The Books of Blood combine the ordinary with the extraordinary while radiating the eroticism that has become Barker's signature. Weaving tales of the everyday world transformed into an unrecognizable place, where reason no longer exists and logic ceases to explain the workings of the universe, Clive Barker provides the stuff of nightmares in packages too tantalizing to resist.
Never one to shy away from the unimaginable or the unspeakable, Clive Barker breathes life into our deepest, darkest nightmares, creating visions that are at once terrifying, tender, and witty.
The Books of Blood confirm what horror fans everywhere have known for a long time: We will be hearing from Clive Barker for many years to come. This first volume contains the short stories : "The Book of Blood," "The Midnight Meat Train," "The Yattering and Jack," "Sex, Death, and Starshine," and "In the Hills, the Cities."
©1984 Seraphim Films (P)2013 David N. Wilson
I've been reading Barker and collecting his stuff since the late 80s. He's the great imaginer of our time. These first stories, raw, powerful and shocking at the time ushered in a brand new understanding of the politics of horror. No longer were we talking about the outside threats, the aliens, the monsters, we were facing our own inner demons, we were the monsters, and Clive Barker really understood that long before the rest. The human monster is the most frightening of all. And these stories, from the Midnight Meat Train rattling beneath NYC to the unhappy demonic Yattering trying to do the job he hates, the visceral nature of Pigs Blood Blues, Sex Death and Starshine... brilliant... but truly the gem, the story that assures Barker's legacy is that final one, In the Hills, The Cities... which is quite possibly one of the best stories of fantasy-horror ever written.
When I purchased this audiobook my intention was to listen to some stories that scared me. The first story, "The Book of Blood", did just that. It was unsettling.
My expectations were being met and the next story, "The Midnight Meat Train", started off in the same vein but ended on a weird note. A couple of the other stories were more humorous than horrifying but "Pig Blood Blues" and "In the Hills, The Cities" both hit all of the right horror notes.
What was evident from the start is that Clive Barker is a good writer and knows how to tell a story. The narrators all did a good job as well. There's nothing bad I can say about this omnibus other than if you are looking for a collection of stories that are all straight horror then you should look somewhere else. If you are looking for a mixture of straight horror and horror comedy then this collection is right for you.
Even though I was looking for straight horror I am happy that I read Mr. Barker's collection because they were all interesting stories.
Quite possibly the scariest audiobook I have ever listened too! From the author who brought us the "Hell Raiser" movies, I should have known this would be a riveting, bone-chilling experience. No one can write horror like Clive Barker with his twists and turns, and mind-bending exploits into the dark side of humanity. This collection of short stories is certainly not for the faint of heart! I'm not typically a fan of a lot of "gore" but with Barker's stories it's inevitable and it works fantastically to his advantage. Each of these stories left me in absolute awe....and yes, rather afraid of the dark. I quickly learned that these were not the stories to listen to before going to bed. But, they were incredible nonetheless. The narrators all performed outstandingly and to choose one favorite over the others would be a grave injustice. Each narrator had a unique, eerie quality that only enhanced Barker's writing and brought it to life. My initial impression was that the narration had a "Twilight Zone" appeal to it but then quickly stepped beyond and into something much darker and much more sinister. As an audiobook, this was an astounding performance of stories that I would highly recommend to fans of Horror Fiction, and particularly fans of Clive Barker. Very well done....FIVE stars!
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
ONCE YOU BECOME A MAN, YOU START TO DIE
This is six short stories or novella's. I liked one of the six, thought that two were okay, didn't like one, but thought it had potential and was not crazy about the rest. All stories were predictable.
1. The Book of Blood. B-, This sets up the reason for the rest. It is written in a sort of Lovecraft style with masturbation thrown in.
2. The Midnight Meat Train. B-, Had potential, was probably the goriest. Has lots of butchered bodies. The word blood is in every other sentence. When will writers realize that for adults, just saying blood, does not scare us?
3. Pig Blood Blues, D+, A long drawn out story. Early on we find out that this pig eats people. We are told this several more times, each time as if it is a new revelation. This one was not mentioned in the summary.
4. The Yattering and Jack, B+, Kind of funny, closest to a surprise ending, entertaining. If ever sold by itself worth purchasing, but don't buy this whole collection for it.
5. Sex, Death & Starshine, C, Starts with a blow job and later has a corpse giving a blow job. The bj's were not enough to save the story. It's another, the people in arts should be worshiped and perhaps given another award show.
6. In The Hills, The Cities, C+, just an excuse for Barker to write about men having sex with men, the story was pretty stupid.
The Barker worshipers have hit the unhelpful button on anyone with the balls to tell the truth, so read this while you can.
Q: WHERE'S YOUR SENSE OF ADVENTURE?
A: I FORGOT TO PACK IT.
Some of Barker's best early stories are in this volume. The narrators are strong and the tales still pack a great punch. The introductions mentioned in the description, however, are nowhere to be found. Just the stories.
Collecting the first three Books of Blood into one full audio book may have been a better idea, but it's a fair price for a half-dozen stories of this quality. "Midnight Meat Train" is a classic, but the final story in V1 is something truly special.
After listening to these stories I went on an aggressive search for everything that Clive Barker had released through Audible. He is a Master Story teller. I still have his stories in my head! Life is so full of the everyday... Barker knows how to take you away. But who knows where he is going to take you. AWESOME.
Vivid, evocative, seductive.
Hearing the "boom," "boom" stepping of the gigantic city-collective Popolac as it approached the story's two, traveling protagonists standing in its path.
I can't really choose one, as the narrators were all spot on, though I did have a laugh at the "Yattering."
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed all the readers. I hope they add all six books in the future, not just the first two.
the greatest thing about this APP is the ability to speed or slow the delivery
No. It was really really good, but I liked reading the print version better.
I am absolutely in love with Clive Barker. I think he is one of the best horror writers out there. All of these stories were very well written, well read, with interesting plots and characters. I have all of Mr. Barker's Books of Blood and thoroughly enjoy them and this audio version did not disappoint.
There isn't just one. All of the characters in all of the stories were very memorable. "In the Hills, The Cities" has always been one of my favorites and the audio reader does an excellent job on this story.
I'm so glad these books are finally on audio. Barker is the best at what he does and his stories stick with you. Audible, please try to get the audio version of "History of the Devil" - it is a remarkable ensemble, full production audio book that is simply spectacular.
"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red.'"
Always open to something new, but my favorite genres are horror, sci-fi/fantasy with more of a leaning toward fantasy.
To those who like the horror/weird genres. Clive Barker was one of my early forays into the horror genre when I was but a wee lad of 12 or 13, The Books of Blood being the first stuff I had read of his. And now, some 25 years later, I find this treasure, that 'The Books' are being read into audiobook! I will buy every one, credit or no credit, Audible cannot produce them fast enough, please hurry Audible, four more volumes await!
Each story is unique so there is not a particular character, but one of my favorite stories is The Yattering and Jack, just a fun concept that the demon sent to drive Jack into insanity and submission could in turn be driven into endless frustration by a human.
Every narrator turned out to be excellent for the given story. Pronunciation and character portrayal were excellent. I was only familiar with Simon Vance through his reading of Tigana (which I liked very much) and so was pleased to see him doing Sex, Death and Starshine. He pulled off the characters excellent, he has just the right British accent for the artsy, uppity theater types found in the story.
Oh Audible and your questions... I would say Jack Polo. I would ask him how he knew what was happening and how he could remain so calm and nonchalant in the face of being haunted by a devil.
I love that Audible has brought these in and thanks to Crossroads Press for producing them, please do the rest of the series.
"Visceral, grisly horror classic"
I first read the Books of Blood at 18, and was immediately struck by Clive Barker's incredible talent and imagination for the horror genre. Many of the stories, about an hour or so in length, have since become classics, and a few have been adapted for film - The Forbidden, the basis of the Candyman franchise, and the Midnight Meat Train for example. Even knowing what to expect I was struck again and again while listening to the dizzying breadth of Barker's imagination - the Dante-esque visions of hell, the faustian comedy of the Yattering and Jack, the giants made of men - and how well it integrates with the realities of everyday experience.
The performance is very good - none of the narrators give anything less than an excellent reading, and the narration never impacts negatively on the story, which is more or less all I look for in a performance. I was very pleased with this.
It's a must listen for horror fans. Just be warned, the stories often involve extremely graphic violent and sexual content. Hopefully the other 4 books in the collection will join volumes 1 and 2 on Audible shortly.
"My first Barker book, and a good start!"
Yes, its a good listen, and the narrators put in a great performance which really helps animate the stories.
I'm fairly new to horror fiction, so it would have to be Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King, although some of the imagery in Barker's stuff is expectedly more otherworldly!
The last few minutes of 'The Yattering and Jack' , and the conclusion to 'The Midnight Meat Train'
"Classic Clive Barker"
A good collection of short stories. I purchased this collection a good few years ago as a paper book. Loving hearing them again.
"Essential reading for all fans of horror."
Chilling depraved and intense.
Yes i my blood curdled.
A very good book full of wild imagination and terrifying imagery. Clive Barker is a master of horror i had the paperback of this book and i love the cross over to audio book i will definitely be buying the other books in this series.
Unique, grotesque, marvellous.
The narrator brings an eerie quality to the stories which you wouldn't experience if you had only read the book. This is especially evident when voicing the demon in "The Yattering and Jack"
I loved the surreal premise and unusual quality of the stories. Each one is completely different from the one that came before.
"Really enjoyed it!"
I've tried reading Barker a couple of times and given up. MISTER B GONE and SCARLET GOSPELS are two that spring to mind.
Now I know that Barker has some hardcore fans and they're always shocked when I say I haven't liked anything I've read.When I tell them the titles I tried they are never surprised. It appears I picked two of his weakest....
Anyway, the one recommendation that always comes up is BOOKS OF BLOOD.I had a voucher for a free audiobook so thought I'd give this one a go. SOOOO happy I did! This is the Barker I always hoped to find when I read his work. The guy that I know created Hellraiser and Candyman! I really, really enjoyed it. Some stories more than others, but that's normal.
End result anyway is, I will definitely be trying out more Barker.
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