Saturday, 11 August 2018

Book Review: Books of Blood Volumes 4-6 by Clive Barker

14 more horrifying tales from the master of darkness and body horror... These are the stories written on the Book of Blood.

"What the boy had said was true. The dead have highways. Only the living are lost."

When I read Books of Blood Volumes 1-3, I was completely blown away by how much I loved pretty much every story in there. I'd find it very difficult to fault that collection in any way! Although Volumes 4-6 were still AMAZING, there were a few stories that I less excited about, and will no doubt forget quite quickly.

Short story collections are difficult to review, especially when they're SO GOOD, as I just want to gush about each individual stories and all the reasons I enjoyed them... but hey, we'd be here all day. So I thought I'd just highlight my absolute favourites (which is nearly all of them...)

  • The Body Politic is an insane story where human hands have decided to rebel and depart from their owners' bodies. I realise this sounds absolutely ludicrous but Barker has the ability to make the ludicrous really freakin' cool and interesting!
  • The Forbidden, the inspiration for the movie Candyman (and also the inspiration for a lot of people's childhood nightmares), is a gruesome and highly imaginative story in which the locals are keeping hush about a series of recent murders and mutilations
  • Down, Satan! is a short (but not sweet) story about a guy who thinks that Satan has abandoned him and therefore builds Hell on Earth to summon him back
  • In the Flesh was FUCKING AMAZING. This one is about a prisoner who claims he's in jail to obtain guidance from his grandfather who had died there years before. The ending was one of the best I've ever read in a short story... wow.
  • The Life of Death involves a woman meeting a man who shares her fascination for death. The twists and turns in this one kept me on my toes!
  • The Last Illusion gave me intense Hellhound Heart vibes, clearly Barker dabbling with the idea of Cenobites
  • And lastly, the conclusion itself to the Books of Blood was just so beautifully written and reminds exactly why I love Barker so much

I really could have heaped praise on about 12 of the stories in here, there was only two that I really didn't enjoy that much - Twilight at the Towers and How Spoilers Bleed. I just found them a tad boring... and the general storylines weren't to my interest, I guess! But the rest of the collection is simply brilliant.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Barker has an imagination like no other. I'm actually devastated to be finished with the Books of Blood *cries*

Highly recommend if you enjoy horror short stories and don't mind a bit of blood and guts being added to proceedings!

4 stars.


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