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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  11,397 ratings  ·  236 reviews
Cabal is the story of Boone, a tortured soul haunted by the conviction that he has committed atrocious crimes. In a necropolis in the wilds of Canada, he seeks refuge and finds the last great creatures of the world - the shape-shifters known as the Nightbreed. They are possessed of unearthly powers-and so is Boone. In the hunt for Boone, they too will be hunted. Now only t ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published 1989 by Fontana (first published 1988)
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A long gestation - bought 2001, completely

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
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
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
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
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
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
Ken McKinley
Cabal is a novella by Barker that was the basis for the 1990 movie Nightbreed. It's a tale of a character named Boone who believes that he is a serial killer. During sessions with his therapist, Dr. Decker, he tries to convince Boone that he has to give himself up for the murders he committed. Boone decides that he would rather kill himself than be imprisoned for life. After a botched suicide attempt, he meets a half-crazed man named Narcissus. From him, Boone learns of a refuge for monsters tha ...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
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
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
Mack Moyer
Cabal by Clive Barker is about blowing your load. Yes, your load. Splooging, busting, cracking a loaf, so to speak, and not being ashamed about it.

There are loads blown in this book. Not a lot of them, mind you. Mr. Barker doesn’t employ a GRRM amount of loads here, but of the two loads blown in this book, one of quite pivotal and the other is probably the strangest facial I’ve ever seen in a work of fiction.

But first the non-sperm parts of Cabal. Our hero Boone is a complete lunatic. He’s afr
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
After reading Waveworld and Books of Blood I must admit I was a little disappointed with this book.

I loved the idea of the psychotic killer doctor trying to pin his murders on an innocent man. When the Mask came into play everything became even more interesting. The way Decker interacts, talks with the Mask, the way he is under it's power, although short, was intriguing.

The story of Boon started great: a lunatic, being manipulated by his doctor, being convinced that he is a murderous monster. Tr
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
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
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
Chantal Noordeloos
Beautifully written. I love this story. My only regret is that I wanted to know more of Midian
One of my favourite books. It is so much about that deeply personal sense of alienation some people feel their whole lives, and it is nameless and cruel, when you are put together just-so; differently, and in a way that is incompatible enough with the status quo that the status quo notices. Where do you go? Where do you find the needle in the haystacks that will be your friends? I read this and I didn't feel so alone. So I bought two copies, so this book wouldn't be alone either. I'm normal as f ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.

Handily the weakest of the 6-part Books of Blood series, Cabal starts with the titular novella (later filmed as Nightbreed) and tacks on a few of Barker's weaker stories before wrapping up with a novelette that would also be adapted to film, as Lord of Illusions. More than ever, these stories feel largely like undeveloped bits of proper novels. The gore quotient is sufficiently met, as always, but the weak attempts at characterization and plot don't amount to much. The sex in Cabal succeeds in b ...more
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
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.
Mark R.

I read “Cabal” again recently, in preparation for comparing it to the new director’s cut version of Clive Barker’s “Nightbreed.” “Nightbreed” is, of course, the film version of Barker’s short novel. The director’s cut of the movie does indeed follow the original story more closely. Which is nice, because the story lends itself very well to film adaptation. The studio didn’t seem to think so, but ah, what do they know, right?

“Cabal” begins with a man named Boone being addressed by his psyc
For the most part, I really liked this compilation; I've wanted to read the story "Cabal" for years, so this was a long time goal to actually sit down and get to it. However, I didn't like the other stories nearly as much...and to be honest, if I didn't have the cult fascination with"Nightbreed" I may not have been as down with "Cabal as I was".

I felt that Barker often took too long to get around to the point of the story. I've said many times that it is important to develop characters in horror
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!
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..
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Horror Aficionados : Cabal by Clive Barker 101 90 Jul 23, 2014 08:10AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Author with the same name credited for wrong book 2 17 Nov 12, 2013 12:32AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add expanded edition of a book 3 22 Sep 17, 2013 04:44AM  
  • Clive Barker's Night Breed: Genesis
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  • Prime Evil: New Stories by the Masters of Modern Horror
  • Wormwood: A Collection of Short Stories
  • Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best, Vol. 1
  • Book of the Dead
  • The Last Aerie
  • Blue World
  • Dagon and Other Macabre Tales
  • Hellbound Hearts
  • Song of Kali
  • Haunted (David Ash, #1)
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, Volumes One to Three 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.” 53 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.” 10 likes
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