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Clive Barker (1 Viewer)

mike5446g

Member
I simply cannot stop reading his books. I am convinced that he is the most talented horror writer since Lovecraft or Poe. I highly recommend Books of Blood, which contains many explosive and horrifying short stories.

He has also written some books aimed at a younger audience, one of which, called 'The Thief of Always', I have read and can say that it is just as good as his better-known titles.

When I read Barker, I'm usually asking myself one of two questions: "How does he even begin to imagine these things?" which inevitably leads to, "What the hell is wrong with this guy?"
 

brockDXD

Senior Member
to be honest i have not read any of his books, only a few short stories in various compilations.

I have, however, been quite impressed with his concepts brought to the screen in videos like Lord of Illusions and what was that old 80s horror, NIght Breed i think. I must check out some of his books..
 

Talia_Brie

Senior Member
I've read the Books of Blood, and I thought some of the stories were excellent. I have also read The Great and Secret Show and Everville, and I was pretty disappointed. Cabal, from which Night Breed was made, was very good. But I've tried to read Weaveworld and Imajica, and haven't been able to finish either of them.

I think he's good, but I wouldn't rate him as highly as Lovecraft, and in terms of horror he isn't as good as Stephen King or Peter Straub. I'd put him on a par with Dean Koontz, maybe.

My opinion, of course.
 
W

WrittenInDarkness

I loved Books Of Blood. " Midnight Meat Train" and "Dread" were very twisted and I enjoyed them.
 

Stewart

Senior Member
mike5446g said:
I am convinced that he is the most talented horror writer since Lovecraft or Poe.

When Clive Barker wrote horror I agree he was the most original I'd read. His work, drawing on his English and Philosophy degree, showed more of a regard for words than those active in the field (King, Koontz, Herbert) and his fiction was layered with subtexts and allegory.

I highly recommend Books of Blood, which contains many explosive and horrifying short stories.

The Books of Blood can be recommended for much more. They aren't just about blood but are about subverting horror archetypes: vampires, zombies, golems, etc. while others are about the horrors of the modern world.

Talia_Brie said:
I've tried to read Weaveworld and Imajica, and haven't been able to finish either of them.

Weaveworld is his only novel I've not been able to finish - through boredom - after two attempts.

Talia_Brie said:
I wouldn't rate him as highly as Lovecraft, and in terms of horror he isn't as good as Stephen King or Peter Straub. I'd put him on a par with Dean Koontz, maybe.

He's not writing in the same field as Lovecraft. King, to be fair, is mediocre at horror and his success is mostly through taking the direction of horror in new ways with Carrie. Straub, I can't comment on. Koontz is an insult!
 

The Thing

Senior Member
Barker, for me, is an uneven writer. When he's good he's bloody brilliant, and when he's bad... he's boring and crap. Very english.

My best novel by him is Cold Heart Canyon. Twisted and perveted. Books of blood puts the point across I made in the first paragraph. Very uneven in terms of quality.

My best horror writer is Graham Masterton. Stephen King is great at characterisation, but pants at horror... except Cujo which was a hundred times better than the film.
 

Stewart

Senior Member
The Thing said:
My best novel by him is Cold Heart Canyon.

Interesting. I found Coldheart Canyon to be his weakest.

Sacrament, I think, is his greatest novel while Galilee comes close to greatness too but, since it's part of a two book series thus far incomplete, Sacrament has the edge. It's certainly his most realised and has some excellent layers.

When his next collection, The Scarlet Gospels, arrives I suppose we'll see how his writing has developed since it's been a number of years since Coldheart Canyon with only a kids book to show for his efforts.
 

Trilock

Senior Member
I'm also having a hard time finishing Imajica, mainly because of my short attention span. Heh.

In the Hills, the Cities is probably my favorite. It's just so bold and in your face. If anyone has ever read The Lottery by Shirley Jackson than you'll know what I mean.

He has a story about a monster terrrorizing the English countryside. It catches a boy, lifts him up high, and prepares to swallow him down. Pretty standard stuff, right? Well, when the thing opens its mouth to eat the boy, its breath is so horrifying that the kid vomits down the monster's throat. Then the monster eats him.

I remember gasping out loud the first time I read that.

In Damnation Game, there's one scene where the POV is channeled through a rotting corpse.

Great macabre.
 

rmestre

Member
I love most of his work. Stephen King I am not so big on anymore, he has turned into a serial novelist, none of his new work compared to his oldies. My personal favorite is Anne Rice, she sucks you in to the story, I love her detail. If you are looking for twisted and bizarre I would recommend anything by William Burroughs. Start with Naked Lunch, then work your way through the rest. When it comes to bizarre he was ahead of his time :)
 

rmestre

Member
Talia_Brie said:
I don't think what Anne Rice does is really horror. It's more Gothic Romance.

True, but much of Stephen King is not horror either, even some of Clive Barkers straddle the line of horror/fantasy
 

casperthesheet

Senior Member
I'm a fan of Clive Barker, Cabal was on of the first novels I ever read. About two months ago I read "The Hellbound Heart", it was a wonderful way to pass the afternoon.
 
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