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Books of Blood I-III (Books of Blood #1-3)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  20,520 Ratings  ·  441 Reviews
"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red." For those who only know Clive Barker through his long multigenre novels, this one-volume edition of the Books of Blood is a welcome chance to acquire the 16 remarkable horror short stories with which he kicked off his career. For those who already know these tales, the poignant introduction is a window on th ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 455 pages
Published December 1985 by Scream Press (first published 1984)
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Apr 26, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow, wow & WOW! Barker is undeniably unique, a few steps above Stephen King (at this point) in the whimsical world of the macabre. All fifteen of these tales are incredible-- & incredibly wicked--anecdotes, all wonderful drafts for damn-good horror flicks (bettering "Hellraiser," surely) that could become classics as quintessential as Carrie, Pet Semetary or The Shining. Barker has indeed a romantic, and visceral, and uber-gross view of things, foremost a fantastic infatuation with the h ...more
mark monday
Aug 17, 2011 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
based upon the evidence of Books of Blood 1-3, Clive Barker sprung into the literary horror world fully-formed, a writer all grown up, already past the awkward growing pains of an adolescent period that other writers of his stature and widespread appeal suffered through before reaching their full powers. his ability to construct and sustain an intriguing narrative, his resonant themes, his stylistic flourishes, his use of irony and dread and gore and comedy, his strength at detailing truly real ...more
Paul Bryant
Dec 11, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spooky-ookums
One hit wonders – I usually think of such oddities as Nena (99 Red Balloons, UK No 1, 1984) or Aneka (Japanese Boy, UK No 1, 1981), or even Sir Mix-a-Lot (Baby Got Back, US No 1, 1992) – a No 1 hit and then nothing, nothing, nothing. But of course you do get one hit wonder authors – the toppermost one in that list will be Harper Lee. OMG can you imagine the advance she would have got for her second novel? And it could happen, she’s still here, 87 years old. We remember it took Henry Roth 60 year ...more
Guillem López
May 27, 2016 Guillem López rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mi recuerdo adolescente era muy bueno. La sorpresa ha llegado al comprobar, además, que Barker tiene una técnica excelente. Confirman lo que todos sabíamos: hay un antes y un después de Barker. Imprescindibles.
Mar 30, 2011 Marvin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autographed, horror
This Scream Press edition was the first compilation of Clive Barker's Books of Blood tales under one binding (the first and original three volumes). This was the way Barker meant them to be presented and for good reason. These 16 horror tales were revolutionary in their lack of sentimentality and their gruesome realism making way for the next generation of horrors writers including the splatterpunks and the bizarro writers. Every story is a classic but special mention goes to "The Midnight Meat ...more
Jason Parent
Dec 08, 2014 Jason Parent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Awesome... simply awesome. I am sad it took me thirty years to read this. Dread, The yattering and Jack, Rawhead Rex, and Human Remains were all beyond 5 stars, most of the rest were 4 or 5 stars, and Pig Blood Blues and In the Hills, the Cities being the only not totally awesome tales for me.

Great read. Highest recommendation. Not just tearing and carving skin like I was used to from Barker, but there's plenty of that, too.
Jan 05, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fuck... masterful... amazing... off the hook! An insane introduction to an absolute horror genius.
Asghar Abbas
Dec 10, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
New Murders in the Rue Morgue was the best entry in the collection. A very Poe take.
Jessica Lynne Gardner
Completely blew me away- the very introduction I found to be enthralling. This was a very different kind of horror, one that didn't lose its sense of identity and roots in mysticism.
Feb 12, 2017 Sud666 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Clive Barker's Books of Blood is a collection of short stories. This edition collected the three Books of Blood into one edition. Clive Barker, though not as well known as Stephen King, is well known for his Hellraiser stories. As with any anthology the end result is determined by the stories therein. The Books of Blood does not fail, for the most part, to deliver some truly gory (Barker seems to relish in the more blood and guts aspect of horror) and downright bizarre horror stories.

The volume
Oct 18, 2008 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've heard all my life that Stephen King's genius as a horror writer is making the familiar terrifying. Clive Barker's genius as a horror writer is making the terrifying familiar. This collection of short stories, tenuously held together by the precept that they are the stories carved into the flesh of a fake medium by vengeful ghosts, has no part of King's familiarity. Instead, it plunges the reader headlong into the multiple worlds of the unfamiliar and horrific, but brings the unspeakably evi ...more
Aug 22, 2007 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A horror classic. Clive Barker hit the ground running with this amazing collection of unique dark fiction. This was the book that made Stephen King call Barker 'the future of Horror.'

I really wish Barker would write some horror again, as his Abarat series does little for me story wise (though the paintings are beautiful) Honestly I've had my fill of sweeping fantasy from this author, especially since with each series I have to learn a whole new complex mythology.

Really I'm just dying for Barker
José Nebreda
Jun 28, 2016 José Nebreda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recuerdos de mi lejana adolescencia. Algunos cuentos son la leche.
Feb 26, 2009 Dreadlocksmile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Back in 1984, Clive Barker made his name within the deeply competitive world of horror with the publication of the first three volumes of the macabre short stories `The Books Of Blood'. Written in his spare time, he admits that he was not expecting them to sell really at all, let alone predict the public response that followed. The release exploded within the horror literature genre, hailing Barker as an exciting and imaginative newcomer. Stephen King, already known as a master in the genre, wen ...more
Midnyte Reader
Oct 20, 2011 Midnyte Reader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This book took me a long time to get through. It is not light reading. It sucks you down into its bloody, gory depth. From the very first story, the “frame” so to speak, that explains what the Books of Blood are to the last ghostly saga.

I enjoy a good gore-fest, yet I realized I was making faces at some of the details of intricate violence and troubling images. It’s not just random blood and violence however. At the heart of it, the stories are just good stories. They are deep and well thought
Jul 10, 2009 Jenna marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
(not my review): "A friend of mine, years ago, gave me this, and I read the first two stories and was like, “I can’t handle this.” Then I read an interview with Alan Moore, and he was talking about how “Books of Blood” is one of the greatest collections of short stories ever. So I took another look, and it was so hilarious. “The Yattering and Jack” is about a demon from hell sent to make this man go mad – the demon makes his pets explode, and he just shrugs it off. So the demon says to Beelzebub ...more
Kevin Cole
May 15, 2014 Kevin Cole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Clive Barker was introduced to America in the Eighties, he was touted as the dude so extreme that even Stephen King--Stephen F****** King, the bane of soccer moms with teenage boys--genuflected before His British Horror Majesty.
And for once, the hype was right.
I was immediately blown away by Barker's sex and violence, which shocked even my depraved sensibilities. And each story only to seemed to get crazier than the last one. Eventually, I was just worn out and haven't read Barker since.
I a
El Biblionauta
Dec 12, 2016 El Biblionauta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
¿Quién me iba a decir que la mejor lectura del año llegaría en sus postrimerías? Está claro que cualquier cosa que lleve el sello Valdemar (en su colección Gótica) es susceptible de ser muy grande y, por tanto, la sorpresa se debe considerar relativa. Además, este libro no es ninguna novedad y cualquiera que conozca un poco el mundo del terror (no únicamente en literatura, sino también en el medio audiovisual) sabe quién es Clive Barker. Uno de los grandes-más-grandes (Hellraiser, Razas de noche ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Rade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, owned
Barker is awesome. Each one of the stories in this collection is unique in a way where you will read it and not find any similarities to the one that came before it. A lot of them start off quite innocently and make you think they might not be too special, but than the author slaps you in the face and invents some form of supernatural theme to the rest of the story. Some stories are sexual in nature, some are violent, some are dramatic, and some are all of the above. The themes are also all over ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this short story collection last year as a christmas gift and I finished it at the first of the year. Clive barker is a true storyteller of the macabre. I enjoyed all of the stories and if u like horror, then you will enjoy checking the books of blood out.
Horace Derwent
May 24, 2016 Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
we are just the book of blood

it's always red whenever we open it
Feb 01, 2012 Donovan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is the original Clive Barker. There are 6 books in all that encompass eighteen stories. The collection is often found broken down in to two collections. This is books 1-3.

Some of the short stories have been made in to movies such as Candyman, Rawhead Rex, Midnight Meat Train, Lord of Illusions.

Not for the squeamish!!!

Plot ***Spoilers***
Volume One

The Book of Blood

This is the frame story for the entire Books of Blood series. A psychic researcher, Mary Florescu, has employed a quack medium nam
Mar 18, 2009 Evan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009, horror
It pains me to say this, but this book sucked. I couldn't even finish the last batch of stories in volume 3 because I found almost everything in volumes 1 and 2 so damn intolerable. How could the guy who wrote Imajica, Weaveworld, and The Great and Secret Show have come up with some of the absolute garbage found in the Books of Blood?

Keep in mind I am a huge Clive Barker fan, but most of these stories were just terrible. The first two, Book of Blood and Midnight Meat Train were not bad. In the H
Oct 09, 2016 Squire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barker's legendary horror anthology is chock-full of terrifyingly unforgetable surrealistic images. Those images don't always add up to a satisying story, but they are rendered in richly sensous prose that evokes the horrors we all hope are only dreams. His unique vision is undeniably powerful and forward-thinking, though it is equal parts fantasy and horror--it's easy to see the roots of the writer Barker has become.

Favorites in this collection are:

The Midnight Meat Train: Intense, character-dr
Brian Steele
Jan 29, 2010 Brian Steele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
No collection of Horror has had any greater influence on me than Barker's "Books Of Blood 1-3." Is it bad to say I only bought the first one at the tender age of twelve or thirteen? That I was so blown away by what I had read, that I actually stole the other two books from my local bookstore? Ah, youth...

Perhaps it is the lingering guilt from that act almost two decades ago that compels me to push this collection upon anyone and everyone who has even the slightest taste for Horror Fiction. I fin
Paul Nash
Jul 23, 2014 Paul Nash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
An interesting, bloody, gruesome and gory collection of tales from Barker! This is where at all started with him! I didn't get "scared" or find the stories creepy, ok sometimes creepy, but mainly just unnerving in an interesting way!
Ksenia Anske
Sep 08, 2015 Ksenia Anske rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Beautiful bloody bizarrerie. I'm in absolute awe.
Feb 28, 2011 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-series, reviewed
After hearing critical acclaim, I finally decided to sit down and read Clive Barker’s Books of Blood 1-3. This is an omnibus of short horror stories. (If you want each story reviewed individually, you can look at my reviews for the first three books) At best, his stories are unique and quite unexpected. At worst, they are bland, predictable or too long. Like I’ve said many times before, Clive Barker has some sort of strange fixation on sex, private parts and excrement. It’s hard to pinpoint the ...more
Jul 07, 2013 Anneliese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2016 Cody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite being a horror literature fan for years, I had somehow never read anything by English author Clive Barker. I'd heard his name here and there, but had never really paid him any attention until recently when I ordered a few of his books on a whim, Books of Blood Vol. 1-3 among them.

I've read the first three entries in the Books of Blood series and, well, color me a Clive Barker fan. Within this collection is some of the grisliest horrors I've ever encountered -- scares not meant for the li
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Clive Barker's incredible short story 2 5 Feb 26, 2017 04:40PM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Books of Blood (6 books)
  • Books of Blood: Volume One (Books of Blood #1)
  • Books of Blood: Volume Two (Books of Blood #2)
  • Books of Blood: Volume Three (Books of Blood #3)
  • The Inhuman Condition (Books of Blood, #4)
  • In the Flesh (Books of Blood #5)
  • Books of Blood: Volume Six (Books of Blood, #6)

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“Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red.” 520 likes
“There is no delight the equal of dread” 15 likes
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