cover image Goblin: A Novel in Six Novellas

Goblin: A Novel in Six Novellas

Josh Malerman. Del Rey, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-23780-9

Malerman (Bird Box) tantalizes readers with this enigmatic linked collection of horror novellas, which interweaves six stories set in the unsettling city of Goblin, Mich. “Prologue: Welcome” admirably sets the eerie tone, as truck driver Tommy is tasked with delivering a box to a resident of Goblin. Though Tommy agrees to the lucrative assignment, he’s disturbed by the client’s odd instructions: the package is to be dropped off only between midnight and 12:30 a.m., and no attempt can be made to open it. Additionally, if Tommy misses the delivery window, or no one answers the door, he’s to destroy the package immediately. The tales that follow dive further into Goblin’s many secrets while keeping up this off-kilter atmosphere, exploring the fallout from a friendship with a troubled loner (”A Man in Slices”), a sybaritic birthday party for Goblin’s most notorious big game hunter (“Happy Birthday, Hunter”), a gifted magician who refuses to share his secrets (“Presto”), the solving of an elaborate puzzle-maze (“The Hedges”), and more. The dark, fantastic tone will put readers in mind of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. This is must-read horror. [em](May) [/em]