The Goat: Building a Perfect Victim, by Bill Kieffer – review by Howl.
by Patch O'Furr
Howl of Thurston Howl Publications sends this guest review. Thanks Howl!
REVIEW OF THE GOAT: BUILDING A PERFECT VICTIM BY BILL KIEFFER
Shock. From beginning to end. If you ever want a book to slap you in the face as hard as possible, this…this is for you.
Frank is a car worker. He is not gay. To verify this, he would not hesitate to glare you down. He would not hesitate to hit you. He would not hesitate to force you into his car. He would not hesitate to force your head on his cock and eventually force you to swallow. This is how he started to develop a relationship with Glenn.
Glenn is a cybermancer, strong with technological pseudomagic but not so great at wards like Frank. Loving the utter dominance Frank forces onto him, Glenn enters into an S&M relationship with the mechanic. However, the main story arc occurs when Glenn reveals that he is species-dysmorphic: despite being born in a human body, his natural identity is that of a goat. Unable to pass the necessary ani-mage tests, he can only dream about becoming a goat. However, Frank is a little better with magic…
This book is by NO MEANS a kinky romance. This is, as the author claims, horror erotica. Even as a Stephen King and Clive Barker fan, I was cringing so hard from the beginning and ending of the book, and I’m not sure I will fully recover in the next week. I might have to read My Little Pony fanfiction to survive in fact.
As far as constructive criticism goes, the book excels with its ability to horrify and disturb readers. As any horror aficionado will claim, the best horror is the kind that dwells under the surface of normal, everyday life and then bubbles up with an exploding pop at points. This novel thrives on that. You will fall in love with these characters, and, then, you will witness the new master of furry horror as he proceeds to not only rip your heart out, but also your intestines, your spleen, and whatever else he can find. While this book is by no means gory as my metaphor would make it seem, it is horrifying in levels that portray crueler fates than disembowelment.
My main critiques are with the magic system erected in the novel. It is introduced so suddenly and never really explained, although it is expanded gradually. Narratologically, the magic exists solely as a means of giving Frank the ability to control Glenn’s transformations. While the author does implement small uses of magic here and there—wards and a magical advisory board—it seems consistently too disconnected from the story Kieffer is trying to tell.
However, if you can suspend your disbelief in this system of magic, the novel will grip you—and drag you through the hell that is Frank’s twisted mind, or to put it more closely to the author’s words, Frank’s “fucked up” mind.