Josh Malerman’s newest release Pearl was published last month. What you may not know is that Pearl is actually a reprint of Malerman’s out of print title, On This, the Day of the Pig. Many readers felt disappointed by this, but I found it to be of no trouble. If you are a fan of Malerman, you may not have been able to get your hands on On This, the Day of the Pig, so Pearl comes as a nice surprise.
I am a fan of Malerman myself, following closely his Bird Box series, including the second novel in the series, Malorie. My review can be found here.
Pearl proves to be a horrifically fun romp in the mud. Pearl follows the saga of Pearl, a telepathic, demonic pig. While I thought this sounded pathetically lame, after about twenty pages I was off to the races engrossed in this narrative. Pearl can get in your head, make you do things, make you think you want to do those things. When the grandfather who owns the farm that Pearl lives in has his grandson over to visit, things turn sinister. Jeff lops the head off of a pig with an axe for no reason. All you need to know is that things escalate from there.
This novel is gory, cinematic, and could easily be a film. It would make a truly terrifying cinematic experience. The plot and characters are something straight out of a wacky Stephen King meets Charlotte’s Web mashup. It may sound dorky, but trust me, you’ll have goosebumps reading about Pearl exacting his agenda on the humans.
Malerman was ambitious with a narrative that could have easily gone south. Pearl is fast-paced and unsettling, remarking on animal abuse and fairy tales somehow at the same time. This text is a decent way to spend your time. I will say – it is no Bird Box – but it is great nonetheless.(4 / 5)