Fugue State [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Brilliant...Evenson manages to capture madness with a masterful tone. The specific genius of Fugue State rests in subtlety, in Evenson's ability to maintain suspense, dread and paranoia through utter linguistic control.”--Time Out New York
"19 satisfying and surreal stories...packed with subtly hilarious sentences.”--Cleveland Plain Dealer
...
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Fugue State

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Overview

"Brilliant...Evenson manages to capture madness with a masterful tone. The specific genius of Fugue State rests in subtlety, in Evenson's ability to maintain suspense, dread and paranoia through utter linguistic control.”--Time Out New York
"19 satisfying and surreal stories...packed with subtly hilarious sentences.”--Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Brian Evenson is one of the treasures of American story writing, a true successor both to the generation of Coover, Barthelme, Hawkes and Co., but also to Edgar Allan Poe."--Jonathan Lethem

"The stories in this collection will thrill, unsettle, and captivate. Like lanterns in dark rooms, paper boats carried down on subterranean waters, they lead the reader into mysterious and perilous territory. Read at your own risk."--Kelly Link

Illustrated by graphic novelist Zak Sally, Brian Evenson's hallucinatory and darkly comic stories of paranoia, pursuit, sensory deprivation, amnesia, and retribution rattle the cages of the psyche and peer into the gaping moral chasm that opens when we become estranged from ourselves. From sadistic bosses with secret fears to a woman trapped in a mime's imaginary box, and from a post-apocalyptic misidentified Messiah to unwitting portraitists of the dead, the mind-bending world of this modern-day Edgar Allan Poe exposes the horror contained within our daily lives.

Brian Evenson is the author of the Edgar and International Horror Guild award-nominated novel The Open Curtain.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Evenson (The Open Curtain) accesses dark, unusual facets of human frailty, powerlessness and fear in this collection, haunted by themes of amnesia, aphasia and creeping infirmity. Hecker, the protagonist of O'Henry Prize-winner "Mudder Tongue," can't control which words he says and is incapable of expressing even the nature of the problem to his daughter, who thinks he just needs to get out more. A similar terror informs the title story, in which a plague of amnesia afflicts the area where Arnaud lives. The stricken forget their own names, bleed from the eyes and mouth, then lapse into unconsciousness and death. Arnaud catches the illness, and as he makes his way through a landscape of quarantined apartments, looters and corpses, he interacts with the dead and soon-to-be-dead in an effort to try to remember what he is trying to accomplish. Other ailments make cameos-blindness in "Helpful," insomnia in "Dread"-and the thematic anxiety is heightened by graphic novelist Sally's foreboding black and white line illustrations. This intense, nightmarish collection captures the fear of night terrors, when one wakes in the middle of the night, unable to move. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher

“Brian Evenson is one of my favorite writers. The stories in this collection will thrill, unsettle, and captivate. Like lanterns in dark rooms, paper boats carried down on subterranean waters, they lead the reader into mysterious and perilous territory. Read at your own risk.”—Kelly Link

“Brian Evenson is the Donald Barthelme of psychological horror.”—Los Angeles Times

“Evenson accesses dark, unusual facets of human frailty, powerlessness and fear. . . . This intense, nightmarish collection captures the fear of night terrors, when one wakes in the middle of the night, unable to move.”—Publishers Weekly

“The specific genius of Fugue State rests in subtlety, in Evenson’s ability to maintain suspense, dread and paranoia through utter linguistic control.”—Time Out New York (five stars)

“[Fugue State] brings us into contact with thinking itself, with a sense of terror that seems to multiply plainly, and with the most difficult kinds of truth.”—The Believer, “5×5: Brian Evenson”

“Laughter can be an effective tool of the horror writer, and Evenson is its finest practitioner.”—Time Out Chicago

“These 19 satisfying and surreal stories plumb the psyches of murderers, paranoids, frightened children, bitter ex-husbands, religious zealots in post-apocalyptic worlds and people whose fleeting sanity will be gone by story’s end. Evenson takes even his most fanciful characters seriously even as he partakes of gallows humor; this book is as packed with subtly hilarious sentences as haunting images.” —The Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Barnes & Noble Review
Take as your foundation stones the young and brash Ian McEwan who wrote that macabre classic, The Cement Garden. Add a superstructure of Guy de Maupassant and Franz Kafka. Roof the whole edifice with Rod Serling and paint the dwelling with Harlan Ellison day-glo. Success! You've just built yourself the lurid, stylish, gothpunk haunted house that we call Brian Evenson. Evenson's hypnotic collection Fugue State features a troupe of obsessive characters trapped in fiendish neuro-labyrinths of their own devising -- or in blandly malign and implacably insane bureaucratic mazes. But far from succumbing meekly to these traps, Evenson's protagonists exhibit immense and quintessentially human energies: they may ultimately go down to defeat, but they do so without granting easy victories to their oppressors -- even if the tormentor proves to be one's own dark doppelgänger. Like Kafka's stories, Evenson's conceal a droll sardonicism beneath each moment of horror. In "Pursuit," the haunted narrator finds himself stalked by his spectral ex-wives and thinks, "A man might be capable of standing up to one ex-wife, but two ex-wives is something no ex-husband wants to consider...." "Invisible Box" opens with this sentence: "In retrospect, it was easy for her to see that it had been a mistake to have sex with a mime." "There is, in every event, whether lived or told, always a hole or a gap, often more than one. If we allow ourselves to get caught in it, we find it opening onto a void that, once we have slipped into it, we can never escape." So observes the narrator of "Desire with Digressions." Evenson specializes in diving with mordant glee down such holes. --Paul DiFilippo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566892674
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publication date: 2/17/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 915,830
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Praised by Peter Straub for going "furthest out on the sheerest, least sheltered narrative precipice," Brian Evenson is the author of eight previous books of fiction, including the Edgar Award-nominated novel The Open Curtain and the International Horror Guild Award-winning collection, The Wavering Knife. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island where he directs Brown University's Literary Arts Program. Zak Sally is the author of the graphic novel, Recidivist, nominated for two Eisner Awards and named one of SPIN magazine's "favorite things." He is also the author of Fantagraphic Books's Sammy the Mouse series, the former bassist of the band Low, and the publisher of La Mano press in Minneapolis.
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Table of Contents

Younger 1

A Pursuit 10

Mudder Tongue 23

An Accounting 35

Desire with Digressions 46

Dread 53

Girls in Tents 60

Wander 68

In the Greenhouse 74

Ninety Over Ninety 84

Invisible Box 109

The Third Factor 113

Bauer in the Tyrol 128

Helpful 134

Life Without Father 139

Alfons Kuylers 148

Fugue State 161

Traub in the City 191

The Adjudicator 193

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Bodies

    The editor review should consider the following: night terrors are not where one wakes in the middle of the night unable to move, as stated. That would be sleep paralysis.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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