“This stunning collection revels in wordplay and inventiveness, and is one of the finest short fiction collections I have read all year.”

Largehearted Boy

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This is transformative prose at its best.

HTML Giant

“Philosophical, sometimes whimsical, darkly funny, thought provoking, intense, evocative.”


[This book] is a cat’s cradle of people and places and a mad scientist’s bubbling test tubes and levers, woven together and delivered by a writer possessed of an intense intellectual curiosity and playfulness.

Amber Sparks, Big Other

Horvath’s stories simultaneously stimulate the intellect while being fantastically imaginative.

Stacie M. Williams, Boswell Book Company (Milwaukee, WI)

“Taken as a complete work, Understories is a remarkable collection, with pitch-perfect leaps of imagination side-by-side with characters struggling in wholly recognizable ways.”

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

There’s plenty of imagination present here, yes — but it’s rooted in recognizable and occasionally irrational emotions, a human quality that’s makes these stories endure.

Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“The writing is in turns vibrant and imaginative, eloquent and thoughtful, and lush and whimsical.”

Books Speak Volumes

A major accomplishment by a major writer … .

John Madera, Big Other

“There is so much to appreciate in these intelligent and eloquently written, yet deceivingly understated stories, you may wish to read some of them more than once.”

Books, Personally

The buzz [this book] gives off is the combined buzz of countless pockets, all charged with a life and surprise of their own.

The Collagist


What if there were a city that consisted only of restaurants? What if Paul Gauguin had gone to Greenland instead of Tahiti? What if there were a field called Umbrology, the study of shadows, where physicists and shadow puppeteers worked side by side? Full of speculative daring though firmly anchored in the tradition of realism, Tim Horvath’s stories explore all of this and more— blending the everyday and wondrous to contend with age-old themes of loss, identity, imagination, and the search for human connection. Whether making offhand references to Mystery Science Theater, providing a new perspective on Heidegger’s philosophy and forays into Nazism, or following the imaginary travels of a library book, Horvath’s writing is as entertaining as it is thought provoking.

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Reading Tim Horvath’s novella Circulation, one imagines what it might be like to go spelunking with Jorge Luis Borges or to shelve books with Scheherazade. In this swirling ode to maps, dreams, and the redemptive power of fiction, the stories proliferate vertiginously. At their emotional core is the quest of the main character, a humble librarian, to understand both his father and himself.

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