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Windeye; Stories by Brian Evenson

Windeye; Stories (edition 2012)

by Brian Evenson (Author)

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8916202,940 (3.95)11
Title:Windeye; Stories
Authors:Brian Evenson (Author)
Info:Coffee House Press (2012), 188 pages
Collections:Your library

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Windeye by Brian Evenson



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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Brilliant collection of some of the strangest stories I've ever read. Each is a unique and singular experience, fairy-tale horror-stories of the most twisted, yet perfectly self-contained logic imaginable. Yet never does one of the stories take the easy-out 'rug-pull' of introducing an unreliable narrator element in the final pages of the story, the cop-out of 'oh by-the-way, they were crazy the whole time and imagined the whole thing!' Indeed, if Evenson is going to have an unreliable narrator, you know about it from the first paragraphs, and their mental confusion or altered state drives the story from that point forward. I definitely would recommend this collection to lovers of the dark, the strange, the weird, or even the bizarre, and of stories of the highest caliber. ( )
  michaeladams1979 | Oct 11, 2018 |
Rating: 4.25* of five

The Publisher Says: A woman falling out of sync with the world; a king's servant hypnotized by his murderous horse; a transplanted ear with a mind of its own—the characters in these stories live as interlopers in a world shaped by mysterious disappearances and unfathomable discrepancies between the real and imagined. Brian Evenson, master of literary horror, presents his most far-ranging collection to date, exploring how humans can persist in an increasingly unreal world. Haunting, gripping, and psychologically fierce, these tales illuminate a dark and unsettling side of humanity.

Praised by Peter Straub for going "furthest out on the sheerest, least sheltered narrative precipice," Brian Evenson is the author of ten books of fiction. He has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the World Fantasy Award, and the winner of the International Horror Guild Award, and the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel.

Fugue State was named one of Time Out New York's Best Books of 2009. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and three O. Henry Prizes, including one for the title story in "Windeye," Evenson lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where he directs Brown University's Literary Arts Department.

My Review: Since there are 25 stories in this book's 188pp, I will not be utilizing the Bryce Method (named for the illustrious blogger/reviewer/Goodreader Bryce, of revered memory for his excellent and frequent reviews before the twins were born) as the reviews of each story would be as long as the stories themselves are. For such is the nature of Evenson's writing. It's a challenge to make his storytelling anything other than real-time without spoilering or simply regurgitating his words.

It's not that his writing is Lovecraftian in its ornament, or Kingly in its wallop. His eerie and atmospheric stories are concise, and have their own unadorned grandeur. If his prose was architecture, I'd call it Art Deco with Fascist Monumental leanings.

So here's a species of compromise on Bryce Method reviewing...stories grouped by stars!

5 of 5
“The Process”

4 of 5
“The Second Boy”
“Angel of Death”
“The Dismal Mirror”
“Hurlock's Law”
“The Tunnel”
“South of the Beast” (maybe this gets 4.5....)
“The Absent Eye”
“The Oxygen Protocol”
“The Drownable Species”

All of the others are three stars...good, solid stories, but not for whatever reason outstanding compared to their peers in this collection.

I'm not sure I'd call any of them “horror” stories. I'd call them all, one and all, atmospheric evocations of unsettling and unsettled mood, of disturbed and disturbing malfunctions of perception. I'd call them all quietly unnervingly accurate night-scopes on the rifles your inner demons bring to bear at the back of your neck on windy, rainy nights when the power goes out and the flashlight batteries are dead.

If that kind of reading has no appeal, horseman, pass on.

One bleat of dissatisfaction: This book has the UGLIEST cover...a dark, blood-mixed-with-poo colored block set off by a ragged edge of trailing bloody red on a white background. Y.U.C.K. Drop-out type for the advert on the back reinforces the low-budget look, as does the Preparation-H-hued type they set the title in. In a store, I'd pass it up with a wrinkled nose and a scoff. This reaction is not to put y'all off! The stories make up for the dismal disappointment of the cover. Really, honestly, they do.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. ( )
4 vote richardderus | Oct 27, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This collection of ominous stories really stands out among contemporary short story collections. Unlike those collections that seem like multiple regurgitations of MFA writing assignments, Evenson's stories are truly unique and haunting. The horror is very understated, but this is what makes it so affecting. I like the ambiguity in many of these stories. Evenson is making his readers work, and it's impossible to read these stories without engaging your own imagination to try to figure out what's going on. Highly recommended.
  gwendolyndawson | Oct 3, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Some of these stories are kind of like a cross between Borges and Poe. There's is a bit of the grotesque--another bit of displacement--a bit of the supernatural and another bit of fantasy. The stories here are well written and plotted. Not sure that they are easy to categorize as horror or sci-fi or whatever genre you would have. There are psychological elements to them that seem to take the stories into broader categorizations. Anyway most all the stories are interesting and there is a broad range here but my fiction reading preferences are really in other areas. Even so I think this collection was well worth reading and I'd certainly be open to reading some of Evenson's other works. ( )
1 vote lriley | Sep 17, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A collection of strange horror and fairy tale-inspired tales that kept me from sleeping at night. In a short few pages, Evenson is able to create atmospheric stories that evoke the horrors of human nature or the unknown. A great collection for those who like to get the chills at night. ( )
  kkisser | Aug 30, 2012 |
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Collects short stories of people losing touch with reality or for whom reality has become frightening, dark, and unsettling.

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