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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  633 ratings  ·  157 reviews
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.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Tor Books (first published April 1st 2012)
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that should be my whole review. untainted by pictures and whatever nonsense i usually spew. this book is clean and taut and deserves a review untouched by nonsense and gimmicry.

and i will try to give this book what it deserves.


this is my second book by evenson, and the second to take place in a ruined, barren wasteland. his spare prose lends itself so well to this landscape. but "spare" doesn't mean there isn't anything going on here.

how can a book this short, with its ripped-from-the-t
Last year I read Brian Evenson's Last Days, which was one of the best novels I read that year and earned its place on my favorites shelf. That weird story of Kline, a private investigator who gets involved with a peculiar religious cult and steps through the looking glass impressed me greatly, and made me want to read everything that he has written.

The origin of this book is particularly interesting. Back in 2010 a website called The Hypothetical Library, which created covers and blurbs for book
What happens when the world ends in a bang not a whimper and the addled remnant arrive on the scene with their prison features and force a protagonist into a role he's not even sure isn't a dream he's inhabiting? Evenson happens, baby. Evenson.

"We're a curse, a blight," said Rykte. First we gave everything names and then we invented hatred. And then we made the mistake of domesticating animals -- almost as big a mistake as that of discovering fire. It's only one step from there to slavery, and once you think of humans as animals, we become a disposable commodity, war a commonplace. Add in a dominant religion that preaches end of the world and holy books that have been used to justify atrocity after atrocity, and you're only a
Every once in a while you stumble across a book which surpasses all your expectations. 'Immobility' is one such book.

I mean, here you have, the much used trope of a post-apocalyptic scenario (although, I must admit that PA is one of my favorite sub-genres and I would read even a mediocre book if it's classified as PA fiction) with your usual wastelands, radiation and the always present hunger for food and all other things which are common in a book of such type.

But the “commonness” ends there.
4.5 Stars

Immobility by Brian Evenson is a fantastic piece of post apocalyptic fiction. This is my second read of an Evenson novel so I already considered myself a fan. After finishing this book, I am going to quickly grab up more of his works.

I have to say that as I started reading this book I was blown away with how much I felt that this would be a perfect story in Hugh Howey's Wool series, a post apocalyptic series that should not be missed. Immobility would fit perfectly into that world and
Noir character edge, apocalyptic tone, Marx Brothers meets Beckett (if they are at all different) dialogue, comic but sinister duos, stark prose, identity and reality in doubt, and probing moral questions are all present and mark Immobility as both a representative and a thoroughly accomplished example of what one our best writers, Brian Evenson, does. This is his take on the post-apocalyptic genre and it is lighter in language and tone then his previous venture (the beautiful and singular Dark ...more
Listened 5/29/14 - 6/2/14
5 Stars - Highly Recommended / The Next Best (Audio)Book - A kickass audiobook if ever there was one / Get yer Post Apoc fix on now, Biatches.
6 1/2 hours audio download
Publisher: AudioGo
Released: 2012

Audiobooks are strange animals. The story could be well written, the plot could be interesting, the characters engaging, but if the voice of the narrator grates on me; if their pacing is off; if they overly, painfully enunciate, the darn thing won't stand a chance.

For me, e
Immobility. Yeah, I'm suffering it right now. My feelings are all over the place. I can't even handle what I just read. That ending! I'm done. It's over. I will never be the same again. Brian Evenson, you talented writer, you have thrown me outside with no hazard suit. I'm dead.

Josef Horkai had been in storage, but he's about to get a nasty wake up call. Rasmus and his community of dying humans need Horkai's help in retrieving a mystery package that was stolen from them. The mission is simple. T
I spotted this book via goodreads. I really like the recommendations they do here on the basis of what you're reading. I think I was reading 'Sleepless', when this book was recommended. A book which will probably never be in the bookstores in Europe, so got it online, being curious by the story outline I got here. A weird apocalyptic story, cool out-of-the-box story too. How can a writer make something like this wonder It's different from a lot of other books in the same genre, of cours ...more
I have to say that Brian Evenson is an author to look forward to.
This book starts with a character Horkai being awakened from storage after a long time to procure a storage tank needed by "the community" or "the hive" as they call it. But the problem is he is being paralyzed from the waist down and coudn't remember what had led him to that situation and therefore he is confused and sometimes questions his own judgement. To accompany him are two "mules"(they may be human) qatik and qanik. i ende
“What’s in these?” asked Horkai, more as a way to slow Mahonri down than out of any real curiosity.

“Records,” said Mahonri. He stopped, turned around. “What we have here is the history of the human race, a record of births and deaths for hundreds and hundreds of years.”

“Why?” asked Horkai.

“What do you mean, why?” Mahonri responded. “Humanity is important. All these things must be preserved so that, when the time comes, humanity shall know what it has been, is, and will be.”

“When the time comes f
The only reason I didn't put this book down after the prologue, which only had about two complete sentences in it, was because the plot itself kept me asking more questions. I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what was going on, what had already happened, and what was going to happen.

Unfortunately, the story never really delivered. Finally, at the end, the reader starts to get some answers, starts to get an inkling of what's going on. But there was too much left unexplained. I don't mind fi
Weirdly of a type with _Cosmos Incorporated_, which I panned a while back. Some sort of spy/killer/thug wakes up in a dystopian future, with no memory and a Slavic-sounding name... Unlike _CI_, this book is short, to the point, and readable. (And not about a Plotkin.) Really it feels like a short story in structure, or maybe a novella -- I am unclear on the structural differences there -- not a novel, is my point. You get a scenario (grim) and a punchy resolution (brutal). It would make a terrif ...more
Tim Niland
Josef Horkai is woken from cryogenic deep-freeze into a life he can scarcely recognize. The world has been irrevocably altered by a cataclysm known as "the kollaps" and the human race has been reduced to scattered groups or "hives" trying to scratch out an existence from a ruined Earth. Horkai is paralyzed from the waist down, but is told by the mysterious group leader Rasmus that he must go on a mission out into the radioactive wasteland in search of a mysterious cylinder that has been taken by ...more
Kyle Muntz
Wrote another long review (which is also a meditation on Evenson's other books and the question of how to "play a genre straight" while still writing a good book), so looks like this one will also be up at Entropy.

I'll actually start posting these full reviews I've been writing soon, I swear!
I did a big, fat review of this book at the Los Angeles Review of Books. Go check it out:

"IN 2010 A CLEVER BLOG titled the Imaginary Library posted covers, jacket copy, and blurbs for books that did not actually exist. The April 5, 2010 entry was for a bleak, post-apocalyptic detective novel, Immobility by Brian Evenson. In an odd case of art imitating art then becoming art, the description of the fake book caught the eye of an editor at Tor books, who then encouraged Evenson to write the real b
Steve Owen
All of Brian's work is "philosophical," but Immobility is his first book that I think is working like a traditional philosophical novel works: an overt investigation into a philosophical problem, here the problem of the human and "humanism." Whereas Brian's work is typically critical, skeptical, or destructive to normative power -- and all of that is still here -- Immobility actually explores the "positive" side of skeptical thought: what it means, or could be, to be posthuman. Brian's so intell ...more
In this post-apocalyptic scenario, a man is brought out of cryosleep and given a mission. He is to cross the wastelands and bring back a canister of seed. There are two big complications to this already dangerous scenario. First, this man has absolutely no memories. He doesn't know the people who are sending him on this mission. Next, he has a debilitating condition which has left him partially paralyzed and unable to walk. Two "mules" (men who are bred to be laborers) will take him to his desti ...more
Immobility threw my head for a loop.

Who's a friend and who's an enemy?

Who the hell are the "brothers"?

Who was that in the Senate Court?

I can't get it out of my head. The narration was fantastic, the story behind Horkai was intriguing, and the end a mystery. This was a good read, but I still have so many questions....
Garrard Hayes
A Paralyzing Journey To Survive
A fascinating post apocalyptic journey of human survival. Josef Horkai is brought back to consciousness and finds he's unable to walk. Stuck in an odd culture he is immediately sent on a mission to recover an artifact from the wasteland. Twists and turns kept the plot unraveling at a fast clip. I loved the character's banter and snappy dialogue. The author's sharp descriptions of a world long dead were seriously creepy and didn't slow down the pace. Readers looking
Carlos Lavín
There are two main components that make this book the awesomefest that it was. And yes, I'm feeling generous enough to be talking about both of them.

The first component is the obvious one, the post-apocalyptic setting to the novel. The world has basically become a barren nuclear wasteland (guess who we need to thank for that) and it appears that the few remaining human groups are living in sheltered underground communities that are able to leave the radiation out. This setting is described wonde
Adam Mahlum
Easily the best science-fiction book that I have read in years. A great dystopian thriller. The protagonist, Josef Horkai, is brought out of cryogenic storage at the begninng of the book to help the people in "his community." Unfortunately he doesn't know who he is, nor does he recognize any of the people around him. To make matters worse he is a pararapalegic. He quickly discerns that the world outside is in some type of post-apocalyptic haze that kills most human beings within days. It seems t ...more
Some books have a distinct message. Some books are just out to have fun. Some books are just out to tell an interesting story. In my experience more often than not novels with a dystopian and frequently post-apocalyptic aspect tend to borrow heavily from that first goal. A Canticle for Leibowitz looks at the inevitability of mankind's self destruction, Earth Abides looks at the removal of social barriers and shift of historical memory over time, Level 7 looks at the notion of mutually assured de ...more
Crossposted from:

Brian Evenson's Immobility is an odd little trifle of a novel that spends its whole time hinting at bigger and frankly more interesting ideas while telling an extremely straightforward story. The entire book is, in essence, a single fetch quest. The protagonist, Josef Horkai, wakes up from cryogenic storage without any memory of his past and is told to cross a toxic post-apocalyptic landscape to retrieve a mysterious red cylinder by what
This isn't something I would normally pick up when browsing the stacks, but I was intrigued by a review I read on NPR. The setting of the story is a post-apocalyptic world where nearly all life on the exposed surface of the planet has been destroyed. It is into this world that a man is brought out of statis. He has very little recollection of life before being stored, and cannot remember his name before threatening it out of the technician who roused him. He is also paralyzed from the waist down ...more
Thanks to Sharon for recommendation.
This is an excellently crafted stunner of the post apocolyptic genre.
It is lean and mean - very heavy on the mean.
The narrative drives relentlessly along a physical and metaphorical journey of our protagonist, who is also physically and metaphorically hobbled.
Many questions are asked along the way - about purpose, sacrifice, justification, deceit and ultimately about the nature of humanity and survival.
It is well worth a read.
I was only able to read this book in 10-15 minute increments. Such is the tribulation of being a grandparent. Anything deeper than Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" simply stuns my brain cells.

The ending was amazing and made me realize I need to reread this again when my synapses aren't coated with grape jam and sucker drool.
Yo this book was pretty short, but only because it tells its story very efficiently and feels like every single unnecessary plot thread, idea, and even word was expertly cut out to tell a quick and brutally dark narrative.
This book is what happens when a really great science-fiction story and a really great mystery get together, do the nasty, and have an awesome book baby! Here is a short list of reasons why YOU should read it:

1. The story moves quickly and doesn't get stale.
2. You WILL NOT figure out where this is headed. You just won't. Trust me.
3. You may get emotionally attached to the character. I did.
4. This book would make an awesome movie.
5. You will want more. You will need more. You will be thinking ab
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Singing the Liter...: Immobility 1 2 Jul 14, 2015 10:49AM  
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