Much like King’s Castle Rock or Lucia’s Clifton Heights, Goblin is a strange and creepy place that I could read about for years to come! While I’ve had a harder time than most I know of getting into Malerman’s books (outside of BIRD BOX), GOBLIN was a pleasant surprise for me. Style-wise, it’s much more in the vein of the storytelling I enjoy most. There’s no super vague plot going on, mystery, yes, but there are answers to be found in each tale. I really was able to connect with a number of the characters here and their actions made sense, and there’s even full-on creepiness (hello, the Goblin Police) and heart (Mr. Sherman).
I hope Malerman will take us back to Goblin very soon.
This was probably my favorite thing yet by Malerman. While I didn’t like all of the novellas in the book, the ones I did get into were freaking awesome. So, let’s focus on those.
My favorite parts in here overall were the prologue and the epilogue, sort of their own start and finish of a story. A man is paid to deliver a crate to an address in Goblin and told that if it’s not delivered by a certain time then he is to destroy it. Love this setup. Also, it gave me major Salem’s Lot vibes from when the guy is paid to deliver Barlow to the Marsten House.
I also dug A MAN IN SLICES. How much would you give for love? This one was great and had an awesome ending.
My second favorite was KAMP. This one had echoes of Peter Straub’s GHOST STORY, and I really enjoyed the characters in this one the most.
The other novella in here I loved was THE HEDGES. Again, you can’t help but think of King’s work, like the topiary in THE SHINING. The Goblin police steal the show in this one as the creepiest things in this entire book. I would love to see a book just about them! There was also the first real bit of heart in the book here with Mr. Sherman’s heartbreaking side of the story.
Based just on the pieces in here that I liked, I’m giving GOBLIN 4 stars!
I’m ready to go back anytime Malerman wants to take me.
Josh Malerman is an American novelist, short story writer, film producer, and one of two singer/songwriters for the rock band The High Strung. He is best known for writing his post-apocalyptic novel, Bird Box, which was the inspiration of the Netflix film Bird Box.
For more on this author, check out his website: