A Collapse of Horses - Brian Evenson
If [b:Children of the New World: Stories|29243630|Children of the New World Stories|Alexander Weinstein|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1459173391s/29243630.jpg|49487586] is reminiscent of Black Mirror, A Collapse of Horses is more of a slightly grown-up, less-resolved version of the Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark stories many of us enjoyed growing up.
There are few, if any, stories in here that would be unsuitable for teenage readers, and somehow we are offered a collection that is both predictable and confusing at the same time. These stories don’t have a solid resolution, leaving it up to the reader to decide, but often to a point where this reader was left wondering what the point of many of them even was.
In the end, after reading several of these stories back to back without much in the way of resolution, it became very hard to feel any kind of connection with the characters. It felt as though, in an attempt to be artsy and different, the author made a special effort to leave the reader feeling as though they were out of their depth. For a reader who is not often surprised or left in the dark, due to the sheer volume I read, this could be seen as a plus, but rather than a new take on things, this felt like a concerted effort to leave people confused.The rest of this review can be found HERE!
___________________________________ -- Pre-review Breakdown -- Black Bark - No Rating
No rating. I'm not sure what happened here. Super confused.A Report - 4/5
A "moment in time" kind of story. A lot of things happening out of view of the main character, and a lot of inner monologue. Interesting way to imprison and emotionally disturb said prisoners.The Punish - 3.5/5
Once the reader has some idea of the character's past, this story is a teensy bit predictable, but well written and enjoyable.A Collapse of Horses - 4/5
A nice little self-contained story. It doesn't spell things out for the reader, but it seems to reach some kind of conclusion while leaving the mind to wander a little once it's complete. Three Indignities - 3/5
Some nice imagery, but it seems a half-explored idea. It's literally about three pages long, and is about a man who has various health issues and feels disconnected and wonders what is left of the him from before. Cult - 4/5
A good little story with a fairly solid conclusion on the ways in which victims of abuse remain under the thumb of their attacker and make excuses for them, even when they have a clean out. Seaside Town - 2.5/5
Seems to half-explore the story, with a suggestion about something that went on but with no proper conclusion. The Dust -3/5
It is an interesting concept, and it wraps up nicely, but there was a serious disconnect between the story and this reader.
It could be that, in a collection of stories averaging 12.18 pages, a story that is 43 pages long seems drastically longer. But, having said that, I stopped part way through this story to read a novel of more than 400 pages and devoured it in two days.
So it comes back to the story not being as engaging as it could have. BearHeartTM - 4/5
Good imagery, a little predictable, but still a fun (and creepy-ish) read. Scour - 4/5
No resolution, but done that way on purpose.
GORGEOUS (and slightly disturbing) imagery. Torpor - 2/5
I am left wondering what the whole point of that story...
The lengths people will go to for a good night's sleep? Past Reno - 3/5
Disconcerting imagery, but it never quite got to where it was going. Unfinished and unexplained thoughts. Any Corpse - 5/5
This one was a little confusing at times with some of the words used to describe things that aren't easy for a reader to put into physical terms, or at least the terms being used. But I really enjoyed this one. The imagery, the words, the circle. The Moans - 3/5
Didn't really have any kind of conclusion. The Window - 3/5
Interesting concept. Again, this didn't really have a conclusion. It was a moment in time, or an overheard conversation, in a world we're told nothing about. Click - 4/5
Interesting concept, somewhat confusing.
Nice imagery and something of an "aha" moment.
Plays on repetition and confusion well, but not sure how it all comes together. The Blood Drip - 3/5
Nice full-circle with the first story in the collection, but had very much given up on caring about anything by this point in the collection. Only a 12 page story, but so tempting to give call it quits on the book by this point.