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Publisher's Summary

Cabal is the story of Boone, a tortured soul haunted by the conviction that he has committed atrocious crimes. In a necropolis in the wilds of Canada, he seeks refuge and finds the last great creatures of the world - the shape-shifters known as the Nightbreed. They are possessed of unearthly powers-and so is Boone. In the hunt for Boone, they too will be hunted. Now only the courage of this strange human can save them from extinction. And only the undying passion of a woman can save Boone from his own corrupting hell...

This novella is the basis for the Major Motion Picture - Nightbreed.

©1988 Clive Barker Ink (P)2014 David N. WIlson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dave
  • Whittier, CA
  • 11-03-15

Good Monsters. Mostly.

Clive Barker’s "Cabal" is a dark fable where the humanity of monsters is balanced against the monstrosity of human behavior. Boone, a man with a mental disorder, is led to believe that he is responsible for a number of hideous murders. He flees to a small town called Midian in search of a society of monsters that live under a cemetery. There he discovers that some humans are far more monstrous than the creatures known as the Nightbreed. Yet while the Nightbreed are sympathetic, they certainly aren’t safe.

This was actually my first experience with one of Clive Barker’s novels, but it will not be my last. While the book is far from perfect -- Boone himself is something of a bland protagonist, I would’ve preferred more description of Midian’s underground society, and I think Barker flinches at a choice near the end -- "Cabal" gets quite a bit right, and it makes up for any missteps with a very visceral listen. There are buckets of blood and gore and organs described in all the splatterpunk carnage you’d expect from the late 80s (it was originally published in 1988). There’s also a startling, fierce, and hungry sexuality. In the opening of the book, we learn that Boone and Lori, two very beautiful young people trying to fit in with society, have difficulty in bed. As we witness Boone becomes more of a monster, we see these characters draw closer in ways they weren’t able to before.

Chet Williamson has the voice of an old time radio dramatist, and it ends up serving this story well. Initially, I wasn't sure if his square-jawed voice was the right one for this book. But Williamson's steady, no frills reading won me over in the end, providing a nice foil between the monsters and the monstrous.

"Cabal" is a story where the monsters, despite being grotesque and violent, are far more sympathetic than the majority of the humans we encounter. In Barker's tale, it's tough and dangerous being an outsider or someone different, but it's also unquestionably good.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Novella From the Master of Horror

What did you like best about Cabal? What did you like least?

Like him or not, nobody can deny that Clive Barker has fantastic ideas for stories. The story theme of monsters (of the night, aka The Nightbreed) hiding below ground from the monsters above (humans) offers a great juxtaposition of just who are the real monsters in the story.
That said, the characters are somewhat weak, we don't really find out needed information about the backgrounds of different characters and why they have become what they are; at least not enough to form any sense of relatability. The timeline seems to be spotty, either moving too fast or missing pieces in between scenes.
It almost seems like maybe Cabal should have been made into a novel. I think there was enough, withmore detail and more spacing to do so, but instead the whole thing feels, short and rushed.
Still, Barker is Barker and he has his moments of prose in Cabal that make it good. It may not be his best work, but it certainly isn't bad either. The idea Barker presents about just whom the real monsters in this world are is enough to warrant three stars.

Was Cabal worth the listening time?

Yes. Even though I gave it three stars, it is still worth listening to, even if just to be familiar with Barkers early works.

Any additional comments?

It's an ok listen, just understand it isn't as good as some of his works released around the same time (Books of Blood, Damnation Game).

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, not great

This is far from Barker's best work. It doesn't have a whole lot of substance but at least a couple of the characters are fleshed out pretty well. There are a few graphic sections where Barker always shines and does not disappoint here but the story between these events seems relatively uninspired compared to his other work. It is still a good read overall, deserving of 3 stars.

I did not care much for the narrator here. He was not completely subdued, but I prefer a more animated performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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always good!

How I missed the tales of Midian and it's monsters. If you we're a fan of the movie you'll enjoy the book as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

clive barker is the best

fucking awesome hope to oneday read a sequel cliver barker never ceases to fascinate me and my imagination

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • Cambridge, Ontario Canada
  • 03-27-15

Not his worst

I'm a fan of Clive Barker's works so please don't think this is a negative review.

It's a good story from an earlier time in his career.
His Abarat series is great as is The Great and Secret Show and Imajica.
This is a pretty straight forward story with not a lot of mystery.
As is most of Clive's work, the story has the theme of a hidden world of sorts.

The narration was not the greatest. I would have enjoyed Scott Brick or Simon Vance.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful early Clive Barker work

I am a big fan of Clive Barker, I remember reading this book some years ago, and was interesting to hear it again now. It's a very good story and shows off the incredible imagination Barker had (at least in his earlier works!). Boone, the protagonist, is a tortured soul... he runs away from his mental demons and meets up with very real demons, both human and supernatural.

The book is short and Barker doesn't really go into dept or any deep backstory on the many characters we encounter, which is a shame as some are fascinating and the reader is left wanting to know more. A sequel would be great!

Chet Williamson did a good job with the narration, slow and steady nothing too animated.


*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not impressed.

It’s a typical Clive Barker novel. You see the ending a mile away. They did a horrible movie version called nightbreed in the 80’s. I would rather watch the movie again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love

Love this book... one of my all time favorites. I fell in love with this book in the 80s and still read it every n now and then. Short sweet modern monster story!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

I can highly recommend this novel to fellow horror fiction fans. Clive Barker at his best. Billy

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Just
  • 04-23-18

Nightbreed

Any additional comments?

This is one of Barker's last horror efforts, and it shows. The prose is excellent, though it lacks some of the spark found in his earlier works. Still worth a listen though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful