Author Brian Evenson’s work is notable for consisting mostly of short stories. In honor of his latest collection, A Collapse of Horses, Minneapolis’s Coffee House Press has combined it with three of his past novels into a single volume. Brian Evenson, New and Reissued puts Horses together with Father of Lies, The Open Curtain, and Last Days, which together span almost 20 years of the author’s career. With introductions by authors like Bram Stoker Award winner Peter Straub, you know you are in for a good fireplace story. Reminiscent of Poe, Evenson’s work is a look into the horror of the human mind.
When you first start this book, you realize it is something that will not be consumed in one sitting. Evenson’s writing is something to be read in short intervals, like a good tea that you want to savor to the last drop. His writing is mind bending, and quite a think piece. The stories that are short enough to narrate to a friend, discuss, and feel the shivers. When you finish one, you will want to read again, to see if you missed any detail. Think upon your impressions and you may feel that chill creep up your spine as you relate to the character.
Each tale is engrossing, chilling, and eerie. The author’s words and stories are something that stick to you, draw you back, keep you reading. This is one book that you will never forget about after you finish it—one that you will reference when you think of that one story you read two years ago about the man who was seeing his house change around him, who didn’t know if the horses are dead. That particular story is “A Collapse of Horses,” the title piece from the new collection, and it is like a grown-up version of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Psychological and fascinating, Evenson manages to make every adult’s nightmares come alive with a twisted sense of reality.
This is a collection that deserves to adorn every shelf and should find itself to holding up against any horror novel, from classic to current, and reading it you will be transported to a different world. One that you didn’t know you wanted to live in. One that you will want to escape from. And one that will draw you in again and again and again.
You can purchase New and Reissued, as well as any of the four books individually, through Coffee House Press.