Review: The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig


Rating: 9.5/10


A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers

Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.

Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.

Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.

Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.

And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.

This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family—and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another.


Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of The Book of Accidents for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

The Book of Accidents IS the embodiment of epic horror. It is the amalgamation of multiple sub-genres mixed with a massive scope, but at the same time, feels intensely claustrophobic. I didn’t think Wendig could top Wanderers, but this just took it to another level. Think Stephen King’s The Shining meets Blake Crouch’s Recursion. A definite must-read.

This way in which Wendig allows this book to unfold is, well, magical. You think you know what you are getting yourself into and the lens just gets wider… and wider… and wider still. What starts off “innocently” enough as a family looking to make a “fresh” start becomes a horrifying thrill ride of emotion, insanity, and blood. I actually went into the novel completely unaware of the synopsis because I trust Wendig that much, so I didn’t necessarily note the backgrounds of Nate and Maddie prior to diving in.

I honestly think that was a good move on my part. I generally only read the synopsis if something isn’t quite jiving, but allowing the backstories of these characters to be peeled back added to my enjoyment of the novel.

The story is actually told from more POVs than just Nate and Maddie, but to really get into the other handful would start to touch the spoiler “rim”. Their son, Olly, really steals the show and once again proves that Wendig really has a knack for young characters like the aforementioned King. You feel emotionally entangled with Olly as he navigates his new school, teen angst, and just what in the absolutely frick is happening around this home that his family has inherited.

This one is quite a tome, which I am starting to realize I am a big fan of. At 554 pages, it is a thicc son of a gun and delivers at every corner. There is something about getting lost in the pages of a horror novel that just keeps on pushing the limits and gives you the “oh, there’s more?” vibes.

If you enjoy horror novels that harken back to dark pasts, leave you stranded in the middle of eerie rural towns, or have characters that are WAY more than one-dimensional, I HIGHLY recommend this one. Wendig is at the top of his game and I can’t imagine he will slow down any time soon.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    Couldn’t agree more! And I didn’t read the synopsis either. I had no idea what to expect!

    Liked by 1 person

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