Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hellbound Heart: A Novel” as Want to Read:
The Hellbound Heart: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Hellbound Heart: A Novel

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  25,485 Ratings  ·  976 Reviews
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.
ebook, 176 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published November 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Hellbound Heart, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Dylan Lockhart The classic ones are Stephen King and Lovecraft, but I would recommend Poppy Z. Brite (the first ones like Lost Souls, a story with vampires, or…moreThe classic ones are Stephen King and Lovecraft, but I would recommend Poppy Z. Brite (the first ones like Lost Souls, a story with vampires, or Exquisite Corpse, a romance between a cannibal and a necrophiliac), she's a true queen of splatterpunk.

For the gifts (for other readers), there's a lot of goodies about Hellraiser (the first movie was made by Clive Barker so it's okay about canon ;) ), my step-dad had the puzzle box and a Pinhead figure and they were quite good!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
mark monday
Please allow me to introduce myself.

 photo dEATHmANgif.gif

Actually, let's save the introductions for when I meet up with you later this evening, in the wee hours of the night.

First things first, as an inhabitant of the Dimension of Everlasting Pain I am not exactly a disinterested party when it comes to reviewing this novella. But I do feel I am able to provide a relatively unbiased review of this famous work, despite my intimate knowledge of all of the delightful and inspiring torture tableaux on display.

The Hellbo
Bark's Book Nonsense
Jan 15, 2013 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, horror
“No tears, please. It’s a waste of good suffering.”

My boyfriend made the mistake of allowing me to pick out the movie on one of our earliest dates way back in the late 80’s. I chose Hellraiser which was based upon this novella. I didn’t know he had never seen a horror movie and couldn’t figure out why he was so pale and quiet when we left the theater. The poor boy married me and his movie going experiences have never been the same and I’ll always have fond feelings for Hellraiser. Recently I re
Dan Schwent
Feb 28, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 30, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“In moments they would be here-the ones Kircher had called the Cenobites, theologians of the Order of the Gash. Summoned from their experiments in the higher reaches of pleasure, to bring their ageless heads into a world of rain and failure.”

All hail Clive Barker, the king of arty (but mostly not farty*) horror. The Hellbound Heart is the novella which Barker adapted into the successful 1987 movie Hellraiser, which he also directed.

The Hellbound Heart is the story of Frank Cotton, a very depra
Oct 27, 2011 Flannery rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Flannery by: Book Club Pick - 10/11
I’m assuming everyone in the world has seen the last Harry Potter movie? This isn’t a spoiler but there is this part in the movie where Voldemort is in some place that looks like a train station and he looks like a cross between some sort of fetus and a seahorse. When I saw it with my friends, we were all wondering what the frak we were looking at…in fact, it is pretty safe to say that I am still wondering a few months later. So I know Clive Barker wrote this novella decades before HP7p1 would c ...more
Clive Barker is the man.

Let me just tell you. This is only the second book of his I have ever read but I already know he and I are going to be best friends for life. He may even work his way into my heart the way that Stephen King and JK Rowling have. Who knows?

Look out, Clive Barker; I might just be hiding in the bushes. :D

The first book of his that I ever read was The Thief of Always and I could not believe I had waited as long as I had to read his work. If you haven’t read that one, you real
Michael Fierce
Although I enjoyed the book, The Hellbound Heart, the movie version, Hellraiser - with the awesomely cheesy blue and yellow 80's FX - was quite a bit better and mainly because it was more fully realized.

And, as a fun note, John Kozak, the singer of my band, Of The Arcane, had his head sculpted by our friend, Mitch Gonzales, into the likeness of Pinhead, and was presented to Clive at the very first signing we attended of his at The Dark Carnival bookstore, in Berkeley, CA.

Clive liked it so much,
Paul Nelson
Apr 09, 2015 Paul Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Hellbound Heart starts with Lemarchand’s box and Frank's desire to solve the intricate puzzle and in turn find the promised new world, a province infinitely far from the room in which he sat, toying as the music rings. He had meticulously prepared, every part of the invocation ritual observed and now he was to finally set eyes on the Cenobites, theologians of the Order of the Gash. Summoned from their experiments in the higher reaches of pleasure and that is what he asks for, pleasure.

Not as
Sep 16, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rare rare instance in which movie surpasses the novel. Then again, Barker directed his own creation on celluloid, so there's that. "Hellraiser" is not even included in the list of horror films I adore (the genre which may be the hardest to love, easiest to make fun of, and which for that reason is my favorite), but no one can't say that it isn't mega creepy and creative. The merger of pleasure and pain-- Ahh!

This novella (which can be digested in one sitting) packs quite a punch. This is an impo
Feb 01, 2016 ♛Tash rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2016-reads
So this is the novella that spawned Hellraiser, and perhaps the thing responsible for patent leather fashion...

Everything about this novella is grotesque and gory, but not that scary. Unless one finds bloody red meat and facial piercings scary.
Edward Lorn
Nov 20, 2014 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've now officially read three Clive Barker books to completion. The Great and Secret Show was my first, and though I enjoyed it, I can't remember what happened therein, nor can I recall exactly what I enjoyed about it. I do, however, recall laying it down and saying, "I need to find more from this author." I then went on to read The Thief of Always because I thought the blurb was coolio. I enjoyed it immensely. The rest of my experiences with Barker were not so good. I tried and failed to read ...more
Randolph Carter
Many people don't realize that this book is actually a parody; a commentary on the ever increasing thrills we post-moderns crave from our lives and even horror fiction, films, etc. Look up Barker's own comments if you don't believe me. In fact, Barker has never written a story more gut wrenching and extreme than Heart; some equal it, but none actually exceed it. The fact that it spawned an entire industry of graphic novels and films all predicated on the the goal of being ever more extreme is an ...more
Never watched Hellraiser...(Don't judge)

Never read a Clive Barker book...(Ok, fucking judge me already)

Barker lays down some flowery lexicon wrapped in a tortilla of blood and gore. It's pretty nifty.

However, it seems like he is trying too hard. Words are repeated bukkake style. And these aren't cool words like foreskin and lollipop. The word that comes to mind is 'din', yes probably in the top 5 most boring words in the English language is repeated 100 times in 100 pages, no joke (well, a litt
Jun 04, 2015 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't do well with audiobooks. Because I am an ADD-ridden manchild, I find the link between the writer's imagination and mine to be much more palpable and accessible when I'm looking at the words and holding the book in my hands. I also don't like that I have to basically take in the story at the reader's pace, when my brain likes to cram as many words into it as possible with regular books. It sucks, because I really love the idea of audiobooks! It really mixes written word with the oral trad ...more
3.5 stars.
I've seen 'Hellraiser' of course, and my brother even dressed up as an awesome Pinhead for Halloween 2 years in a row in the late 80s. Mom painstakingly applied about a hundred gray toothpicks all over his head. Some weren't even sharp enough to go in properly, so it took a while, and he just would NOT stop crying... Kidding, kidding! I do wish that we had pictures of that costume though, it was great. My mom is an artistic genius, and my dedicated brother even allowed his head to be
Jan 15, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathryn by: Victor
Shelves: own, horror-read, kindle, 2013
Having seen the Hellraiser movies, and owning the fourth in the series, I was surprised to learn the idea came from a book, The Hellbound Heart . I was immediately intrigued, mainly because I actually like the movies and think they are definitely creative. And of course, who could forget Pinhead?

The Hellbound Heart is a pretty quick read. I believe my Kindle edition is about 176 pages. It follows the story of the first movie, in case you've seen the movies, and you were wondering. Clive Bark
Jun 16, 2012 Kasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally got to read the masterpiece that started it all and well… I was horrified all right to actually admit that I liked the Hellraiser movies better than this book. I have always loved the movies but I value books pillars above any celluloid so for me to enjoy the movie more is abnormal! The writing style is quite Gothic and lyrical, and I was glad to have seen the movies in order to make sure I wasn’t off the wall when it came to understanding the story which was dark, creepy and haunting ...more
Bob Milne
Mar 17, 2015 Bob Milne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I prepare to settle down and immerse myself in the long-awaited literary spectacle that is The Scarlet Gospels, I am going back and revisiting the original appearances of Pinhead and Harry D'Amour. As brilliant as Doug Bradley and Scott Bakula were in their respective screen roles, I want to recapture the essence of Clive Barker's vision, the magic of his words, and the subtle nuances that remained on the page.

Although The Books of Blood is technically where it all began, with Harry D'Amour a
Islam Salem
May 11, 2016 Islam Salem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب عبارة عن روايتين رعب حلوين جداً و حبكتهم حلوة و مختلفة عن روايات الرعب المصري اللي بقيت عاملة زي أفلام المقاولات بتاعة الثمانينات بتاعة سمير غانم و يونس شلبي ، أنصح بيهم و خاصة للمبتدئين.
Matt Garcia
Oct 12, 2013 Matt Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute gory, grotesque, and masochistic masterpiece. The Hellbound Heart shows the incredible and disturbing imagination of Clive Barker. This book is everything a horror fan could want. Don't let the length fool you, this book more than packs a wallop. The brutality and lack of sympathy shown by the characters is gut-wrenching yet satisfying. Barker is like a literary mad scientist, piecing together all the atrocities and inner desires of the human soul. A horror fan's dream. Highly recomm ...more
3.0 stars. This novella was the basis of the Hellraiser movies featuring everyone's favorite Cenobite, Pinhead. This was a decent read, but I actually enjoyed the movie more as I thought it did a better job of creating an atmosphere of dread than the story.

Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novella.
 (shan) Littlebookcove
This book was amazing! I honestly hold my hands up to the fact I've never personally fully read one of Clive Barker's written works. I reached half way with book's of blood and gave up So when I picked this up on my libraries, digital book section I wasn't expecting much.

Oh, How wrong I was....

It's a Dark, dark masochistic piece of work. And fully shows the beautiful, disturbing mind of Clive Barker. The Hellbound heart pulls you in and keeps you hooked for hours. It's everything a horror book
Jun 23, 2016 Oscar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror, weird-fiction
La historia empieza de manera potente, presentándonos a Frank desentrañando el mecanismo de la caja de Lemarchand, que traerá el infierno a la Tierra en forma de Cenobitas. Después, ya entrando en el grueso de la novela, asistimos a la mudanza del Julia y Rory a la casa de este último, que resulta ser el hermano de Frank, y también se nos presenta a Kristy, una amiga de Rory. Pero, ¿qué pasó con Frank? ¿Y qué es esa presencia en una de las habitaciones de la casa?

‘Hellraiser’ (The Hellbound Hear
Thomas Strömquist
And suddenly it becomes totally logical that Barker was considered (not least by S King himself) "the future of horror" in the mid to late 80's and that the movie based on this was a success.

In other words, I simply loved this story, the characters are brilliant (hardly any of them likeable though). The prose - passive, matter-of-fact and a bit dreamlike - which I was not 100 % comfortable with starting out - I got to think fit the storyline perfectly.

The fantasy world (or rather fantasy being
Jan 22, 2016 Jules rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favourite books by Clive Barker. I saw the film before reading the book - a truly terrifying experience for a 10 year old girl, lol.

This book is very similar to the film. In fact, of all the book/film comparisons I've made over the years, I'd say these two are the most closely related. It is for this reason that I give this book 4 stars instead of 5, as reading the book didn't give me anything more than the film I'd seen a few years earlier.

Having said that, Clive Barker defini
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
I think that it is about bloody time that this happened…I have finally gotten around to reading The Hellbound Heart! I think that everyone who loves horror knows Pinhead and has seen Hellraiser, but I wanted to go back to where it all began.

Clive Barker has masterfully pulled me into the world he has created from the deep, dark recesses of his mind. The star of Hellraiser is only a subsidiary character in The Hellbound Heart; the story is more about the depravity of the human soul than the tortu
Sep 18, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect. What more can I say?
May 17, 2016 Δημήτρης rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μια άκρως λακωνική αλλά ταυτόχρονα ολοκληρωμένη κριτική θα ήταν το "διαβάστε, ανατριχιάστε, τελειώσατε". Τo Hellraiser είναι ένα σφηνάκι τρόμου και disturbing σκηνών. Δε χρειάζονται παραπάνω αναλύσεις.
Apr 27, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, really. But I'll give it a bump up just for being the place where Cenobites originated.

A gift, for me?

No, thank you. I had a Rubik's Cube in high school. That was bad enough.
Jan 02, 2013 Shawn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yet another example of a novel with such potential that was all squandered on vapid and empty characters. I read this book hoping it would be a redeeming light from the film Hellraiser but upon finishing it was really no different. The sad thing being I started to think that the film may have somewhat been an improvement over the book.

The main letdown in the book would be the Cenobites, or lack there of. I read the book hoping it would go into further detail about the Order of the Gash. The Ceno
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Horror Aficionados : The Hellbound Heart 52 54 Jan 31, 2016 01:26AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker 1 10 Aug 17, 2015 04:17AM  
Was he heavily inspired by: Nightmare on Elm Street 12 135 Oct 12, 2014 03:26AM  
pinhead in the book 3 70 Nov 03, 2013 12:05PM  
  • Hellbound Hearts
  • The Transition of H. P. Lovecraft: The Road to Madness
  • Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best Volume 1
  • Clive Barker's A - Z of Horror
  • The Complete Clive Barker's The Great And Secret Show
  • Hellraiser: Collected Best II
  • Off Season (Dead River, #1)
  • A Gathering of Crows
  • Blue World
  • Clive Barker's Night Breed: Genesis
  • Drawing Blood
  • Hell House
  • A Choir of Ill Children
  • Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror
  • The Cellar
  • Survivor
Clive Barker was born in Liverpool, England, the son of Joan Rubie (née Revill), a painter and school welfare officer, and Leonard Barker, a personnel director for an industrial relations firm. Educated at Dovedale Primary School and Quarry Bank High School, he studied English and Philosophy at Liverpool University and his picture now hangs in the entrance hallway to the Philosophy Department. It ...more
More about Clive Barker...

Share This Book

“No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.” 180 likes
“She had opened a door... and now she was walking with demons. And at the end of her travels, she would have her revenge... Pain had made a sadist of her.” 59 likes
More quotes…