Bark 's Reviews > Dread

Dread by Clive Barker
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really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novel, dark-fiction

Look at me actually hitting the tbr pile :). I bought this new. In 1993! I'm catching up.

I read Dread in Books of Blood Volume 2 a few years back and found it a bit difficult to get into. This graphic novel still makes the skin crawl but cuts out a lot of the tedious talk that bogged down the novella. The artwork is dread-worthy, washed with a dark-hued palette that certainly fits the tone of the story. This isn't my favorite Barker short but it’s worth seeking out of if you’re a fan.

Because I’m super lazy, here’s my plot synopsis/review of the novella from 2010.

Stephen Grace is a university student who catches the eye of a teacher named Quaid. Stephen is afraid of public speaking but Quaid instructs him not only to give voice to his fears but to analyze them. Quaid is fascinated with dread in all its facets and revels in learning more about it.

I have to admit this short story took some work getting into. Seven tries to be exact. It didn’t hook me right away and was a bit boring and dry. Stephen meets Quaid in a local bar and they have a really tedious conversation about the “beast” of philosophy and how the school doesn’t really teach it, eventually leading into a discussion about dread. This begins their tenuous friendship. After some checking around, Stephen learns that strangely enough no one on campus knows much at all about Quaid. When a bright beautiful student named Cheryl begins spending time with Quaid, Stephen is initially jealous because she’s hogging so much of his time. Before long Stephen realizes Quaid is only interested in Cheryl because she is a vegetarian who fears meat. And you just know this isn’t going to end well . . .

 photo vegetarian cat_zps2qwjixda.jpg

Quaid, you see, has been “experimenting” with all facets of dread, trying to learn all he can to expand his intelligentia. Before Stephen realizes what is going on with the not-so-sane Quaid, he has already exposed his fears to him. But things don’t end quite as Quaid expects as he experiences the ultimate lesson in dread.

Though this story was a slow starter, once it got moving it didn’t let up. Barker usually does an amazing job building dread so this story suits his talent well. It’s a slow build but once you get through the first few dull pages you get a decent payoff.
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Reading Progress

July 6, 2015 – Started Reading
July 6, 2015 – Shelved
July 7, 2015 – Shelved as: graphic-novel
July 7, 2015 – Shelved as: dark-fiction
July 7, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen OOHHOOOO! LMAO!


Bark Awful, right? And so embarrassing. The worst thing is that I know I have even older, brand new books in the pile. Good thing I stopped buying them. Maybe I'll catch up before I'm too blind to read them!


message 3: by Char (new)

Char In 1993? LMAO Girl, you have me WAY beat. I thought it was bad because I have some books from 2011 that I haven't read yet!

(BTW, that cat pic is hilarious!)


message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Are we talking books we bought ourselves, or books that our parents have had since they were in high school (hence, longer than we have been alive) and have had plans to read since we first became aware of books, but haven't gotten around to? Because if it's the latter I have some doozies that have been sitting around since the 60s, but if that's cheating I would say my oldest would be Complete Novels Of Charlotte & Emily Brontë by Charlotte Brontë or Watership Down by Richard Adams both of which were given to me by family members sometime before I turned ten.


message 5: by Bark (last edited Sep 13, 2016 08:10AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bark Charlene wrote: "In 1993? LMAO Girl, you have me WAY beat. I thought it was bad because I have some books from 2011 that I haven't read yet!

(BTW, that cat pic is hilarious!)"


Oh, it gets worse. I think I have a few lingering about from the late 80's. Remember those old hardback bookclubs? I had subscriptions to them all. I still have a book from my original shipment that I've never read. It's called The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing. I bought it when I was 19 or so, never read it and can't seem to part with it because I still want to read it.


Bark Sarah wrote: "Are we talking books we bought ourselves, or books that our parents have had since they were in high school (hence, longer than we have been alive) and have had plans to read since we first became ..."

You win! I don't consider that cheating at all. If you've had it in your TBR it counts!


message 7: by Char (new)

Char Bark's Book Nonsense wrote: "Charlene wrote: "In 1993? LMAO Girl, you have me WAY beat. I thought it was bad because I have some books from 2011 that I haven't read yet!

(BTW, that cat pic is hilarious!)"

Oh, it gets worse. ..."


Haha! I DO remember those book clubs. (And the cassette tape clubs too.) We're dating ourselves now.


Bark Charlene wrote: "Haha! I DO remember those book clubs. (And the cassette tape clubs too.) We're dating ourselves now. .."

I miss having random surprises arrive in the mail though!


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