Bird Box Book: A Guide On How To Beat The Unseen

The 2014 post-apocalyptic insight into the world of monsters and birds alike, a novel by Josh Malerman, has become a mainstream read and watch.  With it being the debut entry from Malerman, the Horror/Thriller takes the reader into the world of an apocalyptic world where monsters, which can not be seen in any circumstance, now roams the earth. Bird Box (book) is a complete guide to how to survive this ordeal and amplifies the trope of humans always being able to overcome anything thrown their way.

Bird Box Book

A Bestselling Handbook

Malerman’s Bird Box has been nominated for various awards, a diamond for debut writers.  Throughout 2015, the book was nominated for the James Herbert Award and the Bram Stroker Award for Best First Novel.  It was then nominated for the Michigan Notable Book Award which it won.  The debut book was an instant breakthrough for Malerman, a turn of events that would be a catalyst for his career.  A career that created other novels like; Pearl, Daphne, A House at the Bottom of a Lake, and Malorie; a direct sequel to his 2014 wonder child [Bird Box].

Tales Of An Invisible Evil

The post-apocalyptic event in question, called “the problem”, stretches over two time periods, centring around a woman called Malorie.  Pregnant in the past, and harbouring two children in the future.

Past Problems 

The events begins with strange incidents of murder and suicide, an effect upon witnessing an unknown entity.  The populous take refuge inside their homes to avoid the entities, which a pregnant Malorie and her sister [Shannon] also do.  Unfortunately, a few months in, Shannon mistakenly sees the creatures, reducing her to crazed suicidal tendencies.

Malorie finds talk of a safe house, which she follows eventually stumbling upon people like Tom, a former schoolteacher and other residents such as Don, Felix and Cheryl.  A few weeks later, Olympia, a fellow Pregnant lady, asks for asylum in the safe house even though the reluctance of the other residents.

Bird Box Book

Eventually, supplies were running low and planning insued, a way in which to survive and overcome this Medusa-like creature.  An idea sprouted of using animals, in particular dogs, to ward off the creature and/or become the eyes of the residents.  This was due to the acknowledgement that animals do not seem affected by the creature’s gaze.  Cautiously, Tom and Jules explore houses in the surrounding areas and brings back supplies, dogs and the elusive box of birds.  The birds become a key survival technique and they are alerted when anything is close, a makeshift proximity alert.
In time, a man named Gary approached the safe house, a man who escaped the ranting of Frank, someone who thought the problem was created out of mass hysteria.  Don and Gary grow closer whilst they congress about Frank’s theories, however, Malorie finds Frank’s journal inside Gary’s suitcase, something that worries Malorie.  Eventually, a vote ensues where Gary is voted to be evicted due to his unknown agenda, something that Don disagrees with.  This factor leads to Don becoming a recluse and moving to the cellar.

Olympia and Malorie both go into labour whilst a fight begins to fire up downstairs.  It is revealed that Don has been housing the evicted Gary in the cellar.  Gary forces his way up to Malorie where he reveals three things; he is actually Frank, he can see the entity without consequence [due to being insane prior to the problem] and he had actually been observing the safe house and creature for an extended period of time.  Don, following Frank, opens all the safehouse windows and doors causing the residents to witness the entity and eventually kill themselves and/or each other.  The entity is allowed inside and makes its way to the pregnant ladies where Olympia sees it and goes mad.  Malorie takes all precautions to not look at it, now protecting both her child and Olympia’s child.

Stumbling over her fellow residents’ dead bodies, Malorie receives a call from a man named Rick, who has a safe refuge and an invitation attached to it.  Through her grief, Malorie declines the offer, however, Rick promises to call weekly just in case.

Malorie is a harsh guardian, training the kids in survival tactics and calling them “Boy” and “Girl”, due to names being a “luxury”.  In this period, Malorie finds out that animals can go mad from the entity’s gaze, upon seeing Victor [one of the safehouse dogs] fall victim to it.

Future Survival

Upon witnessing a thick fog around the safehouse and the kids finally turning four, Malorie decides it is time to venture to Rick’s safe haven.  The fog is a great diversion for the possibility that Gary still patrols the house.  Malorie and the kid’s journey doing the instructed route, the river being the biggest obstacle.  With many challenges such as an insane man in the river, a confrontation with the entity and a pack of wolves [where Malorie is injured] the “family” finally makes it to the safe house, a safe house which used to be a school for the blind.  Rick is blind and the majority of the residents have blinded themselves in order to survive.  In a heart-warming ending, Malorie is finally ready to name her children: “Tom” and “Olympia”.

How To Survive

Although there is never 100% concrete information about how to beat the monsters, the book provides elements and hints as to how any one person could survive the unseen malevolence of the entity.

Blinding Yourself

Being blind through natural causes or by doing it yourself is easily the most effective way to survive.  The only true power the entity has is to cause mania in people who look at it, so the ability to take this away from the entity makes the problem obsolete.  However where this might work the best, it also impairs the person for life, there has to be a better way,

Box Of Birds

The only mammal to be able to see the entity in its entirety seems to be Birds.  Birds are used as warning systems for the safehouse throughout the book and became a renowned technique for many societies throughout the post-apocalyptic earth.  It is uncertain why the birds can witness the entity in such a capacity, however having a flock of sentry birds would be anything but a hindrance to survival.


Whilst journeying the river, Malorie and the kids encounter the entity.  Seemingly, after the confrontation, the entity backs off, instead resorting to using a cultist member to lure the family to land.  This could hint at a possible weakness for the entity.  If someone was to head out to sea or live in a place surrounded by copious amounts of water, the entity might avoid that person altogether.


Upon seeing the entity, the person’s drive for mania ensues dependent on the amount of grief held by that person.  The introduction of medication, such as ones that help with PTSD, may subside the effect after seeing the entity, or at least become a temporary hold in search of a better solution.

The Bird Box book delves into a world stricken by unseen entities causing paranoia and mania in the people who see it.  It’s unique in the sense that the audience can never picture the appearance of the entity, a perfect decision made by Malerman to invoke more speculation after finishing reading.  The lack of image may infuriate some, but also flame the fire for theorists and thriller fans alike.  This coupled with the uncertainty of survival makes for an amazing debut title.

How about you?  What techniques would you use to beat this unseen entity?  Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

Other things you might want to know about:

What are the monsters in Bird Box book?

“The Problem” brings entities and/or creatures which terrorise earth by causing people to go insane.  Upon looking at the entity, the person will go mad and become suicidal.  Nothing is known of the entity’s appearance, however, it has been described as looking “beautiful” by people like Olympia for instance.

How scary is Bird Box book?

The Bird Box book is labelled as a Suspenseful Thriller/Horror fiction.  This exemplifies that they might be times that could both grip and scare the reader.  This will be a different experience for everyone, but in any case, Bird Box is a must-read Horror novel.

What is the main message in Bird Box?

Although the reasons for peoples’ insanity are unexplained, the ideas that back this phenomenon is ones of mental health in our society.  The book tackles suicide and PTSD traits, and how different parties view these afflictions.