Use the code TAKE5 for $5 off your first package!

Side by Side Book Reviews: GOBLIN by Josh Malerman

GOBLIN by Josh Malerman


Goblin - Josh Malerman

I just finished reading Malerman’s his latest release, a book with six interconnecting novellas. Each story is connected by occurring in the small rainy town of Goblin, which is also the name of the book.

“Welcome to the town of Goblin. May your night there be wet with rain, adventure and filled with fright….”

The prologue tenses things for the reader and pulls them in. There is a very important delivery for Dean Crawford. The package, which is wrapped in secrecy, includes a number of stipulations that must be delivered between midnight and 12:30 A.M. I really would of liked the prologue to continue and honestly it could have been an entire book.

The six novellas include:

“A Man in Slices” teaches us a bit about Goblin, such as they bury their dead standing upright. In this novella, Richard has been burdened by recent news from his childhood friend Charles who he feels indebted to and feels the responsibility to protect. Malerman transports the reader to the backstory that started their friendship. This is a story about a man who wants to prove his love to a long-distance girlfriend. 

“Kamp” is about a man, Walter Kamp, who is scared of ghosts. His fear and anxiety has turned his apartment into a prison.  Kamp removes all the doors from his apartment and pushes all the furniture against the wall so a ghost cannot sneak up on him.

“Happy Birthday Hunter” is one of my favorite novellas because I felt that it tied together the previous stories and gives us clues for what may lie ahead. 


“Presto” is a dark atmospheric story about an infamous magician called Roman Empire who will be giving a one-night performance in Goblin. A young boy learns about this performance while flipping through the pages of Presto magic magazine.


“A mix up at the Zoo” is about Dirk Rogers, a beloved fixture in Goblin Zoo by day who also works in the Goblin Slaughterhouse by night. 


“Hedges” is where we find out more behind the hedges in Goblin, which has had brief appearances throughout the book.

The epilogue does a nice job of wrapping up our experience in this chilling town.

4 ⭐️ @escapereality4now

Have you ever wondered how urban legends begin? How town traditions get their start? Welcome to Goblin, where both the odd and the normal aspects of small-town living intersect. Where local legends of the past meet up with town notables of modern-day. Where the rain never ends, and locals take pride in their shrubbery statues.
 In Josh Malerman’s newest novel, six intersecting novellas usher us into the world of Goblin, where nothing is quite as it seems.
In our prologue, we meet Tom, a delivery driver. Tom is tasked to deliver a large crate to Goblin, but certain conditions must be met. Right off the bat, something does not feel right about this trip to Goblin.
A Man in Slices- Richard’s life-long best friend Charles asks for his help in securing the affections of his girlfriend who wants “a legendary love,” better than that of Vincent VanGogh’s, and with bigger sacrifices.

Kamp- Kamp is terrified of ghosts. He is terrified of being terrified. He is so convinced that he will see a ghost, that he has rigged his home in every conceivable way to trap a ghost before the ghost can scare him first. Will he catch his ghost or scare himself in the process?

Happy Birthday, Hunter- A wealthy and renowned big-game hunter celebrates his birthday with a meat-themed party. What does the hunter who has caught everything want for his birthday? One of Goblin’s famed but protected Great Owls. And he will set out to obtain one—at any cost.

Presto- In the pages of Presto magic magazine, a young boy learns that his favorite magician, Roman Emperor, is giving a one-night-only performance in Goblin. Unbeknownst to the boy, the magician’s tricks are real—and he needs a volunteer for his final act.

A Mix Up at the Zoo- Dirk Rogers is a beloved fixture at the Goblin Zoo by day and works at the Goblin Slaughterhouse by night. The workload of two jobs is getting to him and something must give. He needs to decide how to lessen the stress of having two jobs before he breaks down and a tragic accident occurs.

The Hedges- A precocious young girl solves the legendary Goblin tourist attraction, The Hedges. The secret the owner hid at the end of the maze is one of the biggest mysteries of Goblin. The secret will lead the Goblin Police on a wild chase after the maze owner into the forbidden North Woods where nothing is as it seems.
We meet delivery driver Tom again in the epilogue, trying to deliver the crate to its intended recipient. Neither Tom, nor the crate’s recipient, and Goblin for that matter, are prepared for what is inside and what will come next.
While I genuinely enjoyed this book, I am left with questions that did not get answered, which was a bit disappointing to me. I am also still unsure how I feel about the ending of the book. To me, it feels like there is more story that could be told, but maybe it is best left up to the reader’s own imagination to decide what is to occur in Goblin next.
 For me, Goblin was an enjoyable read and will be enjoyable as a re-read in the future. There was something in the novellas in every range of emotion—humor, chills, anger, and sadness. Malerman did an excellent job of connecting all the stories in the novel without making it feel forced or contrived. There are still so many mysteries and secrets out there in the Goblin rain, should Malerman decide to take us back for another visit someday and I hope that he will.
4/5 Stars
Thank you to #NetGalley and #DelReyBooks for providing me with an e-ARC of this novel for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Share this post

Leave a comment

Note, comments must be approved before they are published