Frank was a high school bully but he always paid special attention to Glenn. Now, with his wife gone on yet another separation, Frank is trying to deal with a mid-life crisis that has been brewing for quite awhile. Glenn becomes Frank's new hobby... and eventually Frank is going to have to ask himself... which one of them is actually the victim in his new violent lifestyle.
The Goat explores magic and S&M. It contains adult elements.
A brain injury at an early age left him with some mild issues and just enough aphasia to be amusing at parties. He tries to be very open about these. He doesn't drink, having the bare minimum of inhibitions to begin with. He also tends to describe himself in negatives.
He's happily married to a woman who encouraged him to discover and explore his sexuality. She also encourages him to keep on his meds. They both dabble in writing erotica. He is bisexual but does not stray. She is straight and the relationship is only open in the sense that he tells her everything (they blame rumors to the contrary on his aphasia).
When he is not looking in the mirror, Bill Kieffer is actually a 6 foot tall gray anthropomorphic draft horse that types as Greyflank. He is a member of the Furry Writers Guild and has recently published short stories in several Furry anthologies put out by Fur Planet. Past writing credits include comic books like "Billy Joe Van Helsing: Red Neck Vampire Hunter" and "Great Morons in History, the Dan Quayle Bio."
This is a dark urban fantasy story in addition to being erotica with a heavy BDSM element, but these descriptors are not adequate to conjure the substance of this work in the mind of one who has yet to read it.
This book is twisted. It's weird and one of the darkest things I've ever read. I quite liked it.
Our protagonist and first-person narrator Frank recounts his relationship with Glenn, a thin, quiet boy he had bullied in high school. From there, the story takes a turn that few will expect.
Frank's narration tends towards informality and naturalism; it comes across as believable, but at the same time it is not so burdened with colloquialisms as to become tiring.
This sort of setting where magic is a casual, day-to-day reality in the world is not really my cup of tea, but here at least the magic is introduced slowly enough to where it didn't bother me as much as it might have.
If you were not already aware, this book features graphic descriptions of male/male sexual behavior, intense physical and psychological violence bordering on abuse, oh, and naughty language. If any of that bothers you, stay far, far away.
However, if you feel like you can weather the subject matter then I would recommend this book. The prose is succinct, the characters well-developed and the storyline engaging. 4/5
***The author of The Goat: Building A Perfect Victim provided me a copy in exchange for an honest review. The content and opinions are my own***
THE GOAT: BUILDING A PERFECT VICTIM BY BILL KIEFFER (2016) - REVIEW
When I first picked up this book to begin reading, I was sort of thrown for a loop. The genre indicates that it is LGBT Horror Erotica. I have read a bit of Erotica in the past but, it usually isn't the first choice I reach for. I was excited to see there was a horror story attached so, I began reading with an open mind. Did this novel pleasantly surprise me or was I led into a land of confusion? Or, is confusion the whole point?
The story is narrated by Frank, whom has been a bully his entire life. Now in his forties, he begins the mid-life crisis cycle that was set in motion by his wife leaving him. One day in particular, certain events lead Frank to connect with Glenn, his high school victim that he would pester on a daily basis. He mostly ridiculed Glenn because he is gay. Significantly, Frank begins an affair with Glenn even though he swears up and down he is not a homosexual. As things go on, Frank enjoys controlling and being abusive to Glenn. Things change on a whole other level when Frank discovers Glenn has some unique abilities.
Personally, I probably would not categorize this book as Erotica. I viewed it more as Fantasy. Yes, there are some very intimate scenes between Frank and Glenn. However, they seemed more like short experiences with each other. I'm assuming that is because Frank is someone who doesn't want to let people in, for fear of being left. That is fine, but Erotica usually goes into detail about all the juicy stuff. With that being said, I did enjoy this book. I thought it was a brilliant comparison of strength and weakness in their darkest forms. Frank is the epitome of a power hungry person, who will knock anyone out of his way to get what he wants. As for Glenn, I wanted to scream at him the vast majority of the book. He let Frank do whatever he wanted without standing up for himself. I mean, this guy was put through the ringer. It makes you question if he has a hidden agenda because a person can only be put through so much until they hit their breaking point.
I did have a hard time putting this one down. There were a few things I didn't like though. The ending being one of them. Before the conclusion was revealed, I was on the edge of my couch hurrying to see what would become of Frank and Glenn. I found myself confused. I'm wondering if that was the author's intention because Frank seemed to be confused about his sexuality the whole time. Is the ending indicative of that? Another critique I have is that I encountered a lot of typos. At this point, the book has not been published yet. So, that may be something that is still being worked on. I thought I would point that out because some readers are unable to get past that. Then again, some readers could care less. Tit for tat, I guess.
Overall, The Goat is a story about two very broken individuals. It is not a fairy tale love story that will leave you with warm fuzzies. You are not meant to care about either character. Frank should be put in prison while Glenn never does anything to better his situation. Kieffer did succeed in provoking thought out of me. With books, that is all I ask.
Built on a crumbling infrastructure of technology and magic, society makes a blessing of the many cursed with species dysphoria... animal souls trapped with human shells. They mold them into mages rather than monsters. Glenn is certain there's a goat inside of him but the Elder Council doesn't agree.
In a shitty marriage that plays like a broken record of abandonment and reconciliation, Frank lives in broken world. He gets by, ignoring the darkness and denying his deepest fantasies. The violence isn't as buried as he thinks it is.
And when he sees a pack of werewolves threatening a nerdy, defenseless man outside of a doughnut shop, Frank casts a few wards and rolls up his sleeve to wade into the fray.
When Glenn is rescued by his former high school bully from the ani-mages that had turned on him, he had no idea what exactly lied in store for him with Frank. But he knew one thing, if Frank couldn't couldn't beat away his humanity, no one could.
Wow, just wow. Twisted would be a great way to describe this, but in a good way. Glenn was a great character for the reader to follow in this crazy world that the author has crafted, and he does a really great job of making it real, delivering some awesome and brutal moments, and even a love story. The prose style was simple and light, really easy to follow and fun to read, and I found myself captivated by the descriptions and moments within the story as it all came to life.
I think by far my favorite parts were the interactions between Glenn and Frank, and the fact that Glenn is just trying to get by ignoring the darkest parts of himself and what is inside, but Frank wants something else for him entirely. They form an interesting team and it makes a pleasant conflict in the story. I would definitely recommend this book to people who like wild fables with some crazy things happening set in a dystopian fantasy.
While not normally a fan of revenge fiction, I picked up an electronic copy of this story out of curiosity. Firstly, a warning, this is not a book to read to your kids in order to lull them to sleep. This is a charged, sexualized vision that feels like a cross between an erotic fantasy and a therapeutic release.
The adventure, if you will, takes place in a world not unlike our own. While the level of technology is exactly that of the modern day, there is something else hiding in the background, magic. Casters and Mages abound in this universe, it’s a land where there are councils to guide spell casters, and basic warding is taught in elementary schools. Together, tech and wonder have merged together and formed a society that feels both familiar, and alien.
I would like to see more stories from this world. It feels so comfortable to be in this land, and Bill “Greyflank” Kieffer forms the society through subtle hints, not blocked and clunky explanations. It feels natural to me, and I easily accepted the universe without issue.
What I had trouble doing though, was liking the main characters as people. Right from the start, it’s established that the “hero” is not a nice guy. He’s rough, abusive, a bully, and a drunkard who’s always spoiling for a fight. He’s the kind of guy who I would love to see get his comeuppance by being knocked senseless into a truck of manure, a la Biff Tannen, of Back to the Future fame. The author’s decision to make him the primary character is part of the reason why the story is so interesting. Despite my lack of love for the narrator, I found myself wondering what was going to happen, and had no trouble continuing.
The supporting character is a socially awkward coward. A sniveling, no-back-bone type, or so I thought, just remember, appearances can be deceiving.
The plot starts simple enough, the primary character’s wife has left him, for the umpteenth time, so he goes out to drown his frustration, and in the process, runs into the target of his teenage years’ angst. Then comes the part that really made me squirm, male-on-male sexual assault, except, it’s not. What follows is at times uncomfortable abuse, followed by moments of pity, and, from time to time, genuine affection, all while the audience is left to wondering, who is really using who?
I must admit, I had some difficulty skirting around some of the harsher moments, but that’s just my prudish nature. In the end, I had trouble putting my e-book down, and even found myself reading it at the dinner table when I was too near the conclusion.
In the end, I did become involved in the characters all the same, and although I don’t feel too bad for any of them, they still managed to evoke different emotions within me.
The length of the book is short. If I’d had it in hard-copy I would probably have binge-read it all at once.
So, would I read it again? Although I’m not one for the abuse, the world itself drew me in, and I did become invested in the characters. I might just pick it up again and read it through to see if there were hints and clues that I missed, and that says a lot for a story that is out of my usual genre of hopeful sci-fi or post-apocalyptic fiction. If you like revenge drama’s, are okay with graphic language, don’t mind a little man-on. . .-manthing action, and want to enjoy a story placed in a world not too far from our own, than yes, pick this up, definitely.
Let me just say this first: Frank, our protagonist, is a bad bad person. There may be good aspects to him, but at the core he’s a terrible person. Without giving anything away, this is not a happy book, but it is powerful and oddly (sometimes repulsively) compelling.
Second, I didn’t label this a gay story as Goodreads did. Our main character doesn’t identify as queer (even though he clearly has some closet issues) so I can’t call this a queer book. It’s really that simple. Yes, he has sexual relations with a man in this novel, but it’s twisted and pushes the boundaries of fiction. Honestly, I don’t think we want this in the queer category.
*shoves the book at the straights* “Here, you take it! He’s one of yours!”
All joking aside, I’m not sure Frank really addresses his issues enough to have this be a queer story, and the way he does cope is rather… counterproductive and disturbing.
The blurb is a bit vague about what the book is about. I’m guessing that’s intentional, but I’ll give you a bit more because I don’t think it’ll spoil anything for you. It’s about jealousy and anger and trust and dysphoria. The setting is a world where magic exists. Most of this magic is evocation, illusion, enchantment, and transmutation based, and the world is affected by magic in nearly every way, from schools to fast food. Frank works in an auto shop and creates enchantments for cars for a living, everything from that new car smell to anti shatter window runes.
Specifically, the book centers around a group of mages who aren’t satisfied with their human bodies, and feel as if they should have been born in the body of an animal. Glenn is one of those mages. Unfortunately he also sucks at magic and he was denied access to the spells to turn him into his desired animal by some sort of magical governing body. He’s at his psychological lowest when he runs into a Frank, his old high school bully.
Frank sees Glenn’s vulnerability and abuses it, and Glenn puts up with the abuse because he’s desperate to have the humanity beaten out of him, so he can feel more like his true animal self.
Now, I don’t usually post my star rating in a review–you can always follow my Goodreads page if you want that kind of information–but I will tell you I rated this book four stars. Why? Why did I do that, when I hate abuse and Frank is a terrible person? Especially while there were probably more typos and errors than there should be in a published product?
Because the story was told well.
It was chilling and gruesome and I loved to hate Frank. He was vile and petty and angry and–oh my gods–he was fucking glorious in his rage. The plot was short and sweet, building up to a beautiful trainwreck. My soul bled–it was damn therapeutic.
This book will probably push a lot of boundaries for you. It pushed a lot of boundaries for me, and I happen to love asshole protagonists and violence.
If I had one legit complaint–besides the grammatical errors–it would be that the entire theme around Glenn and his fellow mages wanting to be animals was tragically similar to trans issues, and probably wasn’t handled as sensitively as it could have been. However, this wasn’t about trans issues. It was an allusion to a world I know nothing about, so I’ll defer to Kieffer for how furry culture should be handled.
Terrific! Insightful! You'll come away... changed.
A world of magic and furries. A desperate gay boy, a straight sadist. Who is the victim? This is The Goat: Building the Perfect Victim, by Bill Kieffer. Extraordinarily well written. A piece of insightful fantasy. I haven't seen the heart and mind of a sadist portrayed this well in some time, and the twist ending? Just magnificent! The Goat is a walk at night through unfamiliar lands, a 3 AM stroll down a dark and silent alley. Prepare yourself to partake in something you never imagined. You'll come away... changed.