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Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three (Books of Blood #1-3)
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Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three (Books of Blood #1-3)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,755 Ratings  ·  407 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
Paperback, 507 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Berkley Books (first published 1984)
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Nathan Sturm There is some semi-graphic sex, though not to the point of being pornographic. The violence is also *extremely* graphic.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
Nov 12, 2012 mark monday rated it really liked it
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
Jun 23, 2016 Fabian rated it it was amazing
Wow, wow and wow. Barker is undeniably unique, a few steps above King in the whisical world of the macabre. All 15 of these tales are incredible--and 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 human body, and with the traffic of ...more
Paul Bryant
Dec 22, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it did not like it
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
Ameriie Ameriie
Apr 14, 2016 Ameriie Ameriie rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Bloody brilliant. Clive Barker writes horror that truly terrifies; his stories aren't cheap thrills, but literary-horror blends that make you think as well as pull the covers over your head. Sex and death almost always go together, as do thrills and disgust, curiosity and foreboding. These stories, with all their gore and existential musings, will forever be imprinted in my soul.

"The Yattering and the Jack"
"Pig Blood Blues"
"Sex, Death and Starshine"
"Hell's Event"
Guillem López
Aug 01, 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.
Jan 01, 2013 Marvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 25, 2014 Jason Parent rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 07, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Fuck... masterful... amazing... off the hook! An insane introduction to an absolute horror genius.
Jessica Lynne Gardner
Aug 13, 2008 Jessica Lynne Gardner rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 07, 2007 Thomas rated it it was amazing
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
Asghar Abbas
Dec 11, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it
New Murders in the Rue Morgue was the best entry in the collection. A very Poe take.
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.
Nov 28, 2008 Andrew rated it it was amazing
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
May 21, 2014 Rade rated it really liked it
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
Jul 10, 2009 Jenna marked it as to-read
(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
Midnyte Reader
Sep 29, 2012 Midnyte Reader rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 26, 2009 Dreadlocksmile rated it it was amazing
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
Kevin Cole
May 15, 2014 Kevin Cole rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 07, 2009 Evan rated it did not like it
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
Brian Steele
Jan 29, 2010 Brian Steele rated it it was amazing
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
Ksenia Anske
Sep 08, 2015 Ksenia Anske rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Beautiful bloody bizarrerie. I'm in absolute awe.
Horace Derwent
May 31, 2016 Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing
we are just the book of blood

it's always red whenever we open it
Sep 08, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing
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.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 27, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This is an anthology of 16 horror short stories and novellas, ranging from around 4,000 to 17,000 words. Such anthologies generally sell poorly, but I'm a fan of the well-turned short story, and in fact feel there are several authors out there whose short pieces are more impressive than their novels--Stephen King for one. You have to really have talent though to make an anthology solely of one author's stories worthwhile. There has to be something that shines in terms of style, voice, or really ...more
Aug 03, 2008 Brenton rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: horror fans and all writers of the dark arts
Product details

· Paperback: 512 pages

· Publisher: Time Warner Paperbacks; New Ed edition (1 Feb 1988)

· Language English

· ISBN-10: 075151022X

· ISBN-13: 978-0751510225

Gritty would be a great single word to use in explaining this work. Barker is a hell of a writer, with an amazing imagination and a thoroughly gifted ability in using the written form of the language, but it is extremely different to what one could consider mainstream horror fiction. It is a little off centre to be considered st
Mar 04, 2011 Patrick rated it really liked it
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 08, 2013 Anneliese rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 01, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, age-adult, 2010
So I got this movie "Dread" from Netflix, mostly because Jackson Rathbone (Jasper in the Twilight movies) was in it. And during the credits it mentioned that it was based on the short story by Clive Barker. Since I kind of spaced during the first part of the movie which I thought was a little boring but I loved the ending, I thought I might have missed something I would find in the story. A library catalog search found The Books of Blood, which also contains a few other stories made into movies, ...more
George Wilhite
Oct 07, 2011 George Wilhite rated it it was amazing
All of Poe's work, most of Lovecraft's, Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, King's The Shining and Straub's Ghost Story--all of these books I grew up with made me want to be a writer, so I began writing as a teenager.

Then came Clive Barker and these three books, followed shortly by The Damnation Game--they made me strive to be an even better writer.

The originality and bravery of these horrifying stories--I still have memories of what it was like reading "Dread" or "The Midnight Meat Train" the
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Which short stories would you recommend? 9 38 Aug 18, 2016 08:50AM  
Clive Barker's incredible short story 1 1 Aug 18, 2016 08:47AM  
Seriously? 6 89 Jan 30, 2013 01:02PM  
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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.” 488 likes
“There is no delight the equal of dread” 14 likes
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