Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In the Flesh (Books of Blood, #5)” as Want to Read:
In the Flesh (Books of Blood, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In the Flesh

(Books of Blood #5)

by
really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  6,966 ratings  ·  145 reviews
In the depths of an abandoned steam bath, strangely beautiful women seduce two businessmen into a ritual of macabre sexuality; in a Greek asylum, wise men race frogs to decide the fate of the world; a petty convict's cellmate reveals to him the gruesome birth of evil; a young woman's slum research leads her into the hookhanded grip of the Candyman, a vicious supernatural ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published April 15th 1991 by Pocket Books (first published 1986)
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 In the Flesh, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In the Flesh

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,966 ratings  ·  145 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of In the Flesh (Books of Blood, #5)
Fabian
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The manifestation of evil, "in the flesh" is the theme which unites all four novellas in this early Barker work.

The highlight here is undoubtedly "THE FORBIDDEN". This is the basis for what is perhaps the MOST UNDERRATED HORROR FILM OF ALL TIME: Bernard Rose's "Candyman." The story itself, 60 pages that really do chill the blood, I've penciled in on a list of the best short stories ever. It is melancholia wrapped in detective Noir, supernatural urban legend; a human investment into something
...more
Traveller
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This has been my first Clive Barker read, and I was very pleasantly surprised by it.

From what I had heard of Barker before, I had assumed his work was in the gory blood porn genre. As such I was never very interested in trying out any of his work, since the more trashy kind of cheap thrills that Stephen King used to grind out in his earlier years, really never did sit well with me. Neither does the kind of horror that features sexy teenagers being systematically mangled by homicidal maniacs
...more
Niki
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprise surprise, another 5-star read from mr. Barker to me.

What was a surprise, though, was "The Madonna", the first story in the entirety of "Books of Blood" (that I've read so far; I still have volume 6 to read) that I found to be an anticlimax. The buildup was amazing, the elements were all there, but then it just... deflated when The Madonna herself made her appearance. (Also... (view spoiler) Ugh) Hey, just one story out of the 25 in the five volumes is an amazing
...more
Chris_P
This was the first Barker for me and, simply put, I liked it a lot. I always kind of thought that Barker was all about extreme gore which isn't quite what I ask of horror literature but since this book happened to come to my possession, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did because my initial impression couldn't be further from the truth.

This volume consists of four dark and atmospheric stories. Atmosphere is definitely a key word here. Barker takes his time building it before he takes the
...more
Jarek "the Mistborn" Dąbrowski
Another great intallment in the books of blood by Clive Barker. 4 awesome stories from which the first " The Forbidden" is the basis for the Candyman movie:D
As always clive gives us much more than just the surface blood and gore. Its a twisted journey inside peoples psyche.
Two more books of blood to go:) 4 stars:)
Tobin Elliott
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-copy, fiction, horror
I'm still finding the quality increases as I work through the volumes. But I have to say, though it doesn't say much, there was one quote that I found quite chilling, from the story The Forbidden:

"Don't kill me," she breathed.
"Do you believe in me?" he said.
She nodded minutely. "How can I not?" she said.
"Then why do you want to live?"

Brilliant stuff, that.
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of 4 novelettes from "The New Master of Horror." (not so new anymore!)

The title piece, "In the Flesh" deals with a petty criminal trapped in a jail cell with a first-time offender who's messing with more than he bargained for in the spirit of his executed murderer grandfather....

"The Forbidden" is the story the movie Candyman was based on. I'm sure you've seen it. The story is shorter, snappier, and more powerful. (And set in England! Huh!)

"The Madonna" reminded me of a
...more
Wendle
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, horror
The second story was the one i’d been waiting for–The Forbidden. Much of it was familiar to me, having seen the Candyman film enough times. The creepy vibe of the film, and the Candyman himself in particular, came through in satisfying ways. But the story created even more, i think, than the film. The eerie, isolated feeling of the housing estate and the peculiar social structure are such banal things, but increase the macabre feeling in the story intensely. It draws on similar themes to High ...more
Marvin
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, autographed
This was the American edition of the last tales of the Book of Blood. Barker managed to keep the quality high right to the end. After this, he concentrated on novels until he gravitated from horror to fantasy. I prefer these early works to anything later. There is a deep dark and very visceral feel to these stories.
Emleigh
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very intriguing collection of short stories. I started reading this because I'm a big Candyman fan, but the other stories in it really hooked me. Looking forward to going back and reading the first four Books of Blood.
Lee Thompson
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
This is my favorite volume in the Books of Blood.
Sarah Mcleod
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favourite part of all the books of blood, they seem to get better as they go on
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
I've wanted to nab this baby forever, since watching the movie Candyman, adapted to the screen by Bernard Rose with Clive's backing. I have owned several of his books of blood anthologies for awhile, yet this one has remained an illusive completion of the cycle. Finally I now own all of them, and read this one within the week of receiving it.

The book, a brief 255 pages, envelops four short stories. The first, 'In The Flesh', is a strange tale following the mind of a convict, Cleve, who is
...more
Dreadlocksmile
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 'In The Flesh'. The six volumes were all released in their individual forms back in 1985, this
...more
Spencer
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unnerving collection of four short stories, I especially liked The Forbidden, which was the basis for the Candyman film. I'm a big fan of the film but I'd have to concede that the story is better!
Joshua Jorgensen
Clive Barker's shorter fictions are so compelling, and his mind creates some of the most incredible things. I read the four short works over a period of time, and in-between novels, so as to have something to savor. These are dark and bizarre little pieces, each with a unique premise.
Master.
Baal Of
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
Not quite as good as the previous volumes but still worthwhile, since it is Barker. Includes the story that Candyman was based on.
BiblioBabes.ca
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BiblioBabe Kat gave this a 9.5/10! Read her review here: http://www.bibliobabes.ca/2/post/2011...
Dollie
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
While reading these four short stories, a couple of them seemed familiar, so I may have read this a very long time ago. I wasn’t crazy about the first story. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, but I liked The Forbidden, which the movie Candyman, was based on. I’ve never watched the movie, but feel like now I should. I really liked The Madonna, too. I don’t even know why, it was a violent story, but it had elements of beauty in it, as well. I also liked Babel’s Children about elderly “thinkers,” who ...more
Alex Telander
The Dark Weaveworld of Clive Barker, Part 2 of 3: “In the Flesh”

BIOGRAPHY: Clive Barker is the bestselling author of nineteen books, including Weaveworld, Imagica, and Galilee. He regularly shows his art in Los Angeles and New York, and produces and directs for both large and small screen. Recent projects include the Oscar-wining film Gods and Monsters, and an exhibition of erotic paintings and photographs, The Weird and the Wicked. He lives with his husband, the photographer David Armstrong, in
...more
Rowan MacBean
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
"Terrifying and forbidding, subversive and insightful,"...but in reality, kind of disappointing. I found this at the used book store, after having an unsettling day that I wanted a distraction from. Lo and behold, an entire collection of Clive Barker stories I'd never heard of! Now that I've read them, I can understand why his "Books of Blood" are so well known while this one...isn't. A couple of interesting moments, some deliberate cliches (Instead of a hand, his arm ended in *gasp* a hook!), ...more
✨The Reading
Great quick little read! The first story was awesome. The second (The Candyman story) I have always wanted to read and it did not disappoint! Te third story was very good, though the ending leaves a bit to the imagination in wanting a bit more closure. The forth story was very strange however original and fun to read. Would definitely recommend!
Manda
Dec 06, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
So far so good. Very intense writing. I am sure this will be the first of many Clive Barker books thanks to a good friend's recommendation.
Trent
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Flesh - ***
The Forbidden - ****
The Madonna - ****
Babel's Children - *****
Mary
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a short ride, but now I know where candyman came from
Charles
Jun 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Four of Barker's short horror stories. Pretty good.
Casey Hampton
Four horror novellas. Solid writing, but I struggled with the form. Novella as form is so slippery. Too long for the –turn- that short stories offer, and too short for the –settling- that novels allow.

I liked "The Forbidden" best.
Coni (conireads or skingproject)
I had read a lot of Clive Barker’s short stories when I was younger, but forgot which ones I had read since I hadn’t read them all. I couldn’t remember if I had read In the Flesh or Inhuman Condition since they both started with the same letter. While reading this one, none of it was familiar until I got to the second of four stories, called “The Forbidden”. It is the basis for the Candyman movies. I never saw the movies, but the story stuck with me since it was very creepy and gross. When I ...more
Zack Clopton
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
The fifth volume of Clive Barker's Books of Blood is easily one of the best collection in the series. Every single story is this book is extremely good.

The titular story, "In the Flesh," features chilling visions of the afterlife, disturbing body horror, and ruminations on the birth of sin. "The Madonna" begins as a unnerving homage to Lovecraft that then twists into a intriguing statement about sexuality, gender, and transformation. (While also featuring one of Barker's most uncanny locations:
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Strange Highways
  • The Tomb and Other Tales
  • Prime Evil: New Stories by the Masters of Modern Horror
  • The Collection
  • Darkness
  • Baal
  • Clive Barker's Night Breed: Genesis
  • The Dark Descent
  • Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror
  • Thinner
  • Heart-Shaped Box
  • Nightmare At 20,000 Feet
  • Haunted Castles
  • Creepshow
  • Under the Fang
  • Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best I
  • Blue World
  • The Blackstone Chronicles
See similar books…
9,645 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 ...more

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)
  • The Inhuman Condition (Books of Blood, #4)
  • Books of Blood: Volume Six (Books of Blood, #6)
“What worth was a man who could not be haunted?” 11 likes
“And sitting there against the wall, listening to Billy's inhalations and exhalations, and watching the light in the glass and through the glass, Cleve knew without doubt that even if he escaped this trap, it was only a temporary respite; that this long night, its minutes, its hours, were a foretaste of a longer vigil. He almost despaired then; felt his soul sink into a hole from which there seemed to be no hope of retrieval. Here was the real world; he wept. Not joy, not light, not looking forward; only this waiting in ignorance, without hope, even of fear, for fear came only to those with dreams to lose.” 2 likes
More quotes…