- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1St Edition edition (April 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765330962
- ISBN-13: 978-0765330963
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,556,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Immobility Hardcover – April 10, 2012
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Immobility's bleak landscape and doubting yet relentless protagonist display Brian Evenson, one of our best and bravest novelists, at his most probing and mordant. The book might almost be the product of a collaboration between the younger Samuel Beckett and the mid-career Buster Keaton. No one else in America is writing like this, and no one but he possesses Evenson's ravishing, diamond-like focus. (Peter Straub, New York Times bestselling author of A Dark Matter)
Evenson is stunning, a postapocalyptic Dashiell Hammett, in this blistering tale. I read Immobility from cover to cover without stirring from my chair, and I imagine most readers will share that fate. (Jesse Ball, Plimpton Prize–winning author of The Curfew)
Brian Evenson is one of the treasures of American story writing. (Jonathan Lethem, New York Times bestselling author of Chronic City)
There is not a more intense, prolific or apocalyptic writer of fiction in America than Brian Evenson. (George Saunders, New York Times bestselling author of The Braindead Megaphone)
Brian Evenson is one of the most distinguished, probing, and courageous writers of his generation. (Bradford Morrow, O. Henry Prize–winning author of Diviner's Tale)
About the Author
Brian Evenson has written several works of fiction, including The Wavering Knife, for which he was awarded IHG Award for best story collection, and The Open Curtain, an Edgar Award finalist. His most recent novel, Last Days, won the ALA award for Best Horror Novel of 2009 and was on Time Out New York's list of top books of 2009. Evenson is the director of Brown University's Literary Arts Program and is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize and an NEA fellowship. He has also written Dead Space novels under the name B. K. Evenson.
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Top customer reviews
The story begins with the awakening from cryogenic stasis of Josef Horkai, a paralyzed amnesiac with unexplained resistance to the environmental toxins and radiation which keep the rest of the few surviving humans hiding underground. He's given a mission by Rasmus, seemingly in charge in this desolate, wrecked post-Kollaps aftermath, and a pair of "mules" named Qanik and Qatik, twins or perhaps clones, carry Horkai on the assignment. On the way, Horkai tries to get information from the mules, whose responses often seem nonsensical, yet sometimes contain information or even wisdom.
Horkai's muddled memory, which leaves him uncertain about such basic facts as whether he's even human, drives him even more strongly than any assigned mission. Immobility isn't just about Horkai's paralysis, but about his inability to choose any direction for himself because he lacks the necessary information to judge his own situation. Plagued by cyclical memories of sleeping and awakening from sleep, Horkai struggles to understand who he is, and how to deal with direction in which he has no say. I take this as a direct and explicit comment about the way some religions keep followers in the dark, use them as fodder for the promulgation of the faith. Evenson's own history as a former member of the Mormon church, and the story taking place in Utah, particularly near the Brigham Young University campus, would seem to support this interpretation.
The story is reminiscent of Cormac Mccarthy's The Road in terms of mood, yet in that story the protagonist was strongly driven toward a certain end. Horkai isn't sure what he's seeking, beyond the most basic sort of self-knowledge. The foundational nihilism of Immobility should come as no surprise, as in his acknowledgements Evenson name-checks Thomas Ligotti, a horror writer noted for his pessimism about humanity. I enjoyed Immobility, found it stimulating and well-written, though not quite as sharply-honed as Evenson's short works. It's worthwhile for those readers who enjoy darker tones and a bit of philosophical challenge, but may be too bleak for some.
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It's going to seem to you guys like I don't read critically whatsoever, but I swear I'm just going through a patch of really...Read more