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The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,081 ratings  ·  249 reviews
Over the course of two award-winning collections and a critically acclaimed novel, The Croning, Laird Barron has arisen as one of the strongest and most original literary voices in modern horror and the dark fantastic. Melding supernatural horror with hardboiled noir, espionage, and a scientific backbone, Barron’s stories have garnered critical acclaim and have been reprin ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Night Shade Books
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Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: hey-shorty, netgalley
hooray for world fantasy award nominations!!!!!

friday night, i killed a bug.

now, i don't like to kill things, even bugs, but i have a code: if you are a spider, or a moth, or a housefly, or one of these teeny tiny black beetles we seem to get every summer, you get to go out the window. i will spend a very long time, in some cases, chasing you and containing you in a juice glass, and setting you free. where you will probably be eaten by a bird, but that's ou
Dan Schwent
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All is a collection of short stories by Laird Barron.

Laird Barron is my latest literary obsession so I was glad to have this on my kindle when I finished Swift to Chase.

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All covers a lot of ground, from noir to supernatural horror to cosmic horror to the horror of a puppet show about the end of the world performed by Thomas Ligotti. However, the tales are linked, albeit more loosely than Swift to Chase. Ransom Hollow gets menti
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-loanable
This awesome collection is only $1.99 today at Amazon U.S.

Quote: "There are cracks in the world. These cracks are inhabited by...marvels undreamt of in our philosophies." From the short story, "The Siphon."

I've heard a lot about Laird Barron in various book groups to which I belong. Most especially I hear from fans of Lovecraft that Barron is even better. I have to agree. Ever since I read "The Light is the Darkness" I knew that I would be reading more of
October spooky read #4!

I love the weird world that exists in Laird Barron’s head: I’m not sure I’d want to live there, but visiting it from time to time is hard to resist. Ever since I read “The Croning” (, I have been drawn back again and again to his stories, to his elegant, uber-creepy prose, isolated settings and gloomy characters. I enjoyed two of his previous short story collections earlier this summer, and decided to save this one for my October re
Elena Cvetkovska
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely the furthest plunge into darkness Barron has taken. The events take place in the well known settings of the Olympian peninsula, Blackwood Lodge, and the Broadsword Hotel, the universe he has created in his previous works. If you expect explanations, straight to the point storytelling and great revelations you will get none, and you will be left guessing. The prospects are bleak for the actors and actresses in the great cosmic drama, there are no winners, the departed are those ...more
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gangster, loggers, Iditarod racers, Unaussprechlichen Kulten
Inevitably, when you want to praise a new horror writer and make him sound like the Next Big Thing, you compare him to Stephen King. Or maybe H.P. Lovecraft. Or maybe even Edgar Allan Poe.

Laird Barron isn't any of those guys. Oh, sure, you can see the influences - especially Lovecraftian. And he claims the Pacific Northwest as his territory in which unspeakable cults, and monsters walking as men who make bootleggers, loggers, and gangsters piss their pants, and hidden enclaves of villagers in th
Nancy Oakes
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, weird
As always, because I can't resist being a chatterbox, I have a longer review of this book here; read on for the bare minimum.

John Langan notes on the back cover of this book that he "can't sum up Laird Barron in a single, pithy sentence," and neither can I. If you've read his work, you already know that he is one of the best horror/weird fiction writers out there; if you haven't, then you seriously don't know what you're missing. I don't actually remember how I got started reading his stuff, bu
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dark fiction, Lovecraft, the author
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Congratulations to Laird Barron, who won a Bram Stoker award for this book! It is a well-earned award for an awesome book.

Book Info: Genre: Short story anthology, dark/Lovecraftian fiction
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Lovecraft, dark fiction, the author
Book Available: August 13, 2013 in Hardcover (click link to preorder)
Trigger Warnings: violence, cannibalism (implied), murder, fighting, terrors from beyond

My Thoughts: This is a short-story anthology, so there isn't a lot I can t
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
4 stars--I really liked it. There were a couple stories here that didn't work for me, but this volume also contains two of my Barron favorites: "Blackwood's Baby" and "The Men from Porlock."

If you like Lovecraft-influenced cosmic horror about cults, squiggly monster-things, and gazing into the void, pick up one of Barron's books. You'll love it!
Heidi Ward
I waited for The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All to be released for what seemed like years, and began devouring it immediately. Because Laird Barron is about the best thing going in the horror branch of the weird, it's no surprise that it gets my five glowing stars. Barron's prose just gets richer and his cthonic mythology more resonant with each publication.

I did find some surprises in this collection, but I want to do this book justice, so I'm starting my second read through now. Stay tune
Paul Roberts
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Featuring two of the finest hunting stories I’ve read, Barron’s third collection is best consumed near a healthy fire, and filtered through a decent scotch. I’m convinced there is a tsunami of readers that have yet to discover Barron. “More Dark” could be the most misunderstood story of 2013. With teeth, it plants Laird’s flag at the summit, and in deft contrasting brush strokes, succeeds in paying tribute whilst offering challenge to writers and readers alike. It doesn’t get better than this.
Adam Nevill
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Continuing my catch-up of the new wave in North American horror (as a metal fan that's a handy classification for my own shelves), I thought the new anthology from Laird Barron (just finished reading it) - THE BEAUTIFUL THING THAT AWAITS US ALL AND OTHER STORIES - was tremendous. 'Blackwood's Baby', 'Hand of Glory', 'The Siphon', and 'The Men from Porlock' being my personal favourites from stories that are nearly all epic in their range. As well as the writer's own vision, many of the same quali ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short take:

A few stories really drew me in, and I finally enjoyed Barron's work to the degree that I expected (based on both critical opinion and the flashes of awesome that I experienced in other stories). My favorites, by far, were "Men from Porlock" and "Hand of Glory," both of which cast their characters in the early 20th century, which is a ripe period for a supernatural plot and gritty, earthy protagonists. "Men from Porlock" was one of the creepier entries, and I loved the ending.

Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, short-stories
This is my second collection read from this very overrated author and I have decided that he is not for me. His stories are distinctly unsatisfying, usually with a long and irrelevant biographical portion followed by "something weird" which leaves you only wondering WTF did you just read. The only story here I liked (hence the extra star) was "The Redfield Girls," which had characters I cared about and a haunting quality. "Vastation," on the other end of the spectrum, was sheer nonsense.

Also, ca
Wow, what a collection. That last story gave me the same feeling of perfect unease that his novel The Croning did.

I'm working on short descriptors of each story, but in the meantime, my favorites were:
The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven
The Siphon
More Dark

Others read:
Blackwood's Baby
The Redfield Girls
Hand of Glory
Jaws of Saturn
The Men from Porlock
Justin J
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, educational
I have never been to the Pacific Northwest, and thanks to Laird Barron, I'm far too afraid of the place to ever make a trip.
R.G. Evans
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it
H.P. Lovecraft, the undisputed Grand Master of early 20th century weird fiction, died in 1937. Why can’t we just let him lie rather than endlessly rehash his Cthulhu Mythos themes lo these seventy six years later? Especially since my own first fiction publication was in Weird Tales, where Lovecraft himself once reigned supreme, I realize that to suggest this is heresy, that even now Yog-Sothoth may be speeding across the cosmos (his path to me illuminated by the burning rage of scores of Lovecra ...more
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, short-stories
I went through this collection wondering what the significance of the title was given that there was no story with this title in the collection but it became clear in the final story "More Dark". That was a strange story that seems to feature himself as the protagonist going to a rare public appearance of Thomas Ligotti with a couple of friends whilst contemplating suicide. Barron gives a fairly balanced critique of Ligotti's work but the story was marred for me by a bizarre and unnecessary atta ...more
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly stunning collection of stories.

Read it. NOW.

5 out of 5 stars.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Redfield Girls have lived. During their annual fall road trip, we get to know Bernice, Karla, Dixie, and Li-Hua. We discover their strengths, their vulnerabilities and superstitions. They’re joined by Lourdes, Bernice’s seventeen-year-old niece. In the eerie night the women share with Lourdes the true crime stories and legends both modern and ancient surrounding Lake Crescent, where they’ve rented a cabin. One tale of murder is taken from Bernice’s family history.

Bernice is a woman going abo
Ann Schwader
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, first-reads
[Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book as part of the First Reads program.]

Laird Barron's third collection is rich & densely textured darkness. Combining classic literary horror, noir, & cosmic/Lovecraftian themes, Barron's tales offer something for almost any reader with a taste for literate fear. More so than many contemporary horror writers, he understands the value of building suspense by small clues and atmospheric suggestion -- rendering the eventual scenes of graphic vio
Jeff Raymond
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
There's not a lot I can say about how great Laird Barron is at what he does. It's a very specific niche within the weird/horror genre that just hits me right in the sweet spot more often than not.

This collection of stories was better, overall, than Occultation (although "Occultation" is still my favorite short of his) and maybe falls short of The Imago Sequence for me, but there were still a good two or three extremely high quality stories in here without anything I disliked.

I still wish we got
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror and weird fans
I asked for an advanced e-version of this book from Netgalley because I really liked the name and cover and also because it's about time I read some good horror stories. The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All is not only the first of Laird Barron's works I've read but also the first time I read a horror anthology. I haven't even read H.P. Lovecraft I'm afraid. So take this as a beginner's review, someone who didn't really have specific expectations or previous works in the genre to compare to. T ...more
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
Barron is one of the best writers in the field for exploring how the truly weird touches the earnest human element [1]. Barron by-and-large makes interesting characters that feel unique enough that you either want them to fail or succeed based on their various strengths or weaknesses, and I guarantee that different readers will feel differently about which characters deserve what, which is a good sign that a character is not a mere caricature.

Barron's chief weakness as a writer is that he walks
Elle Maruska
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first collection of Laird Barron's short fiction and it was so good! I loved the mixture of hardboiled noir and cosmic horror, the playful thread that ran through the blood and guts of Barron's universal terror, the reoccuring characters and the final story--a thoughtful funny scary musing on both writing and living horror.

Santiago Eximeno
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
O quizá solo tres estrellas. Es difícil decidirse. Pero en fin, un gran libro. Merece (mucho) la pena sumergirse en los mundos de Laird Barron.
Baal Of
From the opening story the sense of unease is oppressive, the characters weighty and troubled. It is clear from the onset that things will go very badly, but Barron never projects his punches. He gives the story and the reader time to breath and absorb, before taking the narrative into some very dark places. The entire collection is beautifully written, with dense, lyrical prose and rich, disturbing, complex characters. The final three stories were particularly strong, Vastation being a weird, h ...more
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I make no bones about it: I’m an unabashed Laird Barron fanboy. He’s the best active horror writer in the world, in my opinion, and one of the best things to happen to the genre in a long, long time. This is his third collection I’ve read, (and fourth book), and while it doesn’t quite hit the heights of the masterful Imago Sequence and Occultation, it’s nonetheless a hugely potent work that I’ll no doubt be going back to in the years to come.

The stories in this collection run the gamut from corp
Oct 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
The best stories in this collection could be labeled "rustic horror." Many of them take place in the Pacific Northwest, in the deepest forests and shadowy valleys. The protagonists are often rough and tumble men who are nevertheless set on edge by a variety of creepy occurrences. Imagine Jack London writing spooky stories and you'd be on the right track.

While the rustic horror stories are great, the ones set in more modern and more urban locales were much less engaging. These stories tended to b
Mark Tallen
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Yes, it is three outstanding collections in a row from Laird Barron. This book contains original and compelling stories that are exquisitely told in really fine prose. I do have two stories in this collection that are my personal favourites in this book. Hand Of Glory and The Men From Porlock are in my opinion, magnificent. Don't get me wrong, the other stories that make up the collection are really excellent too, make no mistake about that. The Redfield Girls is down right chilling a ...more
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Horror Aficionados : Laird Barron 4 47 Oct 07, 2013 05:06PM  
  • The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies
  • The Grimscribe's Puppets
  • Burnt Black Suns
  • The Spectral Link
  • At Fear's Altar
  • The White Hands and Other Weird Tales
  • The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron
  • Fearful Symmetries
  • Windeye
  • North American Lake Monsters
  • Black Wings: Tales of Lovecraftian Horror
  • The Wine-Dark Sea
  • Dark Gods
  • Remember Why You Fear Me: The Best Dark Fiction of Robert Shearman
  • Two Worlds and in Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan, Volume One
Laird Barron, an expat Alaskan, is the author of several books, including The Imago Sequence and Other Stories; Swift to Chase; and Blood Standard. Currently, Barron lives in the Rondout Valley of New York State and is at work on tales about the evil that men do.

Photo credit belongs to Ardi Alspach

Agent: Janet Reid of FinePrint Literary Management
“When I was six, I discovered a terrible truth: I was the only human being on the planet. I was the seed and the sower and I made myself several seconds from the event horizon at the end of time - at the x before time began. Indeed, there were six billion other carbon-based sapient life forms moiling in the earth, but none of them were the real McCoy. I'm the real McCoy. The rest? Cardboard props, marionettes, grist for the mill. After I made me, I broke the mold under my heel.” 6 likes
“Brush snapped. The stag shambled forth from the outer darkness. It loomed above Scobie, its fur rank and steaming. Black blood oozed from gashes along its flanks. Beneath a great jagged crown of antlers its eyes were black, its teeth yellow and broken. Scobie fell to his knees, palms raised in supplication. The stag nuzzled his matted hair and its long tongue lapped at the muddy tears and the streaks of drying blood upon the man’s upturned face. Its muzzle unhinged. The teeth closed and there was a sound like a ripe cabbage cracking apart.” 5 likes
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