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The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell by [Brian Evenson]

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The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 79 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Best Books of 2021”
Southwest Review, “Must-Read Books of 2021”
Literary Hub, “Most Anticipated Books of 2021”
The A.V. Club, “Books to Read in August”
Literary Hub, “10 Story Collections to Read This Summer”
Book Marks, “August’s Best Horror and Sci-Fi”

“His stories are deeply terrifying and so troubling that they linger in your mind long after you've read them.”
—R.L. Stine, creator of Goosebumps

“[A] towering collection of nightmarish horror, sci-fi parables, and weird tales. . . . ‘Once I take you there,’ ends another story, ‘you'll have a hard time dragging yourself away.’ The same could be said of Evenson's unforgettable work, drawn from the darkest corners of the imagination and nearly impossible to forget.” Publisher's Weekly, starred review

“​​I’ve always been a fan of shorts, because they often feel impressionistic, like you’re floating between worlds. In this collection, Evenson really draws on the horrors of a collapsed environment and the moral choices one makes under pressure.” —April Wolfe, Variety

“Though Evenson shares some DNA with bygone sci-fi delights like Robert Aickman and the O.G. Twilight Zone, his economical sentences and icy storytelling keep readers at arm’s length, even as the air starts thinning and the room goes dark. Honestly, is there anything scarier than a narrator who doesn’t care?” —Patrick Rapa, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Evenson whittles his unclassifiable, elliptical tales onto the page with an exacting obsessiveness normally associated with brain surgery. . . . [His] inventiveness, literary skill and mordant wit are always on full display.” —James Grainger, Toronto Star

“[Evenson’s] stories often depict mysterious worlds in which several realities splinter apart. No one is who they seem to be. Everything is a lie, and nothing is true. Today, as our wealthiest citizens race to leave the planet and climate change takes its toll on our forests, oceans, and air, Evenson’s unblinking stories of genetic mutations and ecological disaster read as both cautionary and strangely transcendent.” —David Peak, Bookforum

“Imagines what the world might look like beyond the Anthropocene and asks cogent questions about the meaning of community in the face of crisis and natural disasters. The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell uses horror to showcase the potential of utter human monstrosity.” —Alta Journal

“Much like Dante’s layers of hell, the stories in The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell tend toward making the readers feel trapped by the situations the characters are facing. . . . There’s a special resonance with this book’s numerous domed city walls which separate the characters from what lies on the other side, be it toxic air, shimmering creatures, or freedom.” —George Fehringer, Chicago Review of Books

“A new book from Brian Evenson is always a call for celebration and terror.” —Leah Schnelbach, Book Marks

“Few things in literature aren’t up for debate, but the fact that Brian Evenson is among the most versatile and accomplished writers of contemporary American fiction is one of them.” —Gabino Iglesias, Southwest Review

“The 22 short, potent stories . . . force the reader to constantly question what is real and what is imagined. Evenson accomplishes this feat by lulling the reader into a fugue-like state with his otherworldly imaginative prose, and like his predecessors Ballard and Poe, his unparalleled talent allows the reader to empathize with all characters—real and imaginary. . . . The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell proves, once again, that Brian Evenson is a master of short fiction.” —Wayne Catan, On the Seawall

“Imbued with the same appreciation for the odd and macabre that made Last Days such a memorable novel. . . . A collection of unnerving horror fiction, one that reminds readers that Brian Evenson is one of the genre’s most talented horror writers.” —Ian Mond, Locus

“Brian Evenson is easily one of the best writers working today. Reading his stories is like moving through a dark cave with only a flashlight. Whatever's up ahead could be astonishing, thrilling, beautiful, terrifying—the only way to find out is to keep going.” —Molly McGhee,

“Evenson is one of our greatest contemporary writers of literary horror; I'm always psyched—and a little afraid—when he has a new book out.” —Emily Temple, Literary Hub

“Simply put, Brian Evenson is the most terrifying writer working today. His skill for compression and psychological suspense is unparalleled, so that each of his stories becomes its own suffocating capsular nightmare. He has already made a believer out of horror luminaries like Stephen King and R.L. Stine. If you are a fan of the spookies, read every word this man writes.” —Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore

“Masterful and foreboding, each story in The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell is a tightly wound mystery which unravels just enough to show us the dark depths of the human condition. From a curator intent on destroying all evidence of human life to a house intent on consuming its inhabitants, don’t be surprised if you catch yourself holding your breath as you enter these fantastic worlds. Brian Evenson is one of our most brilliant minds, and he has outdone himself again.” —Sarah Rose Etter

“Literary horror at its most existential, visceral, and wonderful. These strange stories build upon each other to create an uncanny shadow universe rich, vivid and shimmering with every kind of terror. Another brilliant collection.” —Mona Awad

“In this rich offering, a true collection of worlds, Evenson gives us visions of the future that are avenues to the past; glimpses of the strange where we find what’s deeply familiar; in the living, the dead; and in these fantastic stories, the clearest, starkest portrait of our depraved reality. Evenson at his greatest—visceral, relentless, alive.” —Samantha Hunt

“Like with Borges or Kafka, every one of Brian Evenson’s stories are a whole world distilled down to a few pages, and rendered in a pointillism that feels not just abstract, but cosmic, yet is gritty all the same, and leaves a distinct, bloody residue in your mind, in your heart. And then you can no longer look at the world the way you used to.” —Stephen Graham Jones

Praise for Song for the Unraveling of the World:

Winner of the 2020 World Fantasy Award for best collection
Winner of the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award for a single-author collection
Finalist for the 2019 Los Angeles Times Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction
Finalist for the 2019 Big Other Book Award for Fiction
New York Times, “Best Horror Fiction”
Washington Post, “Best Horror Fiction of the Year”
NPR, “Best Books of 2019”
Entropy, “Best of 2019”

“Missing persons, paranoia and psychosis . . . the kind of writer who leads you into the labyrinth, then abandons you there. It’s hard to believe a guy can be so frightening, so consistently.” —New York Times

“Enigmatic, superbly rendered slices of fear, uncertainty and paranoia.” —Washington Post

“Evenson at his most intense and discomfiting . . . he makes our skin rise and crawl with the intimation that all, although outwardly normal, is certainly not. Why else are we paying attention so closely?” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“These stories are carefully calibrated exercises in ambiguity in which Evenson leaves it unclear how much of the off-kilterness exists outside of the deep-seated pathologies that motivate his characters.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Praise for Brian Evenson:

“Evenson is one of our best living writers—regardless of genre.” NPR

“Evenson’s fiction is equal parts obsessive, experimental, and violent. It can be soul-shaking.” —The New Yorker

“You’ve heard of ‘postmodern’ stories—well, Evenson’s stories are post-everything. They are post-human, post-reason, post-apocalyptic. . . . In an Evenson story, there are two horrible things that can happen to you. You can either fail to survive, or survive.” —New York Times

“Subtly unnerving dark fantasy.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Evenson’s little nightmares are deftly crafted, stylistically daring, and surprisingly emotional.” —Kirkus

“A master of literary horror.” —GQ

“Evenson lures readers into each twisted tale by starting not at the beginning, but somewhere else, creating a sense of disorientation and unease. As each tale unspools and each surreal world clarifies into a malformed sort of logic, the creeps set firmly in.” —Library Journal

“America’s greatest horror writer evokes the schism between perceptions and realities, and, to unsettling effect, collapses the unseen bond that so delicately bridges them.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Brian Evenson is one of the most consistently vital and unnerving voices in writing today. . . . No matter where you start with Evenson’s work, the door is wide ajar, and once you go through it you won't be coming out.” —VICE

“Evenson’s uncanny but accessible fiction can remind you of Edgar Allan Poe or The Twilight Zone.” —Star Tribune

“Taut, troubling short stories in which the danger seems to always lurk just out of view or beyond definition.” NPR

"Deal[s] with art, paranoia and the dark urges that haunt even the most normal people." —Los Angeles Times

“Evenson is our most impressive explorer of the cracks in things that let in not the light, as Leonard Cohen would have it, but fever, chaos, and darkness.” —Vulture

“I’m not convinced Brian Evenson is entirely human. His literary horror fiction is just too good, too immersive, and too alien for a mere mortal.” —The A. V. Club

“Evenson recalls Poe, as he finds the most frightening way to open another box of horrors.” Brooklyn Rail

"Evenson understands both the precision of language and the gut-level appeal of the grindhouse, and the best of his work skates along the border between the two, combining aspects of both. . . . [A] perfect introduction to Evenson’s work for those who are looking to experience it for the first time.” —

“You never realize how deep his fiction has wormed its way into your brain until hours, days, even weeks later, when you’re lying in the dark and Evenson’s images come flooding back, unbidden. A Collapse of Horses will stay with you for a long time . . . whether you want it to or not.” —Chicago Review of Books

“Violence is punishing but unbelievably subtle in Evenson’s delicate, minimalist stories. And ultimately, there is something cosmic—something utterly Lovecraftian, but without the baroque language—about this type of horror: beneath the slippery, often abstruse plots lies a vast gulf of nothingness, in the purest and most unsettling sense of the word.” —NPR

“Evenson renders the world as a place of infinite and paralyzing delusion. . . . In an Evenson story, a house isn’t inescapable because of its lack of doors and windows; it’s inescapable because it was built by an impressionable mind.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“Evenson’s stories, small masterworks of literary horror, are elegantly tense. They operate in psychological territory, never relying on grossness or slasher silliness to convey their scariness.” —Kirkus

“Brian Evenson is one of my favorite living horror writers.” —Carmen Maria Machado

“To read Evenson is to be privy to a precise, vivid, brilliant unpicking of the everyday—and its others.” —China Miéville

“Brian Evenson’s bold and unique short fictions—equal parts surrealism, ontology, and dread—consistently lead the reader to truly shocking discoveries that are as disturbing as they are oddly beautiful.” —Paul Tremblay

“There is not a more intense, prolific, or apocalyptic writer of fiction in America than Brian Evenson.” —George Saunders

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Brian Evenson is the author of over a dozen works of fiction. He has received three O. Henry Prizes for his fiction. His most recent book, Song for the Unraveling of the World, won a World Fantasy Award and a Shirley Jackson Award and was a finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction and the Balcones Fiction Prize. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at CalArts.

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08J4HKSWZ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Coffee House Press (August 3, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 3, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2261 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 254 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 1566896118
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 79 ratings

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Praised by Peter Straub for going “furthest out on the sheerest, least sheltered narrative precipice,” Brian Evenson is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the World Fantasy Award. He is also the winner of the International Horror Guild Award and the American Library Association’s award for Best Horror Novel, and his work has been named in Time Out New York’s top books.

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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