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"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red." For those who only know Clive Barker through his long multigenre novels, this one-volume edition of the Books of Blood is a welcome chance to acquire the 16 remarkable horror short stories with which he kicked off his career. For those who already know these tales, the poignant introduction is a window on the creator's mind. Reflecting back after 14 years, Barker writes:
I look at these pieces and I don't think the man who wrote them is alive in me anymore.... We are all our own graveyards I believe; we squat amongst the tombs of the people we were. If we're healthy, every day is a celebration, a Day of the Dead, in which we give thanks for the lives that we lived; and if we are neurotic we brood and mourn and wish that the past was still present.
Reading these stories over, I feel a little of both. Some of the simple energies that made these words flow through my pen--that made the phrases felicitous and the ideas sing--have gone. I lost their maker a long time ago.
These enthusiastic tales are not ashamed of visceral horror, of blood splashing freely across the page: "The Midnight Meat Train," a grisly subway tale that surprises you with one twist after another; "The Yattering and Jack," about a hilarious demon who possesses a Christmas turkey; "In the Hills, the Cities," an unusual example of an original horror premise; "Dread," a harrowing non-supernatural tale about being forced to realize your worst nightmare; "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament," about a woman who kills men with her mind. Some of the tales are more successful than others, but all are distinguished by strikingly beautiful images of evil and destruction. No horror library is complete without them. --Fiona Webster
Barker launched his best-selling career in 1984 with the Books of Blood trilogy, which are published together here as a single volume. In addition to the numerous short stories contained in the Books, this edition also sports a new introduction by the author. Bloody good fun.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Lots of horror stories, it's a good read, definitely worth it. It's been a while since I read it, but enjoyed it. One of my co-workers now has it and is addicted to it.Published 20 months ago by Kimey1980
What a wonderful book! A great piece to have if you're a huge barker fan like myself. From Rawhead Rex to Midnight Meat Train, these collections of shorts were at the beginning... Read morePublished 23 months ago by L.D. Johnson
Super cool stories that are very creepy. Definitely shows just how he became such a fantastic horror and fantasy writer over the years. Read morePublished on July 29 2013 by Samantha K Krewulak
Ive read almost all of Barkers works and this is his best horror novel. Lots of the stories would make great horror films. Read morePublished on June 30 2004
This book was not great or even that good. There is nothing significant that will stand out other than the story about the giant made of human bodies. Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by mikal
Clive Barker, I can say, is hands down the best in his genre. Which one has to admit is rather widening. Read morePublished on May 5 2004
I used to love Stephen King novels until I ran into Barker's Books of Blood. For me, it raised the bar for horror fiction world-wide. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2003 by henry estevan
Ok, all horror/gore readers haven't read anything until they've read the Books of Blood. The story that sticks out most is "The Midnight Meat Train". Read morePublished on May 18 2003 by melnm90