Tortured Souls

The Legend of Primordium
Narrated by: Peter Bishop
Length: 1 hr and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (213 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Tortured Souls is one of the most vividly imagined, tightly compressed novellas ever written by the incomparable Clive Barker. At once violent and erotic, brutal and strangely beautiful, it takes us into the heart of the legendary "first city" known as Primordium, the site of political upheaval, passionate encounters, and astonishing acts of transformation.

Lurking at the edges of this extravagant tale is the ancient entity known as "Agonistes", who accepts the pleas of selected "Supplicants" - transforming them, through a combination of art, magic, and pain, into avatars of violence and revenge.

The story begins when a freelance assassin named Zarles Krieger commits a routine murder-for-hire. This act will lead him to two life-altering encounters: one with the daughter of his victim, the other with Agonistes himself. This conjunction of the human and the inhuman stands at the center of this instantly absorbing creation.

With great authority and equally great economy, Tortured Souls expands to become a portrait of Primordium itself, with its hierarchies, its hidden mysteries, its shifting power structure, and - most significantly - its indelible cast of characters. A perfectly controlled example of what Barker calls "The Fantastique", Tortured Souls is something truly special, a story whose imaginative reach and sheer narrative power are evident with every word.

©2014 Clive Barker Ink (P)2015 David N. Wilson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Short but sweet.

My only complaint the only last for and hour and half. I would love to find out more about primordia and the dark future of the city and its inhabitants. Most of the terrofying parts art left to the imagination. It is a lovely horror story of with a hint of disturbing love. I would recommended to all lovers of horror.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A worthy story from the master of visceral horror

Possibly the most well thought out story ever written for a toy line. Clive Barker's charnal house imagery lends itself wonderfully to this short form story, and Peter Bishop's even and deliberate narration is quite suited to the mythological tone of the writing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wish there was more.

A novella comprised of six short stories originally released with six action figures from McFarlane toys telling the story of six monsters in the City of Primordium. The narrator is good and the only issues I have with the story are the lack of descriptors used for the Agonistes, Lucidique, and Kreiger which I cant tell if it was intentional or just overlooked because of the original included figures. This is less of a problem in chapters 3-6. The only other issue is more a wanting for more from these characters and world. Overall a good starting point for people interested in Clive Barkers work that is less graphic then his usual.

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Amazing

I loved it I can just hope for a 2nd book. good read short but sweet

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Clive Barker takes us into his dark mind

This takes us into the original
City of darkness and pain where beings are transformed into creatures of power and pain. This is the tale of an average assassin become death incarnate, his liver and their anguish of living. Being a fan of the hell raiser movies it’s wonderful to listen to stories of the worlds that could be the birthplace of pinhead and the others. Dark twisted and delicious story.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

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I loved it!

The details plus how it was read an spoken with such character, you could almost swear the character's were talking lol.

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Crazy and fun and terrible

Barker had a full novel somewhere in there but went for a shorty story instead. The ghoulish story was fun and super brutal. I found myself listening to it in 15 min burst to avoid severe mental trauma. Maybe it’s brutality lends it to being more palatable as a shorter story. Definitely worth checking out for Clive Barker fans.

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Disjointed But Enjoyable

Clive Barker is an incredibly creative person. Books, movies, paintings⁠—Clive Barker has created them all and done so masterfully. Oftentimes, his artistry will span across multiple mediums at the same time, which is the case with Tortured Souls. This novella, which is an Audible exclusive, consists of writings that accompanied Todd McFarlane action figures of the same name. These figures were released between 2001-2002, and each of them included a 32-page novelette. There were two sets of figures. The first contained six figures⁠—each accompanied by a novelette exclusive to that figure. The second batch of six figures didn't include any new written material. In February 2015, these novelettes were combined to create the Tortured Souls novella.

I love Clive Barker's writing because it's inventive, poetic, and unrestrained. Tortured Souls has these elements, yet it's not nearly as memorable or compelling as Barker's other work. Why? I think the reason is because it's six individual pieces stitched together. This gives the story a disjointed feel and affects the flow of the writing. Furthermore, this is the only time I can recall that Barker wrote prose for the purpose of a toy line⁠. Normally, toys, movies, TV shows, and other items are inspired by his writing, not the other way around. To me, the writing playing second fiddle to the toy line is the ultimate reason why it suffers. That said, Tortured Souls is still an interesting curiosity for Clive Barker devotees, such as myself, to listen to and enjoy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Tortured Souls

Great gobs of gory, gooshy stuff! A shorter piece of work by Clive but a favorite of mine. 5 stars all around!

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Interesting read

Was sure what to expect but I was intriguingly surprised. Would love to see this as a well done movie.

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  • Zackattack
  • 02-04-20

It's shortness was it's only failing.

a macabre and mildly disturbing tale. short, but consistent. excellent read if you enjoy hellraiseresque tales.

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  • Troy
  • 08-05-16

Well done again Clive

This story has links to Clive's other written works,however maintains primordiam as a very unique world
Highly recommended
You should like this if your a barker fan from way back to the wonderful books of blood stories.