A Collapse of Horses
Goodreads ratings
4.03 / 5

"A Collapse of Horses" Summary

By Brian Evenson

horror | 220 pages | Published in NaN

ISBN_13: 9781566894135

Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

A dark and haunting collection of short stories that explore the blurred boundaries between reality and nightmare.


In the haunting and thought-provoking collection of stories, "A Collapse of Horses" by Brian Evenson, readers are taken on a journey through a surreal and unsettling world. With his unique blend of horror, mystery, and psychological suspense, Evenson explores the darkest corners of the human mind. This book is sure to captivate readers who enjoy stories that challenge their perceptions and leave them questioning reality.

Brief Synopsis

"A Collapse of Horses" is a collection of short stories that delves into the bizarre and macabre. Set in various locations and time periods, each story offers a glimpse into the unsettling experiences of its characters. Evenson's writing style is concise yet evocative, creating an atmosphere of unease and tension throughout the book.

Main Characters

Character NameDescription
Protagonist 1A troubled individual haunted by recurring nightmares
Protagonist 2A detective investigating a series of peculiar disappearances
Protagonist 3An artist grappling with a loss of inspiration
Protagonist 4A scientist conducting experiments with dire consequences

Summary of Each Story Point

Chapter 1: "The Dust"

In this story, the protagonist finds himself in a desolate, post-apocalyptic world. As he struggles to survive, he becomes increasingly paranoid about the dust that seems to be everywhere. The dust takes on a sinister presence, causing hallucinations and distorting reality.

Chapter 2: "Black Bark"

A detective is called to investigate a series of disappearances in a small town. As he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a dark secret hidden beneath the town's idyllic facade. The story explores themes of isolation, loss, and the consequences of unchecked desires.

Chapter 3: "Seaside Town"

An artist visits a seaside town in search of inspiration. However, he soon realizes that the town is not what it seems. The residents are eerily vacant, and the artist's attempts to create art are met with strange and disturbing results. This story examines the boundaries between reality and imagination.

Chapter 4: "The Bronze Horse"

In this story, a scientist conducts experiments on a bronze horse statue. As he delves deeper into his research, he unwittingly unleashes a dark force that threatens to consume him and everything he holds dear. The story explores the dangers of unchecked ambition and the consequences of playing god.

Main Events

  • The protagonist of "The Dust" encounters a mysterious figure who may hold the key to his survival.
  • The detective in "Black Bark" discovers a hidden underground network responsible for the disappearances.
  • The artist in "Seaside Town" uncovers the dark secret behind the town's vacant residents.
  • The scientist in "The Bronze Horse" confronts the consequences of his experiments as they spiral out of control.

Themes and Insights

"A Collapse of Horses" delves into several recurring themes throughout its stories. These include:

  1. Reality vs. Perception: The book challenges the idea of a fixed reality and explores how our perceptions can be distorted and manipulated.
  2. Existential Dread: The stories evoke a sense of unease and existential dread, forcing readers to confront the inherent uncertainties of life.
  3. Consequences of Human Ambition: The book examines the consequences of unchecked ambition, showcasing the destructive power of human desires.

Through these themes, Evenson offers insights into the human condition and the fragile nature of our perceptions.

Reader's Takeaway

"A Collapse of Horses" is a chilling and thought-provoking collection that pushes the boundaries of storytelling. Evenson's mastery of atmosphere and his ability to create tension make this book an engrossing read. Readers will find themselves questioning their own perceptions and reflecting on the darker aspects of human nature.


With its unsettling atmosphere, intriguing characters, and exploration of deep-rooted fears, "A Collapse of Horses" is a must-read for fans of psychological suspense and horror. Brian Evenson's unique storytelling style and his ability to blur the lines between reality and imagination create an unforgettable reading experience. Prepare to be captivated and disturbed by this collection of dark and twisted tales.

A Collapse of Horses FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'A Collapse of Horses'?

    The genre of 'A Collapse of Horses' is horror and short stories.

  2. Who is the author of 'A Collapse of Horses'?

    The author of 'A Collapse of Horses' is Brian Evenson.

  3. How many stories are included in 'A Collapse of Horses'?

    'A Collapse of Horses' consists of six short stories.

  4. Are the stories interconnected or standalone?

    The stories in 'A Collapse of Horses' are standalone and do not have direct connections to each other.

  5. What is the writing style of 'A Collapse of Horses'?

    The writing style of 'A Collapse of Horses' is known for its dark and disturbing imagery, with elements of psychological horror.

  6. Are the stories in 'A Collapse of Horses' suitable for all readers?

    No, 'A Collapse of Horses' contains dark and unsettling themes, and may not be suitable for all readers.

  7. Is 'A Collapse of Horses' a collection of previously published stories?

    No, 'A Collapse of Horses' is a collection of new and original stories by Brian Evenson.

  8. Are there any supernatural elements in 'A Collapse of Horses'?

    Yes, 'A Collapse of Horses' incorporates supernatural elements into its stories.

  9. What are some common themes explored in 'A Collapse of Horses'?

    Common themes explored in 'A Collapse of Horses' include identity, perception, and the human psyche.

  10. Is 'A Collapse of Horses' suitable for fans of psychological horror?

    Yes, fans of psychological horror will likely enjoy 'A Collapse of Horses' due to its unsettling and thought-provoking nature.