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Books of Blood [Hardcover]

Clive Barker
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 5 2001
The horror stories in this collection include "The Midnight Meat Train", "Pig Blood Blues", "Sex, Death and Starshine" and "In the Hills, The Cities".

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About the Author

Clive Barker was born in Liverpool in 1952. He now writes, directs and produces films in Los Angeles.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The birth of a true horror visionary Aug. 13 2003
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
With Volume One of Books of Blood, Clive Barker burst upon the horror scene like a giant supernova exploding in space, mixing an obvious love for the more gruesome aspects of the dark literary arts with a vision and power all but unheard of. Stephen King said that the very future of horror was named Clive Barker. With that endorsement, such an eye-catching title, and a wonderfully horror-laden cover image (much better than the reprints of recent years), I simply had to have this book. An introduction by horror maestro Ramsey Campbell further fuelled my fires of interest. I was still rather new to the horror scene at that time, and while I knew even then that Barker was constructing stories unlike any I had ever read, it was several years later that I truly realized the astounding originality and creativeness of this man's genius.

The initial offering, The Book of Blood, stands out as a unique ghost story in its own right, but it also serves as a provocative abstract for everything Barker sought to accomplish with these stories (and I should note that he originally wanted all of the volumes of Books of Blood to be published together in one book). After this enticing introductory tale, we head below the streets of New York to sneak a ride on The Midnight Meat Train. This story is vintage Clive Barker. While it is full of blood and gore, it is clearly not a case of gore for gore's sake. Barker isn't trying to drown the reader in blood as a means to hide any lack of skill on his part because the skill is undeniably there for all to see. This is a story that you will not soon forget.

Barker really changes his line of attack in the next story, The Yattering and Jack. The Yattering is a demon sent to torment and destroy the sanity of a little nobody named Jack.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The original Clive Barker March 10 2000
By Nathan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
These stories represent Clive Barker's first published work; written back before he had developed the poetic writing style which is seen today. Instand in these older works he uses more visceral, carnal imagery, and in horror stories like these it's very effective.
The Book of Blood -- This is the short little compulsory opening thing, not quite a story, but to big to be called an introduction. It sets up the premise for the rest of the Books of Blood.
The Midnight Meat Train -- A very good story, it sets a good standard for the rest of the stories in the series. Quickly readable, not to long, with enough blood-letting, gruesome images, awesome spectacles and powerful imagery for anyone.
The Yattering and Jack -- This personaly is my favorite story in the volume, though I'm not quite sure why. Straying more towards comedy, it's an entertaining story about a lower demon assigned to drive a man insane. The only problem is that he is so seemingly oblivious to what's going on, the Yattering doesn't know what to do. Fun, funny, light, amusing, interesting. A great story.
Pig Blood Blues -- This one doesn't have any monsters in the classic sense, it's not a slasher story, but it is the most disturbing, scary story in the collection. UGGHH! I don't get nightmares, but I can imagine recieving one from this story.
Sex, Death, and Starshine -- This is an overlong, pointless, boring story filled with sex, profanity, and little else. Maybe I'll like it better when I get older. Time will tell, but at this point, it's worthless. It should have been the closing story, for two reasons. 1) It left me completely uninspired to read the last one, and 2) It had a good last-line-in-a-book type ending.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome in places, but more average in others. March 6 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to say that 'Midnight Meat Train' and 'The Yattering and Jack' have to be two of the best horror stories I have ever read. Clive Barker writes very well throughout this book but I found 'Sex, Death and Starshine' a bit dull, however it was still very good reading. I found 'Book of blood' (the short story)to be very good although it did not grab my attention as much as 'Midnight Meat Train'. I thought 'In the hills, the cities' to be a bit wierd, the storyline was extremely surreal. I think that although some of the storylines were among the best I have ever read, I cannot give this book the full five stars. Had all the stories been of the quality of 'The Yattering and Jack' this book would be definitely in the five star category. Sadly this is not the case so I have to give it four. I would recommend this book to any fan of horror, just for 'The midnight meat train'.
Clive Barker is one of the best horror writers I have ever come across, at his best he can be better than Stephen King. I preferred 'Books of Blood Vol 2' to this book.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The stories can only make you want more Clive Barker. Images that stay in your mind for years-- from the subtle (a knotted twist of rope) to the outrageous (a city walking). A master of words and phrases-- I found myself re-reading phrases just because I'd never seen such poetry in prose (and I don't care much for poems). I've read these stories at least three time and, sacreligious as it may sound, many's the book I've tossed into the garbage before finishing it.
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