Review: Books of Blood, Vol 1-3

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Product details


         Paperback: 512 pages

         Publisher: Time Warner Paperbacks; New Ed edition (1 Feb 1988)

         Language English

         ISBN-10: 075151022X

         ISBN-13: 978-0751510225


Gritty would be a great single word to use in explaining this work. Barker is a hell of a writer, with an amazing imagination and a thoroughly gifted ability in using the written form of the language, but it is extremely different to what one could consider mainstream horror fiction. It is a little off centre to be considered straight dark fiction, although the stories do indeed belong in both defined genres. But there is a lot more that begs for further definition, further analysis. His stories linger, disgust and yet allure. They completely turn the reader around.

They somehow how have an older world charm. They seem to capture an age of writing I thought had passed us by and yet he continually thrusts today back into the readers face with use of the language at well chosen points. (By today, I reveal my past as a child of the eighties, which is when these stories first enjoyed their first print run.) And sex...it is definitely an underlying theme in the work of Clive Barker. If graphic tales of men loving men, of prostitution or free love give you pause, then barker’s work may not be to your liking. Even so, if you love horror, your disgust and revulsion must be set aside as you are drawn into places you dared never to tread—even in your own imagination.

Every new writer who wishes to dabble in the dark art needs to read these stories. King maybe the modern master but, as King said himself, Barker is the future.

The stories cast their tales over a wide net, touching on a multitude of settings, and invoking a multitude of fears. Simply awe inspiringly brilliant.

I’ll not go into the individual premise and plotlines used. This is simply my poor attempt to pay homage to a master of the dark arts. I decline to sully that supplication with inept words of description. Go buy the book, steal it if you have to, but read it. Read it and be left in total wonder at the genius you have held in your hand.