The Hellbound Heart

ISBN: 0061002828
ISBN 13: 9780061002823
By: Clive Barker

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About this book

From his Books of Blood to The Damnation Game, Weaveworld, and The Great and Secret Show, to scores of short stories, bestselling novels, and now major motion pictures, no one comes close to the vivid imagination and unique terrors provided by Clive Barker.The Hellbound Heart is one of his best, a nerve-shattering novella about the human heart and all the great terrors and ecstasies within its endless domain. It is about greed and love, lovelessness and despair, desire and death, life and captivity, bells and blood. It is one of the most dead-frightening stories you are likely to ever read.

Reader's Thoughts

Peggy

The fiction that came out of the Splatterpunk era is often dismissed as being violent or gory strictly because it can. The Hellbound Heart is an example of a story that gets it just right.Gross? Yes. Visceral? Yes. But also redemtive and even bizarrely touching. My book group read this for Valentines Day one year, and it was an oddly appropriate choice.

Annie Weeder

When this was recommended to me by a certain individual, I was dubious. I'd never read or watched anything of the horror genre before - unless Sweeney Todd counts, which I'm 83% sure it doesn't - so I was a bit nervous about how I would find it.However, it kind of blew my mind. I'm quite a morbid person, and I spend an uncomfortable amount of time thinking about morbid things, so reading this was like... oh, wow, someone else thinks about stuff like this too. Could it be that I'm not alone?!Anyway. I have no idea if this book is actually as good as I found it to be - again, first step into the genre - but I thought it was amazing. It also helped that I've been saying since I was little that I wanted a strong hero/ine who was really shy, or had some kind of anxiety disorder, without their entire personality revolving around that shyness/disorder. People used to say shit like, 'but shy people don't do anything!' or - god forbid - 'people wouldn't respect someone who was shy!' Thank you, Clive Barker, for giving me Kirsty to prove them wrong.The style was beautiful - lyrical, even - and the characterisation excellent. The characters were kind of stereotypical, but in a new way, if that makes sense. Everyone was corrupt and selfish and overwhelmingly human, which I loved. (Also, the female characters were just as corrupt/selfish/human and therefore as interesting as the male ones, which is important to me.)Four for you, Clive Barker. Brb, buying every book he's ever written.

Michael Benavidez

This is my first review on anything ever, so it's nothing too in depth. When i first stumbled onto Barker it was through Candyman, then Hellraiser one and two. Then i read the novella, and to be honest i don't know what i expected from the book. While the sexual and graphic nature is more present in tone and description (such as the beginning) is much more present in the book than movie. However, what really disconnected me from all of it was the characters. Where in the movie it was easy to care for the main character and her father, it was a tad more difficult in the book, where the relationships between characters differ. I think maybe Barker realized this and corrected it through the film.Once you get past the characters, the book is addicting, and manages to get under your skin without making you out down the book. The presence of anything and everything eerie is marked in perfect description, and well paced as to not be stretched out with boring nothingness that doesn't help character growth or plot development, as most books i stumble across seem to do. I would give it a 5 star rating were it not for the fact that i found it hard to get involved with the characters

Luis

Clive Barker masterpiece, no tears, please.

Gus Clancy

I loved this book. I remember seeing one of the Hellraiser films when I was 6, and it scared the hell outta me. When I was sent to sleep that night, I leaped nearly 5 feet to reach my bed for fear that pinhead was underneath. Although I was terrified, from that night on, I have been in love with horror films. I am not an avid reader, but after finding out that The Hellbound Heart was the format for one of my favorite movies I had to read it. The next night day I picked it up and finished it that night. I was amazed. The book was so good that it re-awakened a love for reading that I had lost during my teen years. What made The Hellbound Heart so great to me was simply the way it was written. This was the first Clive Barker book I had read, and I was completely impressed by his style of writing. He seems to have a knack for telling the story without overwhelming you with unnecessary detail, while retaining the sense of being present in the book yourself. I could feel the desperation growing in the characters as the tale progressed. I frequently place myself in the scenario of a book or film as a means to gauge and critique a story (as others probably do as well). Imagining myself in that "damp" room, I was visited by that same fear i felt as a child of six. Some reviewers have said the book was too violent and gory, but I disagree. Considering the nature of the Cenobites, i was suprised this novella was as tame as it was. The Hellbound Heart is probably not for everybody, but if you are often intrigued by the darker side of things then you'll definitely feel as I do about the book.

Elizabeth

Morally bankrupt and nihilistic Frank Cotton has found this world and the pleasures it has to offer lacking, boring, and predictable. After hearing about Lemarchand’s Configuration, a puzzle box that if solved opened up a realm of unimaginable pleasure, he finds it and spends hours trying to solve. He succeeds, but instead of hoards of nude women, like he was expecting, the Cenobites emerge instead. They are horribly scarred and mutilated beings that perceive extreme pain as not different from extreme pleasure. They take him to their extradimensional plane to suffer for eternity. Meanwhile, Rory, Frank’s brother, and his wife Julia have moved into the house passed down from their grandparents. When Rory is injured during the moving in process, Frank uses his blood to communicate with our world. He demands more blood from Julia, who has been infatuated with him ever since their affair shortly before her marriage to Rory, to become whole again. She complies and feeds him several men. Kirsty, Rory’s friend, suspects Julia is having an affair and discovers Frank and Julia’s horrible plot. Will she be able to return Frank to the dimension he escaped from or would the Cenobites rather have her instead?I recently saw the film Hellraiser, so I had to read the novella it was based on. There is very little difference in plot and characters between the two works. However, both have their own strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the film is the horrific visuals it provides. The Cenobites look so much more disfigured and fetishistic than I ever would have imagined. The audience is also shown some of the horrors in the other world and I was shocked by how twisted and horrifying the images were, considering it was made in the 80’s. I was riveted to the screen (with my mouth gaping open) and literally couldn’t look away. The book only describes the Cenobites, but not in a great amount of detail. The other world’s sights aren’t described at all, but the novel excels in ways the film did not.The novel is incredibly well written. Even though the character development is a little lacking, I really didn’t notice too much because the writing is so fluid and rich with dark imagery. The relationship between Frank and Julia seemed to happen spontaneously, but their evil tendencies that were exhibited later made them a fitting couple. Their sick relationship is an interesting comparison to the false, empty one between Julia and Rory. However, Frank’s interest in her is only to be restored to human form and nothing more, showing Julia in the role of her husband: adoring and unaware of the others indifference. Both relationships are exposed to be hollow and devoid of anything remotely resembling love. Julia is portrayed as much more malicious than in the film. She has nothing but disdain for her husband and would like nothing more than to kill him. Frank and Julia represent the need for man to seek more and more empty, fruitless sensory experience and where this road will lead if gone to extremes. This view may be depressing, but makes for an entertaining and horrifying read.

Kristen

I wasn't sure what to expect with a Clive Barker novella, to be honest I had seen movies with his name attached and had more often than not been let down. I picked this book up from a paperback swap site and was surprised at how short it was. Although and avid horror fan, I was never able to truly enjoy the original Hellraiser film, so I did not expect to be thrilled with it's source material. I was pleasantly surprised. Although it is obvious that the original Hellraiser film follows this story almost exactly, the daytime soap opera acting kept the movie from realizing the horror of this book. I found "Hellbound Heart" to be a surprisingly quick read, easy to follow and descriptive enough to see what is being said without being overly wordy. I would have to agree with the other readers that the concept is very Lovecraftian, the style however is very different. The story follows Frank, a disturbing man who has sought out pleasure of the senses his entire life. Viewed by others as a wastrel, he spends his time committing petty crimes and seeking to fill his lustful desires. He learns of a special puzzle box, which is supposed to open a door to the Cenobites who will show him a new realm of pleasure. Our journey starts as Frank opens the box, meeting the Cenobites and discovering the reality of their being. What follows is a tale of lust, pain and pleasure. To what lengths will someone to go fulfill their fantasy? What are they willing to believe, to do, and to suffer through? The book is well written and can be taken at just face value as a horror tale. However it also begs to discuss the reality and strength of ones desire and fantasy. With this being one of his first novels, there are some writing flaws to be found throughout the book, but none are distracting enough to jump out at you. My main irritant was not having any background or understanding of the relationship Kristy had with the rest of the characters. At first I assumed her to be a sister, I recalled from the movie she was a daughter, and then finally settled on the idea that she was an old friend of Rory's. Her relationship is never laid out for us. I think knowing that bond would have strengthened her position in the story since she is so vital to the finale. All in all this is a wonderful quick read for any horror fan.

Anna Anthropy

clive barker writes like he's trying to impress someone, choosing words for grandiosity over clarity. early in the book he describes a sound as being "no louder than the din of a cockroach running behind the skirting boards." that's some loud fucking cockroach! we figured this was just a case of barker having a run-in with a thesaurus that ended badly for the reader, but no! as we read on (i read the book aloud to my partner, because it's the sort of book that seems close to the author's vision when read in as pompous a voice as you can manage), we kept finding the word "din," over and over, almost once per chapter. it became clear that clive barker just ranked the word "din" higher than the word "sound," and made the substitution every time the word came up.grandiosity over clarity. there are passages where the actions of the characters are just incomprehensible. one gets the sense that maybe he was imagining the scene visually, as a film. "cut to a shot of birds flapping their wings on black. then, a shot of the room, with a yellow light strobing." it would certainly explain a few things: the book is about as incomprehensible as the movie. (that's "CLIVE BARKER'S HELLRAISER," more a special effects reel than a film.)ultimately, the only way to read the book that made any sense was as a screed on how dumb heterosexual coupling is. the characters are all trapped in unreciprocated or abusive relationships: one character pines for another over a single encounter that "had in every regard but the matter of her acquiescence, all the agression and the joylessness of rape." SOUNDS LIKE A REAL CATCH. later, during an actual rape scene, a man's penis is described as "a boastful plum," like he's scared to say the actual words. why not just put the sex scenes behind asterisks like the victorians do?to present any character enjoying mutual or joyful sex would, i suppose, undermine the "horror" of the book, which is that sex is scary. a cheap trick, but probably a lucrative one if you're writing to a straight middle-class audience trapped in loveless marriages. it must be, since barker's spun the book into an entire film career. clive barker has said, "i want to be remembered as an imaginer," which is fair. i'm certainly not going to remember him as a writer.

christa

Where was my head. I spent the Halloween season searching for the ghostly and gruesome without ever once considering the work of Clive Barker. Then, one night, we landed on the Sy/Fy Channel in time to catch a deliciously gross movie based on one of his short stories. Eyeballs popped out of heads. A meat hook blow was delivered to a crotch. Bodies were hung and bled like sides of beef. I cackled and gagged. Sometimes simultaneously. And then cracked into Barker's "The Hellbound Heart," the novella behind the Hellraiser series.Good Golly.The story starts with Frank, an adventure seeker and pleasure addict. He comes to own this puzzle box, and when he finally solves it and gets it open, he unleashes the Cenobites, these devilish sadomasochists who amp up his senses to the extreme. It's all briefly good, then torturous. He, to put it in Barker-ian terms, spills his seed on the floor of the bedroom in his grandparent's house where he has performed this ritual -- which includes a urine sample on an altar.Frank's brother Rory and his wife Julie move into the old place. Julie has residual hot pants for Frank after a sexy encounter involving her wedding dress that happened just before her big day. When Rory gets a gusher in the room where Frank disappeared, blood spills in the spot where Frank's seed landed. Through some sort of lusty instincts, Julie figures out that a malformed Frank is hidden in some alternate realm, present in this room, and needs blood to regain his human form. So she helps a playa out with the use of liquor and seductive glances at lonely businessmen.First of all: This book is so hokey and it is written in this kind of archaic way that is heavy and embarrassing. But damned if I didn't have a snicker about to burst for the duration of the story. This is also delicious horror-flavored candy. It's like ODing at the Junior Mints-Lick 'em Aid-Nerds buffet.Exhibit A:"The proximity of this harem aroused him, despite circumstances. He opened his trousers and caressed his cock, more eager to have the seed spilled and so be freed of these creatures than for the pleasure of it."He was dimly aware, as he worked his inches, that he must make a pitiful sight: A blind man in an empty room, arousef roa dream's sake. But the wracking, joyless orgasm failed to even slow the relentless display. His knees bucked and his body collapsed to the boards where his spunk had fallen."Exhibit B:"Not if it suits you," he said and clamped his mouth over hers, his tongue frisking her teeth for cavities.This shortie falls in the maybe not necessarily good-good, but wholly entertaining. There is a cleverness to this style of story, where demons are built from scratch, and your next-door neighbors could be carving up pasty white dudes in the master bedroom. I like the ease with which the characters sign on to the idea that certainly the problem is one of a paranormal nature. I believe there will be more Clive Barker in my little life.

mark monday

Please allow me to introduce myself. Actually, let's save the introductions for when I meet up with you later this evening, in the wee hours of the night.First things first, as an inhabitant of the Dimension of Everlasting Pain I am not exactly a disinterested party when it comes to reviewing this novella. But I do feel I am able to provide a relatively unbiased review of this famous work, despite my intimate knowledge of all of the delightful and inspiring torture tableaux on display.The Hellbound Heart is well-written, yes. The Hellbound Heart is a seminal modern horror classic, yes. The Hellbound Heart is thoughtful and charming and full of the types of cozy & tender scenarios that can be regularly found in my home dimension... yes, yes, and yes.But I find that I have fallen prey to an embarrassingly modern predicament: I actually preferred the movie! This is rather shameful to admit. There is so much more potential for ambiguity and cruelty between the pages. However, in this case, I found the movie to be distinctly more visceral, ambiguous, and endearingly disturbing. My Lord and Master Pinhead is also better portrayed in the movie version; on the page he comes across as a quaint deus ex machina. Believe me when i say that in reality he is surely the opposite of both "quaint" and "deus"!THIS PARAGRAPH IS A SPOILER, FOOLISH MORTAL: I did find the idea that Frank the Id is literally putting on the respectable, boring, bourgeois skin of his brother Rory to be lovely and amusing. But to be perfectly honest, this entrancing concept did not actually occur to me while reading The Hellbound Heart - but rather when I read about it here on Goodreads on a group thread. Perhaps I am not as subtle as I imagine myself to be.Overall, despite there being nothing particularly wrong with this novella (and what does "right" and "wrong" mean anyway, in the grand scheme of things?)... I am rather sad to report that I found the writing in Barker's Books of Blood, Vols. 1-3 to be more absorbing, multi-leveled, and intriguing. Ah well, I suppose you can't win 'em all. Unless you are my Lord and Master Pinhead, of course. He always wins.

Cara

The Hellbound Heart is a novella, and a short one at that, but it packs a lot into it's 128 pages. The synopsis on the back cover sets the scene for a dark exploration of the pursuit of pleasure... and how there is always a price to pay.The principle players are Frank, his brother Rory, married to Julia, and Kirsty. Frank is a total hedonist, living his life in the pursuit of pleasure, excitement and adventure. On solving the puzzle of the Lemarchand box Frank finds much more than he could ever have imagined, and it is here we are introduced to the Cenobites. For anyone who has seen any of the Hellraiser films, the grotesque imagery of the hierophants of the Order of the Gash will be familiar, although they are only briefly described here. However, Barker uses his skill with words to paint a frightening picture of the ultimate in depravity in a few short paragraphs. I found both the female characters to be the most interesting. Julia is presented as a beautiful woman who I felt uses her beauty to hide the fact that she has little else to offer the world. She comes across as shallow and almost devoid of emotion, yet after one brief sexual encounter with Frank on the eve of her wedding to his brother she is willing to do anything to ‘rescue’ Frank from the Cenobites. This did not work for me as I found it difficult to accept that Julia would go against all social mores and act in the way she did for someone like Frank. But being bored with her life with Rory and having little else to do other than act the role of dutiful wife, she broke with every moral code to help Frank. It was gratifying to read what happens to her in the end though.Kirsty, on the other hand, was an enigma. Her relationship to Rory (and thus to Frank) was never clearly defined… was she family, a neighbour or a close friend? The contrast between the two women is marked:“They had little in common: Julia the sweet, the beautiful, the winner of glances and kisses, and Kirsty the girl with the pale handshake, whose eyes were only ever as bright as Julia’s before or after tears. She had long ago decided that life was unfair.”I gained the impression that Kirsty had an unrequited love for Rory, which may go some way to explain her actions later in the book. Yet, in the early chapters, she is described as “a hindrance more than a help; her dreamy, perpetually defeated manner set Julia’s teeth on edge”. Indeed I found her passivity and social awkwardness irritating until she draws on some hitherto unforeseen inner strength in the final denouement, thus redeeming herself in my eyes.Having seen the film Hellraiser before reading The Hellbound Heart I was surprised at some of the differences. In the screen version Rory becomes Larry and Kirsty is Larry’s daughter. While the movie follows the book fairly closely for the most part, I expected Pinhead to feature as prominently as he did on screen. Instead, he is reduced to one brief appearance:“Its voice, unlike that of its companion, was light and breathy – the voice of an excited girl. Every inch of its head had been tattooed with an intricate grid, and at every intersection of horizontal and vertical axes a jewelled pin driven through to the bone. Its tongue was similarly decorated”. As a horror story, The Hellbound Heart could have benefitted from more involvement of the Cenobites, something Clive Barker must have agreed with when working on Hellraiser, given that the Cenobites are much more prominent in the movie.I thoroughly enjoyed the pace of the book. The Hellbound Heart may be a short novella, but it grips from the outset and the fast action never loses momentum. Clive Barker’s writing is wonderful. He chooses his words skilfully, never losing the plot amidst a mire of overly descriptive prose. Much is left to the reader’s imagination and given the nature of the Cenobites and of Frank’s experience, this is a good thing as it enhances the horror of the story. Certainly I found the short descriptions of Frank’s changing appearance unnerving and Kirsty’s final interaction with The Engineer was very creepy indeed. My only regret was that I had seen the film before reading the book as this meant I already had images of the Cenobites in my head. Being a short but captivating book, The Hellbound Heart is a perfect introduction to Clive Barker and his dark and twisted imagination. Best read with all the lights on though!http://speculativebookreview.blogspot...

Joseph Rodgers

I love this book, I am sure that many people are familiar with the fantastic film "Hellraiser" that was based off of this novella. For those who have not read the book, but have seen "Hellraiser" you will find that "the Hellbound Heart" performs the seemingly impossible task of being scarier than the movie. For those of you who are not familiar with the cenobites or Clive Barker at all, I would still highly recommend this book. "The Hellbound Heart" does something that very few violent and sinister stories accomplish, it manages to be both horrifying and dramatically complex. Clive Barker was an accomplished playwright before he branched into the worlds of Hollywood and popular fiction. While reading "the Hellbound Heart" the narrative arc suggests that Barker was familiar with Lajos Egri's "the Art of Dramatic Writing". A premise that can be described as "pleasure seeking leads to suffering" is backed by complex characters who conflict with each other in a way that provides near perfect dramatic unity. The events that occur during "the Hellbound Heart" begin with pleasure seeker Frank committing the tragic deed of solving a puzzle box that is supposed to summon other-worldly beings who offer sensation like no other. The creatures, mutilated humanoid abominations called Cenobites whisk Frank away to a strange world where they perform tortures on him that have fetishistic overtones. The story then moves on to Frank's brother Rory and his wife Julia moving into the family house. This is the same house in which Frank had solved the puzzle box in the attic. Julia had an affair with Frank, and one day while she is the attic daydreaming of Frank, Rory has an accident in which he cuts his hand. Rory who is squeamish approaches Julia in the attic so that she will bandage his hand, while he is in the attic some of Rory's blood splashes onto the floor boards. Frank's essence absorbs the blood from the floor and gives Frank enough energy to contact Julia in the attic later on. Julia seduces and kills a man in the attic so that the blood brings Frank back to our world, but as a skinless monstrosity. Desperate to have her lover back Julia starts finding more victims so that she can further revive Frank. Meanwhile Rory's friend Kirsty begins to suspect that Julia is cheating on Rory, little does she know the true extent of what is going on in the house. This books is really short, only slightly more than a hundred pages. I have read it four or five times over the years and it never ceases to be a source of entertainment and inspiration for me. "The Hellbound Heart" is one hell of a scary story, it is filled monsters, violence, and S&M, and Gothic undertones. Barker provides a lot of realistic grounding over a short number of pages, so the reader does not disbelief some of the morbid surrealistic images presented throughout. All of the characters are well fleshed out, and have personality, yet at the same time Barker does not bombard us with senseless detail. We know everything that drives the characters, but we don't know whether they like grilled cheese or not. The horror starts off with a heavy theatrical hook in the beginning of the story, but then the normal world is instituted again. The normalcy has a crack in it though, and the terror leaks through this crack as the narrative continues building suspense up to incredible new heights. As a writer "the Hellbound Heart" deserves critical observation. I have mentioned time and again the dramatic unity of the book so I will not mention it again. However Clive Barker's writing is outstanding, I believe that he is one of the modern greats. His imagery is simple and not bogged down with adjectives and this makes it extremely effective. This use of imagery makes outlandish events such as the summoning of the cenobites believable. There are no whir-pools of shrieking black energy appearing from nowhere as doorways for the cenobites. No the approach of inter-dimensional beings... the sweet smell of vanilla... the sound of bells ringing with no apparent source. Barker also is very economic with his words, and that makes "the Hellbound Heart". The cenobites themselves are also very inspirational, they reach right into the core of what revolts humanity and have become a horror icon by doing so. In conclusion I would recommend "the Hellbound Heart" to anyone who enjoys sophisticated story and can stomach the profuse gore.

Barks & Bites

“No tears, please. It’s a waste of good suffering.” My boyfriend made the mistake of allowing me to pick out the movie on one of our earliest dates way back in the late 80’s. I chose Hellraiser which was based upon this novella. I didn’t know he had never seen a horror movie and couldn’t figure out why he was so pale and quiet when we left the theater. The poor boy married me and his movie going experiences have never been the same and I’ll always have fond feelings for Hellraiser. Recently I realized I had never read the novella it was based upon and decided to check it out.When Frank solves a puzzle box revealing a door to another world promising great pleasure he gets more than he bargained for. He thought he had prepared well, observing every ritual to welcome the Cenobites, experimenters in the higher reaches of pleasure. He was expecting oiled up women, eager for him to use as he wished to slake his lust but instead four scarred beings arrive and alter him in unimaginable ways.Meanwhile Frank’s brother Rory and his wife Julia are moving into a decrepit old house. The house was willed to both Rory and Frank but since Frank is missing Rory assumes possession. Julia and Frank had something going on way back when, if you know what I mean, and Rory ignores her misgivings about the house and remains blissfully ignorant while reveling in Julia’s beauty. Kirsty, a friend of Rory’s who appears desperately in love with the man, drops by to help with the move and annoy Julia. I see a big, bloody love triangle in the making. I’ve also seen Hellraiser so I think know where some of this is going. Though I don’t remember Kirsty being a love interest, I thought she was the husband’s kid?Julia starts to settle in but there’s one room with sealed blinds that unnerves but attracts her. She begins to spend time in the room alone. The room seems to demand it. One day Rory has an accident and bleeds on the rooms floorboards and soon after Julia is reunited with Frank and the blood bath begins. This book is pretty cold and brutal, especially in its portrayal of super-bitch Julia, but there’s a very dark thread of humor running through it too. Imagine a slim beautiful woman chasing a flabby naked man around an empty room, sticking him with a knife as he flails away, refusing to keel over quickly. I don’t know about you but this image struck me as ridiculously humorous. Kirsty, who is a home-wrecker sort in this book, stumbles upon Julia and Frank doing bad things (that’s what you get Miss Nosey-pants) and takes off running with The Box in her hands. Of course, she can’t leave well enough alone and has to fiddle with it. Now they’re all going to experience their fair share of suffering.The cenobites are only in the story briefly early on and again at the end. Most of the grisly horror happens at the hands of Julia and Frank which makes all uglier. I vaguely remember the cenobites being a larger part of the movie but I prefer this version of the story better.

Matt Garcia

An absolute gory, grotesque, and masochistic masterpiece. The Hellbound Heart shows the incredible and disturbing imagination of Clive Barker. This book is everything a horror fan could want. Don't let the length fool you, this book more than packs a wallop. The brutality and lack of sympathy shown by the characters is gut-wrenching yet satisfying. Barker is like a literary mad scientist, piecing together all the atrocities and inner desires of the human soul. A horror fan's dream. Highly recommended

Dreadlocksmile

'The Hellbound Heart' was Clive Barker’s forth full length novel since the ‘Books Of Blood’ series. First published back in 1988, the novel formed a dark mix of horror and S&M, bringing a seductive trip into the erotic world of pleasure and pain. Barker rewrites the laws of humanity as we know it, with his ideas of there being no good or evil, only flesh. The novel draws you quickly into its bizarre and twisted storyline, taking you into a world of dark fantasy and horror. The characters are extremely well described, allowing the reader to sympathise with them and drawing you into the plot. Questions are brought forward throughout the novel, as Barker carefully reveals his dark concepts on life, with a terrifying reality to it all. The novel was later to be adapted (with some differences) into the 1987 film ‘Hellraiser’ which was to be Clive Barker’s debut at directing. The film has been dubbed a modern day horror classic and has formed a huge cult following worldwide, with many sequels to follow. The Hellraiser success also spawned a large collection of comics, models, memorabilia and other such items. The novel runs for 128 pages in total, of which the storyline never slows from the fast pace you are thrown into. The book is a true masterpiece of horror fiction that will open your eyes to the horrific and divine.

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