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The Only Good Indians: A Novel by [Stephen Graham Jones]

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The Only Good Indians: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 4,723 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


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

One of
Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of 2020!

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.”

"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)

About the Author

Stephen Graham Jones is the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians. He has been an NEA fellowship recipient and been recipient of several awards including: the Ray Bradbury Award from the Los Angeles Times, the Bram Stoker Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, the Jesse Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, and the Alex Award from American Library Association. He is the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07THF63FL
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Gallery / Saga Press (July 14, 2020)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 14, 2020
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3109 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 319 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 4,723 ratings

About the author

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Born and raised in Texas. In Boulder, Colorado now. Forty-nine. Blackfeet. Into werewolves and slashers, zombies and vampires, haunted houses and good stories. Would wear pirate shirts a lot if I could find them. And probably carry some kind of sword. More over at or

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
4,723 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 14, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars New Benchmark for Slasher/Revenge Story
By Sadie Hartmann on July 14, 2020
I read an interview with Stephen Graham Jones where he said, “I just figure I am Blackfeet, so every story I tell’s going to be Blackfeet.” (Uncanny Magazine/Julia Rios)

This one, simple statement is manifested in SGJ’s body of work; each book wildly different from the last, but distinctly identifiable as his own because they bear his fingerprints, unique storytelling voice and personal context.

Over the last few years, I have been a fan of his short fiction (“Dirtmouth”), novellas (Mapping the Interior), novels (Mongrels), and experimental fiction (The Last Final Girl). I will gladly show up for anything he has to offer.

The Only Good Indians begins with a swiftly-paced narrative, aptly balancing social commentary and real-time drama. Readers are drawn into the life of a Blackfeet Native American named Lewis. It takes only a few sentences to fall in love with him. He has an infectious personality when he’s interacting with those around him, but it’s Lewis’ inner thought life that reveals his sense of humor and vibrancy I found so endearing.

The narrative is two-fold: Lewis’ present day circumstances peppered with flashbacks to an elk hunting trip with his friends. It becomes increasingly clear that whatever transpired during this hunting trip almost a decade ago has haunted Lewis all of his days. Something bad happened there.

As Lewis goes through his day-to-day life, an unsettling suspense begins to build surrounding Lewis’ past; it’s almost unbearable as Stephen Graham Jones expertly winds the tension tighter and tighter and tighter until there is an unexpected break. We finally learn Lewis’ secrets and once the reader sees the truth—you can’t unsee it. It colors everything from that moment forward.

This is the magic of SGJ’s storytelling—everything comes at you from all sides. A barrage of human experiences told through people who feel real to you, their feelings uncomfortably tangible. Stephen Graham Jones expertly switches POVs, head-hops, transitions the entire story into a new one halfway through, kills his darlings with unflinching decisiveness, and basically is able to get away with everything authors are told to never do. SGJ makes his own way, by his rules. And thank goodness for that.

This is a story that is shared so intimately, it’s hard to separate and let go of the connection that is formed when it’s over. I almost feel possessive of it—this book is mine! Nobody will engage with it the way I did!

I wonder if other readers will experience that same feeling of ownership over this story? There is something so devastatingly heartbreaking as a reader to feel a kinship to a protagonist and his story but at the same time, know that the stakes are too high—the hunter has become the prey. I wanted to jump through the pages and protect Lewis from what I was sure was coming for him.

I loved the time I invested in this story. There were some major payoffs—the ending is spectacular. This will likely be the book that catapults SGJ’s name on the lips of all readers, not just die-hard horror junkies who already know and love his work. He’ll be everyone’s new favorite and it is well deserved. This is the new benchmark for slasher/revenge stories—SGJ just flipped the script and staked a new claim. A gold standard for the genre.
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Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

1.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 20, 2020
15 people found this helpful
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2021
6 people found this helpful
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Sam Ward
2.0 out of 5 stars Returned
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2022
One person found this helpful
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Stephen Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written, as ever
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 3, 2021
One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars SGJ might be the best living writer
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2020
4 people found this helpful
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