Cornerofmadness's Reviews > The Hellbound Heart

The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker
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Aug 15, 2010

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bookshelves: horror
Read in August, 2010

** spoiler alert ** I haven’t read this since I was a freshman in college in the 80’s. Nowadays it’s hard to think of the book as a novel since it’s under 200 pages (and what novel has that nowadays?). This is the novel that Hellraiser was based off of and quite well, too.

Julia and Rory, unhappily married, at least from her point of view, have moved into the family home. Rory’s brother Frank had the home but he’s disappeared. The reader knows where he went as the story opens with Frank, bored with life and looking for more intense sexual thrills, trying to solve Lermanchand’s box, an intricate puzzle box. He has succeeded but the Cenobites are nothing like he was imagining.

During the home improvements, marking with spotty help from their friend Kristy (who seems to have a crush on Rory), Rory injuries his hand, spilling blood on the floor of the ‘damp room,’ the largest of the bedrooms that Julia was too uneasy to sleep in. When they go to clean up the blood, it’s gone. Only later does Julia, bored and hating on Rory’s average life style, go back to the room and it’s then she sees something odd in the room, namely Frank or what the Cenobites have left of him.

The latter half of the story is Julia trying to restore Frank back to life. She’s a perfect fit for him, sadistic and self-centered. The question becomes will Rory and Kristy survive Julia’s intentions. It’s a dark cult classic and well worth the quick read if you like horror. Barker is considered a master for good reason.
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