Rowan MacBean's Reviews > The Inhuman Condition

The Inhuman Condition by Clive Barker
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's review
Dec 28, 2015

liked it
bookshelves: short-stories
Read from August 05 to 07, 2010 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** The Body Politic - Everybody's hands have their own consciousness. Charlie George's are tired of being used and not appreciated, so they stage a revolution. Kind of a ridiculous premise, isn't it? I think this one could be read as black comedy if you wanted to see it like that. I was kind of disturbed, though. It left me frowning at my hands and wondering... It was my favorite in this book.

The Inhuman Condition - Four trouble-making friends beat up a vagrant for fun. They try to rob him but find very little of value -- just a half bottle of booze. But one of them notices a knotted string on the ground and picks it up; he likes puzzles and the knots look complicated and interesting. Once the knots are untied, however, they release a series of demons. Mayhem ensues. I liked this one quite a bit, but I would have liked it more if there'd been a different explanation of the vagrant who originally had the string.

Revelations - This is what it looks like when Clive Barker tries his hand at a traditional ghost story. Typical fare with some sex thrown in. I wasn't very impressed. Mostly it bored me. It will stand out in my mind, though, for one thing: John Gyer is one of the most loathsome characters I've ever seen.

Down, Satan! - A tycoon named Gregorius feels that God has deserted him, so he devises a plan. He spends most of his vast fortune constructing a Hell on earth to summon Satan, at which point God will come to save and reclaim him (Gregorius). Unfortunately, Gregorius loses sight of this goal... I really like that the end of this one is left ambiguous. I also like how short it is -- it leaves a lot to the imagination instead of going into great detail.

The Age Of Desire - An experiment to develop a chemical aphrodisiac goes awry and its subject goes insane with lust and escapes the laboratory. He proceeds to go on a debauched rampage, ignoring all other physical needs, until he burns out and dies. Um. I find this concept really interesting but it lost something in the execution. I mean, it was bound to, for me. After all, there was a whole lot of rape. But it was more than just that. At the end, I felt like it hadn't really gone anywhere, and it left me with no sense of dread or concern for that world.

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