Customer Reviews


55 Reviews
5 star:
 (32)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of stories
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 5 months ago by Kimey1980

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Review
When I first read Stephen King's glowing review on Clive Barker, I thought "Hmm. This might be interesting." When I realized that he was the mind behind The Hellraiser Series, I couldn't pick up a copy of "The Hellbound Heart" fast enough. Having just finished "Books of Blood", I can only say that I'm a little disappointed. Barker writes...
Published on Dec 14 2000 by Greg Wooten


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of stories, Feb. 10 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great Buy!!!, Nov. 2 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Books of Blood Omnibus (Paperback)
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 of Barker's career.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Very very good book., Jan. 29 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Books of Blood (Hardcover)
A hit and miss collection of short stories, with definitely more hits than misses. And when they hit, they hit HARD. Never a huge fan of the horror genre (grew up reading tons of Stephen King but that was about it) I was pleasantly surprised to realize just how literary Barker is. His turn of a phrase and eloquent command of the English language is astounding, especially considering this is "genre" fiction. Definitely worth reading, though certainly not for the faint of heart.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Barker really gets down to business in Volume 3, Aug. 16 2003
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Clive Barker is all business in his Books of Blood Volume Three, and that business is sex and violence. There is no stray dark comedy piece along the lines of Volume One's The Yattering and Jack to be found in these pages. These five stories take us to realms of pain and bloody death, sometimes pushing the envelope on the new kind of dark horror Barker helped pioneer.

Son of Celluloid is by far my favorite of these stories. I love the unusual premise and the surreal quality of the piece. Basically, the back wall behind the screen of an old movie theatre has seen so many famous lives projected upon it that somehow the essence of those screen legends has germinated within its neglected existence. The only thing needed to bring the screen personalities to life is a catalyst, which comes in the form of a dying criminal. The man himself is of no consequence, but he has within him a force with ambition and a single-minded drive to grow and thrive. This driving force is cancer, and I find Barker's unusual appraisal of the silent killer to be a fascinating one. Next up is Rawhead Rex, one of Barker's more violent stories. There are creatures that thrived on earth long before man helped force them to the brink of extinction, and things get pretty gruesome when one fellow unknowingly unseals the prison in which such a monster has been sealed for eons. Murder of a more human (albeit post-human) kind rests at the heart of Confessions of a (Pornographer's) Shroud. This tale doesn't succeed completely in my estimation, and some might even find it oddly laughable, as the main character is an amorphous blob of a dead man's essence who reconstitutes the form of his human body in his own death shroud. Scape-Goats is a little island of death story, the most interesting aspect of which is its viewpoint; it is not often that Barker tells a tale from the first-person perspective of a woman. The final story, Human Remains, offers Barker's typically unusual slant on the old doppelganger motif.

All in all, this is a fine collection of stories. Son of Celluloid borders on greatness, Rawhead Rex helps sate the appetites of those seeking blood and gore, and the three accompanying pieces are more than capable of holding one's interest if not fascination from start to finish. This third volume, unlike its immediate predecessor, stands as a most worthy successor indeed to the genius displayed in Clive Barker's Books of Blood Volume One.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Very...dark., July 5 2004
By A Customer
The stories in this book are some of the most bizare and unflinching stories i've ever read that don't ever tone it down. It has a very dark feel to it the whole way through. One thing i really liked about the book was that a lot of these stories are like nightmares. I mean, some of the stories don't even make that much sense, they just get dark and disturbingly nightmarish. The reason i gave it four stars is because there is a reoccuring ending that becomes frequent with more than one of the stories to the point where some of them were becoming predictable. But you can't do a review of a short-story book without a discription of each:
The Book of Blood: Just a little intro to the rest of the book. A detective in a haunted house gets all of the stories of the book carved into his flesh by spirits in a haunted house.
The Midnight Meat Train: A guy runs into a sereal killer on a subway station in London, and is led into a subteranean world where he discovers grusome secrets. This story has a reoccuring ending.
The Yattering and Jack: Didn't like this one. It's about a little Goblin bugging a family on Christmas. It's supposed to be funny.
Pig Blood Blues: THis is the first one i actually read. I liked this one a lot, because it reminded me of a nightmare I myself have had before, and i'm sure it's inspired by a nightmare of Barkers. It's about a kid who is admitted into a Juvenile dention facility, and hears rumors about a kid who committed suicide. Turns out, the kid is possessing a big sow outside. Very creepy.
Sex, Death, and Starshine: Didn't like this one. It's about a soap opera cast and their run in with the supernatural. The ending is just like Midnight Meat Train.
In the HIlls, The CIties: A gay couple travels through the hills of Europe to discover grusomely nightmarish giants. Very dreamlike.
Dread: This is a very Poesque story by Barker. It's about a group of guys that experiment with the human psyche and fear by locking people in dark rooms for days with nothing but a rotting plate of meat to eat. VERY grusome and gory ending.
Hells Event: Didn't really like this. Seemed like more of a witty satire than a nightmarish or entertaining story. It's about people running a race that determines the fate of their soul.
Jacqueline Ess-Her Will and Testament: Perhaps one of my favorite stories. THis is a Barker classic. IT's not meant to be scary, but it's more of a supernatural love story. The ending is CLASSIC-why didn't shakespear or somebody think of it before?--A man looking into a key hole to see his lover on a bed, whom he's been looking for for years; he can't break the door pounding in desperation, and her pimp won't give him the key.
The Skings of the Fathers: It's about giant prehistoric demons that terrorize a small town. Very disturbing ending that is beyond description and nightmare like.
New Muderers in the Rue Morgue: THis is a sequel to the classic Edger Allen Poe "Murders in the Rue Morgue" that was labeled as the very first detective story.
Son of Celluloid: Hated this one. I don't want to ruin the ending, as stupid as it is, but SOMETHING is haunting an old movie theater.
Rawhead Rex: Very grose monster story about a giant big-foot like creature that terrorizes a small town in England.
Confession's of a (pornographers) shroud: THis one was entertaining, but not the best. It's about a pornogropher who runs into some bad people and ends up getting killed. He comes back as a ghost veiled in cloth to get revenge on everyone.
Scape Goats: Barker tells a first person story from the viewpoint of a woman. I've read it twice now and don't understand the ending! I don't think it was meant to make a lot of sense though, just mean to disturb you with nightmarish imegary like Skins of the Fathers. It's about people on a boat who discover an island with a paranoid feeling of impending doom.
All in all, I'd say there's a few stories from each volume I really like, and other than that, it was just entertaining.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The best horror Clive Barkers ever written, June 30 2004
By A Customer
Ive read almost all of Barkers works and this is his best horror novel. Lots of the stories would make great horror films. "Rawhead Rex" has been made into a cheesy horror film and "Midnight Meat Train" is in production. Almost all of the stories introduce some sort of demons, monsters, cult members, or killers out to dish some hardcore bloody horror. Very NC17 with a dark sense of humor. If you are bored of Barkers fantasy tales like Weaveworld, Imagica, or Galilee, and want to sink you teeth into something with a darker bite check this out. Better than Damnation Game and Hellbound Heart.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the weak of heart--or mind, May 5 2004
Clive Barker, I can say, is hands down the best in his genre. Which one has to admit is rather widening. However, the Books of Blood, as one of his first published works is strict fantastic intelligent horror. If you love King, you may find yourself a new favorite in Barker. His writing is absolutely magical, his words flow like poetry and his imagry is dark and powerful. This collection of short stories gives you a little taste of all his sides. Eroticism, humor, horror, suspence, and a bit of mystery and science fiction thrown in. It is not for those who enjoy fairytales and happy endings. I recommend it to anyone openminded and looking for a fabulous new read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Horror and Clive Barker's Books of Blood, Feb. 28 2004
These stories serve as an introduction to Clive Barker. These were his first published works. Prior to this, he was writing stage plays. As a first effort of a writer, they are great. They evoke images, such as "In the Hills, the Cities", that stay with you for days. In the 80's, when these books were written, they were breaking new ground. Mr. Barker is able to conjure up horrific images without covering you in blood, for the most part.
I think that these stories will whet your appetite for the more mature works of Mr. Barker, such as The Great and Secret Show, and Everville.
As with many writers, some of the movie adaptations of these stories leave much to be desired. The best actually had Clive Barker involved, such as the original Hellraiser (the Hellbound Heart), Nightbreed (based on Cabal).
New readers, that have become jaded on the raw, in your face horror of the current writers, may miss out on some of the more subtle nuances in this freshman outing by Mr. Barker. He attempts, and mostly succeeds, in taking an everyday situation with ordinary people and sending out into the world of the horrific. Horror does not equal blood an gore but that feeling of dreading to turn the page to find out what happens next. Barker succeeds in this with these short stories.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Best thing out there., Oct. 17 2003
By 
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. While authors other authors, such as King, depend on gore and entrails smeared scenes, Barker's prose is elegant without being arrogant; intelligent but not verbose. Each word is placed in architectonic order to enhance the reader's literary aesthetic experience of horror at its best. Simply breathtaking.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect introduction to the dark genius of Clive Barker, Aug. 26 2003
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Clive Barker did not want his Books of Blood broken up into individual volumes when they were published, yet that is what happened. Now, the first three volumes are available in one book, serving as the perfect introduction to Barker's unique style of horror. There are some really groundbreaking stories included here, alongside of a dud or two from Volume Two, but each and every story exhibits the genius and originality of its author's dark vision.
The initial offering, The Book of Blood, stands out as a unique ghost story, but it also serves as a provocative abstract for everything Barker sought to accomplish with these stories. 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, full of blood and gore. Barker isn't trying to drown the reader in blood as a means to hide any lack of skill on his part, though, because the skill is undeniably there for all to see. In The Yattering and Jack, a dark comedy farce, a poor demon does everything he can think of to make the unshakeable Jack miserable, driving himself almost mad in the process. I think of The Yattering and Jack as an amusing sort of Barker bedtime story. Pig Blood Blues forces the casual reader to once again don hip hugger boots for a trek into gore and depravity. At a certain school for wayward boys, the other white meat is not pork. Sex, Death and Starshine is a good story, touching upon the needs of the dead to be entertained every once in a while, but it lacks a certain oomph.
Dread is a somewhat sadistic tale of one man's obsession with death. His is a hands-on endeavor, as he seeks to look the beast directly in the eye by studying the effects of dread and the realization of imminent death in the eyes of his fellow man. Dread is a psychologically disturbing read, one which succeeds quite well indeed in spite of a rather pat ending. Hell's Event tells the story of a charity race, only this particular contest pits a minion of the underworld against human runners, with the control of the very government hinging upon the outcome. Next up is Jacqueline Ess: Her Last Will and Testament, a disappointing story in which the main character's special abilities to control the things and people around her wind up wasted. The Skins of the Fathers is not a bad story, but it is quite weird. A sometimes almost comical group of inhuman, bizarre creatures comes to a small desert town to reclaim one of their own, born five years earlier to a human mother. A puffed up sheriff and belligerent posse of townsfolk lend comic relief as much as tension to the story's plot of borderline absurdity.
I love the unusual premise and the surreal quality of Son of Celluloid. The back wall behind the screen of an old movie theatre has seen so many famous lives projected upon it that the essence of those screen legends has germinated within it. The only thing needed to bring the screen personalities to life is a catalyst, which comes in the form of a dying criminal. The man himself is of no consequence, but he has within him a force possessing a single-minded drive to grow and thrive. Next up is Rawhead Rex, one of Barker's more violent stories. There are creatures that thrived on earth long before man helped force them to the brink of extinction, and things get pretty gruesome when one fellow unknowingly unseals the prison in which such a monster has been sealed for eons. Murder of a more human kind rests at the heart of Confessions of a (Pornographer's) Shroud. This tale doesn't succeed completely in my estimation, and some might even find it oddly laughable, as the main character is an amorphous blob of a dead man's essence who reconstitutes the form of his human body in a death shroud. Scape-Goats is a little island of death story, the most interesting aspect of which is its viewpoint; it is not often that Barker tells a tale from the first-person perspective of a woman. The final story, Human Remains, offers Barker's typically unusual slant on the old doppelganger motif.
I have saved the worst and best of the collected stories for special mention. New Murders in the Rue Morgue is by far the worst short story Barker has ever written. We are led to believe Poe's classic story The Murders in the Rue Morgue was based on fact, and now the modern representative of the Dupin blood finds himself mired in an extraordinary, eerily similar, and exceedingly ludicrous case of his own. On the flip side, the most impressive story told in these pages is In the Hills, the Cities. Two male lovers touring the hidden sights of Yugoslavia become the reluctant witnesses to a sight few men could ever even conceive of when a unique traditional battle between the citizens of two adjacent towns takes an unexpected and ever-so-destructive turn. If you want to know what the big deal about Clive Barker is, this is the story you need to read. Books of Blood immediately established Barker as a giant in the genre and should be required reading for all fans of extreme and intellectually challenging horror.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Clive Barker's Books of Blood
The Clive Barker's Books of Blood by Clive Barker (Hardcover - Nov. 2001)
Used & New from: CDN$ 637.39
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews