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Review: The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

25. July 2018



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.”




You know when you start a book and you’re all excited about it, expecting it to be scary and filled with horror, and then you turn page after page and you’re kind of like, hm, was that all? The Cabin at the End of the World is that book. I started this book with expectations that it would be SCARY, and all though it had its moments, I kept on thinking; was that all? Where is the scary parts? Did I miss something?

The Cabin at the End of the World is all about that internal horror, that moment when you’re put in the worst thinkable scenario and you have to think of a way out. I think that what saved this book was Wen, because she was amazing, all though I sometimes forgot that she was supposed to be only 7. Eric to me was kind of strange, but probably a very typical all American boy who grew up in a church environment that didn’t support his life (being gay), so he kind of stopped going to church, but not really, and he’s got this internal dilemma where he wants to be a good christian, but ends up going “against” the norm of what a good christian is and so on. Andrew was a stereotypical male gay man who appears to be straight (?). His parents support him, he had a somewhat healthy relationship with his dad going hunting, so he’s okay with guns.

I mean, the aspect of this book was that four strangers come to this cabin in the middle of nowhere and tells the family (Eric, Andrew and Wen) that they have a choice in saving the world. The choice is hard because it questions a lot of things, and we never really get the understanding if this is actually something that is happening or not. Eric is an unreliable POV because early on he gets a very bad concussion, plus he’s totally brainwashed. Andrew is somewhat logical in all of this, and Wen is scarily a lot like a kid.

I just did not like that ending, because it posed more questions that it answered. I did not like any of the characters except Wen, and she was sometimes more mature than her fathers in her thinking. I liked Leonard at times because he seemed like a good guy. But this book just was not scary enough. It did not creep up on me. It did not spook me. And it didn’t teach me anything other than the fact that if you’re going on a camping trip, make sure that you have cell service.


  • When Wen was totally adorable and captured grasshoppers.
  • When Leonard turned out to be a creep
  • When they (Andrew and Eric) fought like hell to keep the strangers outside.
  • When they made connections to previous happenings to the one’s taking place

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