...[a] masterful new short story collection ... While each piece in A Collapse of Horses stands alone as a tale that combines 'literary' and 'horror' elements in novel ways that blur genre distinctions, the collection intensifies as recurring motifs flow through the various narratives, settings, and fictional psyches.
Evenson’s fiction is stark and often jaw-droppingly funny ... Some of the stories here evoke Kafka, some Poe, some Beckett, some Roald Dahl, and one, a demonic teddy-bear chiller called 'BearHeart™,' even Stephen King, but Evenson’s deadpan style always estranges them a bit from their models: He tells his odd tales oddly, as if his mouth were dry and the words won’t come out right.
Evenson’s work appeals to students of the well-crafted sentence and aficionados of chilling horror alike. A Collapse of Horses is one of the few collections you’re likely to find that includes stories that have appeared in both Granta and the anthology Best Horror of the Year ... There are monstrous things to be found in A Collapse of Horses, but the most disturbing of all may be the disorientation that it suddenly spawns, and the lack of certainty that follows.
A Collapse of Horses is a master class in unnerving storytelling; seventeen short narratives that range from horror to science fiction and from surrealism to noir. The variety is outstanding, the writing is superb, but what makes this collection deserving of attention is how Evenson manages to achieve a perfect balance between what is on the page and what is left out.
A Collapse of Horses is the first of Evenson's books I have read. Since finishing it, I have read three more, in succession. That right there is a review in and of itself ... a new writer has been inducted into my pantheon of favorites.