Review: Inspection by Josh Malerman

Inspection by Josh Malerman
Del Rey (March 19, 2019)

400 pages; $17.70 hardcover; $13.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

It’s a wonderful thing, digging into a new Josh Malerman novel—no idea what to expect, no clue where his twisted mind is going to take you.

In his newest novel, Inspection, we have two identical towers in a remote area of Michigan, separated by miles of forest. One populated by twenty-five twelve-year-old boys and the other by a similar number of girls. They are known simply as the Alphabet Boys and the Letter Girls. The children have no real names; they are identified by the letters A through Z. The Parenthood is known as D.A.D. for the boys and M.O.M. for the girls. Neither group of children is aware of the other. They are totally unaware of the opposite sex.

…the Alphabet Boys are being raised to become the world’s greatest engineers, scientists, and mathematicians. ARTICLE ONE of the CONSTITUTION OF THE PARENTHOOD: GENIUS IS DISTRACTED BY THE OPPOSITE SEX.

What if the truth got out? What if the boys learned of the girls? What if the girls discover the second tower? Inspection is without a doubt the most original story I have read in years. It is totally movie ready.

It took some getting used to, identifying characters by letters alone, but it did become more comfortable as the story progressed. Inspection is my fourth Malerman book and I’ve enjoyed them all. At this point, each new release is a must read for me.

Totally recommended.

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