07 September 2016

Review: The Warren

The Warren The Warren by Brian Evenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, good old fashioned existential horror.

X is in a bunker of some sort, perhaps the last remaining part of an experiment or maybe just massive hallucinating, but he's been imprinted on and holds lots of old personalities and so on. He's alone, or so he thinks, until someone (or is it something) outside the bunker changes things and makes him question his own existence.

This is a short read, and there's a lot of confusion baked into the narrative to help tie this story together. By the end, you think you've pulled apart all the threads, but the beauty of the narrative is that you ultimately can't be sure and can't trust what you're seeing from point to point. It's done surprisingly well and doesn't feel as if it's just a narrative gimmick. It does take the supposed/possible weight off the ending a bit (or, maybe now that I think more about it, gives it more gravity) depending on how you interpret what's happened, but there's just such an interesting runup that I didn't mind too much.

Overall, though, this is unique enough to stand on its own while still fitting into some of the existential science fiction horror that's come about as of late. Definitely worth the quick read.

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