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.
Fugue Stateby Brian Evenson, Zak Sally
"19 satisfying and surreal stories...packed with subtly hilarious sentences.”--Cleveland/i>/i>/b>
"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.
“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
- Coffee House Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 4 MB
What People are Saying About This
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
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.