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Summary

Mapping the Interior is a horrifying, inward-looking novella from Stephen Graham Jones that Paul Tremblay calls "emotionally raw, disturbing, creepy, and brilliant".

Blackfeet author Stephen Graham Jones brings listeners a spine-tingling Native American horror novella.

Walking through his own house at night, a 15-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.

The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you'd rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them...at terrible cost.

©2017 Stephen Graham Jones (P)2017 Journalstone Publishing

What listeners say about Mapping the Interior

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Not what I was expecting

Perhaps I took the blurb too literally, but I might have enjoyed the novella more if I hadn't been led to expect a quite different story. I might relisten some time in the future, and maybe increase the star rating.
I get annoyed by certain self-righteous types who berate you for cultural appropriation if you wear a sombrero on a hot day, or try to shame you because you haven't read enough books by People Of Colour or you don't have enough trans friends. So I was amused that the protagonist of this novella refers to himself and his people as "Indian" throughout, rather than Native American. I think the author would have been castigated for this if he were not himself a member of that particular ethnic group.
One of the most interesting aspects of the listen I found was the voice - both in the sense of the writing and the narrator's delivery. The perspective is a child's, but remembered as an adult, and the description that kept coming to mind was "simple". I wasn't happy with the word until I was able to clarify that I didn't mean it in the sense of naive or unintelligent. Rather, it is simple in the sense of uncluttered.
In conclusion, not a bad couple of hours, but try to approach it with a more open mind than I did.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Alissa | wildcaughtword
  • Alissa | wildcaughtword
  • 09-06-21

Not a great listen for me

I appreciate the desire to sound authentically Native American to match the story but I didn’t enjoy the narrator. It made it hard for me to get into the story and follow it because I kept spacing out and losing interest.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Nikolas P. Robinson
  • Nikolas P. Robinson
  • 28-01-21

Haunting and Original

Mapping the Interior is a haunting tale of childhood, family, and loss. Told from the perspective of an adult looking back on a tale that began when he was 12 years old, it feels authentic and captures the way a child might have interpreted things.
Jones weaves a fascinating tale of a young indigenous boy who discovers the ghost of his father lurking in their home. What begins as a story with a potentially uplifting tone gradually and insidiously becomes increasingly sinister and tense.
I particularly enjoyed the fact that there's something akin to a combination of the mythologies associated with tulpas and golems involved in the manifestation of the ghost. I'm not familiar enough with indigenous folklore that I can pinpoint any particular element that corresponds to this story.
Listening to the audiobook for this story was particularly captivating because the narrator did an excellent job of capturing a cadence and accent that approximated the tone and speech patterns I'm familiar with from indigenous people I've known. That touch made the narrative feel more like someone was simply telling me a story from their own life.

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  • Ana P.
  • 06-12-19

Chilling read..

This novella is chilling. For fun, and to fulfill the "extra" credits I needed, I decided to take a literature class this fall semester on "American Ghost Stories." The class began with reading the Salem Witch Trial Transcripts and ended with this novella. I decided to give it a listen on audible and boy, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The way Jones wrote the novel makes it sound like someone is having a conversation with you when you listen to it. I was intrigued the entire time, and the ending gave me chills and messed with my head! Totally worth the listen if you're into the uncanny and creepy.

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  • A. Henry
  • 16-09-18

A fantastic tragedy

I love this book. It is one thing to miss a father, another to fear a dad who has returned from the dead... When the man who’s supposed to protect his family instead feeds on his children what’s a twelve year old boy to do?

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Profile Image for Rhiannon
  • Rhiannon
  • 14-09-18

I'm shook.

I both read and then listened to Mapping the Interior because I didn't know how to feel about it after I first finished reading it.
It really tugged my heartstrings. It felt relatable and I easily got emotionally invested in the characters. It left me feeling conflicted, which is why I gave it a second read--because it affected me. After mapping the interior of my own brain on this, I think all the "feels" it gave me (good/bad) is what made it brilliant.

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Profile Image for Eddie Generous
  • Eddie Generous
  • 04-10-17

A Near-Perfect Ghost Story

Unnerving Magazine Review
Generally, Stephen Graham Jones has a voice that is rare and is often extraordinary in its delivery, particularly concerning the depiction of everyday humans in natural settings.
I Mapping the Interior, things are in place. Things are realistic. The rest builds on this foundation and become supernatural, unraveling in a way that makes you wonder if it's fiction at all.
Mapping the Interior is a triumph in a tiny package. It’s intriguing and engaging, informative in such a way that spirals the yarn from everyday ghost story into a tall tale ready to span generations and travel from campfire to campfire until it’s happening to you.
It’s a somber beginning, quiet until it’s not and the dogs are there right behind, nipping at heels, snapping for boy-meat morsels. It covers so many angles well in so few words that I am in awe. It would be a surprise if this isn’t the best novella I ‘read’ in 2017 once the year is through.
Outside my norm, I asked JournalStone for the audio of this one specifically because I was such a fan of Mongrels. Typically, you can’t expect lightning to strike in such a way twice, and certainly not two releases so close together.
This is story so good, I listened to it twice, I don't know that it needs a more convincing point than that.
Notes specific to this version: it is under three hours to listen to and the narrator does a fantastic job handling the accent.

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  • Paul Preston
  • 26-03-21

Craving the unknown

When a 12 year old boy sees the spirit of his dead father in his house at night he goes on a search to see his dad again. Is his father here to help or is his spirit here for more devious reasons.
Aching and desperate, beautiful as a ceremonial dance in full regalia.

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  • Elsa
  • 10-02-18

wonderful!

loved it! one of the best stories I have read in a really long time! buy it now!