Collin Bost's Reviews > The Imago Sequence and Other Stories

The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron
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's review
May 22, 2012

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Read in June, 2012 — I own a copy

The most successful of these stories is probably "Hallucigenia"--except for one confusing hallucinatory sequence, the story is well paced and completely horrifying. Heebie-jeebies all around. "The Procession of the Sloth," which is original to the collection, probably needs some substantial revisions but is creepy and engaging. Although I frequently admire some of Barron's passages (he's good at describing the indescribable) and his imagination, there's sort of a shtick throughout--Lovecraftian horror meets macho--that gets tiring.

The earliest of these stories, "Shiva, Open Your Eye," was published in 2001, which is about the time I stopped following horror fiction. This story seems very much the work of a talented amateur--not really a story but an intense monologue. You can actually track Barron's growing sophistication from this story to later ones, such as "Hallucigenia" and "The Imago Sequence." Since Barron's work seems to improve, I'd be open to reading his more recent collection, Occultation and Other Stories.

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