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Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three by Clive Barker Review

Title: Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three

Author: Clive Barker

First published January 1, 1984

507 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780425165584 (ISBN10: 0425165582)

Rating: 4.19


“Open these pages and enter the world of Clive Barker, where horror and humanity collide. In this one-volume edition of the Books of Blood, you’ll find the 16 short stories that launched Barker’s career as a master of macabre.

But this isn’t just a collection of tales that will make your skin crawl – it’s a glimpse into the mind of a creator. In his poignant introduction, Barker reflects on the man he used to be, the person he is now, and the graveyard of memories that lies between.

Every page is a celebration of life, death, and everything in between. So turn the page, if you dare, and discover why Clive Barker’s Books of Blood are a true horror classic.”

About the Author

Clive Barker, the son of Joan Rubie and Leonard Barker, was born in Liverpool, England. He attended Dovedale Primary School and Quarry Bank High School before studying English and Philosophy at Liverpool University.

Barker’s first partner was John Gregson, with whom he lived until 1986, and his second long-term relationship was with photographer David Armstrong, which ended in 2009.

In 2003, Barker was awarded The Davidson/Valentini Award at the 15th GLAAD Media Awards for his contribution to promoting equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Although he is critical of organized religion, Barker believes in God and the afterlife, and the Bible influences his work.

Fans have noticed that Barker’s voice has become rough in recent years due to polyps in his throat. He has undergone two surgeries to remove them and has given up cigars.

In 2010, he had another surgery to remove new polyp growths, and in 2012, he fell into a coma for eleven days due to blood poisoning after a dentist visit.

Barker is known for his horror/fantasy writing and has written short stories and novels such as The Damnation Game, Weaveworld, The Great and Secret Show, Imajica, and Sacrament. He has also written screenplays for films such as Hellraiser, which he also directed, and Lord of Illusions.

Barker is also a visual artist and often illustrates his own books, as well as producing paintings for other publications. He is a fan of comics and created the Razorline imprint for Marvel Comics in 1993, which included four interrelated titles.

Overall, Barker is a talented and multifaceted artist who has made significant contributions to horror/fantasy writing, film, art, and comics.

Editoral Review

Books of Blood by Clive Barker is a collection of horror stories that will leave readers shuddering. With the first volume published on January 1, 1984, Barker immediately gained a reputation as an excellent horror writer, and the three volumes of Books of Blood solidified his standing as a top-tier author in the genre.

Barker’s writing style, coupled with his knack for creating memorable characters and spine-tingling settings, make Books of Blood a must-read for horror enthusiasts. The book contains 30 short stories in total, divided equally between the three volumes, with each story delving into a different aspect of horror.

Barker tackles a range of themes, including supernatural terrors and human depravity. The stories take place in a multitude of settings, which range from a house occupied by a sentient swarm of bees to a doomed voyage into the depths of Hell.

The characters are equally varied, from a woman trapped in a gruesome alternate dimension to the inhabitants of a cursed B&B. Books of Blood does not shy away from gore, and Barker builds suspense effectively, keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

His writing is descriptive and engrossing without being gratuitous. The stories are well-crafted and well-paced, and while some of the plot twists may seem predictable at times, this does not detract from the overall enjoyment of the book.

Barker’s writing is infused with symbolism and metaphor, and his stories often touch on deeper themes, such as religion, mortality, and the human condition. At times, the stories can be haunting, but they also offer insights into the darker aspects of the human psyche.

While Books of Blood is undoubtedly a classic of the horror genre, it does have some limitations. Some readers may find the explicit content off-putting, while others may not be fond of the disjointed nature of some of the stories.

Additionally, some of the themes explored, while undoubtedly thought-provoking, may not appeal to all readers. Despite these limitations, Books of Blood remains a must-read for horror fans.

Barker’s storytelling is top-notch, and the collection offers plenty of scares and thought-provoking ideas. Furthermore, Barker’s influence on modern horror cannot be overstated, and those interested in the genre would do well to explore his works.

For those who appreciate expertly crafted horror stories, Books of Blood is a must-read. The book is a testament to Barker’s storytelling abilities and will leave readers feeling frightened, exhilarated, and perhaps even a little introspective.

The three volumes are deserving of a rating of 4.5/5 stars, based on the superb writing quality, characterization, and themes that will leave readers wanting more.

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