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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First-rate stories by an impressive new voice, 20 May 2013
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Paul Bowes (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Imago Sequence and Other Stories (Paperback)
'The Imago Sequence' is Laird Barron's first collection of short stories. It appeared in 2007, and collects stories published in magazines from 2001 onwards.

Barron works here broadly within the Lovecraftian tradition of cosmic horror, but he has also been influenced by modern noir and crime writing. His imaginative world juxtaposes the modern urban America of electronics and drugs and casual sex with the more ancient rural and wilderness America that underlies the urban veneer. Beyond lies the indifferent Darwinian universe whose less comfortable possibilities Lovecraft was one of the first to explore.

Nonetheless, Barron has a distinctive voice and a personal style, and is not content simply to retread Lovecraft's themes in King's language. The stories here are impressively even in quality and varied in range. The best of them - 'Procession of the Black Sloth', for example - contrive to be disquieting without being over-explicit: though Barron can spill blood with the best of them, too.

Firmly recommended to anybody interested in contemporary horror, as is its successor volume, 'Occultation'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Imago Sequence, 10 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Imago Sequence and Other Stories (Paperback)
Comparisons to Lovecraft,although valid,are missing the point.Laird Barron has a style and vision all his own.The 'hard boiled' horror writer tag is doing him a great disservice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding debut collection, 12 July 2013
This review is from: The Imago Sequence and Other Stories (Paperback)
Excellent debut collection of original weird horror stories. The book requires concentration and patience. Pay it that respect and you will enjoy it all the more. The stories contained in this collection are intelligent, haunting and in parts, chilling. Personally, I recommend this book as a must have.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These stories are essential reading for horror fans..., 21 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Imago Sequence and Other Stories (Paperback)
Laird Barron is one of the best new horror and dark fantasy authors. He's a gifted writer whose stories are macabre and fascinating entertainment for horror readers. He writes modern weird fiction and he does it well - each story in The Imago Sequence and Other Stories is grade-A material.

The Imago Sequence and Other Stories contains nine excellent and different kind of short stories. These stories are well written and fascinating horror stories.

This collection contains the following nine stories (the limited edition contains an additional short story, Hour of the Cyclops):
- Old Virginia
- Shiva, Open Your Eye
- Procession of the Black Sloth
- Bulldozer
- Proboscis
- Hallucigenia
- Parallax
- The Royal Zoo Is Closed
- The Imago Sequence

This collection starts with the sinister "Old Virginia" and ends with the fantastic "The Imago Sequence". All the stories are masterpieces of horror literature. It's almost impossible to choose the best stories, but each story is good (I liked "Old Virginia", "Procession of the Black Sloth", "Proboscis", "Bulldoder" and "The Imago Sequence" very much).

What I like most about Laird Barron is that he writes quality stories. Some writers reveal everything in the beginning of the story, but not Laird Barron. He doesn't make things easy for the reader, but trusts that his readers have enough patience to read the whole story. I also like the way he writes about the characters.

Laird Barron's prose reminds me of such writers as H. P. Lovecraft, Julius Shepard and Clive Barker. His prose is modern and sharp, but it's also lavish. For example, the title story ("The Imago Sequence") demonstrates how easily Laird Barron writes good horror prose.

After reading both collections (The Imago Sequence and Other Stories and Occultation and Other Stories) I can say that Laird Barron has become one of my favourite authors. I've always been fond of this kind of horror literature, so it's great that there are writers like Laird Barron, who continue to amaze readers with their dark stories.

If you're a dark fantasy or horror fan, please, do yourself a favour and buy The Imago Sequence and Other Stories and also Occultation and Other Stories. If you like weird fiction and cosmic horror, you must read these collections. Both collections are essential reading for horror fans.
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The Imago Sequence and Other Stories
The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron (Paperback - 12 May 2009)
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