Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Laird Barron

A Review
7 September 2011

Modern day gladiator Conrad Navarro has Daddy issues of the Biblical kind, and Dad is not a sympathetic character. In fact, none of the characters in this tale of stygian darkness can be described as sympathetic as they act out their betrayal from a specific yet mutable hell tailor-made for world domination by the Old Ones. With a stylistic nod to William S. Burrough’s NAKED LUNCH, Barron takes us on a non-linear odyssey through what, on the surface, resembles the mad landscape of a schizophrenic’s inner world, and it is not until the very last page that we fully understand the horrific objective in this tale of deliberate madness.
THE LIGHT IS THE DARKNESS allows readers to briefly revisit Barron’s former stories The Imago Sequence, Six Six Six, Proboscis-30-, and Old Virginia, to name a few, and garner a clearer understanding of “the Bigger Picture,” in which Barron has included the flip side of the savior theme. This said, abandon all hope, ye who enter here, for here you will not find redemption. The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning as the worm turns and Ouroboros devours its tail. Readers who have already ventured into horror literature, especially those of you already familiar with Laird Barron’s brand of Lovecraftian Mythos (if not, may I suggest you read his excellent collections THE IMAGO SEQUENCE and OCCULTATION) are in for some shivers.
Wealthy industrialist Cyrano Kosokian sponsors genetically engineered gladiator Conrad Navarro in a global underworld fighting ring that makes legal cage fighting look like a church quilting bee, as these gladiators fight to the death, just like they did back in the good old days of sovereign Rome. But our protagonist Conrad is distracted from his customary rigorous training for these championship bouts because he is obsessed with the disappearance of his FBI sister, Imogene “Genie” Navarro. Conrad suspects Genie is a victim of the mysterious Dr. Drake, an aged geneticist who specializes in eugenics experiments and torture, and embarks upon a mission to find Imogene, or at least find out what happened to her.
What Navarro finds instead is the meaning of his life.
For more information on Laird Barron’s novel, go here:
If you are a Laird Barron reader, this is a must read.

No comments:

Post a Comment