Tacky Goblin

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews | Adult Fiction - RACHEL JAGARESKI

T. Sean Steele The Un­named Press (JULY) Soft­cover $14.99 (130pp) 978-1-944700-60-7

T. Sean Steele’s Tacky Goblin is a clever, loopy novella that re­lates the jour­nal en­tries of an un­named twen­tysome­thing cen­tral char­ac­ter. He drifts through en­nui-laden days in his par­ents’ home in Chicago, sur­viv­ing de­monic pos­ses­sion that’s due to a mouth-shaped ceil­ing mold stain that swal­lows up a par­a­sitic goblin.

Things get even more sur­real when the hero moves to Los Angeles to share an apart­ment with his sis­ter, Kim. Kim may or not be a se­rial killer; the dog the nar­ra­tor cares for, Mug­gins, is pos­si­bly also an in­fant named Barb; and the up­stairs neigh­bor that blasts am­bi­ent noise pod­casts walks around with a hole where his ab­dom­i­nal or­gans should be.

As any­one who has sur­vived the gaunt­let of in­de­pen­dent adult­hood knows, the tran­si­tion is emo­tion­ally hard and un­set­tling, and as full of angst, bizarre life events, and weirdo rel­a­tives and love in­ter­ests as this frothy lit­tle fantasy. The ab­surd plot and Steele’s dead­pan hu­mor com­bine to make the book a de­light­ful send-up of clas­sic com­ing-of-age fic­tion.

Kim gets the fun­ni­est lines. When the nar­ra­tor com­plains that she never flushes the toi­let, she in­forms him that there’s a drought go­ing on, which he should have read about in her email. When he de­murs about pick­ing up her car from the re­pair shop be­cause he has no li­cense, she re­torts: “A driver’s li­cense is one of those things peo­ple say you need but re­ally you don’t. Like bed­sheets, or pro­tein.” Even when she and other char­ac­ters say the most ridicu­lous things, the di­a­logue seems nat­u­ral and un­forced, a trick that Steele pulls off through­out the book.

Tacky Goblin is a perfect es­capist read for any­one who needs a break from re­al­ity’s daily grind. It’s a pe­tite fantasy with a huge scoop of ab­sur­dist hu­mor that will leave read­ers hun­ger­ing for more of Steele’s out­sized in­ter­pre­ta­tion of life.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.