Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Only Good Indians” as Want to Read:
The Only Good Indians
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Only Good Indians

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  24,067 ratings  ·  5,273 reviews

The creeping horror of Paul Tremblay meets Tommy Orange’s There There in a dark novel of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four Ame

Hardcover, 310 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Gallery / Saga Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Only Good Indians, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
StarMarie2529 This was a serious question. I have a friend who is very triggered by the death or harm of dogs specifically and I was trying to help them avoid that …moreThis was a serious question. I have a friend who is very triggered by the death or harm of dogs specifically and I was trying to help them avoid that trigger. She is upset by the violent death of any animal but dogs in particular are the worst for her. I appreciate everyone's help and I am working on curating a list of horror for her that she can enjoy.(less)
Karissa Laurel I asked the author on Twitter and he confirmed that it indeed was made-up. Sadly enough. I'd read the Andy Adventures in a heartbeat!…moreI asked the author on Twitter and he confirmed that it indeed was made-up. Sadly enough. I'd read the Andy Adventures in a heartbeat!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,067 ratings  ·  5,273 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Only Good Indians
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
ohhhhhhh this was good!! i actually think this book is the first 2020 horror release that has met my expectations and i'm THRILLED about it,,,would def recommend if ur a horror bitch like myself lol ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Another book hit me on the face and gave me complex feelings: I liked it but I also disliked it as well. I hate to be decisive and stay in the middle. I also hate grey. I liked to choose between black and white. So let’s rephrase how this book confused the hell of me!

Firstly this is fresh, inventive, unique, different story and seeing Native American representation always picks my interest because I love to learn more about different traditions, cultures and original, remarkable perspectives. W
Will Byrnes
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Comanche Chief Tosawi reputedly told [Union General Philip] Sheridan in 1869, "Tosawi, good Indian," to which Sheridan supposedly replied, "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead." - Wikipedia
You hide in the herd. You wait. And you never forget.
Payback’s a bitch, with antlers.

Lewis, a Blackfeet, has lived off the rez for a long time. In his 30s, he’s a postal worker, with a beautiful, athletic wife, Peta, friends, a home, a l
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
The Only Good Indians is a brutal, haunting and visceral piece of Horror fiction. Luckily, that's exactly how I like it.

On the last day of hunting season, Lewis, Ricky, Gabe and Cass, young Blackfeet men, do something they will ultimately regret.

They knew it was technically wrong, they felt it at the time, but spurred on by each other and the adrenaline of the hunt, they went against their better judgement.

Close to the 10-year anniversary of that event, which came to be known amongst the friends
chan ☆
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, own-voices
this was absolutely fantastic. i’m going to collect my thoughts before attempting to review but if you’re curious about this book definitely check out some reviews by Native reviewers!!

mallory's review:

autumn's interview with the author:
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is a masterpiece. Intimate, devastating, brutal, terrifying, yet warm and heartbreaking in the best way, Stephen Graham Jones has written a horror novel about injustice and, ultimately, about hope. Not a false, sentimental hope, but the real one, the one that some of us survive and keeps the rest of us going. And it gives me hope that this book exists.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Four young American Indian men find themselves fighting for their lives against an entity who wants revenge after an event that occurred during an elk hunt ten years earlier.

Many are really enjoying this book and I encourage my fellow readers to read those reviews. This book just wasn't for me. I struggled with the writing style, I found it slow in parts, and overall just not my cup of tea. I love a good horror book, but this one just didn't work for me- end of story. I thought the book started
Chelsea Humphrey
It's always tough to write a middle-of-the-road review for one of your most anticipated releases of the year, but I hope to do so with the respect and honor that the author deserves. What it comes down to is this: my 3 star rating is more a case of my not being wholly compatible with the story than any fault of the author's. Going into this expecting something along the lines of The Ritual, I had to adjust my preconceived notions on this being straight up horror, when it is indeed more literary. ...more
Sadie Hartmann
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cemetery-dance
Review originally published May 5th at Cemetery Dance

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 th
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
normally, a 300 page book would only take a few hours for me to read. this took me nearly two weeks to finish. i just could not get into the story. i wanted to DNF is several times, but the glowing reviews/ratings made me push through it.

i cant pinpoint anything specific that made me struggle with this. the premise is interesting, the commentary on native american culture is eye-opening, and the characters are likeable. perhaps its the writing style? i just couldnt go more than 5 sentences with
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’d like to start by stating that I’m not from the Blackfeet tribe so this is not a true own voices review. However, as the effects of settler colonialism permeate the lives of tribes all across Turtle Island, as an Ojibwe woman I’ll relate to this story more than a non-Indigenous reader.

In The Only Good Indians by Blackfeet author Stephen Graham Jones we see the effects of intergenerational trauma, substance abuse & racism while also seeing the resilience of familial/friendship bonds, communit
oooh, goodreads choice awards finalist for best horror 2020! what will happen?


fulfilling book riot's 2020 read harder challenge task #24: Read a book in any genre by a Native, First Nations, or Indigenous author

but more importantly, WELCOME TO SPOOKTOOOOBER!!


this book opens big and strong and violent, but then it sort of shifts, taking a moment to readjust its focus, and in that time i started to have doubts about whether it was going t
Rebecca Roanhorse
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jones has written a chilling and original story of revenge set in contemporary Indian Country that had me staying up late turning pages as fast as I could. The book is bloody and brutal at times, but also intimate, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful. Jones boldly and bravely incorporates both the difficult and the beautiful parts of contemporary Indian life into his story, never once falling into stereotypes or easy answers but also not shying away from the horrors caused by cycles of violence ...more
THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is a superb, gut wrenching novel, and it wrecked me.

I've been sitting here struggling to come up with some words that don't sound like the same old thing. This book is not the same old thing.

I've been sitting here struggling to find a way to relate to you the mind-warping effects of this novel, because it is mind warping.

I wish I had a way to explain how the guilt here was wrapped up and entwined with grief and shame and then buried under the burdens of Native American l
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are not many Indigenous writers (or Native American, as they say in the United States) penning speculative fiction, though Moon of the Crusted Snow and other recent titles are changing the panorama. Stephen Graham Jones has been at this for a while and as usual it is great to see an author that writes about his culture without apologies or peddling to the white gaze. Jones craft a story that is very much horror, is very much Indigenous, and full of raw, powerful prose.
Frank Phillips
Jul 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
DNF at 140 pages in. This is just not good. The writing feels more like rambling and its incredibly hard to follow without having to reread and decipher, which is too much work for a horror novel. I don't understand how this is so hyped-up by so many respectable authors, it makes no sense to me. Essentially this is about an elk that was killed at a hunt and comes back 10 years later to get revenge on her hunters, from what i could tell at where i stopped. Maybe i'm just not smart enough for this ...more
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars-2020
I’m not saying this is the best horror I’ve ever read, but this is the best horror I’ve ever read
Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
”It’s a good day to die.
I will fight no more forever.
The only good Indian is a dead Indian.
Kill the Indian, save the man.
Bury the hatchet.
Off the reservation.
Indian go home.
No Indians or dogs allowed.”

Ricky is dead. Stomped to death in a bar parking lot in North Dakota. ”INDIAN MAN KILLED IN DISPUTE OUTSIDE BAR.” One of those headlines in a newspaper buried beneath the fold or maybe on page 7B or 14C because there is nothing shocking about it or particularly compelling to readers. Ahh, anoth
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
What an incredibly crazy ride! I finished this book a couple of days ago and it really took me that long to compile my thoughts.

This was my first experience reading Stephen Graham Jones and I don't really believe that it is an experience that I will ever forget. Please note that this book has trigger warnings for: gore, blood, death, violence against animals, death of animals, and more. Also, note that I am not an #ownvoices reviewer so I'm definitely sure there are themes and important aspects
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Look at other reviews. They mostly all loved this book.

I'm the dumbass that requested and wanted to beg for it thinking I would love it. Then I started reading it and realized I hated the dang thing.

Like that's a shock.

And confession time. I didn't even finish it because I'll pull every hair of my head out if I do.

Don't troll my ass because I'll ignore you.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
Richard Derus
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing

WINNER OF THE 2020 LA TIMES/RAY BRADBURY BOOK PRIZE FOR SF/F/H! Watch him explain how the book came to be on YouTube


Y'ALL. AIN'T. FOUND. HIM. YET. I mean, in your millions who buy Clive Barker and Stephen King. That's the audience that Stephen Graham Jones merits. Major film franchises. TV development deals. The whole shootin' match.

Because this is
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Being an Indian and loving horror I was excited to get this ARC. The premise was original and intriguing, it drew me in. It turned out to be a huge disappointment. The writing was flat, banal and confusing. It was slow paced and just never grabbed me.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: public-library
This was horror of a different type, and the author did his job well.  However, I came close to shutting the cover on this book twice, almost willing to add another title to my DNF shelf rather than continue with it.  My GR buddies who know me best are aware of the thickness of my rhino skin, my sensibilities are practically non-existent.  But within these pages, there is something that just kept biting too close to the quick.  I reckon that is a sign of some fine writing, and I thoroughly enjoy ...more
The Artisan Geek
Aug 28, 2020 marked it as to-read
This is one of the live book discussion pick for Fortnight Frights, so ya girl is going to have to read it beforehand, because I'm definitely not going to have any time to read during the read-a-thon lol XD

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website | The Storygraph
I enjoyed this one, just not as much as I was hoping to.

Hear all my thoughts on this reading vlog here:
If the only good Indian is a dead one, then she's going to be the worst Indian ever.


Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson is one of my favourite books of all time, entwining grief and magical realism. Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves offers a dystopia both bleak and brimming with hope. The monsters and slayer of Rebecca Roanhorse's Trail of Lightning will leap off their pages and straight into the darkest corners of your imagination.

And The Only Good Indians: If you
Mayra Sigwalt
This was an amazing read. As an indigenous woman from Brazil, it's heartwarming reading a horror book written and about native peoples.
The pace of the book is very tense sometimes and very fast and crazy at others. The conclusion was just perfect.
The more I think about it, the more I love it!
 jd 지훈
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rave
CW/TW: gore, physical violence, graphic animal abuse, alcoholism

"This is all you really need, isn’t it? Just one good friend. Somebody you can be stupid with. Somebody who’ll peel you up off the ground, prop you against the wall."

United States of America (ca. 2010, 2020) — Originating from an Indian reservation in Montana, four 26 year-old Blackfeet men Ricky, Lewis, Gabe, and Cass lived their childhood as a close group of friends until two of them left their land due to different motivations. F
4ish stars.

My vote for the Goodreads Choice Horror Award. I love the voice of the author, both in his prose and characterizations, and I love the cultural commentary. Each of the titular Indians is genuine and recognizable, both sympathetic and unsympathetic. They're just regular guys that made a stupid decision, but one that anyone could have made, and many probably have. But in some ways they're also kind of doofuses and it's hard to feel bad for them when they get what's coming to them.

Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I haven’t read much written by Indigenous authors, unfortunately, so I was very excited to get my hands on The Only Good Indians. Stephen Graham Jones is an esteemed Horror writer, which makes someone like me, a big scaredy-baby, a little nervous to be honest.

The plotting of this book is interesting. I’d say the majority of the time is spent on character development and relatively benign interactions of regular Native people living their lives. It almost hits you like a sucker-punch when everyt
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Mr. Nobody
  • My Dark Vanessa
  • When We Were Vikings
  • The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida
  • The Moonglow Sisters
  • Fortuna (Nova Vita Protocol, #1)
  • Tréfonds
  • Long Bright River
  • Conjure Women
  • Ascender #2
  • Ascender #3
  • Ascender #6
  • Ascender #5
  • Ascender #4
  • The Grace Year
  • Return of the Living Deadpool (The Living Deadpool, #2)
  • Sudden Traveller
  • Night of the Living Deadpool (The Living Deadpool, #1)
See similar books…
Stephen Graham Jones is the NYT bestselling author of twenty-five or thirty books. He really likes werewolves and slashers. Favorite novels change daily, but Valis and Love Medicine and Lonesome Dove and It and The Things They Carried are all usually up there somewhere. Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado. It's a big change from the West Texas he grew up in. He's married with a couple kids, and pro ...more

Articles featuring this book

The beauty of a paperback novel is multidimensional. Allow me to explain: The format allows you to catch up on some of 2020's biggest books...
19 likes · 1 comments
“What he didn't say was that you don't get cold-resistant because your jackets suck, you just stop complaining about it after a while, because complaining doesn't make you any warmer.” 10 likes
“We’re from where we’re from,” she says back. “Scars are part of the deal, aren’t they?” 8 likes
More quotes…