Wednesday, February 21, 2018

[Laird Barron] The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All

Overall, this is a very strong collection, and it's the one that really got me into Laird Barron.

Blackwood's Baby --- Hunt goes horrific for this hardboiled (anti-)hero, Luke Honey. The story has some formulaic elements, but they all come together very nicely.

The Redfield Girls --- This is a change from most of Barron's stories, as the protagonists are not gritty pulp men-of-action, but a "close-knit sorority of veteran teachers", who rent a house by a lake. Strange hauntings occur.

Hand of Glory --- One of my favorites in this collection. Back to a Barronian hardboiled narrator, a 1920s mafia hitman, who ends up being the pawn in a war between various occult factions. Barron even ties in Eadweard Muybridge into the conspiracy, to great effect.

The Carrion Gods in their Heaven --- Another good one! Two lovers hole up in a cabin in the woods... but what lurks in the darkness? Once again, Barron takes a formula, but gives it a couple of twists, and ends up with a great story.

The Siphon --- An interesting story, with some imagery lifted from modern techno-thriller, but in the end going back to the occult roots.

Jaws of Saturn --- A very strong story. I like it how many of Barron stories feature similar characters, return to the same locations, but instead of being repetitive, they explore these from different points of view and reinforce the horror. Some of the best apocalyptic imagery in Barron's oeuvre here.

Vastation --- Stream of (cosmic) consciousness! I love this mess of post-apocalyptic sci fi horror something.

The Men from Porlock --- Back to the 1920s; this action story pits a group of lumberjacks against a weird cult (The Children of Old Leech, of course). I once made a hex-map interpretation of this piece. Ties in strongly with Barron's novel, The Croning.

More Dark --- Hard to comment on this one. I like the moody writing, but I don't care about the meta-fiction aspect (this story is about Barron and his horror author mates hanging around at a con, waiting for Ligotti to make an appearance).

No comments:

Post a Comment