26 July 2023

The Cabin at the End of the World

By Paul Tremblay


Eric and Andrew are holidaying at a remote New Hampshire lakeside cabin with 7-year-old daughter Wen. There's no mobile phone reception or internet — they plan on spending quality time together without any outside distractions. 

When a mysterious visitor, Leonard, wanders into their front garden and begins a conversation with Wen, their plans come spectacularly crashing down. Leonard is soon joined by three more strangers carrying what appear to be weapons. They ask to be let into the cabin. What follows is a terrifying nightmare Eric, Andrew and Wen are totally unprepared for.

This was certainly a difficult book to review without giving away any spoilers. Let's just say you need an empty stomach and nerves of steel before attempting to read it! With a cast of few characters, it's a disturbing story of a home invasion with an unusual apocalyptic angle. 

The pacing was quite slow at times and I felt many words were used when fewer would have sufficed; but I suppose it would then have become a novella. Would a novella have worked better. . . who knows?! Anyway, the story was violent and gripping. And what an ending! I spent ages pondering THAT ending, which I'm sure it's exactly what the author intended.    


  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Author: Paul Tremblay
  • Genre: Horror


Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake, with their closest neighbours more than two miles in either direction.

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 and friendly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologises and tells Wen, "None of what's going to happen is your fault". Three more strangers 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."

So 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 intertwined.

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