The Only Good Indians: A Novel (Paperback)
July 2020 Indie Next List
“I loved this book. Jones has a unique narrative voice, allowing ‘the entity’ to step in and take over unexpectedly, amping up the horror. Also, each character has a distinct voice that brings them to life. Jones combines the culture and traditions of the Blackfeet and Crow people with the social truths of their contemporary life. It is refreshingly different from any other horror novel I’ve read. This book is gruesome and honestly scary. I couldn’t put it down.”
— Kristine Jelstrom-Hamill, Buttonwood Books and Toys, Cohasset, MA
From USA TODAY bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a “masterpiece” (Locus Magazine) of a novel about revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition. Labeled “one of 2020’s buzziest horror novels” (Entertainment Weekly), this is a remarkable horror story that “will give you nightmares—the good kind of course” (BuzzFeed).
From New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a novel that is equal parts psychological horror and cutting social commentary on identity politics and the American Indian experience. Fans of Jordan Peele and Tommy Orange will love this story as it follows the lives of four American Indian men and their families, all haunted by a disturbing, deadly event that took place in their youth. Years later, they find themselves tracked by an entity bent on revenge, totally helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
“The Only Good Indians is scary good. Stephen Graham Jones is one of our most talented and prolific living writers. The book is full of humor and bone chilling images. It’s got love and revenge, blood and basketball. More than I could have asked for in a novel. It also both reveals and subverts ideas about contemporary Native life and identity. Novels can do some much to render actual and possible lives lived. Stephen Graham Jones truly knows how to do this, and how to move us through a story at breakneck (literally) speed. I’ll never see an elk or hunting, or what a horror novel can do the same way again.”
—Tommy Orange, Pulitzer Prize finalist of There There
"I like stories where nobody escapes their pasts because it's what I fear most."—Terese Marie Mailhot, New York Times bestselling author of Heart Berries
“A heartbreakingly beautiful story about hope and survival, grappling with themes of cultural identity, family, and traditions.” —Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“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.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“Subtly funny and wry at turns, this novel will give you nightmares. The good kind, of course.”—Buzzfeed
"The best yet from one of the best in the business. An emotional depth that staggers, built on guilt, identity, one's place in the world, what's right and what's wrong. The Only Good Indians has it all: style, elevation, reality, the unreal, revenge, warmth, freezing cold, and even some slashing. In other words, the book is made up of everything Stephen Graham Jones seemingly explores and, in turn, everything the rest of us want to explore with him."
—Josh Malerman, New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box and A House at the Bottom of a Lake.
"How long must we pay for our mistakes, for our sins? Does a thoughtless act doom us for eternity? This is a novel of profound insight and horror, rich with humor and intelligence. The Only Good Indians is a triumph; somehow it’s a great story and also a meditation on stories. I've wondered who would write a worthy heir to Peter Straub's Ghost Story. Now I know the answer: Stephen Graham Jones."
—Victor LaValle, author of The Ballad of Black Tom and The Changeling
"Stephen Graham Jones is one of our greatest treasures. His prose here pops and sings, hard-boiled poetry conspiring with heartbreakingly-alive characters." —Sam J. Miller, Nebula-Award-Winning author of Blackfish City
“Jones... has written a masterpiece. The book is… as instinctive and essential as it is harsh. Despite the blood and bleakness, The Only Good Indians is ultimately also about hope and the promise of the future...Read it.”
— Locus Magazine