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Publisher's Summary

Marty Strauss, a gambling addict recently released from prison, is hired to be the personal bodyguard of Joseph Whitehead, one of the wealthiest men in the world. The job proves more complicated and dangerous than he thought, however, as Marty soon gets caught up in a series of supernatural events involving Whitehead, his daughter (who is a heroin addict), and a devilish man named Mamoulian, with whom Whitehead made a Faustian bargain many years earlier, during World War II.
As time passes, Mamoulian haunts Whitehead using his supernatural powers (such as the ability to raise the dead), urging him to complete his pact with him. Eventually Whitehead decides to escape his fate after a few encounters with Mamoulian and having his wife, former bodyguard, and now his daughter Carys taken away from him. With hope still left to save Carys, Marty Strauss, although reluctant to get involved in the old man Whiteheads deserved punishment, decides to get involved and attempt to save the innocent gifted addict from being another victim to the damnation game.
New cover art by: Christian Francis/Awesome Monkey UK
©1985 Clive Barker, Ink (P)2014 David N. Wilson
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Wag The Fox on 04-05-14

Damned If You Do

Would you consider the audio edition of The Damnation Game to be better than the print version?

Ooh, that's a tough one. It would really boil down to a personal preference for the listener/reader. The book, of course, resonates right off the page even to this day. I have a ratty, old paperback sitting on my shelf that I read passages from as I listened to this Audible edition, and I got sucked into it well through that experience. That said, the production value of this audiobook is remarkable, and does a great service to one of the best debut novels in the history of the horror genre.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marty Strauss is a captivating character in his own right, but Mr. Whitehead, his employer, manages to steal the show through much of the novel. Seeming fitting when you consider Whitehead is known as the Thief. The pathetic gambler is damned as the book begins and his attempts to evade his fate only serve to amplify his already retched existence.

Which scene was your favorite?

While I wouldn't exactly call it my favorite, it certainly burned itself into my brain, and that is the truly horrific and fateful encounter between Whitehead and Mamoulian's hulk of a minion, the Razor Eater himself, Anthony Breer. What little humanity remained of Breer, and it's doubtful there was any, is gone, washed away in a bloody scene that leaves both men irrevocably damaged. If the seemingly eternal torture doesn't haunt you after reading it, you may want to question your own humanity.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A Hell of a Gamble.

Any additional comments?

If accustomed to Barker's later works, The Damnation Game may feel somewhat jarring in the graphic nature of its subject matter. If you have a weak stomach or thin skin, you may be more wounded than wowed by this novel.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Aliegha P. on 05-21-15

Fantastic story that leaves you wanting more

I am very picky with my ratings, and normally I want review unless impressed or repulsed. This story is certainly the former! I read it years ago and was impressed by both its narrative flow and its plot. There are certain scenes that, if you're squeamish, you won't get through but it loved it, not because of its grotesques nature, but because Clive Barker didn't shy from it! The ending is suddenly, and leaves you screaming for more. Very good!

The narrator is probable the best I've ever heard! His voice is cultured and calm, but with clear emotion. Each character has been given a different cadence of speech, and he has even attempted each accent! While not perfect in this regard (the German in particular) you can tell each character without the need of the narrative supplying the name! He is fantastic! I will definitely search for more of his narration!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By nonethewiser on 07-26-18

One of Barker"s best.

One of Barker's best. Good narration, sound production. Highly recommended if you enjoy Clive Barker or are new to his work.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Just on 08-04-17


If you could sum up The Damnation Game in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful Brutal Barker

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Damnation Game?

The skinned dog

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Blackmailing the girl with the heroin

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The necrophilia

Any additional comments?

Simon Vance brings Clive Barker's rich prose perfectly to life

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