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What did you love best about The Books of Blood, Volume 1?
I've been reading Barker and collecting his stuff since the late 80s. He's the great imaginer of our time. These first stories, raw, powerful and shocking at the time ushered in a brand new understanding of the politics of horror. No longer were we talking about the outside threats, the aliens, the monsters, we were facing our own inner demons, we were the monsters, and Clive Barker really understood that long before the rest. The human monster is the most frightening of all. And these stories, from the Midnight Meat Train rattling beneath NYC to the unhappy demonic Yattering trying to do the job he hates, the visceral nature of Pigs Blood Blues, Sex Death and Starshine... brilliant... but truly the gem, the story that assures Barker's legacy is that final one, In the Hills, The Cities... which is quite possibly one of the best stories of fantasy-horror ever written.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
ONCE YOU BECOME A MAN, YOU START TO DIE
This is six short stories or novella's. I liked one of the six, thought that two were okay, didn't like one, but thought it had potential and was not crazy about the rest. All stories were predictable.
1. The Book of Blood. B-, This sets up the reason for the rest. It is written in a sort of Lovecraft style with masturbation thrown in.
2. The Midnight Meat Train. B-, Had potential, was probably the goriest. Has lots of butchered bodies. The word blood is in every other sentence. When will writers realize that for adults, just saying blood, does not scare us?
3. Pig Blood Blues, D+, A long drawn out story. Early on we find out that this pig eats people. We are told this several more times, each time as if it is a new revelation. This one was not mentioned in the summary.
4. The Yattering and Jack, B+, Kind of funny, closest to a surprise ending, entertaining. If ever sold by itself worth purchasing, but don't buy this whole collection for it.
5. Sex, Death & Starshine, C, Starts with a blow job and later has a corpse giving a blow job. The bj's were not enough to save the story. It's another, the people in arts should be worshiped and perhaps given another award show.
6. In The Hills, The Cities, C+, just an excuse for Barker to write about men having sex with men, the story was pretty stupid.
The Barker worshipers have hit the unhelpful button on anyone with the balls to tell the truth, so read this while you can.
Q: WHERE'S YOUR SENSE OF ADVENTURE?
A: I FORGOT TO PACK IT.
28 of 37 people found this review helpful
I first read the Books of Blood at 18, and was immediately struck by Clive Barker's incredible talent and imagination for the horror genre. Many of the stories, about an hour or so in length, have since become classics, and a few have been adapted for film - The Forbidden, the basis of the Candyman franchise, and the Midnight Meat Train for example. Even knowing what to expect I was struck again and again while listening to the dizzying breadth of Barker's imagination - the Dante-esque visions of hell, the faustian comedy of the Yattering and Jack, the giants made of men - and how well it integrates with the realities of everyday experience.
The performance is very good - none of the narrators give anything less than an excellent reading, and the narration never impacts negatively on the story, which is more or less all I look for in a performance. I was very pleased with this.
It's a must listen for horror fans. Just be warned, the stories often involve extremely graphic violent and sexual content. Hopefully the other 4 books in the collection will join volumes 1 and 2 on Audible shortly.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, its a good listen, and the narrators put in a great performance which really helps animate the stories.
What other book might you compare The Books of Blood, Volume 1 to, and why?
I'm fairly new to horror fiction, so it would have to be Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King, although some of the imagery in Barker's stuff is expectedly more otherworldly!
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The last few minutes of 'The Yattering and Jack' , and the conclusion to 'The Midnight Meat Train'
1 of 1 people found this review helpful