Top positive review
Perhaps the best collection of weird fiction I've ever read.
Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2019
I buy a lot of story collections and anthologies but I almost never read them cover to cover, usually choosing instead to sample, savor, or discard at my own pace. By contrast, this coal car descent through a Jungian shadowland lured me in and dropped the restraining bar on page one, leaving me no choice but to see it through until it ended. The stumbling remnant of me that emerged topside a couple days later wants you to know it was well worth the admission price and then some. Evenson is an absolute master at evoking the radioactive unease and faceless dread that haunts our postmodern periphery. He does so not with violence or spectacle, but with deceptively simple premises and unadorned, almost clinical prose. I might be projecting my own favorite precedents onto a style all its own, but hiding between the lines of these stories (and looking on with admiration) I thought I spotted the Shades of Robert Aickman, Paul Bowles, and Flannery O'Connor. Whatever its true sources or analogs, contemporary Weird Fiction doesn't get any better.