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The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All: Stories Hardcover – September 3, 2013

77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

WINNER OF THE BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR BEST FICTION COLLECTION
NOMINATED FOR THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD FOR BEST COLLECTION

"One of my favorite writers, period. ... one of the most unique and accomplished prose talents now working in America. He writes dangerous stories, in something I've described as like a cross between H.P. Lovecraft and James Dickey ... Very much like crack to my brain."
—Nic Pizzolatto, creator of HBO's True Detective

“If you think there aren’t any new Richard Mathesons or Harlan Ellisons out there, you need to read Laird Barron.”
—Stewart O’Nan, bestselling author of Wish You Were Here and Last Night at the Lobster

“Relentlessly readable, highly atmospheric, sharply and often arrestingly written—Barron’s prose style resembles, by turns, a high-flown Jim Thompson mixed with a pulp Barry Hannah.”
Slate

“I’ve come to Laird Barron relatively late, but I’m adding him to my pantheon of greats (and I don’t use that word lightly).”
—Adam Nevill, author of The Ritual

"The scariest writer on the planet has to be Laird Barron."
—Paul Goat Allen, The Barnes & Noble Book Blog

"Laird Barron has, in a remarkably short period of time, emerged as one of the leading writers of contemporary weird fiction."
—S. T. Joshi

"You could say these stories are what happens when Jack London and Zane Grey go drinking with William Hope Hodgson and Algernon Blackwood. But what they really are is Laird Barron, and they are terrifying and awe-inspiring. If you haven’t yet tried his work, this is a great place to start."
—Brian Keene, author of The Rising

About the Author

Laird Barron: Laird Barron is the author of two collections: The Imago
Sequence, and Occultation. His work has appeared in
many magazines and anthologies. An expatriate Alaskan,
Barron currently resides in the wilds of Upstate New York.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597804673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597804677
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and raised in Alaska, I did time in the wilderness. I raced in several Iditarods. Later, I migrated to Washington State where I devoted myself to reading guys like Parker, Ellroy, and McCarthy. At night I wrote tales that smash up noir, crime and horror.

I currently reside in Upstate New York and am writing a novel about the evil that men do.

(photo courtesy JD Busch)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By richard reifsnyder on November 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am admittedly jaded when it comes to horror having read it voraciously for more than 50 years. I started on Lovecraft, Howard and Poe in elementary school and never looked back. Since then I've consumed more types of horror than I could list and seen so many story lines and styles reinvented or reused that I seldom am surprised let alone scared. Laird Barron however, does it right. Matching the traditional American Gothic style with startlingly original settings, characters and plots he delivers the chills I felt back in fourth grade reading Weird Tales. His stories are rich, satisfying and very filling so a collection like "The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All" lasts a long time. What a pleasure to rediscover the macabre and eerie feelings that good horror can deliver.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jody L Rose on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The title THE BEAUTIFUL THING THAT AWAITS US ALL speaks for all of us. Everyone has an appointment with death: what sets us apart from one another, and often illustrates the paralyzing truth that dying is lonely business, is the individual approach we take toward that inevitable closure . With commendable story-telling skill, Barron illustrates examples of these individual approaches in nine disturbingly creepy novellas. As with most of his stories, you will need to tap into your ability to apply critical thinking, to take the denouement of each tale to its most probable conclusion, because Barron requires his readers to participate in the drama, to think, to employ inductive/deductive reasoning. That the stories are fantastic does not exempt the reader from dealing with reality, because life never wraps it up for us in neat little packages. We do that ourselves. We do the wrapping, and, ultimately, we do the unwrapping. We rip the bows off our packages, unwrap the pretty paper, lift the lids off the boxes, and peer inside. We do that all by ourselves.

In “Blackwood’s Baby” a hunting trip in the Olympic Mountain Range in Washington State goes terribly awry, when one of the members of the hunting party goes missing.

“The Redfield Girls” tells the tale of a curse and old ghosts in Lake Crescent, on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I will say no more, except that anything that has anything to do with Lake Crescent and ghosts will have this reader’s undivided attention.

“Hand of Glory” is one of the more outstanding stories in this collection. You gotta love a gangster whose name is Johnny Cope. Supernatural crime noir at its best. Another reviewer described this story as “muscular.” That reviewer was right.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Darkness is all around us. Laird Barron gives us a schematic of its inner workings and a mask for it to wear as it walks among us.

The usual names are batted around when discussing his work: Ligotti , Machen , & HPL. I also hear the voices of Joyce Carol Oates and M John Harrison , both master stylists who can move easily between genres.

Barron is a rarity among writers of horror fiction. He gets me to thinking : what's happening in the darkness of the car that just passed me on this lonely country road? Few writers of this caliber come to mind ; John Langan , Robert Aickman, Jeffrey Ford.

This collection truly is a beautiful thing that awaits us all. Don't wait too long. It might find you first .
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Cruz on September 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Laird Barron is an absolute world class writer of the uncanny. If you are a fan of the more cerebral weird like Caitlin R. Kiernan or the nuanced supernatural horror of Machen or Karl E. Wagner seek out this new collection by Barron. My absolute favorite in the collection was the "Redfield Girls" which brought together all of my favorite Laird Barron elements: well written female characters, old god horrors, and a lake. The novelette length "Hand of Glory" is worth the price of the entire collection alone. Eerie, black magic goings on mix with noir-like brute detective work. Attention editors: I purchase any collection that features one of Mr. Barron's newest stories.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By TigVI on September 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One experience I have with Barron that I rarely have with other authors of supernatural fiction is that his stories don't end when the reading is done. I find myself pondering the people and scenarios in his superbly written tales for days afterwards.

The characters who populate the uniquely horrifying worlds that Laird Barron creates are complex but believable which gives the stories added punch. Their banter can be the sarcastic, humorous and quick repartee of a noir film from the 40's. Or it can be the internal voice of a crushed and terrified soul trying to comprehend the unspeakable horror which confronts him; a horror that has corrupted all of the victim's perceptions of his world and is about to end it. Or something worse.

This is supernatural/horror at its very best. Barron never disappoints. His stories are a disquieting experience which endures.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jack M. Haringa on October 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Emphatically horror, emphatically beautiful, Laird Barron's latest collection is a magnificent assemblage of stories--mostly novelettes--that explore the cosmic and sublime. Barron writes equally convincingly of Prohibition-era gangsters and contemporary spies, balancing hard-boiled slang with poetic evocations of the outre. It's hard to pick a favorite with so many fine tales at hand, but "Hand of Glory" is particularly adept in blending muscular prose, detailed character examination, and supernatural horrors that creep under the skin. The only tale that fell flat for me was the fragmented, semi-experimental, and somewhat surreal "Vastation."
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