Customer Reviews for

Occultation: And Other Stories

Average Rating 2.5
( 132 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

37 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended!

Horror diehards ave reason to celebrate.

Laird Barron does not write "happily ever after." If you are looking for pretty stories with happy endings, or even creepy stories with happy endings, look elsewhere, because there's nothing pretty nor happy in Laird Barron's...
Horror diehards ave reason to celebrate.

Laird Barron does not write "happily ever after." If you are looking for pretty stories with happy endings, or even creepy stories with happy endings, look elsewhere, because there's nothing pretty nor happy in Laird Barron's Occultation, his second collection of dark fiction following the success of his first, The Imago Sequence and Other Stories.

That Barron does not write "happily ever after" is not to say that Occultation is lacking in heroes and heroines, fools and apostates, prodigal sons and beckoning fair ones. On the contrary, the reader will find these archetypes in each of the stories in this collection, stories rich in allegorical themes that engage all the senses -- sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing, and emotion -- only with a bleak and horrifying twist. Barron's story-telling in Occultation grabs the reader by the back of the neck and forces him to look at this, reminding the reader that reality is not always pretty, even when reality is couched in fantasy.

Bad things happen to good people, average people, and oblivious people -- especially oblivious people.

The irony here is that Barron sets up and executes these Chthonic revelations with such graceful and seductive elocution that the reader goes willingly to his "readerly" fate, every bit as willingly as Barron's protagonists go not-so-gently into that endless night. This said, the reader can choose to ride safely over the surface of each tale and sigh afterward that the protagonist's fate was not hers, or she can choose to dive into deeper waters where hidden formulae found in the Gnostic art of Gematria informs her of metaphysical secrets, and ancient rituals performed in an upside-down looking-glass world reveal psycho-spiritual insight. The reader has a choice in Occultation: read for entertainment, or read for information. Or read for both. There is mystery aplenty to be found in either venture.

Occultation is all that, the art of legerdemain, as was experienced in The Imago Sequence. But where The Imago Sequence presented with lone protagonists unwittingly encountering and sometimes surviving a hostile universe, we find in Barron's Occultation a "progression" of interrelated stories, in which his main characters encounter adversity while involved in significant relationships. In fact, it is sometimes because of the significant relationship that the protagonist meets his/her doom. We've gone from Imago, a primitive and idealized chrysalis of the primary object, i.e., assimilation of the parental figure, to Occultation, the act of combining various but ambiguous dynamics to produce a specific effect in relationships, i.e., accommodation and compromise.

A must-read for Lovecraft fans!

posted by Jody_Rose on September 8, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

48 out of 117 people found this review helpful.

Horrible language

Received on Free Friday, but not worth keeping due to excessive bad language. I would like to give zero stars, but one is required.

posted by br549GA on May 18, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Page 1 of 2
Page 1 of 2