Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Book of Blood: The Beginning of Clive Barker’s Horror Dynasty

A Review By: Amelia

It’s always gratifying to read an author’s first works and discover that they were as good back then as they are now. One such author is Clive Barker and his superb breakthrough piece Books of Blood.

Books of Blood were Clive Barker’s breakout in the horror world. They’re his manifesto. They’re what established him as one of the goriest, creepiest, sickest horror writers to ever but pen to paper.  The Book of Blood is the first story and, what might be considered a prelude or prologue, to the overall series Books of Blood. It’s a short story to explain, in a way, how the other stories came to be told and written down.

There are two characters in this short story, an academic woman who is in a supposedly haunted house to study it, and a man who is masquerading as a medium for an easy pay cheque. The woman is convinced the house is haunted because the fake medium is putting on a very convincing show. Of course, when the house actually turns out to be haunted, the medium becomes the book of blood upon which all the gory stories of the restless dead are written.

As far as horror stories go, Barker is the master. He loves his gore, he loves his violence and he loves his weird and creepy sexual situations. Although you won’t get all these in The Book of Blood short story, you’ll get it all within Books of Blood series, and with the prologue story being so good, there’s no way you can resist reading everything else this series of short stories has to offer.

My final thoughts on The Book of Blood are that it’s an awesome story. On its own, sure, it’s not all that much, but as the prelude to all the stories that are encapsulated among Books of Blood series, it’s brilliant. Barker found an ingenious way to connect all his stories even though the only thing they have in common is horror, blood, and death. He created his horror manifesto and the beginning of his horrifying career within The Book of Blood and all fans of Barker, of horror, of good fiction in general, should check it out.

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