The Only Harmless Great Thing

Brooke Bolander
The Only Harmless Great Thing Cover

The Only Harmless Great Thing


Three different female characters in two time frames tell one story in this printed novella, originally available from The author expanded on two historical events, joining them in a tragic "what-if".

This quick read is about the power of story and the manipulation of truth, along with the impact of stories through history. It is also a very emotional tale about abuse of power, sentient elephants and people. It takes a few pages to get used to the writing style, quick shifting between characters with no introduction, and I almost put the volume down at that point. Glad I didn't.

The author is a self-described writer of "weird things of indeterminate genre", and is working on a novel. This story is tragedy, somewhere between alternate history and fantasy.