Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cabal” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.93  ·  Rating details ·  16,190 ratings  ·  450 reviews
For more than two decades, Clive Barker has twisted the worlds of horrific and surrealistic fiction into a terrifying, transcendent genre all his own. With skillful prose, he enthralls even as he horrifies; with uncanny insight, he disturbs as profoundly as he reveals. Evoking revulsion and admiration, anticipation and dread, Barker's works explore the darkest contradictio ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Gallery Books (first published 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cabal, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Aaron I wouldn't start here if you're considering Clive Barker, but that's just me. The earlier collection, The Books of Blood Volumes 1-3 (this is…moreI wouldn't start here if you're considering Clive Barker, but that's just me. The earlier collection, The Books of Blood Volumes 1-3 (this is technically volume 6, but it's the weakest in the series), is probably the best horror fiction Barker ever wrote, though many of his longer novels are also quite good. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Johann (jobis89)
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"When the sun goes out and there's only night, we'll live on the earth. It'll be ours."

After being convinced by his psychiatrist that he is responsible for a whole host of murders, Boone flees to the semi-fantastical Midian, a crypt inhabited by shape-shifting monsters who call themselves the Nightbreed.

I only needed to read the first couple of paragraphs of Cabal to be reminded why I have fallen for Barker's works - his writing is simply incredible. His ability to present horror and gore in su
Paul Nelson
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio of Cabal by Clive Barker which comes in at fifteen minutes shy of seven hours and follows the disturbed protagonist Aaron Boone. Boone is a troubled man and is manipulated by his psychiatrist into thinking he's a serial killer. This modern day witch doctor, Decker, doesn't want to kill him with drugs he wants Boone to be his scapegoat.
Through rumour and heresy he finds himself heading for the fabled Midian, where monsters take refugee, hot on his heels is his jilted girl
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
“Midian. He’d heard the name of that place spoken maybe half a dozen times by people he’d met on the way through, usually those whose strength was all burned up. When they called on Midian it was as a place of refuge; a place to be carried away to. And more: a place where whatever sins they’d committed– real or imagined– would be forgiven them.”

Cabal is the story of a town called Midian and its monstrous residents, the Nightbreed. It is a story of humanity vs monsters, nothing unusual in that un
Mack Moyer
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Marko Radosavljevic
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nepravedno kod mene,zanemaren.Proslo je jače od 10 godina od pročitanog Barkerovog romana.I sa tom distancom u godinama i broju pročitanih knjiga,i dalje tvrdim isto.Da bi bio vrhunski pisac žanra. nije potrebna samo dobra ideja.Majstorstvo baratanja rečima mora biti na najvišem nivou.A to Klajvu vrlo uspešno polazi za rukom.Tome doprinosi i maestralno uradjen prevod.Sve u svemu,dobre pisce treba dozirati, a ja neću sigurno čekati ponovo 10 godina pre nego uzmem opet Barkera na čitanje
Aaron Boone está sufriendo espantosas pesadillas que le llevan a visitar al psiquiatra Decker. Y es que Boone está convencido de que es un asesino. En una de sus sesiones, Decker le muestra a Boone unas horribles fotografías de crímenes que le convencen definitivamente de ser el autor de dichos asesinatos. A raíz de estos problemas mentales, entrará en conocimiento de Midian, un lugar en el que los monstruos pueden encontrar su hogar.

‘Cabal: Razas de noche’ (Cabal, 1988), del británico Clive Bar
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
Ignacio Senao f
Por mucho que se le alabe como gran autor de terror no cambiara mi opinión sobre él: no tiene capacidad de causar terror, lo intenta dando asco.
Pues él tan solo mete cosas desagradables, monstruos repugnantes y sexo sucio. Y aunque tenga una buena idea, la destroza con su característica.
Livian Grey
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this more when I was younger, and it is a memorable read but not something I always go back to. I was reading this and Great and Secret Show early on, and he shaped my words more than most authors. The dialogue was perfectly arranged in many parts. Boone is a hard character to root for, you're on Lori's side more the whole time. Overall Decker is a perfect nemesis but seems to be revealed too early, so the twists are elsewhere in relation to the Night Breed.
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
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
Aslı Dağlı
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ve #Kabal da bitti. Van, Kars, Ardahan ucgeninde uzerinde calistigim proje, onlarca saatlik yolculuk, uykusuzluk derken tahminimden birkac gun daha uzun surdu. #CliveBarker'in kurgusuna bir sey demek zaten haddime degil. Epik fantezi ya da fantastik gerilim denildiginde aklima ilk gelen isim hep Clive Barker olacak. Bu baglamda Kabal da beni yaniltmadi; bazi yerlerde yorgunluktan gozlerimden yaslar akmasina ragmen kitabi elimden birakamadim. Surukleyiciydi, gerilim yukluydu.
Kitap, @oglakkitap bu
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
KMK izazov - završen

Veoma sam prijatno iznenađena činjenicom da je ovo zapravo jedno kvalitetno napisano delo (barem, meni), iako imam par zamerki. No, iako vas dobro napisano delo može "držati" da ga čitate, to ne znači da će vam se i svideti. Meni se ovo nije nešto preterano svidelo, ali nije ni da mi se nije uopšte svidelo. Ali bez obzira na to, drago mi je što sam prihvatila ovaj izazov. :)

Čim budem napisala detaljniju recenziju na svom blogu, ostaviću ovde link.

Naknadno dodato:

Kao što sam o
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Suzana Vuksanovic
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cody | codysbookshelf
The basis for the horror film Nightbreed, Clive Barker's short 1988 novel Cabal is typically Barkian in all the best ways. Off the page drips this author's trademark transcendent prose; poetic and striking and maddeningly puzzling, line for line Barker is one of the most talented writers in the business. I must admit I am sure parts of this story went over my head, but I don't mind — that gives me cause to revisit this dark tale again in a couple of years.

This is the story of a man called Boone
Benoit Lelièvre
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This wasn't unentertaining, but it's certainly not why I like Clive Barker.

CABAL is a contemporary gothic love story that I could only describe as Edgar Allan Poe meets Beetlejuice. Or Tim Burton if he stopped trying to make goth culture cute and accessible. It's simplistic, yet it means to be simplistic and I just didn't find the Clive Barker that I love, who enjoys pushing boundaries in this book.

It was well-crafted at best, but not an inspiring read.
Holly (The Grimdragon)
The wind was not invisible. It had a texture, as though it carried a weight of dust, the motes steadily gumming up her eyes and sealing her nose, finding its way into her underwear and up into her body by those routes too.

Cabal is the inspiration behind Barker's film, Nightbreed. I have seen Nightbreed twice, once well before it was appropriate viewing & then I rewatched it as a horror obsessed teenager. All I really remember from the film is that David Cronenberg was brilliant in it! After
Richard Wright
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CABAL is a zombie story as only Barker could have written it. Now I need to see the movie...
Leo Robertson
(Okay so for whatever reason this appears as two books and my review didn't appear for this version? Well here it is again :D)

This year, I’ve gotten a stronger understanding of the difference between literary and simple genre fiction- or at least how I would define them.

A literary story needs to provide some unique psychological or philosophical insight or at least present an existing insight in a new way.

Genre fiction provides no new insight: it’s a reshuffling of existing material, often done
P. Aaron Potter
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
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
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Siento que más bien es un 2.2/5

Vaya decepción, verán, siempre he sido de la idea de que por mucho que te recomienden a un autor o inclusive, que lo difamen, nunca te harás una idea real hasta que no lo hayas experimentado por tu propia mano, así me ha pasado con Barker.

Barker es un autor que prácticamente todos mis conocidos me recomiendan, y les soy sincero ya he leído algunos cuentos y relatos de él, sobre todo Los libros de sangre que yo considero excelentes, inclusive The Hellbound Heart lo
Christina Crooks
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Ksenia Anske
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The stuff nightmares are made of. The monsters who are lonely and frail and almost human one moment, and beasts another, gorging on blood and flesh. You read, and you're not sure what you read, and then it's over and you wonder what hit you. Only Clive Barker can turn evil into poetry.
Jim Peterson
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I just love Clive Barker. He may write horror and fantasy, but he writes some of the most beautiful prose I've ever read. I only wish this one were longer.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Κλάιβ είσαι καλός, αγαπημένος και λοιπά αλλά το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο ήταν μεγάλη μπούρδα. Ένα συνονθύλευμα κλισέ και ένας χάρτινος χαρακτήρας. Εντυπωσιακό το εξώφυλλο και η περίληψη του βιβλίου αλλά το περιεχόμενο είναι χάλια.
Ειδικά εκεί στην νεκρόπολη το πράγμα γίνεται γελοίο.
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, horror, barker-clive
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 a 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Nightbreed. 4 17 Dec 19, 2017 04:03AM  
SQHS Sci-Fi/Fanta...: Nightbreed 1 3 Apr 29, 2017 03:48PM  
Horror Aficionados : Cabal by Clive Barker 101 103 Jul 23, 2014 04:10PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Author with the same name credited for wrong book 2 21 Nov 12, 2013 08:32AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add expanded edition of a book 3 22 Sep 17, 2013 12:44PM  
  • Clive Barker's Night Breed: Genesis
  • Clive Barker's A - Z of Horror
  • The Complete Clive Barker's The Great And Secret Show
  • Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best II
  • Cold Print
  • Wormwood: A Collection of Short Stories
  • Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best I
  • Prime Evil: New Stories by the Masters of Modern Horror
  • Necroscope (Necroscope #1)
  • Battle Royale Ultimate Edition Volume 1
  • I Shudder at Your Touch
  • Midnight Blue: Sonja Blue Collection
  • Book of the Dead (Book of the Dead, #1)
  • Lovedeath
  • Splatter-Punks: The Definitive Anthology
  • Borderlands 1
  • The Lurking Fear and Other Stories
  • Noctuary
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
“The sun rose like a stripper, keeping its glory well covered by cloud till it seemed there'd be no show at all.” 65 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.” 24 likes
More quotes…