26 October, 2008

Abigail Nussbaum reviews The Del Rey Book

In the course of which, she has this to say:
The standout story in the anthology ... is Margo Lanagan's "The Goosle" ... a terrifying and absorbing examination of abuse from the victim's perspective, which stresses the importance of isolation and loneliness in perpetuating the abusive relationship. ... I do, however, have a vague sympathy with Truesdale's accusation that "The Goosle" shocks for the sake of shocking, as at several points throughout the story I found myself thrown out of its world, and its overpowering emotional tone, by Lanagan stepping up the grand guignol—having Hansel lay his head against what he believes to be a pumpkin only for it to turn out to be the skull of one of the witch's victims, or the description of the witch dismembering her latest kill. Elements that should have sunk me further into the story's horrific mode instead came off as over the top, and had me shaking off the story's effect to go 'oh, come on.'
Two things make me think Abigail might have been reading 'The Goosle' slightly too fast. Can you spot them? (Not you, Saul—I've already whinged about them to you.)

And yes, you'll have to have read 'The Goosle' to see them.


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