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Authors > Where to start reading Clive Barker?

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message 1: by Dylan (new)

Dylan | 21 comments I've sadly never read any Clive Barker books...any recommendations on where to start?


message 2: by Adam (new)

Adam Light (goodreadscomadamlight) | 964 comments I started reading Barker with The Damnation Game. It is a great place to start.


message 3: by Will (new)

Will Hage (williamhage) | 44 comments Books of Blood there are 6 of them you can get them in one set (book) Also The Hellbound Heart which was turned into Hellraiser. Books of Blood also has The Forbidden which became Candyman. Countless other great stories also.


message 4: by Dylan (new)

Dylan | 21 comments Wow I had no idea Hellraiser and Candyman were based off Barker's work...even more excited to start reading him! Thanks for the input


message 5: by Will (new)

Will Hage (williamhage) | 44 comments He actually wrote and directed the movie Hellraiser. Also the movie Nightbreed.


message 6: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Yeah nightbreed is from his book Cabal. Love it. I definitely agree with Damnation Game, and all the books of blood. I especially enjoyed the midnight meat train.


message 7: by Will (new)

Will Hage (williamhage) | 44 comments yeah midnight meat train was a really good one.


message 8: by Tad (new)

Tad (tottman) | 18 comments I second or third Books of Blood, Volumes One to Three as a good starting point.


message 9: by Dylan (new)

Dylan | 21 comments I'll definitely check out both book of blood and damnation game. Midnight meat train was also made into a movie starring bradley cooper a few years back...I remember seeing the trailer but didn't see the movie


message 10: by Will (new)

Will Hage (williamhage) | 44 comments Dylan wrote: "I'll definitely check out both book of blood and damnation game. Midnight meat train was also made into a movie starring bradley cooper a few years back...I remember seeing the trailer but didn't s..."

Movie was decent, but I don't remember how close to the story it was. I know the story was really good.


message 11: by Adam (new)

Adam Light (goodreadscomadamlight) | 964 comments I just watched the movie. It was a hell of a romp, but I can't remember the story that well either. Time for a reread.


message 12: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Schroeder | 13 comments I've read most of Clive Barkers books. All the books mentioned are all great reads. I would also recommend Weaveworld, Imajica, The Great and Secret Show and Everville. Think Alice in Wonderland with teeth.


message 13: by Mehmet (new)

Mehmet | 1217 comments My first Clive Barker book was Hellbound heart. Which I think is the best place to start. Give you a taste for the author before progressing on to his longer novels.


message 14: by Carlos (new)

Carlos (cdlt1983) I agree with Mehmet that was my first Clive Barker read, and loved it.


message 15: by Mehmet (new)

Mehmet | 1217 comments Thanks Carlos :-) great minds think alike they say :-D


message 16: by Dylan (new)

Dylan | 21 comments Alright just grabbed the hellhound heart, the damnation game and books of blood volume 1 from the library! Here we go...


message 17: by Mehmet (new)

Mehmet | 1217 comments Hope you have fun Dylan :-)


message 18: by Quentin (new)

Quentin Wallace (quentinwallace) | 155 comments I think these are all great choices, but I would probably say start with Books of Blood. Barker can take a little getting used to and the short stories would probably be a great way to slowly ease into his work.


message 19: by Jesse (last edited Oct 27, 2014 11:30AM) (new)

Jesse Budi | 3 comments You can't go wrong with any of these suggestions. Imajica is one of my all-time favorites, and Weaveworld and Great and Secret Show are great too. In these longer works, Barker blends lots of fantasy with the horror, and it's an awesome combination.

If you like young adult novels, the Thief of Always is a lightning-fast read and an overlooked classic.


message 20: by Victor (last edited Oct 27, 2014 01:03PM) (new)

Victor (ace-geek) I've only read two of his books, but the first was Weaveworld and the second was Imajica. I'd recommend both.


message 21: by John (new)

John (frayerbanac) | 336 comments You've probably already started, but The Books of Blood are a good place. From them you'll soon know if you like his style.


message 22: by Dylan (new)

Dylan | 21 comments Thanks John I started with the hellbound heart and really enjoyed it then read the books of blood volume 1 and didn't care for it at all. I really enjoyed the intro to the books, midnight meat train was decent but hated the rest unfortunately. Might try one of his longer novels before I decide if I like him.


message 23: by John (new)

John (frayerbanac) | 336 comments The Great and Secret Show is a fantastic idea. Weaveworld is vivid and nightmarish. Damnation Game is also pretty good. Can't seem to get into his later ones. Again, if you don't his style...


message 24: by K.C. (new)

K.C. Butler (FredGarvinMP) | 12 comments Great topic. I have always felt a failure as a horror reader since I have never picked up one of his books even though I always wanted to.


message 25: by John (new)

John (frayerbanac) | 336 comments Nonsense! Take your time. You can't rush into Clive Barker anyway. This guy takes his work very seriously. When he first emerged, he was unlike anything which had previously appeared. His ideas are vast, and not your bogeyman-in-the-wardrobe type of horror. Read Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament and then Son of Celluloid. You'll then get a feel for his style and vision. SOC has one of the best opening lines ever. Go on! Give them a go!


message 26: by Zach (new)

Zach Bohannon (zachbohannon) | 15 comments Totally agree with John. Take your time. Clive is very unique. If you look at his movies, they obviously look dated now but his stories aren't. His language is extremely rich which is creepy and scary in its own way.


message 27: by Zach (new)

Zach Bohannon (zachbohannon) | 15 comments Totally agree with John. Take your time. Clive is very unique. If you look at his movies, they obviously look dated now but his stories aren't. His language is extremely rich which is creepy and scary in its own way.


message 28: by Addy (new)

Addy | 4989 comments I do love barker but he does take some getting used to. He just has a style all his own and you gotta fit into the groove to really get going. Imajica and The Great and Secret Show are awesome but they are books I've had to take my time on.


message 29: by James (new)

James Mertz (jmertz) books of blood if you're into short stories or the damnation game is a great book, that is the first one I read by him and it got me hooked


message 30: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Barnett | 184 comments Jonathan wrote: "Volume three of "Books of Blood" is the ideal starting point. While it's not a story that's often singled out for praise, 'Human Remains' is the best thing he's ever written, in my opinion."

Human remains is absolutely amazing. I really need to re-read it.


message 31: by Daniel (last edited Dec 31, 2014 12:43AM) (new)

Daniel Barnett | 184 comments Jonathan wrote: "Daniel wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Volume three of "Books of Blood" is the ideal starting point. While it's not a story that's often singled out for praise, 'Human Remains' is the best thing he's ever..."

I can still hear the heavy, underwater thud of that heartbeat. Left such an impact on me.

Speaking of hearts, Hellbound Heart is another great place to start. It's a perfect little novella--and a hell of a dark one.

Edit: just saw that you already read Hellbound Heart, Dylan. Glad you enjoyed it. Shocked that you disliked In the Hills, the Cities though.


message 32: by Chris (new)

Chris H (djcee) | 3 comments I'm currently reading The Last Illusion by Clive Barker I'm going to read all the Harry D'Amour stories. Lost Souls, The Hellbound Heart, The Great And Secret Show & Everville culnminating with The Scarlet Gospels. I am one of those terrible horror fans who have never read any Clive Barker but has always loved his movies.
Well I hope these books/short stories are a good start for reading Clive!!??


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I read The Damnation Game about 27-28 years ago and liked it a lot although I remember it was slow to get started, especially considering how short my attention span was at that time (college). I have Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three and Imajica on my shelf so I will probably read one of those next. Someday I'm even going to go back and re-read Damnation Game.


message 34: by David (new)

David Brian (davidbrian) | 1610 comments It's already been suggested, so I'll add my voice to Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three, or The Hellbound Heart. You can't really go wrong starting with these.


message 35: by Chris (new)

Chris H (djcee) | 3 comments I have Books of Blood Vol. 6 in order to get The Last Illusion. After I'm done reading all the stories about Harry D'Amour I will go back and read the other stories in Books of Blood Vol. 6


message 36: by Yara (last edited Oct 29, 2018 02:45PM) (new)

Yara Hostra | 3 comments I started reading Clive Barker with The Hellbound Heart and absolutely loved it. Cabal is also pretty good choice for start, although it feels like this novel is kinda underrated. And Rawhead Rex is my absolute favorite Barker's short story, really recommend it.


message 37: by Cecilia (new)

Cecilia Z (ceciliaz) | 12 comments Books of Blood, any story..........


message 38: by Graeme (last edited Oct 30, 2018 04:20AM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Where to start reading Clive Barker?

My top three recommendations on where to start reading Clive Barker are as follows.

Counting down...

[3] In a lonely candle lit mausoleum on the abandoned estate of an English aristocratic family rumored to have died out several centuries ago amidst claims of satanic sacrifices and demonic possession. A chill breeze sends dried leaves scuttling across the threshold. You shiver momentarily, but settle down to read ... and are disturbed by the soft sobs of a crying child.

[2] On a run-down riverboat, the other guests and crew are all wearing the faded remains of very authentic looking nineteenth century garments. Garments that match their speech and manners. The stars wheel overhead against an infinite dark. You settle down in the corner of a floating casino and begin to read ... and are disturbed by the sudden realization that no one on board is eating or drinking anything.

[1] In the surgical theater of an abandoned asylum for the criminally insane. At midnight, with a faulty flashlight by your side, you settle into a chair with worn restraints, and begin to read ... and are disturbed by the slowly approaching footsteps of ... the caretaker.

(But there is no caretaker?!)


message 39: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Mehmet wrote: "My first Clive Barker book was Hellbound heart. Which I think is the best place to start. Give you a taste for the author before progressing on to his longer novels."

I also agree with Mehmet's suggestion.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Graeme wrote: "Where to start reading Clive Barker?

My top three recommendations on where to start reading Clive Barker are as follows...."


AT NIGHT, I assume?


message 41: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Indeed.


message 42: by David (new)

David Brian (davidbrian) | 1610 comments Yara wrote: "I started reading Clive Barker with The Hellbound Heart and absolutely loved it. Cabal is also pretty good choice for start, although it feels like this novel is kinda underrated. And Rawhead Rex i..."

I absolutely love Cabal, Yara! Vastly under-appreciated. ;)


message 43: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Cabal is another great starting point.


message 44: by Clive (new)

Clive Reznor | 9 comments I'd say the Books of Blood are a good place to start. Most of what Barker wrote is really dark fantasy -- giant epic tomes like Imajica and the Books of the Art and Galilee (which is more of a dark romance).

Cabal is great, The Damnation Game, and The Hellbound Heart for horror.


message 45: by Alan (new)

Alan Toner | 68 comments Dylan wrote: "I've sadly never read any Clive Barker books...any recommendations on where to start?"

I would suggest that you start with his awesome series BOOKS OF BLOOD. I first read these volumes way back in early 1984, and became an instant Barker fan.


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