Monday, October 22, 2012

. . . On Immobility by Brian Evenson

Immobility
by Brian Evenson
When you open your eyes things already seem to be happening without you. You don't know who you are and you don't remember where you've been. You know the world has changed, that a catastrophe has destroyed what used to exist before, but you can't remember exactly what did exist before. And you're paralyzed from the waist down apparently, but you don't remember that either.

A man claiming to be your friend tells you your services are required. Something crucial has been stolen, but what he tells you about it doesn't quite add up. You've got to get it back or something bad is going to happen. And you've got to get it back fast, so they can freeze you again before your own time runs out.

Before you know it, you're being carried through a ruined landscape on the backs of two men in hazard suits who don't seem anything like you at all, heading toward something you don't understand that may well end up being the death of you.

Welcome to the life of Josef Horkai….
This novel is divided into short chapters that make for a quick paced, great read. Brian Evenson takes the reader through the devastated aftermath of the Kollaps, or collapse, of civilization by way of a physical journey, a sort of road trip. For most of this journey the author keeps the main character in the dark, along with the reader, about truths and real events with little foreshadowing of what's to come until about three quarters of the story when things begin to gel.

The title "immobility" is representative of more than the fact that the main character is a paraplegic, it also refers to a sort of paralysis that invades him as he has to make choices when events move quickly around him. This paralysis is well translated to the reader. However, there is also a sort of unreal or dreamlike sense to some characters and situations that are introduced by Evenson that are never quite brought to reality for anyone.

Immobility by Brian Evenson is a bleak, stark, dark, post-apocalyptic science fiction book with an edge. It is full of pessimism about humanity, and philosophical and religious undertones specifically focused on manipulations by Mormon-like groups and individuals keeping their flock in the dark for purposes of survival or to maintain a way of life. There's a search for self, knowledge as a purpose, and a pessimistic ending: returning to the known and choosing to forget rather than dealing with reality. With some excellent writing and just the right tone, not too heavy and definitely not too light, this book was the perfect read for me at this time.

Category: Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher/Release Date: Tor Books/April 10, 2012 - Kindle Ed.
Grade: B+

Visit Brian Evenson here.


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