• The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All

  • Stories
  • By: Laird Barron
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (1,152 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Over the course of two award-winning collections and a critically acclaimed novel, The Croning, Laird Barron has arisen as one of the strongest and most original literary voices in modern horror and the dark fantastic. Melding supernatural horror with hardboiled noir, espionage, and a scientific backbone, Barron's stories have garnered critical acclaim and have been reprinted in numerous year's best anthologies and nominated for multiple awards, including the Crawford, International Horror Guild, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy awards. Barron returns with his third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. Collecting interlinking tales of sublime cosmic horror, including "Blackwood's Baby", "The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven", and "The Men from Porlock", The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All delivers enough spine-chilling horror to satisfy even the most jaded reader.

©2013 Laird Barron (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All

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  • lf
  • 04-14-20

Not happy. Beautiful.

The old gods reach from their dreams through the cracks in the world. With every breath they come closer to waking.

You will not survive this. Embrace it.

In other words, this is dark fantasy. It is beautifully written and narrated, but it will not make you happy. Push it off until after the quarantine is over.

179 people found this helpful

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Amazing Collection

There wasn't a single uninteresting story here. I'm new to this author, and this seems like a good introduction. His horror is cosmic, yes, and certainly has its Lovecraft influence, but there's something earthy and.... natural? Like having the unnatural in the natural. Forests, dirt, deep caves, rotting trees, fleshy patches of mushrooms, wolves, worms, meat. It brings an oddly visceral element to the lofty horror.

I rather enjoyed his characters, as well. I think it's almost clever, whether deliberately or not, that he tends to write hard-boiled tough guys who drink, smoke and fight. You don't just see a frail little bookish geek like myself helpless in the face of the indescribable, you see characters who would otherwise be intimidating in other circumstances. But he also isn't a one trick pony, you do get a variety of character types. I think those just struck me in particular thanks to how different it felt, especially on the heels of having read The Ceremonies by T.E.D. Klein, which features a plump, helpless little professor. which, while relatable, felt more standard.

Check this author out.

64 people found this helpful

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Sad day

I guess we all have our first time. I had this book in my sights for a while. Even listened to a sample. Had such high hopes, especially after reading all the reviews. This is the worst book I've listened to so far. Sorry. I found it confusing and off. Like...the author was trying to hard and then at some point just made ish up as they went along. The performance from the reader was fine and dandy. I had to make myself finish this book. Smh. Too bad.

56 people found this helpful

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Good bones, poorly written characters.

Laird Barron writes female characters as though he has never spoken to a woman. They don't talk or behave like women do, and they're very rigid and unrelatable. his male characters are more vivid and realistic, but all of these stories feel a little bit "Macho man masturbating" to me. Some stories were well written and scary, but the poorly written and rigid characters ruined that for me. he wrote a story of two lesbians that read more as a straight man's erotica than anything relatable to a gay woman. Also, I was horrified at the choice to have the white male narrator attempt a Chinese accent. unnecessary and racist.

37 people found this helpful

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not great

some of the stories were pretty interesting, but most of it just felt like the same story with some slightly different details.
there was an insane amount of detail put into the pasts of most of the characters, but they still felt two dimensional.

36 people found this helpful

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Well Worth It

The format of the book makes it perfect for listening to. Self contained (mostly) chapters allow you to pick it up and continue listening whenever. Excellent narration and vivid imagery. Go for a run, pop in your earbuds, and ponder the black depths of the endless abyss.

29 people found this helpful

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Sticks on you like eldritch fungus

What a collection! Barron has quickly become one of my favorite writers. His prose is bullets and brass knuckles. And the narrator is g*ddamned terrifying.

25 people found this helpful

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horrible horror!

Not every sentence need to be a metaphor. This was just bad! 30 minutes of back story for people who do NOTHING! A couple of women at a cabin, that do nothing, someone goes to a GenCon and does NOTHING. Save your money .

44 people found this helpful

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A match made in... well...

There’s could be no better reader for this excellent collection than Ray Porter. Barron is at the top of his game here, and hits every story out of the park. Porter renders them all distinctly and memorably. Turns out that the beautiful thing that awaited us all was this audiobook.

34 people found this helpful

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Pretty Good

All the stories are beautifully told and well written, very good but not quite mind-blowing. However, I absolutely adored "Vastation".

15 people found this helpful

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  • Heisenberg
  • 02-08-18

Lyrical writing and beautiful narration

An interesting collection of short stories, written in beautiful, lyrical prose, and also wonderfully narrated. However, I found the stories themselves slightly hit and miss. Some were very good (Redfield Girls and Blackwood's baby) and others not so. With several, I finished the story and was left thinking "oh, is that it." I will listen to more from the author, but, having read other, very positive reviews for this title, had hoped for something better here.

4 people found this helpful

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  • russ
  • 11-15-19

brilliant! just read it, well curated spooky bunch

brilliant! just read it, well curated spooky bunch of stories. very well narrated, gripping, great prose and storylines.

3 people found this helpful

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  • a.k.
  • 09-10-19

Soon becomming one of my favourite authors

Wonderful collection of stories in the classic Barron mold of creepiness at the corners of our world. Special mention to the amazing narration by Ray Porter. There is one story in here that reminded me so much of the Bobiverse books and I know now that's partly due to the narrator being the same! That story in particular shows Barron has a macabre sense of humour not seen in most of his works. It's an absolutely fantastic telling of a timeless being traveling back and forth in time, creating and destroying worlds until even this becomes tiring.

I will definitely look for more books by both the author and the narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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  • W.M.
  • 09-27-21

The Real Deal

This is, as my review title proclaims, the real deal. Laird Barron’s writing is horrific in the way that it will linger in your brain, festering away, half-forgotten. Oh, you WISH you could forget.
Wonderful stuff. Don’t miss a word.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Just
  • 07-25-21

Really Rather Excellent

Took a chance on this collection of short stories and I was not disappointed. The writing is superb and the narration is excellent, I think I'll certainly try more by this author in future.
Most of the stories are excellent, and for the very few which do not measure up, they in no way spoil the strength of this collection at all.
If you like brilliant writing and creepy stories, then this is a must.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Giant Shaven Dwarf
  • 12-25-21

Fantastic otherworldly storytelling

Great narration, some short stories I wished were longer to flesh out the characters.