Saturday, November 19, 2016


In one of the most ambitious books I've read all year, author Laird Barron presents us with a collection of stories that not only play with the mixing of pulp genres like hard-boiled noir, slasher thriller, and cosmic horror, but also build a whole horror mythology as they move along, compiling to become a mosaic novel in which everything is connected. All of the stories revolve around various people that live in a small, cursed Alaskan town, and the horrors that befall them.
"There's a hole no man can fill," says the count. "No amount of love or hate or heat poured into the pit. No amount of light. I am the voice of the abyss."
This is my introduction to Laird Barron and he truly has a voice of his own. I was really impressed with his writing; on a sentence level, it might be some of the best prose I've read all year. Every story has a palpable atmosphere and there are parts of these stories that are truly creepy and stuck with me at night. But I do feel that each story meandered and took too long to get to its payoff. Although I loved the writing, I do feel that the tales were a little long-winded and overstuffed. Because this book reportedly builds on other Barron stories, I wonder if I would've enjoyed this more if I read some of his other work first. There are many things about this book I still don't fully understand, but I was always intrigued, similar to the way I felt after seeing David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. Although it's sometimes confusing and frustrating, it's a unique piece of work and definitely going on my re-read list again so I can appreciate and explore it more.


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