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The Glance of Music Documentary completed Himself. Himself - Composer. Himself - Guest. Video documentary Himself. TV Series Himself - Episode 4. Himself - Composer, 'A Fistful of Dollars'. Related Videos. Edit Did You Know? Personal Quote: I'm not linked to one genre or another. This story actually gave me nightmares. That never happens to me! It's such an odd, disturbing, fever dream of a story, and I read it before going to bed. And it squirmed into my subconscious and gave some really messed up dreams.
I'm not the type of person to wake up from a nightmare gasping and sweating and freaked out.
I understand that it's just my mind dumping thoughts and images while I sleep, so I actually thought it was pretty cool that a story gave me nightmares. That's how effective Barron's writing can be. Old Virginia is the first story in the collection and it defies explanation just like most of the stories in this book.
Often I try to tell my husband about a story or a book I'm reading, and when I tried to tell him about Procession of the Black Sloth I realized it's really hard to condense or relate a story from Barron. You need to read it to fully grasp it. The end of Old Virginia , like most of the stories in this collection, is just crazy perfect. I knew right away that I was in for one hell of a ride. I'm not going to go into each story and rehash them, but all of them have a cosmic fever dream vibe that sticks with you long after you have finished reading.
Each page, each sentence is a delight, and I love to revel in the dark absurdity of Barron's stories. Read this collection. And Occultation too. I promise if you love horror, and especially cosmic horror, you will not be disappointed. Mar 01, Ctgt rated it it was amazing Shelves: weird , favorites. It's been over a week and I still have not been able to put together an intelligent review of this book. Several attempts have been utter disasters. I'm am having a difficult time expressing exactly why this book was so special to me.
To me, Barron really conveys a sense of atmosphere or heaviness with his writing. There are times when it is difficult to determine whether the scene is dream, reality, nightmare or something in between. It's almost like looking in a cracked mirror, things don't qu It's been over a week and I still have not been able to put together an intelligent review of this book.
It's almost like looking in a cracked mirror, things don't quite match up, something is just a little off. At times horrific but more often subtle, Barron is not really about gore and splatter much more psychological and cosmic. I'm already planning a re-read, I loved it that much. View all 11 comments. Shelves: horror-gothic , short-story-collections. If you like H. Lovecraft and his modern successors like Caitlin Kiernan, then you'll probably like Barron. Though, to be sure, he only intermittently captures Lovecraft's creepiness or Kiernan's lyricism.
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In the end it all comes down to "did I enjoy reading these stories"? And, for the most part, the answer would be "yes. Old Virginia is a gateway for an ancient, primordial entity, and as with most CIA operations things rapidly get out of the agency's control. So in this tale we have the recollections of Royce, who's sent to investigate a seemingly mundane affair of corporate skullduggery but winds up caught in the coils of a demonic cult.
It's also my favorite. A stream of consciousness ramble, a style I always find hard going. Reminiscent of Lovecraft's "Pickman's Model" and Kiernan's Threshold it also includes a do-it-yourself trephining scene as a madman attempts to become a god. View all 3 comments. Feb 18, Hudson rated it it was amazing Shelves: best-in , horror. This is the best horror book I have read for some time. Laird Barron is like a horror poet and his use of words is just incredible.
All the stories were great, but I really loved "Bulldozer" which is a wild west horror story how cool! I also loved "The Imago Sequence" I found it very View all 6 comments. Reading Laird Barron has become something of a life-affirming pleasure for me. Not only his stories delight me, but his storytelling skills are so sound I understand why I like them and why they're so great. Barron is like a champion boxers who mastered the jab.
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It's the simplest punch, you know he's coming, yet he catches you with it every single time. So many stories in this collection freaked me out. If this collection proves anything, it's that Laird Barron always was a natural storyteller. He's one of these authors who was put on this planet to write fiction.
Mar 07, Adam Nevill rated it it was amazing. I've never forgotten my first encounters with certain horror collections, at different times in my life, that resonated with me - Lovecraft, Machen, Blackwood, Barker, T. But they were books that transported me and made me want to write. I've come to Laird Barron relatively late, but I'm adding him to my pantheon of greats and I don't use that word lightly. Just finished his first two single author works - THE I I've never forgotten my first encounters with certain horror collections, at different times in my life, that resonated with me - Lovecraft, Machen, Blackwood, Barker, T.
My God they're hellacious! I had to take time afterwards to mull over all I had just read and imagined, because the stories deserved an evening all to themselves. I'm marking these collection as "essential". For those yet to read them Jun 27, Ross Lockhart rated it it was amazing Shelves: night-shade-books. Lovecraft, and his writing evokes both authors, fusing hardboiled naturalism with unflinching cosmic horror. I've tried really hard to develop an appreciation for Laird Barron.
I started with The Light is the Darkness and found my expectations outweighed what I was presented with. I've also read The Croning and considered it an overly wordy and bloated novel propped up by a great central concept. So I hoped getting a hold of one of his collections of shorter works might prove to be the gold that most everybody else has seemed to find when panning through Barron's works. Sadly, The Imago Collection was more of the same for me.
Overly long tales filled with unnecessary detail that, in most cases, tended to lose me before the half way mark of the story. The titular tale was the best of these, but placed as it was at the conclusion of the book, I had genuine trouble investing in the tale by the time I got to it. In the end, the only reason I rated this one higher than 1. His prose, whilst less than engaging to me, was extremely polished and beyond what most writers - myself most definitely included - could ever hope to emulate.
Jul 08, Bill rated it it was amazing Shelves: ha-reading-challange. Laird Barron has got some pretty serious writing chops. The subject matter of these shorts are pretty freaking bleak and the prose is very dark and complex, but not overwhelmingly so. A great read for sure and a must for fans of cosmic horror. This book collects stories previously published in various magazines within the last ten years.
Coming highly praised by those who have read it, I wanted to try some more modern horror, hoping for something above and beyond the generic horror thrillers so common these days. I was not disappointed. Many of the stories are set in Washington state apparently where the author now resides and a few landmarks and places crop up in more than one story, thereby going about developing a folklore and myt This book collects stories previously published in various magazines within the last ten years.
Many of the stories are set in Washington state apparently where the author now resides and a few landmarks and places crop up in more than one story, thereby going about developing a folklore and mythology for his locale in a similar way in which Lovecraft did for Providence. The comparisons with lovecraft will not end there, with many of his stories feature investigators looking into some mysterious circumstances and ending up finding out more than is good for their lives and sanity. As with Lovecraft, the universe is a hostile place with terrifying beings poised to wake up and bring in a new age of nightmare and obliteration.
The insignificance of man and what we think we know about the universe is brought home to those who inadvertantly get too curious.
But Barron is far more than a Lovecraft impersonator. His protagonists are more gritty characters. He does not shy away from the more visceral side of things when he feels it suits the story but when he does, it is not overdone. Barron is not up to the standards of Ligotti or Aickman who's command of prose to create a sense of unease easily oustrips Barron's capabilities but in Barron's most effective stories he successfully creates a real sense of horror in his own and unique way. Others, including the title story, were not quite so well done. A good body of work so far though and I will definitely look with interest at what Barron produces in the future.
May 21, Heidi Ward rated it really liked it Shelves: horror , short-stories , weird-fiction , very-disturbing , 21st-century , kindle , own , mythos , cosmic-horror , pacific-northwest. Of course I fell madly in fascinated disgust, and had to immediately devour everything he had in print. So I started at the beginning, with The Imago Sequence. Though quasi-Lovecraftian at times, Barron really has his own voice — in TIS themes are introduced which will eventually coalesce into a truly original mythology.
Heavily masculine and vaguely noir, most of the pieces in TIS feature a manly, tough-guy protagonist: an aging spook; a white-collar spy; a Pinkerton man; a crippled athlete; the adventurer scion of a wealthy and privileged family. His is a cthonic, subterranean horror, lurking in the damp, hot darkness of mouths and caves, and in the primitive lizard-brain, just waiting to find your weaknesses and turn the world into a nightmare.
The title story, about a series of legendary and unpleasant photographs, is in some ways a nod to "Pickman's Model," but also sets the stage for Barron's own developing mythos. Be forewarned: these stories are not pleasant, and should leave you uneasy. There are no happy endings in Laird Barron's world, only variations on death and madness.
Jul 10, Isidore rated it liked it Shelves: horror-noir-fantasy. I have mixed feelings about this collection. There is much in it which I like, but I am also put off by aspects of the author's style. His stories are cluttered with superfluous characters: consider, for example, the very long description p. When I first read the tale, I was so annoyed at this tediously intrusive super-paragraph that I more or less skipped it; looking back, I don't see that I missed anything. J I have mixed feelings about this collection. Just as he piles on unnecessary characters, Barron is also generous in constructing complicated backstories for many of them, often elliptically presented so that the reader must pause to figure out just what the backstory is e.
He does so not just with protagonists, but secondary characters as well. I think Barron has been inspired by Lovecraft's technique of evoking the uncanny through an accumulation of telling images and tantalizing details.
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But while Lovecraft is very focussed on developing a weird atmosphere, and keeps extraneous matters to a minimum even to the extent of eliminating characterization , Barron spends far too much time on prosaic stuff derived from daily life or the hard-boiled genre of fiction. And I have to say that while other authors can write realism or tough-guy fiction and make it work superbly, Barron simply isn't one of them.
When he strays from the weird as he often does , he is rather dull. In spite of these problems I found the stories interesting, with the exception of "The Royal Zoo is Closed". My picks would be "Old Virginia", "Shiva, Open Your Eye", and apart from a somewhat anticlimactic finish the title story.
While this portends to be a series of stories set in the vein of Lovecraft, this fell very short of the mark. While two of the stories Bulldozer and Parallax were very well done, and the namesake story the Imago Sequence came close, the remainder of the stories were mediocre, at best.
There is a big difference between weird fiction that shows you glimpses of a world far darker and stranger than the real world, and fiction that doesn't really do much more than give confusing and disjointed ima While this portends to be a series of stories set in the vein of Lovecraft, this fell very short of the mark.
There is a big difference between weird fiction that shows you glimpses of a world far darker and stranger than the real world, and fiction that doesn't really do much more than give confusing and disjointed images. There is a certain art to using the absence of information and detail to let the reader draw his or her own picture, especially when the main character is clearly unable to process what they are seeing evoking a sympathetic reaction in the reader.
But some of the stories were just bereft of enough detail to pull the narrative together. I never managed to really see what others see in this collection, and finished it more to keep seeing if something would really demonstrate the writer's strength. Unfortunately, I just didn't see it. I could never enjoy the stories, and truthfully just wanted the experience to end. Nov 14, Jason Parent rated it it was amazing. Laird Barron is simply brilliant.
Some of the best and most imaginative writing I've ever read. It is dense though, smart, heavy stuff that I can only read in segments, put down and absorb.
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This collection has no duds. Bulldozer gets the nod for being my favorite and also for having maybe my favorite opening line ever written and yes I like it better than the opening of The Gunslinger View 1 comment. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a very fine, thrilling horror tale, and it is evident that Barron is inspired by Lovecraft--but, fortunately, the keyword is inspired , for this is all Barron, and it is only if one knows about the more specific Lovecraftian not Mythos ideas one sees the connection.
And that is a compliment to the author. Great, dark tale. But is works like a charm--albeit a dark charm;- MARCH 26, "Proboscis": Well, now I've learned what a proboscis is, Always good to know;- This story was a little difficult for me to get into. I don't know if it was because of circumstances in my life child with fever as well as being with fever myself or the story. Cool, if difficult to penetrate. Everything is told from the inside-out, in a phenomenology-like fashion, from a rather twisted, confused mind. Too closed and inaccessible for my taste, though, and too little story to back it all up.
I am blown away I don't have much time to write reviews these days, unfortunately. A different kind of tale, in one of the more unusual time setting I have seen. Not my favourite tale but it's a good one nonetheless. MAY "Hallucigenia": Great start and great ending. The middle lagged somewhat, in my opinion, although it underscores the tragic situation after what happens in the beginning. The last stories deserve a more detailed review but I have too little time, I am afraid. All in all, though, a very fine collection of horror stories from a modern master of the genre. Aug 19, Duane rated it it was amazing.
Literally fantastic collection of short stories with varied themes and textures. Award-winning for good reason and compulsively readable. Laird Barron has a distinct voice and vision with a naturalistic style vying with an expansive vocabulary. His universe is dismal, hopeless, existentially cruel, populated with madmen and jaded adventurers. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Mar 16, Matt rated it really liked it. I am not easily "creeped out. It takes a lot to unsettle me, though: Stolid, unimaginative, I plod bovine, complacent, unwitting, into and through the weirdest of tales. I was thus astonished and delighted to realize that Laird Barron had successfully spooked me with "Old Virginia," the first story in The Imago Sequence , Nightshade Books. The influence of H.
Lovecraft looms I am not easily "creeped out. Lovecraft looms large in The Imago Sequence, the title of which is a reference to one of Lovecraft's alien races. Barron neatly drops other references to Lovecraft throughout his stories, such as his use of "chthonic" in "Bulldozer. Barron's horrors, seen only on the periphery, if at all, take earthly form in the guises reminiscent of fungi a favorite of authors of "the weird" and jellyfish. You will see the monsters straightforward only as they unhinge their jaws to consume you. Barron's stories, although not formally connected to one another, do indicate a comprehensive vision.
There is the notion, quite unsettling, that human history is just a backdrop to the machinations of beings older and greater than ourselves. A refugee from the past lectures an American soldier about her hopes for the outcome of the Cold War in "Old Virginia. The title story, located at the end of the collection, refers to a series of arcane photographs that offer viewers an insight into the possible outcome of human evolution.
Nature, viewed through the lens of The Imago Sequence, is at best indifferent, if not hostile, to humanity. The stars are "cold" in the skies. The weather conspires against Barron's protagonists: If it's not raining at an inconvenient time, then it's hot, muggy, foggy, hazy, any set of conditions that might make characters uncomfortable, not at their best. Darkness looms at the edges; when night falls, it's total.
Barron builds upon his descriptions of nature by evoking the decay of the human environment. Human habitations are either the decadent, "overripe" homes of the wealthy, or the hotel rooms, hovels, and diners that entertain the poor. Old barns appear to be a favorite of Barron's. As any reader knows, old barns are never good.
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Barron's characters turn to drugs and alcohol to numb themselves to the hostile world they inhabit. Nearly all of Barron's protagonists are borderline alcoholics, and most indulge in the abuse of narcotics, too, to varying effects: The main character in "Hallucigenia" is poorly served by giving up the pills he began taking after the incident in an old barn, of course that left him injured and his wife a vegetable.
The chemicals serve only to mask the horror for a time; as the drinks numb the protagonists' senses to reality, they only contribute to the overall aims of whatever it is that "lurks beyond the threshold. Readers should be aware that Barron's protagonists are all men. Female characters are present, but in minor roles; they mostly function to demonstrate aspects of the protagonists' personalities, few of them laudable. These guys are mostly "rough 'n' tumble" sorts, strongmen, henchmen, the agents of someone else's will.
They're not above hurting people, and they take their share of punishment. Indeed, many of them speak in a curiously anachronistic vernacular. In "The Imago Sequence," the protagonist refers to a drowning victim as having ended up "in the drink. Still, Barron pulls it off. The Imago Sequence is not an entire success. Some of the stories are uneven, at least in the context of the whole.
It isn't that all of the stories aren't good; rather, some are much better than others, and at least one, "The Royal Zoo is Closed," doesn't seem to belong. The latter is shorter and, perhaps, more surreal than the other stories in the book. Readers will likely find "Procession of the Black Sloth," "Bulldozer," "Hallucigenia," and "The Imago Sequence," neatly dispersed throughout the collection, to be the most enjoyable.
The Imago Sequence is a worthy contribution to horror and "weird" literature, and demonstrates that Barron is an author of considerable talent. Readers who can't get past corrupt characters and dark themes are warned away. Recommended for lovers of Lovecraft and the weird. May 22, Pearce Hansen rated it it was amazing. Laird is often spoken of in the same breath with Thomas Ligotti, but they could not be more different. Then there is craft. His wording, phrasing, and editing are flawless — literally among the best wordsmithing I have encountered among writers active today.
I read this before Occultation, and it was my first exposure to Laird's work. My contention has always been that REAL men would oppose the Old Ones -- possibly lose horribly, but at least do their best to leave a bad aftertaste on the way down. Then we get to 'The Imago Sequence. Why haven't you bought this book yet? Nov 18, Jo rated it it was amazing.
I discovered Mr. Barron's books by accident. Cruising on Amazon, looking for new horror, something well-written, different and scary as hell. Laird's stories are Lovecraftian yet not Lovecraftian. Stylistically, he's nothing like Lovecraft, but the themes and concepts are there, masterfully re-worked for a modern age. For me, the scariest story in the book was "Hallucigenia". Now whenever I drive past an old, delapidated barn, I thin I discovered Mr. Now whenever I drive past an old, delapidated barn, I think of this story and step on the gas pedal.
This is the mark of a good writer; when the imagery and emotion of the story seep into your consciousness and change the way you perceive your world. And the fact that he can creep the hell out of me with such a simple and common thing as a barn is great horror.
Thanks Laird; I'm surrounded by barns in rural Illinois ; Feb 14, Waffles rated it it was amazing. Lovecraftian -yes, Ligottian - no. Out of nine stories, there were four that I really liked including a few involving evil old ladies trying to have sex with you. The others reminded me of William S. Burroughs - who I've never read except for Naked Lunch - which I really didn't read, but forced myself to get through.
This is a solid horror collection. Jun 01, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: horror. This was a chore to get through. If this book is art, it's abstract art. I'm not ashamed to mention that abstract art is beyond my understanding. I'm not sophisticated enough for it. I just didn't understand what was going on half the time. The story at the beginning and the end were the best and made the most sense to someone who is incapable of thinking in abstracts.
I skipped Hallucigenia because it looked long and by then I already knew I probably wouldn't like it and ain't nobody got time f This was a chore to get through. I skipped Hallucigenia because it looked long and by then I already knew I probably wouldn't like it and ain't nobody got time for that. Supposedly this book is only pages. It felt like