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The Hellbound Heart

A Novel
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
Length: 3 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (754 ratings)
Regular price: $14.95
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Publisher's Summary

Frank Cotton's insatiable appetite for the dark pleasures of pain led him to the puzzle of Lemarchand's box, and from there, to a death only a sick-minded soul could invent. But his brother's love-crazed wife, Julia, has discovered a way to bring Frank back - though the price will be bloody and terrible...and there will certainly be hell to pay.

©2007 Clive Barker Ink, Inc. (P)2013 David N. WIlson

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Narration was brought from hell!

You can Google me for the rest of the review! I have a whole review of this book in my Blogger and Wordpress blog:

"Inkish Kingdoms"

Hellbound Heart contains almost all of the mandatory elements for it to be a Horror story: “haunted” houses, magic objects, doors to other dimensions, dark characters, tension, sex, violence, and destruction. This whole story goes around the Lemarchand’s box and its secrets. Twist, click, turn, click, and then: you are doomed for eternity. Most people are scared of dying because nobody knows for sure what is beyond this reality. This novella builds in the reader anxiety, a sense of danger and dread that makes you want to keep reading. At some point, I was yelling (in my head of course) for one of the characters to get the fxck out of that place, and even prayed for that character… (not really, but the book had me on my knees). I want to add that the audiobook had special effects that disturbed me down to my core.

When I say it was brought from hell, I mean it as a complement!

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully done

Would you listen to The Hellbound Heart again? Why?

Yes. I'm very inspired by Barker's works and the audio for this was beautiful.

What other book might you compare The Hellbound Heart to and why?

120 Days of Sodom and The Story of O. Maybe not in plot, but in meaning. The pushing of boundaries.

Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I hope to now.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and did.

Any additional comments?

Kafer's life to the Cenobites was perfection. His voice giving the details of the summoning ritual in the beginning gave it deeper meaning.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not what I expected

What about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance did you like?

Love his voice!!!

Any additional comments?

I listened to this book while on my drive home from work, I got so engrossed that I took it to the gym to finish listening while I worked out. It was fast paced and never dull.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Duh, Hellraiser Anybody?

If you could sum up The Hellbound Heart in three words, what would they be?

Um... Hellraiser's Origins Story

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hellbound Heart?

The fact that I had NO idea that Clive Barker wrote this as a short story before he wrote the screen play for the movie Hellraiser. For someone who grew up in the 80s you would think I would have known that especially since I like that movie. Anyway... The book is better than the movie, because they ran out of money. "So, Barker and a "Greek guy" animated these scenes (the end sequences) by hand over a single weekend. Barker has also commented that he thinks the FX turned out very well considering the amount of alcohol the two consumed that weekend." (Quoted from IMDb)

Which scene was your favorite?

When the Engineer shows up

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No. The whole thing is pretty twisted.

Any additional comments?

If you are a Barker fan, this is a must. If you liked the movie Hellraiser, this is a must. If you just like a good, weird horror short story I guess you could make this a must. Give it a shot, you might like it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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VIRGIN WHORES

THE SEASONS LONG FOR EACH OTHER
An interesting look at pain and pleasure. What is one man's pain, may be another man's pleasure and vice versa. A man calls up demons, believing he is going to spend eternity in orgies, but what he gets is the opposite.

SOMEWHERE A BELL WAS RINGING
This is bloody and gory, but do not dismiss it as gore for gore's sake. Some thought went into the writing of this story. It is not a masterpiece, but it is entertaining and you will not sleep through it.

COME TO DADDY
Narrator does a great job.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

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A Hellraising Listening Experience

Clive Barker is an author that’s been on my to-read list for a number of years, ever since I first saw the movie Lord of Illusions (jesus, twenty years ago now? yeesh…) and heard Stephen King sing his praises as “the future of horror” way back when. So yeah, Barker’s been in the game for quite a long time, has established himself as an icon within the genre, and I am a woefully massive latecomer to his work. I figured it’s high-time I corrected that by giving The Hellbound Heart a listen.

I went into this book mostly blind. I had a fairly superficial knowledge of Pinhead and the Cenobites (think demonic, leather-clad, freaky, mutilated S&M goth types) thanks to the Hellraiser flicks and their place in pop culture. I knew this was the book that inspired the first Hellraiser movie, which I haven’t seen, and had little idea what to expect story-wise. I guess I had expected a lot of Pinhead and his Cenobites, and was surprised to find them mostly absent save for brief appearances at the beginning and end of this book.

In their absence, though, we get a pretty cool and mysterious gothic-tinged story. Frank Cotton has come to possess an old artifact, Lemarchand’s puzzle box. When opened, it serves as a key between realities, opening the door separating the real from the more realer still. This is, in short, a dimension of nightmares.

Following Frank’s disappearance, his brother Rory and Rory’s wife, Julia, move into the house that Frank had briefly inhabited. Julia finds herself becoming drawn to an empty, drafty room, in which the drapes have been nailed to the window sills to keep the light out. The room seems to ‘speak’ to her, and she finds herself growing emboldened, bringing lovers to this room in order to spill their blood. Blood that Frank needs to return.

Narrated by Jeffry Kaver, Barker’s elegant prose is brought to life in a style somewhat reminiscent of the golden age of radio plays and a touch of Rod Serling. This is a terrific match for the fantastical, metaphysical horrors Barker describes. And, oh boy, describe it he does. We get some pretty brilliant depictions of sex and violence, from the gory-looking Cenobites and Frank’s initial encounter with them, right on up to chaotic finale. Barker goes for the guts, sometimes literally (I suspect “the carpet of her bowels” is a phrase that will stick with me for too damn long), but there is a rather strange beauty to the madness.

The audio production is superb, and I really liked the bit of sound engineering that went into the delivery of dialogue from the Cenobites. Kaver’s narration suddenly takes on an ethereal, otherworldly echo to drive home the fact that these things are not human and most definitely not of this Earth. It was a bit startling to hear at first, but jeez is it ever a cool and welcome addition, and a nice demonstration of the elasticity in design that audiobooks are capable of. Kudos to Crossroads Press for that extra bit of effort!

Ultimately, I felt The Hellbound Heart was a satisfying introduction to Barker’s work, and I’ll be checking out his works in the future as time allows.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Almost good

The Hellraiser movies owe their start to this novella. And I had hoped to revisit this story to find what inspired so much gory insanity.

I was excited when, in focussing on Julia, the story seems to become about marriage. Marriage can seem like a curse, a trap and the "Double Indemnity"-like bargain Julia enters into with Frank functions as a dark nightmare version of marriage. But then the story abandons Julia's perspective and we spend the fifth act in the realm of basic (and uninteresting) horror. The book has the nice Miss Havisham-like death bride image near the very end, but it feels as though, having approached metaphoric engagement and literary depth, Mr. Barker lost inspiration (or nerve) and rapidly concluded with blood and body parts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Some things are best left unknown

What did you love best about The Hellbound Heart?

The tension once Kirsty begins to suspect Julia.

What did you like best about this story?

The scene where Frank succeeds in opening LeMarchand's box.

Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

It's hard not to love Kirsty, but Jeffrey Kafer really brought the otherworldly nature of the cenobites to life.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but it could definitely give some people nightmares.

Any additional comments?

I was touched by the sadness of Rory and Julia's loveless marriage.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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awesome story

I loved this book and the narration of it. I will buy more like it.

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  • Just R
  • RICHMOND HILL, NY, United States
  • 10-22-18

an absolute seat clinger!

loved every second of this audible book. it was an absolute seat clinger, spent every second hanging on every word in anticipation for the next.

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  • David
  • 03-08-17

Hellraiser fans

A great listen for Hellraiser fans, very well read.
As usual Clive Barker does a good job with this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hanna Greaves
  • 08-20-16

Superb performance

Kafers performance in this book is fantastic. Story is griping and disgusting at the same time.

For those who enjoyed hellraiser, this story won't disappoint, in many ways I preferred it to the movie, with the character of Frank getting more fleshed out and a somewhat extended back story.

Quite short, but doesn't out stay it's welcome

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  • David Isherwood
  • 12-01-15

Clive introduces his infamous creation...

Where does The Hellbound Heart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This particular audiobook ranks as one of the better experiences out there with a clarity of voice that allows you to move beyond the page into the world Clive Barker has crafted.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hellbound Heart?

The opening chapters where Frank realises the gravity of his situation, and the descriptions of his now oversensitive senses.

What does Jeffrey Kafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Jeffrey Kafer brings a clear and easily listenable book allowing you to enjoy Clive Barker's descriptive as it should.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book is not a book intended to make you laugh or cry, but it easily achieves its goals of horror, disgust, repellance and abandonment.

Any additional comments?

If you have heard of Pinhead or indeed seen the movie Hellraiser be sure to get this, as this will tear your soul appart harder than the movies will ever do.

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  • Vron
  • 11-01-17

Short and Sweet and Bloodthirsty

This was a fun read - albeit a tad short. I enjoyed learning what I could about the Cenobites and the Lament Configuration and now I want more.

Of course, if you're looking for Pinhead in particular - this might not be the story for you : )

On a final note; I found the closing lines to be beautifully chosen. Really glad I got this one.

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  • Ky Borham
  • 09-17-17

amazing

simply amazing Clive Barker truly outdid himself so similar to the film and yet the changes he made for the film are so much better while I prefer the film the book is still amazing