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Clive Barker

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  • steeltsar
    Denizen of Moo Uria
    • Jan 2005
    • 133

    Clive Barker

    Wonder what others think of his work? I'm prompted to post because I caught one of his films, Nightbreed, on the box last night. And that reminded me about the time recently when I came across a recent work of his, title forgotten mea culpa, in a bookshop, with a high graphical content and very expensively produced - and priced.
    Now I don't know about you but I thought the first Hellraiser film had a certain demonic joie de vivre.. and I liked the kind of archetypal territory he was exploring, it was unusual, a bit left-field of the usual psychos-slashers-and-monsters formula. But I'm not sure that he's made the best of it since. There was too much tired old crash-bang-wallop in Nightbreed for me: I thought it was a good idea that had become a bit of a missed opportunity.
    I've never, however, read any of his written stuff. Is it worth a look?
  • Marca
    Eternal Champion
    • Aug 2004
    • 2014

    I've read a couple of the Books of Blood, Cabal (the basis for Nightbreed) and The Hellbound Heart (basis for Hellraiser). They are pretty good as I recall. However, since his early books he's written longer works that seem more fantasy orientated and I haven't read these. I didn't really like the Nightbreed film when I saw it, although that was some years ago. I'm not sure if Barker had some production problems with it.
    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)


    • Michael Moorcock
      Site Host
      • Dec 2003
      • 14278

      I did a blurb for Books of Blood and thought he was an interesting new talent. I'm not a great horror story reader and I've seen almost no modern horror movies (and those usually by accident). They scare me too much! So I haven't really followed Clive's career since the early days.

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      • Guest's Avatar

        I'm no horror fan so I haven't read any of his books in that genre, but I have read Weaveworld & Imajica which I liked, and "Sacrament" which I thought was great! :)


        • KevJo
          Guardian of the Grail
          • Jan 2005
          • 411

          Hello all

          After spending many years reading the Q&A, I have felt a sudden need to start contributing, for some reason. Give me a bit more time and I might even figure out this avatar business.

          Anyway, Clive Barker - I have never been a great horror reader either, but I was absolutely stunned by his Books of Blood when I read them back in the eighties - I can't actually remember what brought them to my attention - it could be that I had seen Hellraiser, which I still think is a film that puts to shame most horror films made with ten times its budget. And so much more than just the run of the mill slasher movie that most people probably thought that it was. As for his books, I also enjoyed Weaveworld, but as his books have gotten bigger and bigger, my interest in them has waned.

          His short stories though, are superb - some brilliant ideas in their purest form. I think I might read them again - it must be nearly twenty years since I last did. I wonder if they are as good as I remember them being.


          • Doc
            Eternal Champion
            • Jan 2004
            • 3630

            I like a lot of his work, but I have to be in the mood for it. I think he does a better job of creating lush backgrounds and rich atmospheres better than any other horror writer (even though I think that most of his work is as much fantasy as horror--especially Weaveworld and the Books of the Art).

            Having said that, I'm not often in the mood for that kind of work, but when I am, I'm not sure that anyone could scratch that itch as well as Barker. Maybe Matheson?


            • Guest's Avatar

              Love Imajica when I read years back - he's certianly done some interesting stuff, but I lost interest with everville & sacrament - both of which were poor IMHO.

              He seems to have moved away from "Dark Fantasy" - I believe the term was originally coined to describe his work - and lost a good chunk of his audience.

              If anyone can recommend any later works that live up to Imajica/Weaveworld/Great and Secret show, I'd love to hear it.