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Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three

(Books of Blood #1-3)

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  23,055 ratings  ·  530 reviews
"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red." For those who only know Clive Barker through his long multigenre novels, this one-volume edition of the Books of Blood is a welcome chance to acquire the 16 remarkable horror short stories with which he kicked off his career. For those who already know these tales, the poignant introduction is a window on th ...more
Paperback, 507 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Berkley Books (first published 1984)
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Jamie O'Rourke Don't really see the issue, but if you really don't like that sort of thing then it is probualy to graphic for you. It would be a shame if you didn't…moreDon't really see the issue, but if you really don't like that sort of thing then it is probualy to graphic for you. It would be a shame if you didn't read it just because of that, the stories are amazing.(less)

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4.17  · 
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 ·  23,055 ratings  ·  530 reviews


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Fabian
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Looking for good horror? Look no further...

My favorite horror novel ever. Er, short story collection.

Wow, wow & WOW! Barker is undeniably unique, a few steps above Stephen King (at this point) in the whimsical world of the macabre. All fifteen of these tales are incredible-- & incredibly wicked--anecdotes, all wonderful drafts for damn-good horror flicks (bettering "Hellraiser," surely) that could become classics as quintessential as Carrie, Pet Semetary or The Shining. Barker has indee
...more
mark monday
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
based upon the evidence of Books of Blood 1-3, Clive Barker sprung into the literary horror world fully-formed, a writer all grown up, already past the awkward growing pains of an adolescent period that other writers of his stature and widespread appeal suffered through before reaching their full powers. his ability to construct and sustain an intriguing narrative, his resonant themes, his stylistic flourishes, his use of irony and dread and gore and comedy, his strength at detailing truly real ...more
Johann (jobis89)
"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red."

Comprised of insane and downright horrifying tales from Clive Barker, Books of Blood is a strong debut release which led to King referring to him as "the future of horror". This edition contains Volumes 1-3, a grand total of fifteen stories (sixteen if you include the intro) - a large number of which have been subsequently adapted into movies.

Having already been blown away by The Hellhound Heart, I was excited to get into more Cliv
...more
Benoit Lelièvre
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Woooo!

That was unexpectedly great. And gory. And transgressive as hell. Reading this book made it clear to me why Clive Barker (who I hadn't read before) is considered an iconic writer. The man is not only a master stylist, but he has this narrative obsession with tearing reality apart. Sometimes a form of religion or systematic afterlife is involved like in The Midnight Meat Train or Hell's Event. Other time, it's just off the wall wild and imaginative like In the Hills, the Cities. My favorite
...more
Paul Bryant
Dec 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
One hit wonders – I usually think of such oddities as Nena (99 Red Balloons, UK No 1, 1984) or Aneka (Japanese Boy, UK No 1, 1981), or even Sir Mix-a-Lot (Baby Got Back, US No 1, 1992) – a No 1 hit and then nothing, nothing, nothing. But of course you do get one hit wonder authors – the toppermost one in that list will be Harper Lee. OMG can you imagine the advance she would have got for her second novel? And it could happen, she’s still here, 87 years old. We remember it took Henry Roth 60 year ...more
Abbie | ab_reads
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars - A couple of things about a couple of stories in volume 3 stopped this being a perfect collection, but it’s damn close!!!
Marvin
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, autographed
This Scream Press edition was the first compilation of Clive Barker's Books of Blood tales under one binding (the first and original three volumes). This was the way Barker meant them to be presented and for good reason. These 16 horror tales were revolutionary in their lack of sentimentality and their gruesome realism making way for the next generation of horrors writers including the splatterpunks and the bizarro writers. Every story is a classic but special mention goes to "The Midnight Meat ...more
Jason Parent
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Awesome... simply awesome. I am sad it took me thirty years to read this. Dread, The yattering and Jack, Rawhead Rex, and Human Remains were all beyond 5 stars, most of the rest were 4 or 5 stars, and Pig Blood Blues and In the Hills, the Cities being the only not totally awesome tales for me.

Great read. Highest recommendation. Not just tearing and carving skin like I was used to from Barker, but there's plenty of that, too.
Sud666
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Clive Barker's Books of Blood is a collection of short stories. This edition collected the three Books of Blood into one edition. Clive Barker, though not as well known as Stephen King, is well known for his Hellraiser stories. As with any anthology the end result is determined by the stories therein. The Books of Blood does not fail, for the most part, to deliver some truly gory (Barker seems to relish in the more blood and guts aspect of horror) and downright bizarre horror stories.

The volume
...more
Matthew
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fuck... masterful... amazing... off the hook! An insane introduction to an absolute horror genius.
Heather (glitterandlashes)
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to be by a friend and at the time I just kind of passed it off but I kept coming across the name Clive Barker not realizing that he is such a huge horror Icon.
I had a bit of a hard time tracking it down but when I finally found it and started it, it grossed me out right from the first page.
That's a huge plus for me as I find a lot of horror novels very blah and I will catch myself skimming some paragraphs.
I couldn't get enough of these stories.
Barker took these words a
...more
Asghar Abbas
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
New Murders in the Rue Morgue was the best entry in the collection. A very Poe take.
Jessica Lynne Gardner
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Completely blew me away- the very introduction I found to be enthralling. This was a very different kind of horror, one that didn't lose its sense of identity and roots in mysticism.
Andrew
Oct 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've heard all my life that Stephen King's genius as a horror writer is making the familiar terrifying. Clive Barker's genius as a horror writer is making the terrifying familiar. This collection of short stories, tenuously held together by the precept that they are the stories carved into the flesh of a fake medium by vengeful ghosts, has no part of King's familiarity. Instead, it plunges the reader headlong into the multiple worlds of the unfamiliar and horrific, but brings the unspeakably evi ...more
Thomas
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
A horror classic. Clive Barker hit the ground running with this amazing collection of unique dark fiction. This was the book that made Stephen King call Barker 'the future of Horror.'

I really wish Barker would write some horror again, as his Abarat series does little for me story wise (though the paintings are beautiful) Honestly I've had my fill of sweeping fantasy from this author, especially since with each series I have to learn a whole new complex mythology.

Really I'm just dying for Barker
...more
Amerie
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Bloody brilliant. Clive Barker writes horror that truly terrifies; his stories aren't cheap thrills, but literary-horror blends that make you think as well as pull the covers over your head. Sex and death almost always go together, as do thrills and disgust, curiosity and foreboding. These stories, with all their gore and existential musings, will forever be imprinted in my soul.

Favorites:
"The Yattering and the Jack"
"Pig Blood Blues"
"Sex, Death and Starshine"
"Hell's Event"
"Confessions
...more
Dreadlocksmile
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Back in 1984, Clive Barker made his name within the deeply competitive world of horror with the publication of the first three volumes of the macabre short stories `The Books Of Blood'. Written in his spare time, he admits that he was not expecting them to sell really at all, let alone predict the public response that followed. The release exploded within the horror literature genre, hailing Barker as an exciting and imaginative newcomer. Stephen King, already known as a master in the genre, wen ...more
Midnyte Reader
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
This book took me a long time to get through. It is not light reading. It sucks you down into its bloody, gory depth. From the very first story, the “frame” so to speak, that explains what the Books of Blood are to the last ghostly saga.

I enjoy a good gore-fest, yet I realized I was making faces at some of the details of intricate violence and troubling images. It’s not just random blood and violence however. At the heart of it, the stories are just good stories. They are deep and well thought
...more
Kevin Cole
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
When Clive Barker was introduced to America in the Eighties, he was touted as the dude so extreme that even Stephen King--Stephen F****** King, the bane of soccer moms with teenage boys--genuflected before His British Horror Majesty.
And for once, the hype was right.
I was immediately blown away by Barker's sex and violence, which shocked even my depraved sensibilities. And each story only to seemed to get crazier than the last one. Eventually, I was just worn out and haven't read Barker since.
I a
...more
Jenna
Jul 10, 2009 marked it as to-read
(not my review): "A friend of mine, years ago, gave me this, and I read the first two stories and was like, “I can’t handle this.” Then I read an interview with Alan Moore, and he was talking about how “Books of Blood” is one of the greatest collections of short stories ever. So I took another look, and it was so hilarious. “The Yattering and Jack” is about a demon from hell sent to make this man go mad – the demon makes his pets explode, and he just shrugs it off. So the demon says to Beelzebub ...more
Rade
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, owned
Barker is awesome. Each one of the stories in this collection is unique in a way where you will read it and not find any similarities to the one that came before it. A lot of them start off quite innocently and make you think they might not be too special, but than the author slaps you in the face and invents some form of supernatural theme to the rest of the story. Some stories are sexual in nature, some are violent, some are dramatic, and some are all of the above. The themes are also all over ...more
Amber
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got this short story collection last year as a christmas gift and I finished it at the first of the year. Clive barker is a true storyteller of the macabre. I enjoyed all of the stories and if u like horror, then you will enjoy checking the books of blood out.
Donovan
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is the original Clive Barker. There are 6 books in all that encompass eighteen stories. The collection is often found broken down in to two collections. This is books 1-3.

Some of the short stories have been made in to movies such as Candyman, Rawhead Rex, Midnight Meat Train, Lord of Illusions.

Not for the squeamish!!!

Plot ***Spoilers***
Volume One

The Book of Blood

This is the frame story for the entire Books of Blood series. A psychic researcher, Mary Florescu, has employed a quack medium nam
...more
William Collins
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
As with all collections of short stories, some are a lot better than others, as is the case here.

In my opinion, Pig blood blues and Midnight Meat Train are the clear stand-outs.

Fortunately, none of the other stories are terrible, merely not as great as these two tales.
Margaret Bamford
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is what it says and is a good selection of horror stories. Yes it is filled with blood and gore but that is the nature of horror.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 26, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This is an anthology of 16 horror short stories and novellas, ranging from around 4,000 to 17,000 words. Such anthologies generally sell poorly, but I'm a fan of the well-turned short story, and in fact feel there are several authors out there whose short pieces are more impressive than their novels--Stephen King for one. You have to really have talent though to make an anthology solely of one author's stories worthwhile. There has to be something that shines in terms of style, voice, or really ...more
Evan
Mar 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror, read-in-2009
It pains me to say this, but this book sucked. I couldn't even finish the last batch of stories in volume 3 because I found almost everything in volumes 1 and 2 so damn intolerable. How could the guy who wrote Imajica, Weaveworld, and The Great and Secret Show have come up with some of the absolute garbage found in the Books of Blood?

Keep in mind I am a huge Clive Barker fan, but most of these stories were just terrible. The first two, Book of Blood and Midnight Meat Train were not bad. In the H
...more
Brian Fatah Steele
Jan 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
No collection of Horror has had any greater influence on me than Barker's "Books Of Blood 1-3." Is it bad to say I only bought the first one at the tender age of twelve or thirteen? That I was so blown away by what I had read, that I actually stole the other two books from my local bookstore? Ah, youth...

Perhaps it is the lingering guilt from that act almost two decades ago that compels me to push this collection upon anyone and everyone who has even the slightest taste for Horror Fiction. I fin
...more
Horace Derwent
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
we are just the book of blood

it's always red whenever we open it
Ksenia Anske
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Beautiful bloody bizarrerie. I'm in absolute awe.
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The Ink to Film B...: Rawhead Rex 1 8 Feb 22, 2018 02:06PM  
The Reading For P...: Ongoing Buddy Read - Books of Blood: The Series by Clive Barker with Beth and Greg 20 19 Jan 10, 2018 09:36AM  
Which short stories would you recommend? 13 49 Mar 31, 2017 11:11PM  
Clive Barker's incredible short story 2 7 Feb 26, 2017 04:40PM  
Seriously? 6 97 Jan 30, 2013 01:02PM  

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9,114 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)
  • In the Flesh (Books of Blood #5)
  • Books of Blood: Volume Six (Books of Blood, #6)
“Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red.” 609 likes
“There is no delight the equal of dread” 14 likes
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