01 June 2012

Review: The Croning

The Croning
The Croning by Laird Barron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With the resurgence in popularity of authors like HP Lovecraft, with new attention of folks like Clark Ashton Smith and "weird fiction" in general, it's good to see new weird fiction published. Laird Barron was recommended as someone to read, and I was able to get my hands on The Croning.

The story follows an academic and his wife over the course of various points of their lives. Don is continually caught up in some rather strange occurances, none of which he can truly explain and some he cannot readily remember. Toward the end of their lives, they own a cabin in the wilderness and, well, that's when things really get a little weird.

Barron's publishing history thus far has been more in the poetry and short story realms, and this book shows that - the overarching story is definitely cohesive, but it's told, in a sense, via a number of short stories with the same characters. It's actually a fairly interesting move, and one that worked really well for me in terms of keeping the slow burn and keeping me interested along the way.

As someone who's not a big horror guy, I really enjoyed the book. It got really, really creepy toward the end, had a lot of subtle nods to other books and ideas, and kept me up rather late reading. I can't ask for a ton more from a book, and this was really well done as a result. I'll definitely be looking for his other stuff sooner rather than later.

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