Bill Kerwin's Reviews > The Imago Sequence and Other Stories

The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron
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May 19, 12

bookshelves: short-stories
Read in April, 2012


There is a great deal about Laird Barron's writing that I like very much. Unlike Stephen King (whose descriptive passages often resemble an exhaustive catalog of the contents of someone's pockets or purse), Barron has a poet's eye for detail and the knack for choosing the right phrase in order to fix a disgusting or disturbing detail in the reader's mind. But sometimes he also allows himself--something King would never do--to be distracted from the essential narrative by his own evocative details and phrases. When the overwhelming preponderance of such details lead to the heart of the story--as they do in "Old Virginia," "Shiva, Open Your Eye," "Hallucigenia," and "The Imago Sequence"--the result is a superb contemporary horror story, atmospheric and chilling; when they don't, the result is atmospheric, and occasionally chilling, but also puzzling and unfocused. All of these stories are worth reading, however, and the best are superb.
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