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Old 08-26-2013   #1
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LAIRD BARRON

Thoughts? I happen to think Barron's the best horror writer in the field right now (him and Glen Hirshberg).

What do you think of him?

THE IMAGO SEQUENCE is a stellar collection.

"That's where the future development of horror fiction lies - in the next person who is almost too emotionally and psychologically damaged to live in the world but not too damaged to produce fiction."
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Old 08-27-2013   #2
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Re: LAIRD BARRON

Surprisingly, considering how well known he's been for his short work, I came to love Barron after reading his novels. I think he has a gift for making prose hardboiled neo-pulp poetry. I recently picked up his three collections, and I am pleased to realize many of his stories share a similar world and mythology (although I suspect it's more like M. John Harrison's ever-shifting Viriconium than a hard and fast, consistent alternate reality).
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Old 08-27-2013   #3
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Re: LAIRD BARRON

I didn't enjoy Occultation

at first.

Then I read The Croning, which I adored. Which got me to thinking did I give the chap a fair shake? So I went back to Occultation and read it twice through (it gets richer and richer). I now love this collection! "Mysterium Tremendum" & "--30--" being my favorite stories in it, though all of them stay with you and are affecting, discomfiting and disconcerting in variable measure. Some will creep you out so so that your bowels will decide to take their revenge on their distant relative: your throat...you will then resemble an accordion or at least feel like one.
[As a side note: There was only one other time I read a fictional work twice through and that book was Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. Another very powerful, hopeless book of horror.]

So, I am almost finished with The Light is the Darkness, the title of which must surely refer to the "hero", Conrad, not being able to comprehend what the meaning of the "final revelation" proves to be in the end (not that I'm there yet). This book is in pulp-mode, I wouldn't say "pure pulp mode" but it is noticeably different from the prose employed, as a rule, in both "The Croning" and "Occultation" though Laird is such a tough guy---Mickey Spillane, he ain't...and I mean that in the best way possible.

Just ordered The Imago Sequence which, for those interested, is mentioned by name in The Light... It would seem that most of Mr. Barron's work resides in the same or a similar (parallel?) universe or very much could. This aspect certainly strings you along and is quite compelling.
I received The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All today and can't wait to delve in. But wait, I will, as I must find out what fails to happen at the end of this novel and then, surely, I must wait to read his earliest collection before reading the latest..surely? I miiiight be persuaded to make an exceptional case of this however...

PS. Did --30-- remind anyone else of Tarkovsky?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Re: LAIRD BARRON

It's nice to have kids. When you're old and dying (which can take a long time) someone has to change the sick pan with love.

Seriously.

I've seen too many old friends end up in crummy Rest Holmes at the mercy of folks who couldn't care less.

Be Fruitful and Multiply, my children.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Re: LAIRD BARRON

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
It's nice to have kids. When you're old and dying (which can take a long time) someone has to change the sick pan with love.

Seriously.
But if you treat your kids badly when they're young, watch out. No sick pan cleaning for you! You'll be lucky if they give you a call once every few months.

A somber word of caution for potential and/or aspiring breeders, white or otherwise.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Re: LAIRD BARRON

I don't support Death on Demand. I support euthanasia only in specific instances of painful terminal illness.

But the horrors of old age, wracked by pain and hopelessness? My Glock may count as a friend yet,,,but I'm a stubborn SOB and not a quitter.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Re: LAIRD BARRON

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
My Glock may count as a friend yet
That is my brother's plan.
He grows annoyed whenever I remind him arthritis runs in our family and crablike fingers won't suffice.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Re: LAIRD BARRON

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
It's nice to have kids. When you're old and dying (which can take a long time) someone has to change the sick pan with love.

Seriously.

I've seen too many old friends end up in crummy Rest Holmes at the mercy of folks who couldn't care less.

Be Fruitful and Multiply, my children.
Please tell me you're joking, Druidic. Your friends did what was morally responsible, even if it means they had to suffer for it.

No good deed goes unpunished.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Re: LAIRD BARRON

Bringing somebody into this world just to look after me sounds grotesque.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Re: LAIRD BARRON

I would never exit this Hotel until someone translates Durrenmatt's "Valley of Confusion" into English. As Hodgson implies it's the little things, the small pleasures, that makes it all worthwhile. The Big Things are great but they don't happen that often. It's the "casual joys" that count.

I always loved Hodgson.
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