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The Inhuman Condition: Tales of Terror
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The Inhuman Condition: Tales of Terror (Books of Blood #4)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  4,693 ratings  ·  90 reviews

A master storyteller and unrivaled visionary, Clive Barker has mixed the real and unreal with the horrible and wonderful in more than twenty years of fantastic fiction. The Inhuman Condition is a masterwork of surrealistic terror, recounting tragedy with pragmatism, inspiring panic more than dread and evoking equal parts revulsion and delight.
Hardcover, 220 pages
Published August 1st 1986 by Poseidon Press (first published 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Linda  Branham Greenwell
I'm not quite sure how to rate this
There are 5 short stories. The first 2 are amazing.
The third is good
The last 2, I didn't care for

The first, The Inhuman Condition, is terrifying as is the title story about a knot and the demons that hell unleashes when the knot is undone. Original and kept me interested

The second, The Body Politic, Charlie has the strangest thoughts. He thinks his hands are planning a revolt, plotting against him and the whole human race. Very original

The third, Revelations, A
...more
Stela
Very interesting idea, very shakespearian, of sex embracing the whole world:

Aroused beyond control, he turned to the wall he had been leaning against. The sun had fallen full upon it, and it was warm; the bricks smelled ambrosial. He laid kisses on their gritty faces, his hands exploring every nook and cranny. Murmuring sweet nothings, he unzipped himself, found an accommodating niche, and filled it. His mind was running with liquid pictures: mingled anatomies, female and male in one undistingui
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Dreadlocksmile
In 1986, Clive Barker followed the enormous success of the first three volumes of The Books Of Blood, with a final three volumes to create the entire Books Of Blood series. His two omnibus's were later to be broken down, to be sold as individual books. Barker was invited to be able to illustrate these covers, with his dark and twisted artwork.

This volume was also released in America under the name 'The Inhuman Condition'. The six volumes were all released in their individual forms back in 1985,
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Alex Telander
The Dark Weaveworld of Clive Barker, Part 1 of 3: “The Inhuman Condition”

In the mid-to-late eighties, after the first three successful installments of the Books of Blood, the next three in the series were released under the same title. Earlier this year, these three books were re-released in paperback from Pocket books. The Books of Blood IV and V were published under the names of the first short story in each respective book: The Inhuman Condition and In the Flesh. The Books of Blood VI was pub
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Marvin
The Inhuman Condition was the American release of Barker's later fourth volume of his books of blood. As with the first three volumes, the author continues his exploration into the extreme reaches of horror. Back in the late 80s, I heard Clive Barker speak and he stated he was trying to remove good and evil as a condition to terror. Terror can exist as an independent entity not related to a struggle between good and evil. I don't know where he is on that idea now. He unfortunately drifted from h ...more
Rafal Cebula
I forgot how much I love Clive Barker's writing. This collection of short stories covers territory any Barker fan would be familiar with. Human giving into hidden urges. Some bound demons being released. Some sexuality. Grisly murder scenes written in restrained elegance. Barker is one of the few authors who can write about someone being eviscerated and not have it turn you off to the book.

The stories ranged from creepy, to scary, to outright funny. This is officially a continuation of the Books
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Tasha Robinson
This particular collection contains one of Clive Barker's weirdest stories, "The Body Politic" —in which everyone's hands decide they should be free to do whatever they want, and start hacking each other off human wrists and running around on their own "liberating" other hands —and one of his most grounded, "The Inhuman Condition," about a young hood who accidentally gets his hands on a little murderous magic, and gets obsessed with it. It's one of the stronger collections of the series, with th ...more
Josh
No horror writer I have encountered is more inventive and few fiction writers are more gifted at conveying a scenario and its meaning than Clive Barker in his young days. His inventiveness became too idiosyncratic and less credible as he ventured into fantasy work. That he is a great writer and totally thorough and original would be enough to make him noteworthy. But it is the way he deals with sex that pushes him into the sphere of truly brave art and, unfortunately, out of the mainstream. This ...more
William Johnson
What was originally Books of Blood Vol. IV is a solid, and at times brilliant, collection of Clive Barker fiction.

"The Inhuman Condition" -- A vagrant picks up a rope lined with three knots after the gang he's with beat up an old drunk. The vagrant then decides to undo the knots thus unleashing demons once under the drunks' control. ***1/2 (There aren't any heroes here and the action is grim but early Barker was like that. Very well written.

"The Body Politic" -- A man's hands decide to revolt ag
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Althea Ann
Classic Barker - if you're a fan, don't miss this one. I thought I had read all of the Books of Blood back in high school, but I didn't remember these stories at all.

The book includes 5 short stories:

The Inhuman Condition
A group of delinquents beat up an old homeless man for fun. But when one of them steals a knotted cord from him, and obsessively starts to loose the knots, he may loose demons upon the world... or worse.

The Body Politic
A fresh take on the horror trope of hands that turn agains
...more
Rowan MacBean
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
The fourth volume of Clive Barker's famed Books of Blood series is one of the strongest collections. The first and title story, The Inhuman Condition, is a surreal imaginative story of cords with elaborate knots which, when loosed, unleash a strange beast. The second story, The Body Politic, is almost funny in its concept...hands that have a conscious of their own and rebel against the rest of the body, demanding that they have their freedom. There's probably some deep metaphors at work here, bu ...more
Olethros
-Voz propia, y más en su tiempo.-

Género. Relatos.

Lo que nos cuenta. Recopilación de relatos del autor que manejan la temática de horror o terror con estilo muy personal, y que nos narra historias como la investigación del origen y naturaleza de unos grafitis extraños, unas voraces criaturas que parecen relacionadas con una cuerda anudada, el intento ciclópeo de conocer en persona al Diablo, un experimento que genera violencia pero por razones muy particulares, la rebelión de unas manos frente a
...more
Fabian
There has been a Clive Barker overload lately, and though it is not unpleasant I have chosen to come back to him later... er, read the stuff I still have not. He is a re-visitable auteur.

"Books of Blood" were published in the U.K. in the 80s and now we have "In the Flesh" and this, "The Inhuman Condition" which are the same book published under different names in different collections.

There are five chilling tales here, and though none captured me the way "The Forbidden" did (ok, I keep mention
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Mark R.
****1/2

This was one of the early Barker collections I picked up as a kid, I believe after reading "In the Flesh" and "Books of Blood Vol. 2" (I read things in any old damn order back then). All of his short story collections provide great examples of what makes a compelling horror tale, and this one's no exception.

The best stories in the book are "The Age of Desire", in which a medical guinea pig has his hormones infected with a disease which slowly causes his body to fail and at the same time f
...more
Michael
Oh, man. I was at a book store recently thumbing through "The Books of Blood" trying to remember the stories in that book. I couldn't remember more than a handful of the stories, even with the titles and opening lines right in front of me. I only read that book about two years ago, so it kind of scared me that I couldn't remember more than the first couple of stores (probably the first book). Anyway, my point is that I think I prefer reading Barker's stories in smaller chunks like this. His imag ...more
Matteo Pellegrini
Da mesi Charlie si svegliava con un fastidioso indolenzimento ai polsi, eppure mai avrebbe immaginato che le mani, le sue mani, si sarebbero ribellate... Sadie è stata giustiziata sulla sedia elettrica per l'assassinio del marito Buck, ma il caso fa incontrare la loro esistenza di fantasmi malinconici con quella di Virginia e John, anch'essi in crisi matrimoniale. L'esperimento dei dottori Welles e Dance ha un esito agghiacciante: un innocuo studente occhialuto si è trasfomato in un mostro omic ...more
Maria
Ehkä 3,5 tähteä. Yhä kivaa kerrontaa, mutta varsin epätasainen kokonaisuus.
Ensimmäinen tarina, The Inhuman Condition, on toistaiseksi suosikkini kaikista mitä olen tähän asti lukenut (Veren kirjat 1-4). Juttu kantoi koko novellin ajan. Toinen novelli oli ok, ja kolme viimeistä paljon vähemmän kiinnostavia. Turhan pitkitettyjä.
Tobin Elliott
Four stars just for the first story alone. The best story in any of the collections so far. I didn't care much for The Body Politic and Down Satan, but the others were good.

But The Inhuman Condition is just frigging brilliant, and it points to where Barker would take his writing in years to come.

I honestly thought I'd tire of Barker, reading these collections so tightly together, but I'm finding I'm enjoying them more as I go.
Tammy Downing
A collection of short stories that are weird, spooky and will challenge the imagination. I started reading this at night and had to get a different book to read before I went to bed because my imagination was going wild. Mr. Barker is quite a good author.
Georgene
Oct 03, 2014 Georgene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Georgene by: Philip Wickstrand
Shelves: horror
It's been 15 years, at least, since I've read anything by Clive Barker. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the short stories in this book! I enjoyed this very much given that I don't read a lot of horror.
Philip Fracassi
The most fun I've had reading a collection of horror stories in a long time. These stories are weird, and funny, and gross enough to make you squirm a bit while chuckling along. Great collection by one of the masters.
Courtney Skelton
The Inhuman Condition is another example of Clive's vast and never ending line of macabre, erotic horror stories. This book was a little more strange than most, and for Clive, it seemed kind of milk toast. Revelations was the best story of all of them, yet even that lacked any real depth. I was good, but not great.
Tim Williams
Much better than things I rate a three but not quite what I was hoping for from this author. Maybe I am a little jaded (or getting old). I just didn't feel the menace in these that I did say in Books of Blood (#1) or The Damnation Game - both of which are solid fives.
Rudi Dewilde
We want more! Or we will devour you all! Muhahaha!!! Yep, that kind of book. But than better, a lot better... :D
JJ
Clive Barker's short stories were pretty good, but they did not blow me away. Would recommend to a friend, in the vein of Stephan King.
Kim Schneider
It was good but odd. I honestly can't think of another description that could describe the short stories that make up this book.
kate
A good collection of five short stories, perfect for people like me who think, "Clive Barker? Yeah, great," then sees the size of Cabal and Weaveworld and starts to lose heart.

Some of the stories are shorter, like "Down, Satan!", which leave it to your imagination to fill in the horrifying details. Whatever you come up with will probably pale in comparison to what Clive Barker can come up with.

My personal favorite was "The body politic", which takes the concept of alien hand syndrome to its log
...more
Anthony
A good collection of stories. Only a couple of them were disappointing - the title story, and "Down, Satan!".
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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)
  • In the Flesh (Books of Blood, #5)
  • Books of Blood: Volume Six (Books of Blood, #6)
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 world had seen so many Ages: the Age of Enlightenment; of Reformation; of Reason. Now, at last, the Age of Desire. And after this, an end to Ages; an end, perhaps, to everything.” 1 likes
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