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In The Forest Of Forgetting by Theodora Goss

In The Forest Of Forgetting

by Theodora Goss

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I really enjoyed some of these stories and was less wild about some of the others. One of these was the first story, “The Rose in Twelve Petals”, which I found a tad heavy-handed for my taste. (You can read it here and decide for yourself.)
* “The Rapid Advance of Sorrow“. It felt topical, but at the same time like a dream. Just enough fantasy to keep it from simply being didactic.
* “Letters from Budapest” was haunting and unsettling.
* “The Wings of Meister Wilhelm” and “Lessons with Miss Gray” are two stories set in the same town of Ashton, North Carolina. They also share several characters and the second clearly builds off of the first. I found them both enjoyable.
* “Pip and the Fairies” was nuanced and lovely.
Goss tends towards the darker side of fantasy in general (in my opinion) and those of you with delicate sensibilities will probably want to stay away from “The Belt.” ( )
  maureene87 | Apr 4, 2013 |
Pip and the Fairies is the standout and I'd keep the collection for that alone. Goss's rep seems to be that she's slipstream, but on the whole these are pretty traditionally-structured stories, though more European than N American in feel. There's a certain detachment, even in the first-person narratives, and a studied beauty of language that I associate with work in translation.
  bmlg | May 25, 2012 |
I was really looking forward to reading this series of short stories by Theodora Goss. It ended up being a wonderful collection of stories; most of them are dark and have a European fairy tale feel to them. Many of the stories are incredibly ironic and a bit ambiguous.

I am not even sure how to start describing these stories individually. The story "The Belt" tells a tale of a wife who learns what happens to her husband when she removes the belt he uses to restrain her. There is the story "Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold" where a professor is given a choice: he can go into the magical unknown or return to his weary life...but he only gets one chance to make the choice. In "Letters From Budapest" a man receives mysterious letters from his brother telling of his descent into the art culture of Budapest and ultimately his demise via magical means. A reoccurring figure throughout is Miss Grey a witch of sorts who shows up in one story as a nanny, in another as a teacher of magic. All the stories are interesting in their own right and I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite.

Goss's writing is dark, descriptive, atmospheric, magical, and at times a bit vague. Many times the reader is left to determine exactly what has happened, the stories are a bit ambiguous and are not spelled out for the reader. Most of the stories have a very fairy tale like vibe to them. I mean Grimm Brothers type fairy tales...a lot of the stories also have an Old World or European feel to them as well.

The writing is very descriptive and some of the earlier stories felt a bit disjointed, so it took me a couple stories to really get into Goss's writing style. Once I did thought I found the book very hard to put down and was eager to see what wonders the next story held for me.

Overall a wonderful collection of dark fairy tale like stories, a wonderful writer. If you like dark fairy tales or stories with an old world feel to them this is the book for you. The writing style reminds some of Catherynne Valente or Elizabeth Hand; intelligently written, beautiful, and a bit vague (not everything is spelled out for the reader). I liked it a lot and will be keeping an eye out for future works from Goss. Definitely for adults only. ( )
3 vote krau0098 | Dec 23, 2010 |
In The Forest Of Forgetting by Theodora Goss (2007) ( )
  krisiti | Jul 1, 2009 |
stories: The Rose in Twelve Petals / Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold / The Rapid Advance of Sorrow / Lily, With Clouds / Miss Emily Gray / In the Forest of Forgetting / Sleeping with Bears / Letters from Budapest / The Wings of Meister Wilhelm / Conrad / A Statement in the Case / Death Comes for Ervina / The Belt / Phalaenopsis / Pip and the Fairies / Lessons with Miss Gray

Apparently, Goss's debut collection was The Rose in Twelve Petals and Other Stories, which contains some of the same stories as In the Forest of Forgetting, as well as a few poems, but seems to be out of print. (I may have to scrounge around for a copy.)

In any event, I loved In the Forest of Forgetting and really hope she publishes more -- maybe a novel about Miss Emily Gray (a recurring character, appearing in "Conrad" as well as the two titles bearing her name). I love Goss's voice, her characters, her subjects and themes. I love the stories that play off of classic fairy tales, the ones set in Hungary (where Goss was born), and all the rest. They feel classic but original and are beautifully written. ( )
  extrajoker | Sep 6, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080955741X, Paperback)

In the Forest of Forgetting showcases such stories as "The Rose in Twelve Petals," "The Rapid Advance of Sorrow," "Lily, With Clouds," "In the Forest of Forgetting," "Sleeping With Bears" and many more, with an introduction by Terri Windling and cover by Virginia Lee.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:25 -0400)

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