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In the Forest of Forgetting

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3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  615 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 254 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Prime Books (first published June 6th 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Althea Ann
Feb 03, 2015 Althea Ann rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of mythopoeic fiction I like. A collection of quite short stories, but they pack a lot in to their brief length.

"The Rose in Twelve Petals"
A fractured retelling of 'Sleeping Beauty' (or, 'Briar Rose'), in a dozen brief vignettes, set in a more concrete version of Europe than the usual fairy-tale fare.

"Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold"
A not-very-successful professor and a French poet, both with hidden talents, are summoned by a mysterious figure to an interstitial pl
...more
Bryan Alexander
In the Forest of Forgetting is an anthology of beautiful, well crafted, and dreamlike short stories. They exist on the edges of dream, fable, and folklore, each one a unique take on the fantastic. With a very few words Theodora Goss takes us into visionary realms.

Dreams are central to these tales. Some are explicitly about dreaming, like "Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold", while others draw heavily on dreams, dreamlike states, and visions, such as "Conrad", "Pip and the Fairies", "Pha
...more
Kevin Farrell
May 22, 2012 Kevin Farrell rated it really liked it
Here is an interesting collection of stories from Theodora Goss. I would rate some as 3 star and some as 5 star so the aggregate score is 4 stars for the book.

The best and most personally meaningful was "In The Forest of Forgetting". In this story, the main character is in a dream like forest and can't remember who she is or why she is there. She keeps meeting people that she vaguely recognizes as important people in her life but keeps moving deeper into the forest. Several people try to convinc
...more
Kerry
Jul 27, 2010 Kerry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: everything
A beautifully crafted collection of short stories, Theodora Goss’ In the Forest of Forgetting draws on fairy tale and mythological motifs in creative and unexpected ways. While most, if not all, of the stories were amazing, these were the highlights of the book, at least in my opinion.

In the Forest of Forgetting
In the Forest of Forgetting, the story from which the book takes its title, is breathtaking and haunting. A soberly enchanting allegory, it chronicles a woman’s journey with breast cance
...more
Josie
Aug 11, 2012 Josie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairytales, fantasy
I read "Sleeping With Bears" online (on a fantasy magazine website, I think?) and as soon as I'd finished it, I ordered this book. That was how good it was. I couldn't wait to read this, and although some of the stories were better than others (I'll be honest, I didn't really understand the philosophy ones?) I've never been so satisfied with an impulse buy.

The writing is perfect -- exactly to my taste. It's beautiful and enchanting, but not overly complex or inaccessible. The ordinary sits along
...more
Robyn
Mar 25, 2014 Robyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Redditgifts Book Exchange 2014

This short story collection has, with just a single reading, immediately been added to the short list of books I recommend to all readers. Somewhere online, possibly on her own site's FAQs, Catherynne M. Valente mentioned Theodora Goss and specifically this collection as being writing that she especially found meaning in. That is how I first heard of Goss, and I immediately put the book on my wishlist. If I had known how good the writing is, how deeply thoughtful t
...more
Diana
Sep 02, 2015 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a good book of short stories, and these are exquisite. Just the right blend of magical and unnerving, without being too weird, too overwhelming, or too depressing. Highly recommended if you love Karen Russell, Aimee Bender, Elizabeth Hand, or Kelly Link's short story collections.
Meran
Jul 31, 2013 Meran rated it really liked it
Quote from the introduction: "My problem is with the guards who say, 'You cannot cross the border.' Because when borders are closed, those on either side experience immobility and claustrophobia, and those who cross them (illegally, by night) suffer incalcuable loss."

I find so any people build their own borders and are their own guards, mostly out of fear.

What an usual mind this author has to come up with all these very unusual stories! I love short stories! So few authors write them anymore, an
...more
Bonnie Stufflebeam
Mar 10, 2013 Bonnie Stufflebeam rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on Short Story Review:

Theodora Goss is a master of place. In all sixteen short stories included in her collection In the Forest of Forgetting, the setting, though often a fictional and fantastical place, is as vivid as the characters, many of whom are greatly affected by the places they inhabit. In the introduction by Terri Windling, which gives an interesting biography of Goss and explores her historical context for the way she writes, Windling says, “Goss is a travel guide ac
...more
John
Aug 27, 2013 John rated it really liked it
A great collection of (quite) short stories by Theodora Goss. They mostly fall into a category I'd call fantasy, but some are more closely related to fairy tales. I'll go over each story briefly.

### The Rose in Twelve Petals
A broken-up retelling of *Sleeping Beauty*. I'm not super familiar with the original tale, but this story is set in Medieval Europe and told in twelve parts.

### Professor Berkowitz Stands on the Threshold
A professor and a French poet meet at a place-between-the-worlds (of lif
...more
Jonathan Scotese
I started this book with high expectations and was disappointed. Theodora Goss is one of the best authors I have stumbled across this year. Her style is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman but a bit less fun and a bit more literary. However, the stories in this collection are closer to Magical Realism than her other more recent works. This collection reminds me more of dry Peter S. Beagle stories. They are not bad, and if literary, dry speculative fiction is your thing then you will enjoy these, but it h ...more
Claire
Jan 30, 2013 Claire rated it liked it
Shelves: short_stories
Absolutely adored the story "Lily, with Clouds." The others were well imagined as well. I like an author who introduces fantastical elements as if they are a part of every day life.
Margaret
Jan 06, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it
I thought I had read quite a few short stories by Theodora Goss, but of the sixteen stories in this collection, I had only read one! And I enjoyed almost all of them, and even the few I was iffy on, I thought were well-written. Goss writes with rich imagery and focused, realistic, unique characters, and her entwining of those two are what makes her short stories so good. The characters feel real, and I almost believe they are real, yet the situations are fantastical. My favorites were "Professor ...more
MB (What she read)
Sep 06, 2012 MB (What she read) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy short stories by Kelly Link, Susannah Clarke, Joan Aiken and (maybe) Saki
Recommended to MB (What she read) by: Can't remember. Sherwood Smith?
3.5 stars
Evocative haunting fantastical short stories.
Sam
Like with most short story collections, this book had a few great stories, a few not so great ones, and a lot that just kind of fell in the middle. While I enjoyed Goss' writing and the variety of settings she used in her stories (particularly the Eastern European ones), I can't say that any of the stories really stood out as being memorable, except for the title story: a beautiful, surreal journey through a magical land, through the eyes of a woman with no memory who is clearly battling cancer. ...more
Melani
Lessons with Miss Grey - The last in the book, and a really good one. We have two sets of reoccurring characters, Miss Grey who appeared in two other stories in this collection and Rosa and Emma who appeared in The Wings of Meister Wilhelm. I really liked this one a lot, and it was a good story to end the collection.

Overall, I'd say they were mixed. In the Forest of Forgetting is my favorite. I was really unimpressed with quite a few of the stories, and I think that Goss has a tendency to let th
...more
Whitney Watercutter
May 02, 2014 Whitney Watercutter rated it really liked it
These are masterfully written. Goss is extremely talented. I think many people hear "short story" or "fairytale" or "gothic" and automatically peg that type of writing as being niche or young adult or erotic. This book is none of, and more than, all of those things. Although the tales are gothic, there is a beacon of lightheartedness in many of them; although they are fantasy, they are intelligently designed and mixed with just the right amount of realism. This book broke my expectations for wha ...more
Michelle
Jul 23, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
This is a collection of short stories by Theodora Gross. Some of the tales are different takes on classic fairy tales such as "Sleeping with Bears" where a Southern society girl marries a bear, with the story told by her jaded/envious sister. This is a take on Rose Red/ Rose White. Other stories in this format include " A Rose in Twelve Petals" and "Feeling Very Strange" (Sleeping Beauty) and The title story is reminiscient of Alice's journey in the forest, but is the tale of a woman suffering f ...more
Izlinda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
AJ LeBlanc
A collection of short stories, retold tales, and fairy stories. Like all short story collections, there were some I liked a lot and others were just OK. I picked this up because Terri Windling wrote the intro, and as far as I’m concerned, that woman is magic. Her collections have introduced me to many of my now favorite authors, and if she tells me to read something, I’m going to read it.

There are sixteen tales in this book. I’m going to do a quick highlight of my favorites. Not to say that I di
...more
Patty
It took me some time to read this collection and I am glad I didn't rush through it. Goss has a singular way with words that inspires slow reading. Goss uses common fairy tales, historical settings and seemingly ordinary people to tell extraordinary stories.

One of the amazing parts of these stories was the way they were often linked. I do not think any word, character or happening is accidental. So when a town, person or even a first name was repeated, I was sure that Goss had a good reason. I a
...more
H. Anne Stoj
Jul 07, 2010 H. Anne Stoj rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthology
I found this to be a really lovely collection of works by an author I'm not particularly familiar with. The first story, The Rose In Twelve Petals, I remembered reading in an anthology somewhere. (I can't recall now if it was one of the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror or one of the faerie tale collections edited by Windling and Datlow.) I do, though, remember liking it a great deal. Just like I remember liking Lily, With Clouds, the other story I read previously to me and am not sure about where ...more
Craig
Aug 07, 2013 Craig rated it really liked it

These delicately crafted, literary fantasies draw from Victorian morality stories and fairytales. The language is spare and considered, the tone dry spiked with mordant humor. Goss discreetly and elegantly updates the gothic tale for postmodern times. Her "Emily Gray" stories concern a governess who grants children's deepest wishes, at a terrible price. Three of the Emily Gray tales are here. The title story turns a breast cancer patient's life into a magical fable. Other stories take place in B
...more
Josh
Mar 05, 2016 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, stonecoast
"But I do not know which moral is the correct one," ends one of Theodora Goss's stories. "And that is also the way of a fairy tale." This is true of the stories in this collection. They are open. They are magical and surreal and fantastic. Terri Windling (who wrote the book's introduction) ended by saying "Her stories enchant me, surprise me, and move me, and I can't wait to see where she travels next."

These stories, and magical realism in general, are of a genre that still feels strange to me,
...more
Maureen E
Aug 03, 2010 Maureen E rated it liked it
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.)
Favorites:
* “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 Mi
...more
Grace
May 31, 2011 Grace rated it really liked it
Overall, this was a highly enjoyable collection of short fiction. I enjoyed how many of the stories were connected by vague locations or characters (a woman in gray, a cottage at the bottom of the garden, etc). I enjoyed some stories more than others (my favorite was the one about the man who tried to fly), but even the stories I didn't especially enjoy were admirable for their interstitial qualities and whimsy.

There were a few typos that made me wish Goss had had a more thorough proofreader, bu
...more
Theresa
Apr 11, 2015 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dreamy

I love the dreamy, surrealistic imagery. There are several typos, which always dismays me (thought rather than though so many times), but the stories more than made up for them.
Kelly Flanagan
Aug 29, 2013 Kelly Flanagan rated it it was amazing
An amazing collection of Theadora Goss's short stories. Although the book itself is in the fantasy genre, each story seems so unlike the last and next, that you hesitate to group them as one category. Some stories were a little more horror than fey, and some seemed to be reminiscing of her past. Whether remembered or illusionary. Either way they seem to wade into the unconsciousness and float among our fears and hopes. Surfacing even after the book was put away, prompting you to reread parts and ...more
Jim
Dec 31, 2008 Jim rated it liked it
Sporadicly wonderful. Ranged from surreal, to whimsical, to just plain magic. "The Wings of Meister" is Just Plain Magic. The tale, "The Rapid Advance of Sorrow" is quite haunting. "A Rose in Twelve Petals" is very nice. "A Statement in the Case" is a quite nice little horror story.

There are a story or two I maybe don't see the point too. Also, there is one or that are excellent, but not Fantasy. That isn't really a criticism, just letting the potential reader know.

I'm giving this 3 stars, ave
...more
Kimberly Lohr
Sep 20, 2014 Kimberly Lohr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My words are stuck in cobwebs, I can't express how this book of short stories - so dark, tinged golden at the edges - stirred me. Devastatingly lovely.
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Theodora Goss's publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; and The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a two-sided novella in an accordion format. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, ...more
More about Theodora Goss...

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“I will tell you, too, that every fairy tale has a moral. The moral of my story may be that love is a constraint, as strong as any belt. And this is certainly true, which makes it a good moral. Or it may be that we are all constrained in some way, either in our bodies, or in our hearts or minds, an Empress as well as the woman who does her laundry. ... Perhaps it is that a shoemaker's daughter can bear restraint less easily than an aristocrat, that what he can bear for three years she can endure only for three days. ... Or perhaps my moral is that our desire for freedom is stronger than love or pity. That is a wicked moral, or so the Church has taught us. But I do not know which moral is the correct one. And that is also the way of a fairy tale.” 26 likes
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