Review: The Warren

51amwz1kalTitle: The Warren
Author: Brian Evenson
Pages: 96
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Summary: A mysterious being named ‘X’ grapples with his own existence and the questions behind what it means to be human.
Reminiscent of: PlanetfallMoon2001: A Space Odyssey

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Review: I had heard that this one was weird, frustrating, and confounding. It certainly checked all three boxes.

The most intriguing and also most beguiling part of this novella is something not mentioned in any plot synopsis that I’ve seen. A case of dissociated personality and identity is at the forefront of the conflict within The Warren. When I came upon the abrupt ending, I felt in need of 20 or 30 more pages of content to reach some sort of resolution that I never ended up finding. I reread the final chapter four times trying to uncover some still undiscovered deeper meaning. Perhaps they were for the reader to ponder, but The Warren presents existential questions that are not answered by the author nor the narrative itself. I never reached any profound conclusions from them myself and I likely won’t think on them on further.

It was written in an accessible, yet mystifying way that kept me engaged but never really allowed me a firm grasp of what was happening. This is simultaneously the crux and the downfall of The Warren.

★★½ out of 5

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