- The Goosle
- by Margo Lanagan
- Genre: fairy tale “after telling”, dark fantasy, horror
The Goosle is a ten page short story which is part of The Best Horror of the Year – Volume 1, edited by Ellen Datlow. I stumbled upon it in the library entry way display shelf. Because I love horror and Margo Lanagan’s name was on the cover, I picked it up hopefully. I was imagining that she would in fact be writing a fairy tale ”ish” story, as in her book Tender Morsels (my 5 star review linked.) I was happily excited.
This short story is a very dark “afterwards” to Hansel and Gretel. It occurs after the actual tale, when Hansel is a young man instead of a boy. There is no Gretel and things have changed greatly since he was a small child lost in the woods. I would say they are a bit more complicated. He is caught up in another tangle of sorts, albeit worse than being lost in the woods. I will go no further since I do not want to include spoilers, but Lanagan brings in a number of taboo subjects making it shocking. I think to finish this short story the reader needs to truly enjoy “dark fantasy”. It is however a fantastic story, heart wrenching, thoughtful, as well as layered. One of my favorite types of reading. After reading this piece, and it is only my second by this author, I am thinking Margo Lanagan is one of the best writers of dark fantasy that I have read, and she is heading for a place at the top of all writers as well. Highly recommended, especially for those with strong stomachs, hearts, and sensibilities. Now to find more short stories which can compete *sigh*.
This story also has GLBT elements.
Now off to the trails, for a “walk”. Sadly the season will be ending soon. It will be in the high 80s today in our lovely “Hotsdale”, only to reach oven like status before we know it. Happy Sunday everyone!