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

The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron
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Nov 14, 2016

really liked it
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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03/03/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Jason I feel the same way about King. Getting through the laundry lists and overwriting can be tough with him, who otherwise is often quite engrossing.


Bill  Kerwin Jason wrote: "I feel the same way about King. Getting through the laundry lists and overwriting can be tough with him, who otherwise is often quite engrossing."

Yes! The man plans his chapters--especially those cliff-hanger endings!--better than anyone in the business. But he writes some of the flattest sentences I've ever read.


Droydicus Malojan King is also almost congenitally incapable of finishing a book! best read in the short story form IMHO.

Have you read 'the light is the darkness'? Horror sci fi with a twist of Burroughs. In fact the only thing from Barron that has disappointed was 'The croning'. he put a bit too much meat on the bones with that one.


Robert Spencer I think you have summed it up nicely! My edition had a kind of bonus story, "Hour of the Cyclops", which was actually one of the strongest stories. I did like "Procession of the Black Sloth" as well, although it was a bit confusing (was he in hell???)


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