"The Zen poet Ikkyu used to run through town holding a human skull aloft like a lantern. These stories are that lantern, a collection of memento mori chilling, timeless, and deeply satisfying to read. There is no escape from the awareness of death here; in these stories, the hidden picture is always the monster in plain sight, the call is coming from inside the house, and the house is that circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. The voices Sims summons are so persuasive that you, the reader, become implicated in their frantic logic, trapped with the narrators in their interpretative cages. This relentlessness is mitigated by the Melvillean heft of Sims’ prose: the depth of his attention to the world and to the making of sentences, the monumentalness. He is an anatomist of horror, but an anatomist of great beauty and wit."
''White Dialogues is fantastic, and the story "Destroy All Monsters" is a masterpiece. Bennett Sims's work shows us―through the intricate decay of his characters, the intricate assembly of his monsters―why horror has become the most philosophical genre. He shows us the occult link between imagination and death."
―Michael Clune, author of Gamelife and White Out
"A writer fearsomely equipped with an intellectual and linguistic range to rival a young Nabokov’s, Nicholson Baker’s gift for miniaturistic intaglio, and an arsenal of virtuosities entirely his own."
"In this wise, witty and often deeply moving collection of stories Bennett Sims proves himself to be a master of many forms. He can find sinister obsession in a lawn mower or a scrabble board, he can find life and death in a lizard. He takes his reader to the moon―'Not even death is an outside for the dead'― and back. He is the heir to the Nabokov of Pale Fire even as his voice is entirely his own. The title story, “White Dialogues,” serves as an emblem for the book as a whole. Here is a writer who is always directing our attention to what we have failed to see, giving voice, beautifully, unnervingly to the unsaid."
―Margot Livesey, author of Mercury
“The brilliant, austere stories of White Dialogues are, in their marrow, horror stories: the terrible anxiety of thought loops, the certainty of fate, the specter of death, the inescapability of one’s own mind, the monstrosity of human impulses. With the uncanny perception of Nicholson Baker, the formal playfulness of David Foster Wallace, and the domestic terror of Shirley Jackson, Bennett Sims wrangles fictional forms, pop culture, and philosophy to his own dark ends. Incantatory, cerebral, and profoundly unnerving, White Dialogues is pure, perverse pleasure. Sims is one of our best early-career fiction writers, and this is a collection worth celebrating.”
―Carmen Maria Machado
"In White Dialogues, Bennett Sims unleashes more of the dazzling intellectual firepower I loved in his debut, A Questionable Shape. Sims' vision of what is horrifying is both engaged with the long and varied history of that genre and unique within it. His work is deeply philosophical and human, turning the known and familiar so that we can see it from new angles and find ourselves refracted in the strangeness of others' minds. Is Sims writing about monsters, or thoughts, or the monsters of our thoughts? This question―and this dark, uncanny collection of stories―feels vital, especially right now. A brutally smart book."