The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Imago Sequence and Other Stories is a collection of short stories by Laird Barron.
This is Laird Barron's first short story collection and the fifth book of his I've read this year. I'm running out of ways to praise the man who has infected my brain like some kind of alien parasite.
Nine stories of sanity-blasting cosmic horror haunt its pages. Even though it's his first published collection, all of the Barronial bits are there: Chandler by way of Lovecraft prose, lonliness, helplessness, and things beyond mortal ken. I can't say enough about Barron's prose, a delicious but deadly poetry.
The stories themselves are a diverse mix, many touching upon his concepts of the nature of time and the Children of Old Leech. "Old Virginia" hooked me and held my attention like a vise. I was going to list the standouts but honestly the only one I wasn't ass over tea kettle for was "The Royal Zoo Is Closed". The two most noir-flavored, "Bulldozer" and "The Imago Sequence", were my favorites. There are some secrets man isn't meant to know.
Most of the stories take place in Washington State, which is now a place I don't want to visit for fear of sinister dohlmens, pylons, and alien horrors. His heroes are more Continental Op than mossback scholars, making the horrors they encounter that much worse.
I'm a latecomer to the Laird Barron party but now I'm the guest that won't leave. Got any yearbooks? Four out of five stars.
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