Henrik's Reviews > The Imago Sequence and Other Stories

The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron
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's review
May 24, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: horror, anthology
Read in May, 2010

** spoiler alert ** DECEMBER 14:

"Old Virginia":

An eldritch crone is not someone to experiment with--not even if it's a secret government project during the Cold War.

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.

FEBRUARY 22, 2010:

"Shiva, Open Your Eye":

Excellent, atmospheric tale. Surprisingly so, I'd say, since the narrator is the mysterious eldritch thing/creature/persona (?) it(?)self. But is works like a charm--albeit a dark charm;-)

MARCH 26, 2010:


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. However, the last third reigned me in, and while this is without question a story that leaves you with a myriad of questions and without any neat solutions/ending, it remains a fascinating piece of paranoia-related story. Cool, if difficult to penetrate.

MARCH 27, 2010:

"The Royal Zoo is Closed":

An interesting experiment. 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.

APRIL 20, 2010:

"The Imago Sequence":

A masterpiece. I am blown away...

APRIL 22 (I think it was):


Another very fine tale. I don't have much time to write reviews these days, unfortunately.

APRIL 28 (I think it was):


A pinkterton looking for a person who is, well, quite unusual. 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 11:

"Procession of the Black Sloth":

Another very enjoyable, dark tale in this collection.

MAY 20:


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.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy This was one of the best new horror collections I've read in a while. It's high praise, but Barron, like Ligotti, struck me as a writer who can contribute a uniquely individual vision to the strain of cosmic horror exemplified by Lovecraft, although not a Mythos writer in any sense, as you've noted. I look forward to your comments on the remaining stories in this volume.

Henrik I am glad you liked my comment so far.

Ligotti is my probably my favourite modern horror-non-HPL/Mythos writer, so if Barron can match that I will be very impressed. In any case I certainly look forward to reading the rest of this collection. It's on my private "10 Books I Must Read Before Buying A New Book" List (why, o why, did I agree to make that list?:-P), so hopefully it will be soon;-)

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Barron is quite different from Ligotti; but he has the potential to be as important a horror writer, I think.

Henrik Certainly different, from what I've read so far, but not less interesting or important. I think you're absolutely right. (And Ligotti and he share some ground in emphasizing the weird atmosphere, I think, quite unusual in our time.)

message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve He knows his stuff, and he's a good guy. Years back he was an editor for the online zine, Melic Review. Here's a link to the issue where he was guest editor: http://www.melicreview.com/archive/is...

Jeannie Sloan Hello!
I liked this book but I think that I may have loved it if I was a man.Something was missing from the stories.I had a hard time relating to the characters.But,I am glad that you liked it so much.

Henrik Jeannie wrote: "I liked this book but I think that I may have loved it if I was a man...."

Hi Jeannie. Yes, I noticed that in your own review. I am quite curious--what do you mean? I mean, okay, I understand the sentence, of course (:-P), but I haven't been able to find something in this book that strikes me as "manly"... So I'd like to hear some more about this, if you don't mind sharing your thoughts?


message 8: by Wilum (new)

Wilum Pugmire I have recently finished reading Laird's second collection, OCCULTATION, and it was so thrilling that as soon as I have completed my new Nyarlathotep novella I am going to read again THE IMAGO SEQUENCE AND OTHER STORIES. Laird is so original as a writer -- and his fiction really terrifies me! This is super-SCARY weird fiction, by a Master of ye Craft!

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