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Hellraiser #1

The Hellbound Heart

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In a quiet house on a quiet street Frank and Julia are having an affair. Not your ordinary affair. For Frank it began with his own insatiable sexual appetite, a mysterious lacquered box- and then an unhinged voyage through a netherworld of imaginable pleasures and unimaginable horror… Now Frank - or what is left of Frank - waits in an empty room. All he wants is to live as he was before. All Julia can do is bring him her unfulfilled passions… and a little flesh and blood…

128 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 1986

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About the author

Clive Barker

475 books12.7k followers
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 was in Liverpool in 1975 that he met his first partner, John Gregson, with whom he lived until 1986. Barker's second long-term relationship, with photographer David Armstrong, ended in 2009.

In 2003, Clive Barker received The Davidson/Valentini Award at the 15th GLAAD Media Awards. This award is presented "to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individual who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for any of those communities". While Barker is critical of organized religion, he has stated that he is a believer in both God and the afterlife, and that the Bible influences his work.

Fans have noticed of late that Barker's voice has become gravelly and coarse. He says in a December 2008 online interview that this is due to polyps in his throat which were so severe that a doctor told him he was taking in ten percent of the air he was supposed to have been getting. He has had two surgeries to remove them and believes his resultant voice is an improvement over how it was prior to the surgeries. He said he did not have cancer and has given up cigars. On August 27, 2010, Barker underwent surgery yet again to remove new polyp growths from his throat. In early February 2012 Barker fell into a coma after a dentist visit led to blood poisoning. Barker remained in a coma for eleven days but eventually came out of it. Fans were notified on his Twitter page about some of the experience and that Barker was recovering after the ordeal, but left with many strange visions.

Barker is one of the leading authors of contemporary horror/fantasy, writing in the horror genre early in his career, mostly in the form of short stories (collected in Books of Blood 1 – 6), and the Faustian novel The Damnation Game (1985). Later he moved towards modern-day fantasy and urban fantasy with horror elements in Weaveworld (1987), The Great and Secret Show (1989), the world-spanning Imajica (1991) and Sacrament (1996), bringing in the deeper, richer concepts of reality, the nature of the mind and dreams, and the power of words and memories.

Barker has a keen interest in movie production, although his films have received mixed receptions. He wrote the screenplays for Underworld (aka Transmutations – 1985) and Rawhead Rex (1986), both directed by George Pavlou. Displeased by how his material was handled, he moved to directing with Hellraiser (1987), based on his novella The Hellbound Heart. His early movies, the shorts The Forbidden and Salome, are experimental art movies with surrealist elements, which have been re-released together to moderate critical acclaim. After his film Nightbreed (Cabal), which was widely considered to be a flop, Barker returned to write and direct Lord of Illusions. Barker was an executive producer of the film Gods and Monsters, which received major critical acclaim.

Barker is a prolific visual artist working in a variety of media, often illustrating his own books. His paintings have been seen first on the covers of his official fan club magazine, Dread, published by Fantaco in the early Nineties, as well on the covers of the collections of his plays, Incarnations (1995) and Forms of Heaven (1996), as well as on the second printing of the original UK publications of his Books of Blood series.

A longtime comics fan, Barker achieved his dream of publishing his own superhero books when Marvel Comics launched the Razorline imprint in 1993. Based on detailed premises, titles and lead characters he created specifically for this, the four interrelated titles — set outside the Marvel universe — were Ectokid,

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5 stars
18,338 (36%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,161 reviews
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
615 reviews4,241 followers
February 9, 2020
"No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering."

In a quest to satiate his darkest pleasures, Frank Cotton obtains and opens Lemarchand's box, summoning the cenobites who instead of granting him pleasure and entry into this promised new world, torture him and trap him within the box. However, his brother's wife, Julia, who had a previous dalliance with Frank, has found a way to bring him back - and it involves blood.

Well, I had to use that quote, didn't I?! Even though there was literally a plethora of amazing quotes I could have used. Having seen Hellraiser before having read this book, I would not have predicted that Clive Barker was a beautiful writer. When you experience all the guts and gore and disgusting sights and fucked-up ideas in Hellraiser, you just don't expect the creator to have such a wonderful way with words - although I guess the same can be said for Stephen King.

I straight up LOVED this book. It's a relatively small book, a novella in fact, but it packs a PUNCH. There were slight differences from the movie, of course, but nothing too drastic. In the movie, the cenobites are better developed and have more dialogue, but I still think their presence in the novella is effective. These sadomasochistic beings don't differentiate between pleasure and pain - something that Frank learns pretty quickly. The way Barker depicts the cenobites is terrifying and my only real complaint with regards to this story is that I'm left wanting more. I'm literally dying to learn more about the cenobites and what happens in their realm, more specifically what horrifying torture is inflicted upon others. What can I say, I'm a sicko!? There's a substantial amount of violence and sex, mirroring that fine line between pleasure and pain. Frank and Julia seem to suit each other in that they're both pretty unlikeable and selfish individuals, with Julia willing to go to extreme lengths in order to get Frank back.

I can already tell that Clive Barker is a master story-teller. He left me feeling unsettled, intrigued, and most importantly...wanting MORE. I found this to be an addictive read and couldn't put it down, even though I already knew the general story. It's a great introduction to Barker's work as I'm already getting extremely excited for my next venture, which will be the first Books of Blood - highly recommended by every Barker fan on instagram. So, if you're a hardened horror fan and love all things gory and disturbing, this would be a starting place for getting into Barker - maybe you'll start to become obsessed like me! This gets a 5 star rating!

Update: reread in February 2020. Just as amazing. Still 5 stars.
Profile Image for Sr3yas.
223 reviews996 followers
March 24, 2018
This is Frank.

Frank is not having a good time. No, sir, he is not. You see, Frank thought he was signing up for a time of his life when he summoned the gruesome Cenobites, but he made a mistake of not reading the terms and conditions when he summoned them. Now he is stuck in eternal torment in Cenobite world and it's not the figurative eternal torment that poets and lovers feel, but quite literal eternal torment where his flesh is ripped from his body until he is nothing but chunks of meat.

Seriously, don't be like Frank. Read terms and conditions.

Clive Braker's novella, Hellbound heart is a gory masterpiece because it is original, bloody and well crafted. The story introduces one of the distinct horror icons to the world: Pinhead and his lackeys. The human characters are not exactly well fleshed out, but all the parts where our antagonist Frank is literally being fleshed out more than makes up for that sin. Clive Barker has a knack for crossing the line to the disgusting and disturbing imagery side of the horror, and still make the reader keep going with his excellent storytelling skills.

Also, Helluva last act!

Profile Image for Fabian.
933 reviews1,526 followers
November 2, 2020
Rare RARE (!) instance in which the movie actually manages to surpass the novel. & only barely.

Then again, Barker directed his own creation on celluloid, so there's that. "Hellraiser" is not even included in the sacred list of horror films I adore (the genre which may be the hardest to love, easiest to make fun of, and which for that reason is my favorite), but no one can't say that it isn't mega creepy & creative. The merger of pleasure and pain-- Ahhh!

This novella (which can be digested in one sitting) packs quite a punch. This is an important book for the genre, one that showcases Clive Barker's poetics in a compact way. You'll want to read another one of his immediately after!
Profile Image for Peter Topside.
Author 3 books597 followers
July 1, 2021
I grew up being terrified by Pinhead and the cenobites in Hellraiser. They are gruesome and the very things that nightmares are made of. So naturally, I wanted to see what Clive Barker's original story was like. Surprisingly, it was very similar to the original movie, down to the dialogue. I didn't love the writing style, and felt there was a lot of detail and depth missing at various portions of the book, but after the mid-way point, I got the hang of it. The book is disturbing, ugly, and violent. I was genuinely uncomfortable during most of it, and that's how I know it's a well done horror story. Bravo to Clive Barker!
Profile Image for Peter.
2,467 reviews439 followers
June 5, 2020
This book is regarded by many as one of horror's absolute classics. There is also a well know movie series under the Hellraiser title. Well, don't get me wrong, the book has some fine ingredients: the Cenobites (absolute eerie characters from hell or who knows where), the magic dice device that summons them and Frank trying desperately to become human again. And that's the point. The main story about Julia (doesn't love Roy), Rory (unloved husband, brother of Frank) and Frank (son of a gun, daredevil, lost his life to the Cenobites) is a bit too common and predictable. Kristy (a neighbor) sees that Julia brings men into the house she leads to the upper room. What's the reason for doing this? What about Rory in the end? The characters and their behavior are the weak element here. First you don't like them too much and then you don't understand their action. The eeriest and uncanniest elements are the Cenobites. They are absolute cult. The rest is insignificant in my opinion. There are better works out from Clive Barker, e.g. The Books of Blood or Coldhearted Canyon (one of my alltime favorites). Recommended only because it's a classic and because of the Cenobites!
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 18 books3,708 followers
July 11, 2018
Well, it's official. I'm *not* a Clive Barker fan. I love horror. Horror is a precious genre because the stakes are very high--I'm naturally prone to be a timid, fearful person when it comes to adventure or doing risky things. For instance, I would never consider bungee jumping or parachuting from an airplane. I would skip a white water rafting trip or a zipline through the jungle. I don't even like to go inside a haunted house attraction at the carnival.
But I do love reading horror and maybe that's where I get to be adventurous and risky.
I've read a few Barkers before this one.
I didn't finish Mister B Gone. I read part of the Great and Secret Show and loved the Thief of Always. Every time I reviewed, someone would always recommend this one to me.
Barker--he's a great writer, don't get me wrong. But I have his number now. I know what he's all about. He likes to explore this whole pleasure and pain principle. He likes to explore the human body (inside and outside). He enjoys gore and blood...lots and lots of that and blurring the line between what is torture and what is sex.
And none of it really is my thing.
I don't really want a story like this with no character investment. I felt nothing for Rory, Julia, Frank or Kristy.
I felt like all of the people in this story were just puppets, playthings for the sinister, hellish Cenobites
which I guess would be cool, if we knew a little more about them too--like, just some backstory on the Engineer. I'm laughing even as I type this because I'm sure diehard Barker fans are like STFU, Sadie!
The Engineer even says, "I'm the Engineer!" no more than that.
Alright, alright "I get it!" it's whatever. It's not for me. Barker fans, have it *your* way but I want my horror reads *my* way.
This was a no for me.
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,695 reviews654 followers
January 15, 2013
“No tears, please. It’s a waste of good suffering.”

My boyfriend made the mistake of allowing me to pick out the movie on one of our earliest dates way back in the late 80’s. I chose Hellraiser which was based upon this novella. I didn’t know he had never seen a horror movie and couldn’t figure out why he was so pale and quiet when we left the theater. The poor boy married me and his movie going experiences have never been the same and I’ll always have fond feelings for Hellraiser. Recently I realized I had never read the novella it was based upon and decided to check it out.

When Frank solves a puzzle box revealing a door to another world promising great pleasure he gets more than he bargained for. He thought he had prepared well, observing every ritual to welcome the Cenobites, experimenters in the higher reaches of pleasure. He was expecting oiled up women, eager for him to use as he wished to slake his lust but instead four scarred beings arrive and alter him in unimaginable ways.

Meanwhile Frank’s brother Rory and his wife Julia are moving into a decrepit old house. The house was willed to both Rory and Frank but since Frank is missing Rory assumes possession. Julia and Frank had something going on way back when, if you know what I mean, and Rory ignores her misgivings about the house and remains blissfully ignorant while reveling in Julia’s beauty. Kirsty, a friend of Rory’s who appears desperately in love with the man, drops by to help with the move and annoy Julia. I see a big, bloody love triangle in the making. I’ve also seen Hellraiser so I think know where some of this is going. Though I don’t remember Kirsty being a love interest, I thought she was the husband’s kid?

Julia starts to settle in but there’s one room with sealed blinds that unnerves but attracts her. She begins to spend time in the room alone. The room seems to demand it. One day Rory has an accident and bleeds on the rooms floorboards and soon after Julia is reunited with Frank and the blood bath begins.

This book is pretty cold and brutal, especially in its portrayal of super-bitch Julia, but there’s a very dark thread of humor running through it too. Imagine a slim beautiful woman chasing a flabby naked man around an empty room, sticking him with a knife as he flails away, refusing to keel over quickly. I don’t know about you but this image struck me as ridiculously humorous.

Kirsty, who is a home-wrecker sort in this book, stumbles upon Julia and Frank doing bad things (that’s what you get Miss Nosey-pants) and takes off running with The Box in her hands. Of course, she can’t leave well enough alone and has to fiddle with it. Now they’re all going to experience their fair share of suffering.

The cenobites are only in the story briefly early on and again at the end. Most of the grisly horror happens at the hands of Julia and Frank which makes all uglier. I vaguely remember the cenobites being a larger part of the movie but I prefer this version of the story better.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,619 reviews4,958 followers
February 28, 2013
Please allow me to introduce myself.

 photo dEATHmANgif.gif

Actually, let's save the introductions for when I meet up with you later this evening, in the wee hours of the night.

First things first, as an inhabitant of the Dimension of Everlasting Pain I am not exactly a disinterested party when it comes to reviewing this novella. But I do feel I am able to provide a relatively unbiased review of this famous work, despite my intimate knowledge of all of the delightful and inspiring torture tableaux on display.

The Hellbound Heart is well-written, yes. The Hellbound Heart is a seminal modern horror classic, yes. The Hellbound Heart is thoughtful and charming and full of the types of cozy & tender scenarios that can be regularly found in my home dimension... yes, yes, and yes.

But I find that I have fallen prey to an embarrassingly modern predicament: I actually preferred the movie! This is rather shameful to admit. There is so much more potential for ambiguity and cruelty between the pages. However, in this case, I found the movie to be distinctly more visceral, ambiguous, and endearingly disturbing. My Lord and Master Pinhead is also better portrayed in the movie version; on the page he comes across as a quaint deus ex machina. Believe me when i say that in reality he is surely the opposite of both "quaint" and "deus"!

I did find the idea that Frank the Id is literally putting on the respectable, boring, bourgeois skin of his brother Rory to be lovely and amusing. But to be perfectly honest, this entrancing concept did not actually occur to me while reading The Hellbound Heart - but rather when I read about it here on Goodreads on a group thread. Perhaps I am not as subtle as I imagine myself to be.

Overall, despite there being nothing particularly wrong with this novella (and what does "right" and "wrong" mean anyway, in the grand scheme of things?)... I am rather sad to report that I found the writing in Barker's Books of Blood, Vols. 1-3 to be more absorbing, multi-leveled, and intriguing. Ah well, I suppose you can't win 'em all. Unless you are my Lord and Master Pinhead, of course. He always wins.

 photo pinhead_zps5843a0cd.gif
Profile Image for Overhaul.
217 reviews524 followers
September 28, 2022
"Sin lágrimas, por favor. Son un desperdicio de buen sufrimiento"

Considerada la mejor novela de 1986 en el Reino Unido, treinta años después se ha convertido en una obra de culto tras la primera versión cinematográfica que se hizo de ella en 1987.

Clive Barker aborda en sus páginas cuestiones cruciales como el amor y la desesperación, el deseo, la muerte y la sangre mediante metáforas sugerentes, reflejando el hedonismo desenfrenado hasta límites trascendentes.

La misión de los demonios cenobitas es torturar con placer uno que nosotros no llamaríamos placer exactamente a los que acceden a ese nivel mediante la manipulación de un cubo cuya resolución da derecho a "tener las sensaciones más intensas". El resultado de la ceguera de quienes buscan el placer de forma vertiginosa, malinterpretando el mensaje de los cenobitas, no es otro que la llegada al mismo infierno.

Mi gran consejo, no hagáis como hizo Frank. Si os encontráis una caja misteriosa y compleja, no vayáis de listos a abrirla. Leer términos y condiciones. La letra pequeña..

Los cenobitas han inspirado películas de diversa calidad, pero incluso en las películas, no logran hacer pasad y transmitir lo que en estas páginas consigue.

Es mítico lo de las películas, sí, y Hellraiser fue muy alabada, pero lo que transmite Clive Barker en el papel, con cada palabra, situación, es otro mundo. Gratamente soprendido la verdad.

Es muy buena la ambientación y tensión que logra, si por buena entendemos que cuando un personaje empieza a sentir esa presión, cada olor y ápice de solor y diversas cosas más, como lector logras padecerlas. Y eso es básicamente porque Barker escribe de lujo.

Los Cenobitas aparecen como una especie de seres superiores del sadomasoquismo, el dolor y el castigo. Emiten amenazas siniestras a partir de frases, como la cita del principio, que son básicamente sentencias que te dejan acojonado sin nada que decir y se llevan a las víctimas para sus experimentos. Hay de todo y las descripciones de los Cenobitas no dejan a uno indiferente..

Leí la primera aparición de los Cenobitas antes de dormir, y joder.. lo consigue..

En lugar de zombis, vampiros o monstruos en general, los cenobitas funcionan mejor como idea, es difícil de expresar, pero causan pavor y dejan huella en uno. Básicamente, acojonan. Una prosa poética y macabra.

La novela de Barker muestra sus deliciosas y perturbadas ideas, entiendo que sea llamado el rey. Un escenario que tú mismo vives, padeces y respiras, si puedes..

Crea y va incubando el ambiente para algo horrible y expande la imaginación en formas que disfruté para bien y para mal.

Y es que el mejor terror no es que un individuo con mascara y cuchillo te persiga, si, acojona si te pasa de verdad, pero este terror es otro, uno más puro, y humano. El dolor. Un terror entre la belleza y la fealdad.

Los cenobitas solo aparecen brevemente en la historia al principio y nuevamente al final. Eso sí, dejan huella. Quiero leer el siguiente y saber más de Pinhead.

La mayor parte del horror espeluznante ocurre a manos de Julia y Frank, lo que hace que todo sea más feo, son personas con sus problemas y sobretodo sus deseos.

Impecable, un maestro este caballero. Sin duda Barker me ha impactado. Lo suficiente para alterar mi lista de próximas lecturas. Voy a por el siguiente, ya. Más Pinhead, por favor.

El 4 de octubre estrenan un nuevo remake. Con lo que me ha gustado, además de la pintaza que tiene, voy a ver la película originale. Sí, no las he visto. Seamos sinceros, de pequeño mire sin querer un cacho de Chucky, el muñeco diabólico. Y me acojonaba..

Dónde voy yo a ver Hellraiser. Pero bueno, hoy veré la primera y empezaré "Los Evangelios Escarlata"..✍️
135 reviews134 followers
November 10, 2016
3.5 stars.
...... it will tear your soul apart.

This wasn't a bad little novella - except some of the sentences seemed to be thrown together; like Frankenstein's monster. I'm not sure if its the authors writing style? - but every so often there would be a sentence that staunched the flow - and some words he used were unnecessary. The dictionary didn't know the meaning.

Frank Cotton gains possession of Lemarchands puzzle box (a box of wonders) - aka Lemarchands Configuration - after doing a few favours for a german man named, Kircher - who knows how to obtain the device.

He spends several hours at a house on Lodovico Street - trying to unlock the mechanical device, which was constructed by a master craftsman. After several hours of looking for a way in - he finally stumbles across the pressure points that need to be pushed in order to unlock the first part of the device: music emanates from within - and when he finds other pressure points, more of the puzzle is unlocked, with a slightly different tune joining the first tune; each time he unlocks a piece. Once he solves the puzzle; he believes he is going to be shown unknown pleasures - that few men have witnessed before - and Frank wants to experience them. Completely unlocking the device will notify the Cenobites that someone has solved the puzzle, which is their cue to make an appearance. The problem is: Franks interpretation of pleasure is very different to that of the Cenobites - which he will soon find out.

It's been a long time since I've seen the movie, Hellraiser - but there were some scenes I remember from the original film. Personally, I preferred the movie, as the book didn't have much Cenobite time; just a brief appearance - I would have liked to have learned more about them - and more about The Gash.

I just hope the other book I bought (Imajica) is easier to read than this one - as that novel is the same length as Stephen King's 'It.'
Profile Image for Joe Valdez.
470 reviews763 followers
November 10, 2019
My introduction to the fiction of Clive Barker is The Hellbound Heart, a compulsively readable and horribly tasteful novella soaked in blood, sex and magic. It's a fast read but abounds in small delights. Published in 1986 as the third volume of the anthology Night Visions edited by George R.R. Martin and a stand-alone with the release of a film adaptation written and directed by Barker as Hellraiser, this piece excels as storytelling and prose. Character and detail fall further down the list, but my interest to read more of Barker is piqued. Is it Halloween yet?

The story begins with such wonderful opening paragraphs that I'm going to let Barker write my review for me.

So intent was Frank upon solving the puzzle of Lemarchand's box that he didn't hear the great bell begin to ring. The device had been constructed by a master craftsman, and the riddle was this--that though he'd been told the box contained wonders, there simply seemed to be no way into it, no clue on any of its six black lacquered faces as to the whereabouts of the pressure points that would disengage one piece of this three-dimensional jigsaw from another.

Frank had seen similar puzzles--mostly in Hong Kong, products of the Chinese taste for making metaphysics of hard wood--but to the acuity and technical genius of the Chinese the Frenchman had brought a perverse logic that was entirely his own. If there was a system to the puzzle, Frank had failed to find it. Only after several hours of trial and error did a chance juxtaposition of thumbs, middle and last fingers bear fruit: an almost imperceptible click and then--victory!--a segment of the box slid out from beside its neighbors.

There were two revelations.

"Frank" is Frank Cotton. On his hedonistic travels, he's bought a puzzle box that promises to summon interdimensional beings called Cenobites, an order devoted to experiments in the higher states of pleasure. Working on the puzzle box in the seclusion of his childhood home, Frank is "successful" in summoning four Cenobites, horribly dismembered and reassembled beings who warn Frank that if they give him what he came for, there will be no going back. He agrees, realizing too late that heightened sensitivity to pleasure opens the door to an endless agony of pain from which there is no escape.

Sometime later, Frank's younger brother Rory moves into the family home on 55 Lodovico Street with his posh wife, Julia. Sullen and more gloomy every day of her four-year marriage to her guileless and boring husband, Julia often entertains herself with thoughts of a frantic coupling she allowed herself with Frank a week before her wedding to Rory. Exploring her new home, Julia finds the largest of the three upper floor rooms to be chilly and uncomfortably stagnant. She also hears a bell ringing somewhere but thinks nothing of it at the time, needing to entertain a mousy co-worker of Rory's named Kirsty who's paid them a social call.

While Rory is out of the house, Julia finds herself drawn to the damp room. Chiseling paint from around the hinges of the kitchen door, Rory cuts his hand and spills his blood on the floor of the room, blood which later disappears without either one of them cleaning it. Escaping to the damp room the night of their housewarming party, Julia discovers a thing on the floor that seems to have once been human but whose flesh has been horribly stripped and corrupted. It's her ex-lover Frank and he to become whole again, begs Julia to bring him more blood. Living in the wall of the damp room somewhere between our world and one much darker, Frank dreams of escape from the Cenobites.

As it was, they had brought incalculable suffering. They had overdosed him on sensuality, until his mind had teetered on madness, then they'd initiated him into experiences that his nerves still convulsed to recall. They had called it pleasure, and perhaps they'd meant it. Perhaps not. It was impossible to know with these minds; they were so hopelessly, flawlessly ambiguous. They recognized no principles of reward and punishment by which he could hope to win some respite from their tortures, not were they touched by any appeal for mercy. He'd tried that, over the weeks and months that separated the solving of the box from today.

There was no compassion to be had on this side of the Schism; there was only the weeping and the laughter. Tears of joy sometimes (for an hour without dread, a breath's length even), laughter coming just as paradoxically in the face of some new horror, fashioned by the Engineer for the provision of grief.

There's a lot of things The Hellbound Heart is not. It doesn't have characters who are remotely compelling. Unlike the film series, the Cenobites don't even play a central role in the novella (Pinhead was created for the movie, perhaps at the request of a producer who felt the project needed a Freddy Kruger). Kirsty, Julia and Rory are three of the most boring people you could be cornered by at an office party. Maybe to Barker's credit, there's no sense of place, with the story able to take place anywhere in North America or Europe. There is a vagueness to the story that might frustrate readers like me who crave detail. When it comes to imagination and prose, though, Barker thrives.

How had he first heard about Lemarchand's box? He couldn't remember. In a bar maybe, or a gutter, from the lips of a fellow derelict. At the time it was merely a rumor--this dream of a pleasure dome where those who had exhausted the trivial delights of the human condition might discover a fresh definition of joy. And the route to this paradise? There were several, he was told, charts of the interface between the real and the realer still, made by travelers whose bones had long since gone to dust. One such chart was in the vaults of the Vatican, hidden in code in a theological work unread since the Reformation. Another--in the form of an origami exercise was reported to have been in the possession of the Marquis de Sade, who used it, while imprisoned in the Bastille, to barter with a guard for paper on which to write The 120 Days of Sodom. Yet another was made by a craftsman--a maker of singing birds--called Lemarchand, in the form of a musical box of such elaborate design a man might toy with it half a lifetime and never get inside.

Stories. Stories. Yet since he had come to believe in nothing at all it was not so difficult to put the tyranny of verifiable truth out of his head. And it passed the time, musing drunkenly on such fantasies.

The Cenobites have inspired ten movies of varying quality, but even in the films, don't get around to doing much. They appear like S&M genies, issue some very ominous threats and haul victims off for their experiments. A garden variety zombie lurching around and muttering "brains!" is more compelling to me. Rather than monsters, the Cenobites work best as ideas, and Barker's novella with its delicious ambiguities is their best venue. He sets the mood for something horrible and stretched my imagination in ways I enjoyed. The best horror swirls between beauty and ugliness, light and darkness, and Barker taps into those contrasts.

Word count: 35,344 words
Profile Image for Tim.
467 reviews581 followers
May 13, 2020
"No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering."

The Hellbound Heart is, in my humble opinion, Clive Barker's finest work of horror. I know most people give that to The Books of Blood, and while I found them enjoyable, I've never really found the need to return them. In contrast, I find that I reread this one every couple of years.

What makes The Hellbound Heart work? For one thing, it's short. Often if I'm enjoying a book, I want it to go on longer, but here Barker finds pretty much the perfect length. It's short enough to be read in a single sitting, the pace is quick, yet still it manages to build a mythology about the puzzle box and the entities inside. Fans of the movie may be disappointed in how the Cenobites are presented as they are in it very little and are different from the iconic designs of the film.

Where Barker always excels is mixing the erotic with horror. Now, with that said, the actual erotic material of the book is fairly tame (with one or two exceptions), certainly not the most extreme of his work... but it's on pretty much every page in some way.

Now I do love the Hellraiser films (well, at least the first two and one or two of the later ones are guilty pleasures), but something the films lost sight of, and always was one of the more fascinating aspects of the story to me, is that the Cenobites did not actively seek to create hell on earth. They let people come to them. You had to WORK for their damnation damn it, and that feels like the point of the book. You are at least partially responsible for your own hell (even if it is unwittingly), be it a loveless marriage, a troubled relationship with your family or... you know... torture demons getting off on peeling your skin.


It's all a matter of perspective.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,861 reviews10.5k followers
March 1, 2014
Frank Cotton activated the Lemarchand Configuration and was whisked away by the Cenobites to experience "pleasure" no mortal has ever felt. Now, Frank's brother Rory and his wife Julie live in the house where his experiment occurred. Frank's looking to return to the fields we know and the price is blood...

As part of my continuing horror education, I had to give Clive Barker a shot, thus The Hellbound Heart.

This novella is pretty memorable but I wouldn't say I was scared by it. More creeped out than anything. Clive Barker has a pretty twisted imagination. The Cenobites and their idea of pleasure was pretty horrible. I really liked the idea of a wooden puzzle box that opens a gateway to another dimension.

Julie gradually falling under the spell of what was left of Frank was pretty cool. I had a pretty good idea of where the story would go and how it would end after she made contact with Frank but it was a fun, gore-strewn ride.

Aside from the short length, my only gripe with the book would be that Clive Barker's style seemed overly ornate at times.

Three things I learned from The Hellbound Heart:
1. If you find a wooden puzzle box, don't mess with it.
2. If there's a chance you'll encounter extradimensional beings, be sure you masturbate on the floor. It'll help you rebuild your body later.
3. If you go home with a woman you meet in a bar and she wants to have sex in a room devoid of furniture, make sure she doesn't have a knife.

3.5 out of 5 stars.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Eloy Cryptkeeper.
296 reviews183 followers
December 29, 2020

"Con el tiempo, todas las cosas se cansan y comienzan a buscar algún oponente que las salve de sí mismas"

"Allí el placer era dolor, y viceversa. Y él lo conocía tan bien que era como sentirse en casa"

frank, es un hombre totalmente despreciable e inescrupuloso. Hastiado de la vida mundana, y en busca de nuevos placeres, busca y obtiene una caja "La Caja de Lemarchand, también conocida como La Configuración del Lamento". luego de lograr desbloquearla, resulta ser ni mas ni menos que la llave de un portal. Por medio de este ingresan a nuestro plano unos seres llamados "cenobitas". ¿Son ángeles o demonios ? ¿imparten placer o dolor y sufrimiento?

Tiene un poder descriptivo impresionante esta obra. Por poco te transporta a la denominada "habitación húmeda" con ese ambiente opresivo, lúgubre, sucio, inmundo. Donde transcurren prácticamente todos los acontecimientos.
Son eje: el egoísmo, el desprecio por la vida ajena. y una relación de lo mas enfermiza, repulsiva, y nunca mejor dicho "carnal"
También aplica este concepto, bastante recurrente en Barker, de que la naturaleza humana puede ser hasta peor que la de cualquier ser del inframundo, o por lo menos no distar demasiado.
Profile Image for Graeme Rodaughan.
Author 9 books338 followers
May 8, 2022
Puzzle Box Scandal! False Advertising Rips Customer's Soul Apart! "Well, the wrapper on the box read, 'Satisfaction of every desire guaranteed. - Cenobites Inc.' But do you think that's what happened? Hell, no! Next time, I'm buying a Rubik's Cube." - Frank

One of the better (possibly the best) books of Clive Barker's that I've read. I like the sparse structure with a clean straight through narrative.

Extraordinary idea and well executed. Will suit horror fans. While there is some gore, it's never gratuitous or over done.

The imagery in this book is remarkable for me in that it stays with me. It's moved into 'iconic,' status.

Strongly Recommended. 5 'Beware the Puzzle Box,' stars.
Profile Image for Alex (The Bookubus).
354 reviews389 followers
May 16, 2021
I'm a big fan of Clive Barker and Hellraiser is one of my favourite horror films so I was fairly certain I would enjoy this one. And enjoy it I did. There are definitely some differences between the book and the film so it was interesting to see the changes but I think both work fantastically well. The opening chapter alone is so goddamn strong it's mind-blowing. The ideas and the imagery are grotesque and fascinating, the writing is evocative and really works on all the senses making for an intense reading experience.
March 7, 2017
Although I enjoyed the book, The Hellbound Heart, the movie version, Hellraiser - with the awesomely cheesy blue and yellow 80's FX - is a bit better and mainly because it was more fully realized.

And, as a fun note, John Kozak, the singer of my band, Of The Arcane, had his head sculpted by our friend, Mitch Gonzales, into the likeness of Pinhead, and was presented to Clive at the very first signing we attended of his at The Dark Carnival bookstore, in Berkeley, CA.

Clive liked it so much, Mitch gave it to him as a gift.

A few years later I met up with Clive who said he had the head encased in glass and on display in his home.

     John Kozak Pinhead

Profile Image for Alexis Hall.
Author 49 books9,944 followers
October 14, 2022
Source of book: Bought by me
Relevant disclaimers: None
Please note: This review may not be reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, without explicit consent from the author.

And remember: I am not here to judge your drag, I mean your book. Books are art and art is subjective. These are just my personal thoughts. They are not meant to be taken as broader commentary on the general quality of the work. Believe me, I have not enjoyed many an excellent book, and my individual lack of enjoyment has not made any of those books less excellent or (more relevantly) less successful.

Further disclaimer: Readers, please stop accusing me of trying to take down “my competition” because I wrote a review you didn’t like. This is complete nonsense. Firstly, writing isn’t a competitive sport. Secondly, I only publish reviews of books in the subgenre where I’m best known (queer romcom) if they’re glowing. And finally: taking time out of my life to read an entire book, then write a detailed review about it that some people on GR will look at would be a profoundly inefficient and ineffective way to damage the careers of other authors. If you can’t credit me with simply being a person who loves books and likes talking about them, at least credit me with enough common sense to be a better villain.


Well, this was incredibly camp.

Basically, an amoral, ennui-consumed hedonist called Frank finds a puzzlebox he believes will introduce to him to a world of overwhelming sensuality. On opening the box, a set of heavily scarified sadomasochists emerge, and Frank is like, yep, I’m definitely still in, nothing can possibly go wrong here. Whereupon the sadomasochists—who have evolved beyond the capacity to distinguish between pleasure and pain—sweep him away for an eternity of torture.

Flashforward to Frank’s staid brother, Rory, and his hot new wife Julia moving into the house where Frank failed to discuss safe words before committing himself to an in-perpetuity type deal with sadomasochists from beyond space and time. Julia, it transpires, is unhappy with Rory and had slept with Frank (an unpleasant though consensual encounter that, for some reason, she was super into?) prior to the wedding. Typical horror things happen like blood falls incidentally on a floor, partially returning Frank—now barely a skinless shadow of a person—from his prison. From here, he convinces Julia to murder a couple of people (you can tell I’ve just come off The Books of Blood, with this casual mention of multiple homicide) so he can have more blood, and eventually offs Rory so he can steal his skin. Muddle into this Kirsty, Julia’s frumpy friend, who Frank is bizarrely obsessed with and, err, that’s The Hellbound Heart.

I didn’t … not like it. But I don’t think it end up hitting me quite the way it was supposed to? I haven’t actually seen Hellraiser but maybe the movie is steeped so deeply in our cultural consciousness that nothing in the book ended up being shocking or even all that interesting to me. Of course it’s beautifully written, especially the sections about the allure of the puzzlebox itself, but the characters are all kind of opaque and difficult to either care about or be interested in or even want to see ripped into pieces. Like, I had way more emotional investment in a random accountant getting on the wrong subway train, you know? This may be a disadvantage of THH being a novella rather than a short story: a certain opaqueness is expected when it comes to short story and can often be part of its impact. Here, I just didn’t understand what Julia wanted in Frank, what Frank wanted in Kirsty, what Kirsty wanted in Rory, and why anyone would not read the terms and conditions more carefully when bartering their soul with a bunch of sadomasochists from beyond space and time. And, I mean, I know to some degree that’s the point. It’s a book about destructive, irrational, wanting. But I guess I was looking for a touch more characterisation to underpin it all.

Also I’d have loved to hear more about the sadomasochists from beyond space and time. Again, I know mystery was kind of the whole thing, but like … how does their society even work? How do they eat and buy milk from shops? Have they evolved beyond shops? Frank himself reflects that he was immensely daft not to consider the possibility that sensuality might mean something very different to a bunch of trans dimensional beings summoned via the medium of puzzlebox. Like, I didn’t even feel like they were bad or scary, just that Frank was expecting SSC and he got RACK … kinda. I don’t even know where I’m going with this. Only that the Cenobites seemed mostly reasonable, even if their kink was very much not my kink. Except maybe that was part of point too. A kind of “who are the monsters here” thing. Or else I’m just waaaay too relaxed about alternative lifestyles.

Anyway. Glad I read this as part of my Clive Barker Whatevering, even though it did none of the things for me I understand horror is supposed to do. I might bounce around and read some of his fantasy because I think I’m still somewhat horror desensitised post three volumes of The Books of Blood. Right now, if a yattering came for me, I’d rock that shit.

PS - the head of a dick is described herein as a "boastful plum" which was a bit of a highlight. Romance has given me a deep fondness for emotionally expressive genitals. Boastful plum is definitely a step up from "fur divide" which popped up a couple of times in The Books of Blood, and left me genuinely confused for a moment or two before I realised it was supposed to be someone's vulva. I'd been thinking .... fijord? Like the forested ones?
Profile Image for Sarah.
173 reviews99 followers
September 11, 2020
Ah, Hellraiser! One of the first *proper* horror movies I ever watched, on VHS tape at a sleepover when I was around 8/9 years old (probably wholly inappropriate oops). But by God, did the cenobites make an impression on me.

Finally got around to reading the novella, which inspired this classic horror movie (it was adapted into a movie by Clive Barker himself) and felt throughly impressed! And I have to say, this is one of the rare instances that I prefer the movie adaptation over the book, but nevertheless I still enjoyed it.
The writing style was close to perfection throughout. It is a tale of both fear and lust.

The story revolves around the protagonist Frank, who longs for a different type of pleasure, beyond what the world can currently offer him. He uses a wooden puzzle box (the Lemmarchand’s Box) which summons the Cenobites upon being solved.
Frank subsequently finds himself trapped within the Cenobites’ realm, receiving the pleasure he so richly desires. Until he finds a way back out through Julia, the wife of his brother, Rory. She begins to lust after Frank, desiring him, as her interest in Rory is wavering.
So, the main question is will Julia’s infatuation with Frank make her willing to give him the one things that he needs to remain in the mortal world; blood?

“He was mystery, he was darkness, he was all she had dreamt of. And if she would only free him he would service her - oh yes - until her pleasure reached that threshold that, like all thresholds, was a place where the strong grew stronger, and the weak perished.”

There are some character changes between the movie and the book, Larry is now called Rory and Kirsty is not Rory’s daughter, but instead a friend (who appears to be utterly jealous of Julia) but this doesn’t impact the story much at all.

Short; but well-written overall and plenty of true horror moments that made it worthy of being genre defining at the time of its release, and well worth the read. 4.5 stars, rounded up to a 5.
Profile Image for Scott.
288 reviews289 followers
December 22, 2019
Have you met your monthly quota of books that include people being torn apart by fish-hooks on chains then dragged off into endless torment? No? Then I suggest you read some Clive Barker.

It's been a while since I visited the fevered worlds of Barker's imagination and I'd forgotten how readable he can be. Barker was very big in the 80s and 90s, and this book was the beginning of a multitude of his magical horror stories where sex, death and the occult are closely intertwined.

Some of Barker's books are very entertaining reads and The Hellbound Heart is one such - an engrossing horror love story of the more twisted variety.

The story centers around Frank Cotton, his brother Rory and Rory's wife Julia.

Frank is a jaded hedonist, a man who has traveled the world to experience every drug, every pleasure, sexual or otherwise. He feels he has felt everything worth feeling, until he hears tell of something known as Lemarchand's configuration- a puzzle box that when deciphered opens a door into a world of infinite pleasure. Once the door is open a bunch of rather po-faced demons called Cenobites who look like they've each tripped over in a different section of a hardware store (one has a head punctured by hundreds of nails) appear and offer you the rather enticing deal of an eternity under their ministrations.

(A few early-story spoilers follow)

What Frank is unaware of is that the line between pleasure and pain can be narrow, and the Cenobites kinda see them as the same thing, making their world one of infinite suffering as well as infinite pleasure.

Frank heads to his old family home to open the box, the home that his brother Rory and Julia are about to move into (Unbeknowst to Rory, his wife is obsessed with Frank, whom she once slept with). Frank figures out the puzzle box and after summoning the Cenobites, is dragged off to the fun and frivolity of eternity in the pleasure/pain universe and exquisitely tortured until he doesn't really know the difference between the two anymore.

My main takeaway from The Hellbound Heart is that if you are going to open a door to a dimension of infinite pain be sure and spray a few bodily fluids around first.

Frank, having had the foresight to ejaculate on the floor before entering the Cenobites' world (and the direly poor hygiene to leave the resulting fluids lying around) has left a small part of himself in our reality. While in the Cenobite's clutches Frank can sense the presence of his, ah, man-essence, something that gives him a nasty, nasty link to our world. (As a side note, the whole magic semen thing comes up in a few of Barker's stories, so if you're a little bit semen-phobic maybe give him a miss.)

When Rory accidentally cuts his hand and spills blood in the room, Frank is able to bridge the two worlds and travel back. His body has been ravaged by the tortures he has received, and in need of blood sacrifice to rebuild himself completely he enlists the help of Julia. As you can expect, things escalate somewhat from here.

While this isn't my favorite of Barker's books (Imajica, The Great and Secret Show and Weaveworld can battle it out for that title) it's a pacy read with some great sequences. Barker mixes the occult ,the horrific and the sexual very well, and knows both when to draw in for a gruesome close up and when to give the reader's imagination space to fill in the awful blanks. Barker tells a good story of obsession, lust and the supernatural, and The Hellbound Heart is both engaging and easily gobbled up in a short reading session.

After reading this novel I'm left with only one concern. I feel much more prepared should I be dragged off to a torture dimension, but seriously, does it have to be semen that anchors me to our reality? Could we bargain down to spit? Or perhaps a few tears? if not I think I'm far too squeamish for Clive Barker style demon-summoning.

3.5 stars.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,609 reviews4,999 followers
October 10, 2022
All that she had done, and dreamed of doing, in the last few days rose up in front of her: a parade of seductions that had ended in death—all for this death that she had hoped so fervently would end in seduction.

I had been meaning to read this for a long time, and my excitement for the upcoming reboot finally motivated me to pick it up. I wasn't sure what to expect based on this being my first Clive Barker book and having heard a lot of mixed reviews for his writing style, but I genuinely loved this from start to finish. I found Clive's writing absolutely mesmerizing and couldn't get enough of it, nor have I been able to stop thinking about it since finishing this novella.

Clive shows in The Hellbound Heart that he has absolutely mastered this dark, erotic sort of horror with its surrealist elements and romantic prose, and I can see now why his writing has been so popular for so long. I'm beyond happy to have finally read this and can't wait to pick up more of his horror works.

Buddy read with the ever delightful Sarah 🖤

Content warnings for:

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Profile Image for Ajeje Brazov.
664 reviews
October 28, 2022
Una scatola, un cubo, sei facce enigmatiche, nessuna apertura o almeno così sembra, talmente lucida che quasi ci si specchia... cosa riserverà quest'oggetto così curioso, quanto freddo?

Ennesimo libro letto di Barker e si rileva sempre un ottimo autore. Scrittore con una vena immaginifica sterminata, direi infinita, ma l'aspetto che più impressiona è la capacità di creare situazioni al limite del pazzesco, dell'insondabile, dell'ultraterreno.

Le stagioni si agognano l'un l'altra, come uomini e donne, in modo da essere guarite dei loro eccessi. La primavera, se si protrae per più di una settimana oltre il suo tempo naturale, comincia a patire l'assenza dell'estate che ponga fine ai giorni della promessa perpetua. L'estate dal suo canto comincia ben presto a invocare qualcosa che plachi la sua calura e il più ubere degli autunni alla lunga si stanca della sua generosità e reclama una rapida, aspra gelata che lo sterilizzi. Persino l'inverno, la più dura delle stagioni, la più implacabile, sogna all'apparire di febbraio la fiamma che presto lo scioglierà. Ogni cosa si stanca con il tempo e comincia a cercare un suo contrario che la salvi da se stessa.

Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews752 followers
May 31, 2016
“In moments they would be here-the ones Kircher had called the Cenobites, theologians of the Order of the Gash. Summoned from their experiments in the higher reaches of pleasure, to bring their ageless heads into a world of rain and failure.”

All hail Clive Barker, the king of arty (but mostly not farty*) horror. The Hellbound Heart is the novella which Barker adapted into the successful 1987 movie Hellraiser, which he also directed.

The Hellbound Heart is the story of Frank Cotton, a very depraved man who is still not quite depraved enough for his own liking so he seeks to up the ante to the next—even supernatural—level. So he bought this wooden puzzle box called “the Lemarchand's Configuration”, a sort of evil Rubik’s Cube, that—when solved—will open a door to let in weirdo creatures from another dimension called “The Cenobites”.

The box owner’s puzzle solving success will (according to dodgy legends) be rewarded unimaginable pleasures, the details of which are a bit vague but clothes are expected to be left on the floor at all times. This being a Clive Barker book:

The mind-bendingly horrific looking Cenobites show hapless Frank their idea of “pleasure”, which is definitely not in accordance with what it says in his dictionary, and leave him as a stain on the floor. All is not lost, however, soon after Frank’s disappearance his brother, Rory, and Rory’s wife Julia, move into Frank’s house. One night some blood is accidentally spilled during a DIY session, and Frank, the stain, absorbs it and begins the slow process of reconstitution...

I have always liked Barker's prose style, he often comes up with surprising turns of phrase, and sometimes suddenly switches into lyricism when it suits him. His horror fiction always includes some grotesque imagery, The Hellbound Heart is even more grotesque than most of his other works. The climax between Frank and the Cenobites is particularly gruesome. None of the characters in this book are likable, and most are despicable, but I like that Barker always takes the time to develop his villains and monsters. The motivation of some of the human characters is a little hard to believe, and they tend to accept the supernatural too readily.

Pinhead, the posterboy Cenobite

The Cenobites, on the other hand, are fascinating semi-evil beings who are not interested in world domination, hell on Earth, or anything like that. They only turn up to show you their idea of a good time (which, in all likely hood, is extremely contrary to your own.) if you make the fatal mistake of invoking them. They are also weird looking buggers, you would not want to meet one in a dark alley, or even a well-lit one.

The Hellbound Heart is a terrific and horrific read if you like your horror bloody. If you don’t find the genre particularly appealing (Hi Cecily!), or if Ghost is your idea of a horror film then perhaps you would be happier leaving it on the shelf (at the book shop). It is not for the faint of heart, and should not be read in the dark; as that is very bad for your eyes.
* There are literally “shitty monsters” in Barker’s brilliant dark fantasy The Great and Secret Show. Highly recommended!

• The original title for the film adaptation was “Sadomasochists from Beyond the Grave”.
• Somebody uploaded the full Hellraiser movie to Youtube (not me!), it will probably be taken down soon, so I won't link to it, but you can have a quick look ;)
All The Weirdest Secrets You Never Knew About Clive Barker's Hellraiser

“The doorway was even now opening to pleasures no more than a handful of humans had ever known existed, much less tasted-pleasures which would redefine the parameters of sensation, which would release him from the dull round of desire, seduction and disappointment that had dogged him from late adolescence.”

Party tips for welcoming Cenobites:
“Upon the west wall he had set up a kind of altar to them, decorated with the kind of placatory offerings Kircher had assured him would nurture their good offices: bones, bonbons, needles. A jug of his urine-the product of seven days' collection-stood on the left of the altar, should they require some spontaneous gesture of self-defilement. On the right, a plate of doves' heads, which Kircher had also advised him to have on hand.”

“She wasn't sure why she went up, nor how to account for the odd assortment of feelings that beset her while there. But there was something about the dark interior that gave her comfort; it was a womb of sorts, a dead woman's womb.”

“She knew he was telling the truth, the kind of unsavory truth that only monsters were at liberty to tell. He had no need to flatter or cajole; he had no philosophy to debate, or sermon to deliver. His awful nakedness was a kind of sophistication. Past the lies of faith, and into purer realms.”
Profile Image for Rodrigo.
969 reviews350 followers
September 10, 2022
Pues me ha gustado más de lo esperado, la verdad no tenía mucha fe, ya que en su día vi la película y no me llamó mucho la atención. 7/10
Posiblemente lea su continuación.
Sinopsis: Hellraiser es una novela desgarradora sobre el corazón humano y todos los grandes terrores y éxtasis que alberga en su reino infinito. Habla de la codicia y el amor, de la falta de amor y la desesperación, del deseo y la muerte, de la vida y el cautiverio, de campanas y sangre.
Profile Image for Coos Burton.
742 reviews1,263 followers
July 2, 2019
Sin lágrimas, por favor. Son un desperdicio de buen sufrimiento.


Este libro me sorprendió gratamente de principio a fin. Ya el hecho de haberlo encontrado fue un golazo, porque no es un libro fácil de conseguir. Fue mi primer Barker, y seguramente no será el último. Quedé totalmente hipnotizada con esta historia. Me gustó porque no solo domina un tipo de terror gore, algo sadomasoquista, sino que también interviene de por medio un conflicto matrimonial que le agrega drama a la trama. Mi única queja: NO TUVO SUFICIENTES CENOBITAS. Eso para mí era importantísimo, porque yo pienso en Hellraiser y automáticamente se me viene a la cabeza toda la banda de criaturas demoníacas encueradas, con cadenas, ganchos y todo tipo de cosas peligrosas. Verlos en menor medida en la novela me desalentó un poco, ya que esperaba que fuera tan gráfico y épico como en la primera película. Quizá el error fue mío por haber tenido la expectativa por los cielos. De igual forma, creo que el libro es ideal para cualquiera que ame el terror, para los que quieran iniciar con el autor, ya que es un libro de lo más sencillo de leer, tanto en inglés como en español.

Si quieren saber más detalles sobre mi opinión, los invito a visitar mi videoreseña: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx66O...
Profile Image for Mohamed Khaled Sharif.
732 reviews794 followers
October 13, 2020

"خوفاً من أن يكون ترميم الأفئدة المُحطمة لُغزاً مُحيراً، لا يملك الدهاء ولا حتى الزمان البراعة لحله"

كتاب "سجين الجحيم" هو عُبارة عن روايتين قصيرتين من تأليف "كلايف باركر" وهو بالمُناسبة من أشهر كُتاب الرعب وبمُجرد قراءتك لأي عمل من أعماله ستعلم سبب شُهرته.. والترجمة لـ"وائل رداد" وهو أحد كُتاب الرُعب والتشويق الشباب والذي سأقرأ له أعمال من تأليفه -بإذن الله- حيث أن ترجمته كانت أكثر من رائعة وخدمت أجواء الرُعب والتشويق.

القصة الأولى: سجين الجحيم:

قصة رائعة بلا شك! مُشوقة وجذابة وأحداثها مُترابطة.. تدور حول (فرانك) الذي يحاول أن يختبر مناطق من الألم واللذة لم يصل أحداً إليها من قبل. فيلجأ إلى أكثر الطرق شيطانية.. عن طريق مُكعب يسكنه شياطين تُحقق له مراده.. ولكن ما الثمن الذي ستأخذه منه؟
الحماس والتشويق جعلني أنهي القصة في جلسة واحدة.. الترجمة كما ذكرت خدمت أجواء القصة لتُساعد في تسريع الأحداث والتهيئة للنهاية الملحمية.

بالمُناسبة، هُناك فيلم لهذه الرواية، لا تقتربوه من قريب ولا من بعيد، فقد كان مُثير للقرف أكثر ما كان مُثيراً ومشوقاً.. ولم أحبه أبداً.

القصة الثانية: بشحمه ولحمه:

"الناس ينسون رؤساء الوزارات.. ولكنهم يتذكرون القتلة"

أحدى قصص كُتب الدم الذي يشتهر بها (كلايف) وتدور في سجن حول (بيلي) ذلك الشاب المذعور و(كليف) المُجرم الذي ينوي تعديل مسار حياته أو لا ينوي لا نعرف تماماً.. ولكنه بالتأكيد بعد أحداث القصة فأن مسار حياته تغير إلى الأبد.
كانت جيدة ولكن ليست بروعة القصة الأولى.. كانت رتم الأحداث بطئ في بعض المواقف مما جعلني أقارن بينها وبين القصة الأولى فوراً ولم تكن المُقارنة في صالحها أبداً.

في النهاية، كانت تجربة جيدة بالطبع.. وعالم (كلايف باركر) الذي سحبنا فيه (وائل رداد) كان أكثر من رائع.. وبه العديد من التفاصيل وتيمات الرُعب الجيدة والجديدة.. وبالطبع سأقرأ لـ(كلايف باركر) و (وائل رداد) مرات أخرى.

Profile Image for Olethros.
2,602 reviews414 followers
April 26, 2019
-Mientras muestra muchas formas de dolor, y quizá el físico no sea el más importante, un punto de inflexión en el subgénero.-

Género. Narrativa fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. En el libro Hellraiser (publicación original: The Hellbound Heart, 1986) conoceremos a Frank, un hombre sumido en la búsqueda de placeres más allá de los que ha sentido toda su vida y que, en realidad, no han conseguido sacarlo de la decepción y del desencanto en el que ha vivido siempre; sin embargo, cuando resuelve el mecanismo de activación de la caja de Lemarchand, entra en contacto con los cenobitas, unos seres en busca del placer de maneras diferentes a las que tenía Frank en la cabeza porque implican sufrimiento y muerte. También conoceremos a Julia y a su marido Rory, hermano de un Frank a quien nadie ha visto en bastante tiempo, que se mudan a la casa que ambos hermanos heredaron de su abuela. Y conoceremos también a una amiga de Rory, Kristy, enamorada de él sin ninguna esperanza de ser correspondida porque el hombre solo tiene ojos para su esposa, quien tuvo una aventura fugaz con Frank y no deja de pensar en él.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

Profile Image for Matt Rudy.
44 reviews28 followers
December 1, 2019
4.5! If you consider yourself a horror fan then you must read this book! It's an absolute classic!

The Hellbound Heart starts out from the perspective of Frank. This man is trying to figure out how to open the Lemarchand's box, so that he can unleash Cenobites into this world. Frank was told that once they came they could give him absolute pleasure. Well, it's safe to say that things go horribly wrong and the Cenobites trap Frank in their realm. Later on his brother and his brother's wife Julia move into the same house. He then tries to get Julia to make several sacrifices in order to set him free.

Clive Barker is a master at making books that not only creep you out, but also want you coming back for more. I loved, loved, loved this book!

PS: This story is a little graphic and is filled with several gruesome scenes. If you have a weak stomach then I would suggest that you choose a different book. Also, you should watch Hellraiser. That movie was based off of The Hellbound Heart.
Profile Image for Emily Coffee and Commentary.
272 reviews79 followers
October 12, 2022
A fantastically frightening novella that displays the human urge for self destruction, the need to push limits to the extreme. Fast paced and fun on the surface, but a surprisingly deep musing on what tempts us to step over the line, risk it all for the ultimate experience, destroy ourselves just to see what happens. Amazing imagery and lore, a timeless classic for horror.

Bonus: the original Hellraiser film is one of my favorite scary movies
Profile Image for Ria.
404 reviews54 followers
January 4, 2020
‘’No man could experience the profundity of such feeling and remain unchanged.’’ ‘’Κανείς δε θα μπορούσε να βιώσει το βάθος ενός τέτοιοι συναισθήματος και να παραμείνει αμετάβλητος.’’

Moral of the story: 1.Rubik's cubes are evil and 2.if a weird bitch takes you to a bedless room to fuck... run.

This is what happens when you decide you want to take BDSM to the next level due to your pursue of extreme pleasure.
Okay, Frank's obviously a dumbass. Like boi why are you trying to open a weird fucking cube. Leave that shit alone and jerk off while trying to choke yourself or something. Damn you freak.
The Cenobites are some kinky motherfuckers.

‘’Εάν χρειαζόταν αίμα προκειμένου να δημιουργηθεί ξανά για κείνη, τότε θα του προμήθευε αίμα.’’
No man is worth killing for. Julia hun wtf? Get a job.

It’s gory and erotic and beautiful and poetic and... unique.

What I hate about this book is that it created the movie franchise which WILL APPARENTLY NEVER FUCKING END EVEN THO THE LAST GOOD MOVIE WAS LIKE THE 3RD ONE. I’m honestly begging you, STOOOOPPPP. Yeah ok the 10th one was better than the 9th one but that is mostly because Revelations is unbearable. Congrats on torturing us I guess.
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