Josh Malerman invites you to take a walk through the rain-sodden streets of Goblin, a City populated by the weird and the wonderful. A City with stories to tell, stories that will captivate you, make you laugh, chill you to the bone, make you want to pull a loved one closer.
Goblin, the third novel from Josh Malerman, was a limited edition publication from Earthling that consists of 6 novellas that for me perfectly echo the classic TV anthology shows I used to watch as a kid. From the horrors of Creepshow and Tales From The Crypt to the wonders of the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.
With the limited edition now sold out, Del Ray are reissuing Goblin. Fans and collectors of Malerman’s work (like me), I insist you go and preorder today. This is, for me, easily Josh’s best work.
Each story works individually but together they’re linked, sharing characters and locations. Events in one story, although slight have a knock-on effect to another. Goblin is a living, breathing City. No word is wasted in creating Goblin and it’s inhabitants. The people of Goblin are, mostly, very human. Normal people like you, or I, living with the understanding that the fantastique is part of their normality. In Goblin, people can be just as monstrous as whatever’s rumoured to live in the North Woods.
An unusual friendship is the centrepiece of A Man In Slices, an incredibly dark tale that sparked with some very amusing dialogue. The swim camp sequence was fantastically written that escalated the darkness superbly till the satisfying, although not entirely surprising ending. A man so terrified of being scared to death by a ghost is the premise of Kamp. Walter Kamp goes to extreme lengths so that nothing can creep up on him in his apartment. How I’ve never thought of Malerman’s answer to the ‘monster under the bed’ is beyond me. Such a simple idea, genius! Big game hunter Neal Nash is celebrating his 60th Birthday in Happy Birthday, Hunter. Nash has killed a lot but still has animals on his hunting wish list, one of which is the protected Goblin Great Owl. Seems it’s a good idea to go try to bag one whilst drunk with some of his friends, at night, in the middle of the North Woods…what could possibly go wrong? Presto is a wonderful tale about a boy finally having the opportunity to see his favourite magician, Roman Emporer. Other magicians on the circuit don’t like Roman, they suspect him of practising ‘dirty magic’. The audience is in for one hell of a performance at the midnight performance in the Goblin Domino Theatre. There’s plenty going on in this story but it’s Pete and his open-eyed wonder that I enjoyed the most. Next, we follow Dirk Rogers’ descent into madness whilst alternating jobs at both the Goblin Slaughterhouse and the Goblin Zoo. A Mix-Up At The Zoo has a different writing style to anything else in the book. It’s a fantastic piece, with some stunning imagery, although for me it didn’t fit as neatly into the concept as the other tales. The last story from Goblin sees a girl get to the end of Goblin’s biggest maze, a tourist attraction known as The Hedges. No-one has ever done it before, so when she reports what she finds at the end of the maze to the Goblin Police, the attractions creator goes on the run…and ultimately ends up in the North Woods. Malerman writes kids very well, Margot is a delight. She’s a little madam but as the story progresses she displays an innocence that’s wonderful to read. I’d be very interested to hear the authors thinking behind the Goblin Police, they’re referred to a lot throughout the book, mostly with a sense of fear. So when Margot gets to the Police Station and we finally get to see them, it’s…wonderfully…bizarre! Either side of these six novellas a Prologue/Epilogue that bookend Goblin perfectly, with the Prologue giving a very strong Creepshow vibe.
Josh Malerman has not only written the best book I’ve read this year (2017), with Goblin he’s written the best book I’ve read in the last few years. The pages couldn’t be turned quickly enough, I was completely under his spell, so much so I was upset once I had finished reading. There must be a multitude of stories waiting to be told, I genuinely hope that Malerman has more planned.
Goblin is an absolute triumph, wonderful characters, fantastic stories and in Goblin, a place you will want to return to again and again.
Now if only Carpenter’s Farm could get a physical release.
Goblin seems like any other ordinary small town. But with the master storyteller Josh Malerman as your tour guide, you’ll discover the secrets that hide behind its closed doors. These six novellas tell the story of a place where the rain is always falling, nighttime is always near, and your darkest fears and desires await.
Welcome to Goblin…
I’m living in the South-East of England between London and Brighton. I’ve been married to Laura since 2000 and have two daughters. (Emily & Freya). I’ve always had a passion for horror and decided, as a hobby, that I’d like to create a blog to showcase this fascination with the darker genres.
I started Kendall Reviews in January 2017, initially to host my reviews of books and music that I had in my sizeable collections. Pretty quickly, this became a passion project and morphed into a blog that wanted to help PROMOTE HORROR.
I want to thank all the people that interact with the blog and of course to the rest of the Kendall Reviews team.
Please find all my contact details here