say things like that, too, the more it seemed like they were talking about everyday kind of people. Weren’t the three of them everyday kind of people? She pretended to understand for her dads’ sake, but she didn’t and still doesn’t. Why do she and her family need to be understood or explained to anyone else? She is happy and proud her dads trusted her enough to have the big, serious talk, but she also doesn’t like to think about it.

Leonard says, I don’t think it’s weird. I think you and your dads make a beautiful family.

I do, too.

Leonard adjusts his sitting position, twists around so he’s looking behind him at their black SUV pulled up close to the cabin in the small gravel lot, and then he eyes the length of the empty driveway and looks toward the obscured road. He turns back around, exhales, rubs his chin, and says, They don’t do much, do they?

Wen thinks he’s talking about her dads and she is ready to yell at him, tell him that they do a lot and that they are important people with important jobs.

Leonard must sense the building Vesuvius eruption and he points at the jar and says, I mean the grasshoppers. They don’t do much. They’re just kind of sitting there, chilling. Like us.

Oh no. Do you think they are sick? Wen bends to the jar, her face only inches from the glass.

He says, No, I think they are fine. Grasshoppers only hop when they need to. It takes a lot of energy to jump like that. They’re probably tired from our chasing them down. I’d be more concerned if they were bouncing off the walls like mad.

I guess so. But I’m worried. Wen sits up and writes tired, sick, unhappy, hungry, scared? in her notebook.

Hey, can I ask how old you are, Wen?

I’ll be eight in six days.

Leonard’s smile falters a little bit, like her answer to the question is a sad thing. Really. Well, happy almost-birthday.

I am having two parties. Wen takes a deep breath and then says, rapid-fire, One up here at the cabin with just us and we’re going to eat buffalo meat burgers not buffalo style like the chicken, and then corn on the cob and ice cream cake and at night we’re going to light fireworks and I get to stay up until midnight and watch for shooting stars. And then . . . Wen stops and giggles because she can’t keep up with how fast she wants to talk. Leonard laughs, too. Wen regroups and adds, "And when I get back home me and my two

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  • (4/5)
    I read A Head Full of Ghosts last summer and loved it. It was one of my favorite books of the year. So I was very excited when I heard about The Cabin at the End of the World. I was able to get it from my library and eagerly began reading.

    First off, the character Wen is adorable. I love that we are inside her mind for the first chapter. It felt like an authentic 7 year old's voice to me. She idolizes her parents, Eric and Andrew. And although not as perfect as Wen believes, they are still good and loving parents.

    The three of them are vacationing in an isolated cabin, with no cell reception. Then four strangers arrive and hold them hostage, telling Eric and Andrew that they have a choice to make, one that will save the world from the impending apocalypse. Throughout the book, the reader is left wondering if the world really is about to be destroyed, or are the four strangers crazy.

    This book was exciting and tense. It takes place over the course of couple days, and I was very anxious to see how everything would turn out.
  • (3/5)
    Andrew and Eric take their eight-year-old daughter and go on vacation in an isolated cabin on a scenic lake in New Hampshire they're anticipating nothing more than time to unwind, to live without wifi or their phones, to let Wen goof around outside without constant supervision. But they've barely settled in when a man shows up on foot and starts a conversation with Wen, who is in the front yard catching grasshoppers. By the time she runs to tell her parents about the man outside, it's too late. I picked this up after seeing mentions of how very scary this book is. Horror is hit or miss with me, and usually it misses. It's either so over the top I stop being scared and start to roll my eyes, or it's just not that scary. This novel leans towards both simultaneously and so sort of worked for me. Not in the sense that I was scared, but I was interested in what was going to happen next that I kept turning the pages. This is a home invasion story with a twist; the four intruders come armed with the most terrifying weapons imaginable (kudos to Paul Tremblay for thinking up those nightmare-worthy objects) and they are utterly convinced that the world will end unless the family does a horrific thing. These aren't monsters taking pleasure in causing pain, these are true believers. Tremblay does a good job of walking the fine line between presenting the intruders as delusional and of presenting them as being correct. He leaves enough room for the reader to interpret the events how they choose and he ends the book at the exactly right moment. If your secret fear is of being the target of a home invasion, this book will probably be terrifying in all the right ways.
  • (4/5)
    If countless horror movies haven't convinced you that it's never a good idea to vacation in a remote cabin in the woods, this book surely will. Married couple Eric and Andrew are vacationing with their adopted daughter Wen in the New Hampshire backwoods when four very creepy people show up, break in, and tell them that the world is going to end imminently if they don't make a horrendous choice. The action takes place over the next couple of days as the suspense ratchets up to unbearable levels--and Tremblay does not take the action in expected directions. Some readers may not care for the ending, but I thought it was perfect, because the novel captured so well the existential uncertainty we all live in, having to make choices without knowing what the potential consequences may be and having to continue moving forward no matter what--a theme that elevates this above a mere thriller. Paul Tremblay is fast becoming one of my favorite horror writers, and his latest did not disappoint.
  • (5/5)
    5 StarsThe Cabin at the End of the World is, without a doubt one of the most talked about novels of the year, with nearly equal amounts of love and hate for the latest work from Paul Tremblay. This is my third book by this Massachusetts writer. I loved A Head Full of Ghosts and liked Disappearance at Devil's Rock and fall squarely in the love column for this brilliant take on the apocalypse. I took the time to read several of the one-star reviews and they actually have legitimate complaints, I just happen to have a difference of opinion. I actually liked the open ending. It left me pondering the possible outcomes. Something I'll be thinking about for some time to come.The whole story is thought-provoking, start to finish. Andrew and Eric are spending time at their secluded cabin in the woods. Their little girl, Wen, is in the yard catching grasshoppers and putting them in a jar. She knows all about stranger danger, but sometimes a child just gets caught in the moment. That's what happens when the kind and gentle Leonard starts to engage her about the art of catching the insects.Before we know it Leonard is joined by Redmond, Adriane, and Sabrina. Their story about the end of the world and the part Andrew, Eric, and Wen are to play is unfathomable and the solution untenable.The writing is wonderful..."Too many people have smiles that don't mean what a smile is supposed to mean. Their smiles are often cruel and mocking, like how a bully's grin is the same as a fist."I found The Cabin at the End of the World to be an imaginative "What would you do?" story. I asked myself that very question, again an again, as I read the story. I could easily see this as a feature film.Strongly recommended, but be prepared to love it or hate it. There is little middle ground.Cabin at the End of the World is published by William Morrow and is available in all formats.From the author's bio - Paul Tremblay is the author of Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, and the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. He has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book Awards and is currently a member of the board of directors of the Shirley Jackson Awards. He has a master’s degree in mathematics and lives outside Boston with his wife and two children.
  • (3/5)
    A quick read, but not well written.
  • (2/5)
    I can't finish this. It is way too violent and disturbing for me, for no discernible reason. I thought about finishing to try to find out the reason, but it's too brutal. I love a scary book, but not a gory one.
  • (5/5)
    I won this book on Goodreads and I am grateful.If this were to be a one-word review, I would be stuck between Wow! and Awesome!This is the first Paul Tremblay book I have read, and it will not be the last. The writing is flawless. I do not say that about many authors (no offense authors) but there are certain writers that you just know have the knack to begin with and the talent to pull it off effortlessly. It's a feel. The subject matter of this book is both horrifying and current on many levels. It covers so many bases in such an emotional way that it is difficult to be explicit here without giving too much away. I can tell you that you will be hooked and locked in by the end of the first page. You will sometimes have to close the book for a moment to ponder. You won't be able to keep it closed long enough to accurately ponder. You will have to read on. It is emotional, intense, and wonderful. I would consider it a must read.Incidentally, when you are done reading it, you will not be done with it. It will stay with you for awhile.
  • (4/5)
    This book was terrifying and definitely isn't for the faint of heart. While I liked this book and read it in two sittings, I would hesitate to recommend it to some of my more tender hearted friends. Seven year old Wen is playing outside the very remote vacation cabin where she and her fathers are staying when a friendly stranger comes up and helps her to catch grasshoppers. Then, three other strangers come up the driveway with strange weapons and an even stranger story about needing their help to save the world. This was very thought provoking, are the strangers telling the truth or are they completely insane? And, what difference does it make when they need your help to save the world?
  • (5/5)
    Wow. Talk about a truly terrifying book. A little girl and her two dads find themselves hosting a party of four lunatics in a remote cabin in the woods. The family is told they have an important decision to make - that will save the entire world. And...I cannot say much more than that without giving away what I think are important plot points.

    At least twice while reading I said, out loud, "oh my god."

    Just a heartbreaking and horrifying book crafted around the themes of loyalty and family.

  • (3/5)
    My gut tells me the ending will polarize readers -- a love it or hate it type situation. If you're the reader who requires the mystery revealed by story's end, you'll probably throw the book when you reach page 270. The mystery here being, well, that's kinda spoilery is the apocalypse really happening? or are the "4 horsemen" simply delusional cultists. Thankfully, the home invaders reveal their motives right away.No, the biggest disappointment for me was the story as a whole. tTe premise and its potential kept me turning the pages, but I wasn't really invested in Wen, Andrew or Eric as individuals. When it became obvious this wasn't going to be something I hadn't read or watched before, I detached.By the final chapters, though, I couldn't not turn the pages to find out what the Dads would do. What the ending would reveal, if anything.The tension was masterful.3 stars
  • (2/5)
    I wanted to read this book because I saw so many people had liked it but I will have to say that I didn't really like it at all. I have read some scary books and this one was not that scary to me. There are crazy people holding the occupants of the cabin as hostages but I thought it lacked real tension. I listened to the audio and it was during the day and maybe if I was home alone and it was at night then I'm sure I would have been a bit more nervous. So, if you read this one and you were scared then I would say, "Good for you!" If you haven't read it then maybe you should try it and see if it is scary enough for you. I just thought the whole story was rather strange. But I guess that's why they have so many flavors of ice cream!
  • (5/5)
    Oh Paul Tremblay, you stress me out. You have me wasting my day away anxious with a beating heart. You are smarter than you should be. You can weave a story better than you should. All of this makes Cabin such a rewarding read. There is heart. There is what-the-hell-is-going-to-happen. There is more to say but I do not have the time. Stephen King likes it. There. That is reason enough to pick it up. Also, the cover is beautiful. It looks great on a bookshelf.
  • (4/5)
    Oooh, the first chapter is so creepy! It gave me that feeling of "No! Don't do that! Run away! What are you doing? This ain't right! Run, run, run!"! And then...Basically, 8 year old Wen is on vacation in a remote cabin with her two dads, when four strangers show up. Ugh. Basically, I was freaked out the whole time I read this! What the strangers want, what the consequences may, or may not, be, and what decisions the family must make just kept me ill at ease. This is almost a five star, but I'm not sure how I totally feel about the end. I just know that for me, getting to that ending was a bit like going through the wringer! Whooooo...
  • (2/5)
    While the prose is lovely, this book takes a long time to get much of anywhere. Conversations tend to go around in circles, having the same back and forth dialogue framed differently and repeated. This stretches what could have been scenes into entire chapters, which drags the pacing to a screeching halt.

    Some of the characters are very enjoyable, though. Wen feels like an eight year old. Her fathers feel like a married couple in ways that many other books don't necessarily manage to convey. I like them as characters a lot. The framework they were set in was simply dragged out too much.

    I did DNF this. Not because it was awful or that I couldn't finish it, but because I do have a good number of other books I want to get to. This one simply isn't holding my attention. Perhaps one day I'll come back to it.

    *This book was recieved from the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway.*
  • (5/5)
    This book seems to be polarizing a lot of readers. Or at least the Amazon reviews which seem to mostly love the book or hate it. I don't know why. Personally, I would rank it as awesome! A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS was just a tad better in my opinion but they are photo-finish close in that ranking.The story: seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin. One afternoon four strangers arrive carrying menacing weapons and needing their help to save the world. The story the strangers tell is crazy; their actions are even crazier. Or are they sane behavior from people who have no choice. Suddenly Eric, Andrew, and Wen must make some difficult choices in order to survive.I found the story amazing. It was scary and terrifying but in part because it was so thought provoking. What would I have done if I was in their place? Would I have made the hard choice earlier? And if so, when? Because Tremblay made the characters so real, it made everything have more impact. The hardships and pain yanked hard on my heart. I felt for both the family and the strangers. One of the other things that Tremblay does with his novels (or at least the three I've read so far) is end them all with a touch of mystery. Was there really something supernatural that occurred or not? In this case, strangers claim the family needs to help save the world. So by the story's end, the world either has to be saved or be destroyed. But if the strangers are crazy, was the world really saved? Or were the claims deluded ravings from a madman? Unless the book ended with "The world then blew up.", you can never be sure. And that's what makes the story even better, that element of faith. Eric, Andrew, and Wen must have faith that the story is real, even if the messengers are crazy or demented. And as readers, we must decide who we want to believe. Taking Tremblay's story at face value is easy; seeing possibly demented motives makes it scarier. These are the type of books that will leave me pondering for days afterwards. And that is why I loved it.
  • (1/5)
    This was the second book I've tried to read this week that was just garbage. Have I been cursed in some way?
  • (3/5)
    Very vanilla in writing and in plot. Loose ends left hanging, truthfully waste of time. Probably should have taken away another star. I didn't like it at all.
  • (2/5)
    I didn't love this one as much as others by this author.
  • (2/5)
    What a waste of time.
  • (4/5)
    THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD takes a look at an American family and asks what are you willing to do to protect them? But this book asks that question in an unique way- right before it rips your heart out and stomps all over it!

    Eric and Andrew take their daughter Wen on vacation to a remote cabin located on a lake in the woods of New Hampshire. It's been deliberately chosen because it has no cell service, no internet, no nothing. They want to spend this time together, uninterrupted as a family. Unfortunately, their dream vacation came to a screeching halt when a large man named Leonard wandered into their front yard and started talking to Wen. Soon thereafter, three more people join him and together, they enter the cabin. Things go so downhill from there, it's hard to even talk about. What happens after that? You'll have to read this book to find out!

    To give away any more about the plot would be spoilery, so I'm just going to talk about my thoughts and impressions and leave it at that. First, I love the way that Paul Tremblay writes families. He always provides honest insights and observations and as such, these parts of his writing are the ones that appeal to me the most. In this case, I loved 7 year old Wen SO MUCH, I just wanted to pick her up, give her a hug and go help her catch grasshoppers. Eric and Andrew were mysteries at first, but the one thing that soon became obvious about them was their love for Wen.

    When things started to go sideways, I was captivated. I had so many questions but I expected and trusted the author to lead me through. Was I right to invest my trust? Yes and no. This is a very slight and "in general" type of spoiler, but just in case: I suspect that the end of this tale is going to ruffle some feathers, and I have to admit I felt a bit ruffled myself. I don't need everything tied up in a neat little bow, but I wouldn't have minded a few more answers. That aside, I honestly LOVED how it all came together at the end, (or didn't as the case may be, you'll have to read it!) I think it takes a certain amount of courage on the part of the author to end things the way he did and I'm very interested to see how it goes over with other readers.

    One other thing did bother me: after the group of strangers entered the cabin, the pacing slowed down a bit and there was a lot of talking without much actual explaining, if that makes any sense. Having chapters from different character's points of view helped me gain a little more insight as to what was going on in their heads, but I thought those portions were a little dragged out and for that, I deducted one star. (And to be honest, this issue is most likely mine, and mine alone.)

    THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD is now my favorite among the works of Paul Tremblay. The writing here was powerful and my heart is still healing from the major break it suffered while I was reading this book, and as such: I highly recommend it!

    *Thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
  • (4/5)
    Great thriller. It’s been a long while since I read a really good thriller. Made me fall in love for the genre all over again. Don’t like comparisons but... (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) ...it gave me some Stephen king’s Misery vibes and some of the raw violence of Funny Games. But it’s all original. If you are into dark-no-mercy-nothing-is-off-the-table kind of thrillers, pick this one up.
  • (2/5)
    A family vacation at a remote New Hampshire cabin slips into terror when seven-year-old Wen and her fathers become the victims of a home invasion.An intriguing premise, to be sure, perhaps meant to give the reader pause, to consider things like our ultimate destiny . . . or fanaticism . . . or faith . . . or even the place of the media and the internet in today’s society. This dark, creepy, and unsettling tale begins with a bang then switches gears and sacrifices suspense on the altar of violence and brutality. While completely unexpected, the incomprehensible, mind-numbing “accident” halfway through the narrative sounds an incontrovertible death knell for the entire story. Although peopled with stereotypical, minimally-developed characters, the constant, belabored repetition ultimately pulls readers out of the story. There are so many questionable choices, so many absurd behaviors. There’s so much violence, so much meaningless carnage. Readers are likely to find themselves feeling particularly frustrated after they’ve turned the final page in this book especially in light of the ending that doesn’t tie up any of the story threads, doesn’t answer any of the questions, doesn’t provide any closure. Ambiguity is not always the best choice. In the final analysis, this story, with its grasshoppers, its swarming flies, and its need for a willing sacrifice feels like something created for the sole purpose of poking fun at both religion and faith.And, as if all of that weren’t enough, there’s far too much gratuitous offensive language, sometimes endlessly repeating on the same page, character after character parroting the same repulsive expletive. This alone is sufficient reason for a significant lowering of the book’s rating. And as for that “something shimmers in the nowhere” when Eric thinks he sees a figure of light hovering in the air above him . . . how many readers instantly thought of Jerome Bixby’s formless entity feeding on hatred in “Day of the Dove?”
  • (5/5)
    4.5 - 4.75

    I love Tremblays writing. He masters horror with his ability to drown you in this line between reality and absurdity. He leaves you to wonder at the break of what horrors can be committed by human (ourselves and others) hands, and those we attribute to the supernal. He did this as adeptly in this novel as he did in A Head Full of Ghosts. He leaves you wondering what happened. What you allow yourself to believe just may be an insight into where you stand at the break.
  • (5/5)
    My first read by this author but not my last. I wasn’t sure about the style at first but that made it different and I was so quickly drawn in and almost instantly riveted. A cabin in the woods, end of the world, hostage situational horror story with a twist and real uncertainty that digs into surprisingly emotional depths, and an end I found satisfying. If this is indicative of this author’s work, I’m in for a treat with his other titles.
  • (1/5)
    Plot is weak and less than original. Very disappointed. Don't waste your time.
  • (3/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    The Cabin at the End of the World started off with a very intriguing turn of events. A group of strangers approaches a family enjoying a relaxing vacation at a remote cabin on the lake. Forcing the family into submission while brandishing vicious looking weapons, they soon present the family with an impossibly horrible choice.

    As I got deeper into the story, I found it became weirder and weirder. And the ending was definitely unsatisfactory. Don't get me wrong, I get it and everything, I just didn't like it. A unique plot line, but a little bit crazy and a lot more gruesome than I anticipated it to be. Certainly does not leave you with a good sense of closure, or, for that matter, a good feeling of accomplishment at having read the book. In fact, thinking back on it, I feel a little bit ill recalling the events I continued to endure to reach the end of the story...

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

  • (2/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    Apocalyptic. scary and boring in places.

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

  • (3/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    Tremblay had a brilliant idea for a completely terrifying storyline, and the tension just kept ratcheting up and up throughout. The combination of the switching narratives (between several characters and from first to third person) and not knowing what the hell is happening made it nearly impossible to stop reading.

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

  • (4/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    I have read several of Paul Tremblay's books and have really enjoyed them. They have just enough of the supernatural element to make them interesting and slightly chilling. [The Cabin At The End of The World] opened with a home invasion by a seeming harmless stranger that befriended a 7 year old girl. The reader has to ask themselves what would they do if presented with something as unbelievable as this family was. It's disturbing...it's extremely unsettling...and at the same time simply a terrific story from an author that always writes a thought provoking tale.

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

  • (3/5)
    Four strangers torment a family on vacation, saying they need their help to stop the end of the world.