Cabal
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Cabal

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  9,800 ratings  ·  194 reviews
For more than two decades, Clive Barker has twisted the worlds of horrific and surrealistic fiction into a terrifying, transcendent genre all his own. With skillful prose, he enthralls even as he horrifies; with uncanny insight, he disturbs as profoundly as he reveals. Evoking revulsion and admiration, anticipation and dread, Barker's works explore the darkest contradictio...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Gallery Books (first published January 1st 1988)
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R.
Aug 16, 2010 R. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
A long gestation - bought 2001, completely read...now.

Midian is the Vanishing Point of Reference

"Cabal" is a bloodier The Graveyard Book: hero lives in cemetery among...uh, friends...because normal life is ruined by machinations of psycho-killer; but that isn't enough for the evil doctor. No. Decker (played in the movie by David Cronenberg) has to press the issue...but goodthing for the hero that not everything in and under the cemetery is dead. And there goes the hellraiser, being chased by the...more
Suzana Vuksanovic
This book really took me by surprise. Although it is a story that includes much that is supernatural, I found it extraordinarily believable. In fact I found myself wishing that Midian was real. Midian is where the bulk of the action in the book takes place, and can be applied both to the ghost town and the cemetery that lies nearby. Even in it's heyday the town of Midian was a one street town, so the unusual thing about this cemetary is it's hugeness. The inscriptions on the various plots (which...more
Jean
So much of this book is said in subtext, in the language that the characters speak secretly of themselves and others, that I see a lot of readers having completely missed the point or not even willing to formulate an opinion to take a stab at answering the questions they say the story raised for them and never answered. The heart of the book is Lori, a highly sympathetic and believable female character (Barker's good at that), and the shift from Boone's narrative to hers at first felt jarring, m...more
P. Aaron Potter
If you’re not quite ready to get vicariously blood-drenched, but you’d like a taste of the later Barker’s work, try “Cabal.” Like “Hellbound Heart,” it was published after the Books of Blood but is sometimes repackaged as an extension of that series. As a bonus, one of the short stories usually bundled with it is “The Last Illusion,” which served as the basis for the film “Lord of Illusions,” an urban fantasy starring the always excellent Scott Bakula. “Cabal” itself would go on to form the bas...more
Dreadlocksmile
First published back in 1988, ‘Cabal’ followed the release of the hugely popular novel ‘Weaveworld’. The story turns all our ideas about horror fiction on its head, with Barker’s classic tale of misguided humanity. The tale subtly tackles the conception, misguided judgment and ridicule of views on homosexual community, with the homosexuals represented as the Nightbreed. Hounded, hunted and attacked, merely due to their way of life, the novel takes you into a world of questions and suggested conc...more
Jack
I'm so interested in the resurrection of Barker's film of 'Cabal' - 1990's 'Nightbreed' - that I thought I would check out the novel before I saw the theatrical cut of the film. I have wanted to read Barker for years, particularly after reading a short story of his in the Vandermeers' 'New Weird' anthology, called "In the Hills, the Cities", that had a breathtakingly visceral and grand MacGuffin.

Now, the assembly of the 'Cabal Cut' from DVD and VHS sources and the ongoing quest to recover the n...more
Christina Crooks
Clive Barker's dark Cabal (the movie "Nightbreed" is based on it) is one of his many great tales. I'm almost as impressed by this author's economical writing power and his grasp of human nature as I am with his original stories. This one's a horror love story that begins with a trusted but secretly psychotic psychiatrist convincing the hero he's a murderer. Hunted, the hero seeks a safe haven with the shape-shifting Nightbreed.There's one gorgeously direct sex scene in Cabal that should be read...more
Richard Wright
A short novel singing a hymn to perversity. Cabal takes a close look a monsters, and discovers that there is a lot more to them than appearances lead you to believe. At the same time, there's no escaping the fact that they remain... well, monsters. It's a beautifully written story, but one that is too often accorded partialities that I'm not sure are inherent in the text. Minority groups are often quick to relate the metaphor of Midian to themselves, but that can only be done on the most selecti...more
The_Mad_Swede
There is something special about Clive Barker's prose. Perhaps in particular his early works like the short fiction in The Books of Blood and The Hellbound Heart, and Cabal is clearly (pardon the pun) of the same breed.

Barker writes with all the stops out and throws his readers into the midst of world both nightmarish and fantastic. A world of gross depravity, yet human in all its monstrosity. Barker gives the monsters and outcasts of his fiction souls, making them perhaps more human than some o...more
Ape
Review I wrote in 2003

This is a horror about ’half dead’ people, who actually turn out to be far less threatening and dangerous than the living, perhaps something to think about. I actually read this a couple of years ago. This is the first and only book I have ever read by Clive Barker and to be honest I was not that impressed. It was not scary and I found the overall plot a bit ridiculous and the main female characters a bit two dimensional, but it would be interesting to see what other people...more
Donovan
This book inspired the movie Nightbreed.
It is an easy read but one that is not recommended to the squeamish as it does have its violent moments.

It is one of Barker's earlier novels and I feel it does show at times. In saying that and knowing how well Barker's work has matured since writing Cabal, I would like to see a sequel written for it.






Plot ***Spoiler***
The story concerns a young man named Boone, who is suffering from an unspecified mental illness. Although it is not serious enough to instit...more
James Martinez
It is always interesting to go and read the story that inspired a movie that you enjoyed. Ever since the first time I watched the movie Nightbreed I though that I should go read the original novella that was the inspiration for that movie. And as the old saying goes the book/story was even better than the movie since so much more atmosphere and feeling can be put into the written word that just does not easily translate to the screen. The book Cabal is actually a novella and four short stories t...more
Alex Telander
The Dark Weaveworld of Clive Barker, Part 3 of 3: “Cabal”

Cabal: The anthology starts off with this novel from Clive Barker. In the remote town of Midian, there is a race of the undead, similar to vampires, and yet different; the sun kills them, they feed on human meat. They also have strange powers, where they can metamorphose into flesh-hungry beats with astounding strength.

The min character, Boone, “thinks” he has committed an uncountable number of murders and goes to Midian, where he feels he...more
Sarah
I loved this book, sure it is a romantic horror story on the surface but the moral issues it brings to light, Midian mirroring the homosexual community and how they were treated in the past, or some places still to this day (this book being published in the late 1980s) was interesting to read about when kept in mind. I felt an immediate connection and empathy for Lori and even though it was a short book there was enough detail for me to care about the other main characters. I enjoyed the sex sce...more
Travis
My favorite Clive Barker book.
Messed up young man is framed for murder, goes on the run and ends up in a city, beneath a graveyard, of monsters.
Really brilliant, twisted story that feels like equal parts horror movie and fairy tale.

Cabal is a novella, but I have no memory of the couple short stories in this book, so I guess they didn't make much of an impression.

This is the story that was turned into the movie 'NightBreed'.
I recommend the movie too.


Razvan Zamfirescu
Mai intai am vazut filmul facut dupa cartea lui Clive Barker.
Un vecin de-al meu avea video, hi, hi,hi, ce vremuri alaturi de Margareta Irina Nistor, care era la fel de innebunit ca si mine dupa filme horror. Cand a primit caseta cu Cabal, m-a si chemat la el. Bineinteles ca am vazut filmul seara tarziu si imaginile din cimitir cu locuitorii acestuia ca si faza de la final cand preotul rastignit si mort invie cu un urlet, mi-a ramas intiparit pe retina.
Cand mi-a picat cartea in mana, am salivat...more
Yasmin
Este es el primer libro de CLive Barker que he leído, y me gustó mucho. Es mucho más imaginativo que, por ejemplo, Stephen King, y desarrolla su trama y sus argumentos de manera más efectiva también. Me encantó el inicio. La prosa, a pesar de los detalles mal logrados de la traducción, me pareció buena, y en general fue una lectura agradable.
Nick Gilbert
This was made into a movie, called Nightbreed. The movie was very good fifteen/twenty years ago but has dated badly. This book however, is still great! I bought on Kindle and read it and it just goes to show how much more longevity books have than movies!
Fausto
Ha sido una lectura que ha ido de más a menos. En un principio parecía interesante y la trama se centraba en los 3 personajes principales, cada uno tenía su interés. Luego, poco a poco, con la incorporación de nuevos personajes (muchos monstruos), la acción se va poniendo cada vez más delirante, algo confusa y, en muchos momentos, no sé si el autor quiere ser dar un toque de humor o, si por el contrario, es una narración patética. Lo peor ha sido el último tramo de la novela y las apariciones de...more
Jaime Contreras
This was needlessly violent and disturbing. Mr. Barker has lost his way and has succumbed to useless gore and violence as his interpretation of writing horror..
Richard
another moment of clive starting something he doesn't finish but still fun sexy goth nonsense
Susan Polcz/Volbrecht
Sep 30, 2007 Susan Polcz/Volbrecht added it Recommends it for: geeks
Shelves: booksiread
guilty pleasure.
Martin Rose
I read this book when I was maybe 13, 14; a reader changes in their tastes over time, but I found this stood the test. Despite years having passed and forgetting the content of most of the story, I found myself surprised by plot points I had lost to memory. There's a certain amount of nostalgia that comes with re-reading a story that gave someone so much pleasure when they were young and impressionable. It's hard to say if I like it because of how exciting Clive Barker's writing was to me then,...more
Phillip McCollum
I'd never read much horror outside of Stephen King's fictional enclave, so I was interested in seeing what ideas germinated in the mind of another genre giant.

I'd say where King focuses on the psychological scares, Clive Barker digs deeper into the blood and guts arena, though not to the point of just writing horror porn. Barker is a skilled wordsmith with intriguing ideas pulled from historical and religious texts, and his metaphors are oddly poetic.

The story begins with our protagonist Boone,...more
Althea Ann
This book consists of the novella 'Cabal,' the story which the movie
'Nightbreed' was based on, and four short stories: The Life Of Death, How Spoilers Bleed, Twilight At The Towers & The Last Illusion.
'Cabal' shows Barker at the height of his obsession with grotesque
sensuality. It begins with Boone, a mentally disturbed man who had
recently hoped he had been getting his life together and making a new start. he recently met a girlfriend, Lori, and things had been going well. But now, his psych...more
Amanda
It seems that many of the reviews praising this book are written by die-hard Clive Barker fans urging everyone "if you like Barker, read this book". Well, this is my first novel by Barker, and I have mixed feelings about the book. First of all, I bought this book off the shelf and paid retail for it, and only because it passed the first-page test. I think it is the height of arrogance for publishers to market novels based solely on editorial reviews with NO description of the plot on the back co...more
Bookhode
This novella kind of felt like Weaveworld's little brother, much in a way that Obscured by Clouds came before Dark Side of the Moon, providing much needed testing ground for many of the basic motives and ideas to grow into the masterpiece that will follow.

Cabal is a fast paced story about a man cast out of his world, and forced to seek solace with the dead, forgotten and hidden race called the Night Breed. Even though they look monstrous, and live in a graveyard (hello, Neil Gaiman!) we quickly...more
Geert Daelemans
Part one of a never to be completed trilogy

Boone is fully aware that something is seriously wrong with his mental health. Because his memory seems to be full of holes, he decides to consult a psychiatrist named Decker. It does not take long for Decker to link Boone to the brutal mutilation murders of eleven people, murders that recently have terrorized the city of Calgary, Canada. Shocked by this dreadful news, Boone decides to flee. He awakes in de middle of a horrific murder scene and sees onl...more
Geert Daelemans
Part one of a never to be completed trilogy

Boone is fully aware that something is seriously wrong with his mental health. Because his memory seems to be full of holes, he decides to consult a psychiatrist named Decker. It does not take long for Decker to link Boone to the brutal mutilation murders of eleven people, murders that recently have terrorized the city of Calgary, Canada. Shocked by this dreadful news, Boone decides to flee. He awakes in de middle of a horrific murder scene and sees onl...more
Tortla
I really liked these stories when I started (especially the titular one), but somewhere into the second story or so, I just got Barker-ed out. Now I can't get myself to pick it up again. Which is unfortunate, because I really want to know what the other stories are about. I just don't want to read them...

Upon finishing this book I've reached a hasty generalization about Clive Barker (which I'm probably not entitled to make seeing as how I've only read Cabal and The Hellbound Heart and The Great...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Author with the same name credited for wrong book 2 15 Nov 12, 2013 12:32AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add expanded edition of a book 3 20 Sep 17, 2013 04:44AM  
  • Clive Barker's Night Breed: Genesis
  • Clive Barkers The Great And Secret Show Volume 2 (v. 2)
  • Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best, Vol. 1
  • Clive Barker's A - Z of Horror
  • Prime Evil: New Stories by the Masters of Modern Horror
  • Blue World
  • Necroscope (Necroscope, #1)
  • Lovedeath
  • The Light at the End
  • The Hungry Moon
  • Dagon and Other Macabre Tales
  • Psycho II
  • City Infernal (City Infernal, #1)
  • Shadowland
  • Red
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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...
The Great and Secret Show (Book of the Art, #1) The Hellbound Heart Books of Blood, Vols. 1-3 The Thief of Always Abarat (Abarat, #1)

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“The sun rose like a stripper, keeping its glory well covered by cloud till it seemed there'd be no show at all.” 47 likes
“Of all the rash and midnight promises made in the name of love, none, Boone now knew, was more certain to be broken than "I'll never leave you.” 8 likes
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