Laird Barron: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

May 17, 2010 by
Filed under: Bury Me With This Book, Interviews 

It’s the tenth instalment of Bury Me With… and the book dark cosmic speculist Laird Barron wants to be buried with is…

dark godsT.E.D. Klein’s Dark Gods, a quartet of novellas that hit the stands in 1985 as a follow-up to his famous novel The Ceremonies. Klein, a respected former editor of The Twilight Zone Magazine, gave us a tour de force with his novella collection and demonstrated his standing as a master craftsman possessed of a sophisticated and cerebral style matched by perhaps a handful of modern fantasists.

The contents of Dark Gods include Children of the Kingdom, in which the author is enthralled by the tales of an old priest regarding lost tribes, subterranean kingdoms, and an ancient evil that occasionally rises to plague the surface world; the events of Petey transpire during a housewarming party in a remote Connecticut mansion as guests slowly uncover a macabre puzzle left behind by the former, utterly mad occupant; Black Man with a Horn may well be the crown jewel of the set — certainly a classic homage to Lovecraft’s Mythos in which an elderly author shares a plane ride with a missionary who’s convinced agents of a diabolical tribe are stalking him; Nadelman’s God is the tale of a man whose melodramatic college-era poetry has been co-opted by a lunatic who believes it possesses the power to summon a monstrous supernatural entity. Hilarity ensues.

Dark Gods has exerted some influence on my writing career. It reinforced my long held notion that novella-length horror is the genre at its most sublime. Klein’s masterpiece, alongside Peter Straub’s Ghost Story and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, is always close at hand. I often open it at random to instruct  myself in the fine art of building atmosphere that gradually, and inexorably, draws in the reader and delivers unto him or her an exquisite thrill; a glimpse of the numinous in the yellowed and curling pages of an ‘80s paperback.”


LairdBarron_by_KarenForemanAbout Laird Barron:

Laird Barron is the author of two collections: The Imago Sequence & Other Stories, and Occultation; both from Night Shade Books. His work has appeared in places such as The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, Lovecraft Unbound, Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, Clockwork Phoenix, and The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy. It has also been reprinted in numerous year’s best anthologies. Mr. Barron is an expatriate Alaskan currently at large in Washington State.


One Comment on Laird Barron: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

  1. Mark Russell on Wed, 9th Mar 2011 3:04 pm
  2. Couldn’t agree more!! I read Dark Gods in the 1980’s and was mesmerised by it. Certainly the best collection I’ve ever read.

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