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Hellbound Hearts

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,271 ratings  ·  65 reviews
This terrifying original fiction anthology is based on the critically acclaimed novella The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, which has inspired the original "Hellraiser" movie and horror franchise.

xiii • Foreword (Hellbound Hearts) • (2009) • essay by Clive Barker
xvii • Introduction: Raising Hell, Again • (2008) • essay by Stephen Jones
1 • Prisoners of the Inferno
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Gallery Books (first published September 8th 2009)
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,271 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I honestly don't know what the other reviewers were smoking, but most of the stories in this book were not good. I won't say trash - although many of them were - because some stories had redeeming qualities.

It's like they focused mostly on the pain and suffering the Cenobites bring, with the writers engaging in orgiastic detail on the types of tortures the Cenobites can dish out. Barker's Hellraiser story was compelling because it focused on human emotions and desires and how they play out in th
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I liked this more than I thought I would. It was much better than some random collection of modern "Lovecraft" stories I read a couple of years ago. The plots of these stories could be come a little repetitive, almost all of them had someone discovering THE BOX and opening it, and bad vanilla smells, shafts of light, bulging walls, and gruesome Cenobites followed. Here are some individual reviews:

"Prisoners of the Inferno" by Peter Atkin, started off great with creepy rare movie footage, then fl
Clinton Reed
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I have maybe two more stories to go in this but I feel pretty confident that I can give it a review at this point. While not a total waste of time or complete garbage this collection isn't at all what I was hoping for. As other reviewers have stated, too much time and attention has been given to the horror, pain, torture and suffering aspects of the "mythology" and not enough time dedicated to the real focus of the original source material. While there is always an underlying sexual depravity to ...more
Vicente Ribes
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: terror-y-gótica
Good collection of stories inspired in Pinhead and the Lemarchand's Configuration.
The book is huge and contain a great amount of tales: some are quite good and include new elements like Santeria, tribes and original cenobites, others are similar to this crappy hellraiser films we have seen during the last years.

My favourite ones:

Mick Garris's "Hellbound Hollywood, A once famous director, feeling that he now has to accept whatever work he can get, reluctantly accepts the directorial role on a hor
Daniel Russell
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Hellbound Heart is a horror novella by Clive Barker. It was the basis for the movie Hellraiser. It was originally published in 1986 by Dark Harvest in the third volume of their Night Visions anthology series (the volume also included seven short stories by Ramsey Campbell and three by Lisa Tuttle) but was re-released as a stand-alone title by HarperCollins in 1988 after the success of the movie. It retains the gory, visceral style that Barker introduced in his series of collected short stori ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Like many short story collections some of the tales in this book were great and some not so much. The stories explore the Hellraiser/Hellbound Heart universe and they varied wildly.

New Cenobites are introduced (one is a cactus!) and also created. New ways of opening portals are explored including bone puzzle tiles, crypt stones, an acient map to a maze, an art installation, crosswords, religious icon-type statues, a strange machine and a compass, but of course the puzzle box also makes a number
Haralambi Markov
What can be said about “Hellbound Hearts”? The stories speak for themselves, but I feel compelled to summarize the experience for me. As a child the Hellraiser movies stroke unimaginable fear in my heart and I didn’t rekindle with the franchise until a later date, when I thought that the first two movies were in fact brilliant as in being something entirely else and bold and pretty damn good, even if they were dated.

As a writer and an idea person I am drawn to concepts. A world with these demoni
Sep 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
Hellbound Hearts is an anthology celebrating Hellraiser creator Clive Barker and the world he created with his novella The Hellbound Heart. This is a collection of tales inspired by Barker with some well-known and some not-known authors such as Neil Gaiman, Steve Niles, Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Mick Garris, Richard Christian Matheson, Sarah Langan, Mark Morris, Nancy Kilpatrick, Peter Atkins, Tim Lebbon, Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, Kelley Armstrong and Nicholas Vince - edited by Paul ...more
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
A delightfully sick and twisted little collection of short stories inspired, more or less, by the Hellraiser mythos. Varying degrees of quality and of horror, with a few only hinting at horror, like the final tale in which a typhoon sweeps away a young prostitute, and others engaging in all-out Hellraiser torture sequences.

The most frightening, oddly enough, are the ones that are the least inspired by Hellbound Hearts, and I still find myself shivering at a tale of mechanical transcendence gone
Alyssa Acula
Dark and insanely twisted and a lot of trigger warnings apply--especially for rape, violence, abuse of both child and women, torture, and a bunch of other gory stuff that one should be prepared for before delving into a story. The more graphic ones definitely made my skin crawl. Certain pieces shone though as precious gems with their uniqueness, amidst the pile of torture porn filled stories, resembling the style of classic fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, and those typical of The NoSleep Po ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was like a date that was started because of OkCupid. It starts out well and you're really excited to see where it goes. But, then it becomes a chore. You find yourself wondering if perhaps Stephanie Meyer has responded to your tweet. Perhaps you should really call your mother. Then there's that knitting habit you picked up for a nanosecond 3 weeks ago.

Overall, this is one of those books you read as a palate cleanser. Leave it on the nightstand and come back to it occasionally. Don't m
Summer Seeds
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
3.5 stars. Some of the stories were really good. I especially enjoyed Pinborough's The Confessor's Tale and Lebbon's Every Wrong Turn. However, some of these stories were, honestly, awful. All in all, though, it was a decent collection of Hellraiser fanfic, one story going so far as to vaguely reference the characters of Barker's The Hellbound Heart. If nothing else, some of these stories were incredibly disturbing.
Richard Rich
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great collection of short stories based on the mythos created by Clive Barker in his novella The Hellbound Heart- well, all but three of the stories, but even those were pretty interesting.
Of the whole collection there were only three that I didn't like (not the three mentioned previously) but they were not so bad that they ruined the overall experience.
Frederick Bodine
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Most of the stories were awesome! About 3 disappointed me but not to the point of wishing I did not read them just not relatable to me personally! I might check out some of the authors other works because of this book. Well worth it!
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Despite Barkers obvious protests against using the term mythos to describe the hell he created, that is what it's become. It has spread throughout the world inspiring authors and artists alike to add to it, much like the Cthulhu mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. From film sequels to comic books to short stories, Hellrasier fandom has grown in number, and continues to grow, leaving only one question to spark a smile amongst our faces, "What's your pleasure?" Not too shabby for a novella originally publis ...more
Aug 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hellraiser/S&M fans
This is a hard book to rate, because really not much is wrong here. Most of these stories have something to do with the original Hellraiser movies or the Hellbound Heart novella. I say most, a few have no discernible connection as far as I can see, or maybe I'm just dense.
The only real problem that affected my enjoyment of this book was that the great majority of these stories were VERY similar. Person either knowingly or unknowingly summons Cenobites, torture and sexual perversity ensue. Someti
Orrin Grey
Sep 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mignola
I really, really want to say that this was a great book.

Not because I have any personal stake in it being great, but because it came so close to being. Most of the stories in it are pretty great. The high point for me was certainly "Mechanisms," an original story by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden illustrated in the same hauntingly atmospheric style as their novel Baltimore. But there were countless other great stories, by folks like Sarah Pinborough, Peter Atkins, Chaz Brenchley and others.
Steven Shroyer
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I recently read Clive Barker's "The Hellbound Heart" over a break and a lunch where I worked. I have been a huge Hellraiser fan, the second film in the series being the very first horror movie I watched when I was just a little lad on the 13 inch TV in our kitchen. While the first and second Hellraiser films still spook me, Barker's novella on which the first film is based was very much a joyless read. I had expected better from the book that gave us the character Pinhead, and left the book feel ...more
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
If you come here looking for a true follow up to Hellbound Heart or Hellraiser, you might be a little disappointed. No PINHEAD for the likes of you.

Instead, what you get is a series of stories, in varying degrees that fit heartily within the Cenobite mythology. And, the best part, is that most of them manage to do this while staying true to the original concept.

One of the issues with later Hellraiser films is that the Cenobite portion is an afterthought. Somebody came up with a story idea and sa
Mike Kazmierczak
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Many times in a short story collection, there is some kind of theme to tie all the stories together: zombies, vampires, cats, what-have-you. In this case, all the stories focused on Clive Barker's Hellraiser movies. You know the ones with Pinhead, where solving a magic puzzle cube summons the Cenobites (denizens of Hell) and then they drag you off to Hell itself. By itself this is a great idea. I found the Hellraiser movies very entertaining. Putting together a bunch of stories with a different ...more
Marian Weaver
Jun 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, anthology

Any time an anthology comes out based on a particular concept or archetype, you know it's always going to be hit-and-miss. This is doubly true in the case of Hellbound Hearts, where the stories revolve around the ideas of Clive Barker's unique vision of Hell, its denizens, and the limits of desire and agony. Let's face it - writing anything of this kind is going to be a big ask. On the whole, though, the various writers acquit themselves fairly well.

Stand-out stories are Nancy Holder's 'Orfeo th
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A solid exploration into the hellish world of Clive Barker's Cenobites, Hellbound Hearts features fiction by established and up-and-coming writers. This is an intriguing collection of tales, each one offering a different perspective on the infernal mythology of the Cenobites, the Lament Configuration, and the borders between our world and the tortured plane of existence where Leviathan rules supreme. What I enjoyed most about this book is that every story offered a fascinating speculation about ...more
Jan 16, 2013 marked it as currently-reading-anthcoll
Shelves: anthology
risoners of the Inferno • shortfiction by Peter Atkins
The Cold • shortfiction by Conrad Williams
The Confessor's Tale • shortfiction by Sarah Pinborough
Hellbound Hollywood • shortfiction by Mick Garris
Mechanisms • shortstory by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola
Every Wrong Turn • shortfiction by Tim Lebbon
♦The Collector • shortfiction by Kelley Armstrong (collected in Led Astray) read 8/14/2015
Bulimia • shortfiction by Richard Christian Matheson
Orfeo the Damned • shortfiction by Nancy Holder
Holly Ann
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an exceptional anthology. All of the authors took the basic idea of the Cenobites and what they stood for and went in their own direction. Despite all of the different interpretations, the entire anthology flows smoothly, and the stories compliment each other seamlessly.

For each heart in this anthology, Hell is a unique and terrible experience.
Nicholas King
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Having recently reviewed Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart, I was informed that there were other print stories (none by Barker himself unfortunately). Hellbound Hearts is not a true sequel to Barker’s original tale of sexuality and brutality. Instead it is an anthology of stories from other authors tied into the same literary universe or have some tangential connection to Barker’s novella. This anthology possesses many strong horror stories that keep the spirit of Barker’s work fresh without ap ...more
Oct 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Hellbound Hearts is an anthology of some of the best new authors to grace the horror world today. Each of the various stories featured in this anthology share a common goal...they bring the familiar feel and goriness that won over many fans of "Pinhead" in the HellRaiser franchise. Beware things that go bump in the night as these stories will give you nightmares and just may make you scream for more!

With this anthology, I got to experience many new authors and some old ones as well. While I enjo
Paul Flewitt
Apr 26, 2013 rated it liked it
The Anthology is full of stories based on Clive Barker's Hellraiser mythology, encompassing the movies and original novella, The Hellbound Heart.
So whats to say? Some of the stories are excellent, some not so much. All adhere to the rules set out in the original work and all were penned by people with attachment to Hellraiser. Some approached by Clive Barker himself.

The standout stories for me as a fan of the movies and Barker's work in general were The Confessor's Tale, by Sarah Pittborough,(
Rebecca Davis
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
We have such sights to show you...

This collection of short tales delves deeper into the mythology hinted at in the Hellraiser movies, and the novella that started them, 'Hellbound Heart'. From forbidden artifacts of hollywood history, to profane rituals that call to dark forces, these stories present the tales of people who seek the forbidden, or the impossible, and often find more then they barginned for.

As with any anthology collection the impact of the stories is hit and miss, and what hits w
Brian Mcclain
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So this was a stupendous selection of fiction revolving around the mythos of the Cenobites and Lament configurations and whatnot. I'll admit I skipped a story or two throughout but that wasn't because they were bad, just outside the realm of my interest, but the rest of them were as oddly engrossing as the puzzle boxes that feature so prominently inside. I loved the way that different authors attacked the cenobites, their descriptions as varied as I would've thought possible and the situations i ...more
Trevor Firetog
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is highly recommended for people who are fans of Clive Barker's "The Hellbound Heart"/"Hellraiser".

Some of the short stories in this book stood out more than some others, but if you're a fan of the universe, you will find something you enjoy!

My favorite stories in this book are,
Prisoners of The Inferno, Peter Atkins
Mechanisms, Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
Wordsworth, Neil Gaiman
and A Little Piece of Hell, Steve Niles.

I've found that other than those particular stories, this antho
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Paul Kane has been writing professionally for almost fifteen years. His genre journalism has appeared in such magazines as Fangoria, SFX and Rue Morgue, and his non-fiction books are the critically acclaimed The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy and Voices in the Dark. His award-winning short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic (as well as being broadcas ...more