Goblin by Josh Malerman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What we have here are six novellas that take place in a town named Goblin, all ghost stories underlining the individual characters' real-life obsessions.
When I began it, or by the time I got through the first two, I was just feeling pretty okay about the book. I wasn't really falling into it the way I usually do with horrors. A Man of Slices was fine as far as it went, and the same was true for Kamp.
Happy Birthday, Hunter! got a little exciting near the end. I wanted to see him get something nasty. In all three of these novellas, the characterizations were everything. The underlying nature of the town kept everything flowing.
But it was only when we got to Presto and A Mix-up at the Zoo that I fell in love. I think I may have liked Presto, with the deal-with-the-devil in old-school magic show vibes, the most. But A Mix-Up at the Zoo had me chortling the entire time.
The Hedges was also pretty good, but just about at the same level as Happy Birthday, Hunter!
The opening and epilogue narrative tie-up was pretty cool, and overall, I really enjoyed my stay in Goblin. The style had me vibing as if I was reading some of Christopher Priest's deeply eerie alternate reality stuff. Familiar, but OFF, somehow. The tension was great.
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