I've tried really hard to develop an appreciation for Laird Barron. I started with The Light is the Darkness and found my expectations outweighed what I was presented with. I've also read The Croning and considered it an overly wordy and bloated novel propped up by a great central concept. So I hoped getting a hold of one of his collections of shorter works might prove to be the gold that most everybody else has seemed to find when panning through Barron's works.
Sadly, The Imago Collection was more of the same for me. Overly long tales filled with unnecessary detail that, in most cases, tended to lose me before the half way mark of the story. The titular tale was the best of these, but placed as it was at the conclusion of the book, I had genuine trouble investing in the tale by the time I got to it. The rest of the stories amount to the same basic premise: Flawed characters becoming aware of something greater than themselves operating on the edge of human knowledge/space/time, usually covered up by other, more knowledgeable people with nefarious intentions, and ultimately coming to an unpleasant end.
In the end, the only reason I rated this one higher than 1.5 stars was because of how accomplished Barron is as a writer in a technical sense. His prose, whilst less than engaging to me, was extremely polished and beyond what most writers - myself most definitely included - could ever hope to emulate.
2 Grand Conspiracies for The Imago Sequence.