Glenn suffers from species dysphoria—despite his human appearance, he identifies as a goat. Frank is a former high school bully turned savior who rescues Glenn from a pack of werewolves. Now, awash in a dystopia built on magic and rotting technology, it’s up to Frank to beat away Glenn’s remaining humanity.
Sound insane? Bill Kieffer’s The Goat: Building the Perfect Victim is a dark fantasy that melds fantasy, psychological horror, and biting social commentary. The resulting tale isn’t for everyone. The story goes to uncomfortable places, reminding us of one writer’s advice for writing complex characterization (“Poke a wound”). Expect a surprise ending, though the biggest surprise may be the love story that constitutes this tale’s twisted spine.
The Goat is an impressive fable—clever and subversive. Kieffer’s prose is playful, poetic and brutal in turns. Highly recommended. (Five stars out of five)