Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Bog Girl, by Karen Russell

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(Slipstream Horror) Fifteen-year-old Cillian finds the love of his life buried in the peat of an old bog where she died long, long, ago. (7,215 words; Time: 24m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by , appeared in issue 06/20/16, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Obviously, the story is a powerful extended metaphor for hopeless and self-destructive love affairs, but incongruity is its real strength. For example, the incongruity of the other students just accepting the bog girl is hilarious. It's also funny that Cill leaves the noose around her neck.

Beyond that, it tells the story of Cill's first love (weird as it is) and how it ended. How he matured as a result of it, but also how he gained a new appreciation for his mother. When the bog girl came to life, the first thing he did was scream for his mother.

It's clever the way the magic is introduced subtly. For a long time, the only supernatural thing in the story is that the bog girl is incorruptible. That and the amazing way everyone reacts to her.

Con: The concept is so gross that it pops you out of the story every few paragraphs just to cringe.

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Karen Russell Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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