Clive Barker

Book review: The Scarlet Gospels

The Scarlet Gospels.The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.

I first began reading Clive Barker’s works when I was a teenager. They were sexy and gruesome and intriguing and I inhaled them. (This is around the time Cabal came out, for reference.) I thought they were edgy and sophisticated and a bit terrifying, especially as they introduced me to ideas I hadn’t really considered before.

I probably should have left it there, in my teenage years. Because slogging through The Scarlet Gospels felt a bit like looking at your old yearbook pictures. You know, the ones with the fucked haircut and a carriage informed by what you believed was cool before you realised cool is bullshit. (more…)

Book review: Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1

Clive Barker's Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Omnibus Vol. 1 by Clive Barker.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

I guess I must be a glutton for punishment? I mean, I recently reread The Hellbound Heart (and found it wanting, alas) after forcing myself to sit through all the movies in the Hellraiser series. So of course, it was only natural that the next cab off the cultural rank was almost 600 pages of comics set in the same world, eh?

Nag nag bloody nag. (Also, check out those guns!)

Thankfully, this collection wasn’t a waste of time or good suffering, which is probably a better deal than you’d get from a Cenobite drop-in.

Book review: The Hellbound Heart

The Hellbound Heart.The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.

I suppose polishing off a Gothic fancy where death plays love’s fiddle put me in mood for something a little more grim, so I decided to revisit Clive Barker’s novella of puzzles and bad dates, The Hellbound Heart.


Steady on there, Frank. 

Jesus wept, indeed. (more…)

Book review: Coldheart Canyon

Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood Ghost Story.Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood Ghost Story by Clive Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve shied away from Barker for a couple of years now. I’m not sure why. Like King, he’s an author who I discovered in my teens, and the combination of splatter and verbosity seemed to be something better left behind in advancing years. I’d read Cabal and some of the Books of Blood – inspired by sneaked viewings of Nightbreed and Hellraiser but I kind of found some of his weirdly sensual prose a bit on the nose.


In the interim, I understand he’s written some great stuff and some shit stuff. People I know who are fans have been alternately overjoyed and deeply disappointed at his recent work – but I’ll be investigating more closely if the quality of this one’s anything to go by. (more…)