The Cabin at the End of the World
By: Paul Tremblay
# of pages: 272
Quote: “Wen never felt more proud of herself as when she made one of her dads laugh.”
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.
Review: It’s been a crazy summer at my house so I haven’t written a review in months and I feel a little rusty. I’ll start by saying this is the first book by Tremblay I’ve read, but it won’t be the last!
Wen is 7 years old and on a vacation with her parents in a remote cabin. Wen is introspective and compassionate and it isn’t fair that her life is suddenly and violently interrupted by a group of four strangers who intrude into her family’s vacation. Sudden and violent are the perfect words for how the rest of the book progresses. The reader feels horrified and helpless reading the sequence of events.
I wanted to jump into the book to comfort Wen and her dads, talk sense into the intruders, and try to change the plot. At the same time I wanted to put the book down and save myself the horror of sharing in the story. It’s odd how the book can manage to be filled with hopelessness and hope at the same time.
Overall the book was intense, suspenseful, and unpredictable. I very much enjoyed reading it in spite of the violence.
Why I gave this book 5/5 stars: Original, well-written, interesting characters, thought provoking.