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Alternate Cover Edition of ISBN 9780425087398 To a surgeon, cutting into the human body is an art. Muscle and flesh are his canvas, the scalpel his tool. He studies the composition of the organs -- their balance and form -- the structure of the bones and network of blood vessels. He makes his incision, cutting, slicing with loving care. — Clive Barker is another type of sur Alternate Cover Edition of ISBN 9780425087398 To a surgeon, cutting into the human body is an art. Muscle and flesh are his canvas, the scalpel his tool. He studies the composition of the organs -- their balance and form -- the structure of the bones and network of blood vessels. He makes his incision, cutting, slicing with loving care. — Clive Barker is another type of surgeon. — He understands the human body too. He knows how the nerves send impulses to a riveted brain. And he knows how the hot blood surges through veins and arteries under a thin membrane of skin. And then gushes out... Five stories of horror and intrigue include, "Dread," "Hell's Event," "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament," "The Skins of the Fathers," and "New Murders in the Rue Morgue." Reprint.


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Alternate Cover Edition of ISBN 9780425087398 To a surgeon, cutting into the human body is an art. Muscle and flesh are his canvas, the scalpel his tool. He studies the composition of the organs -- their balance and form -- the structure of the bones and network of blood vessels. He makes his incision, cutting, slicing with loving care. — Clive Barker is another type of sur Alternate Cover Edition of ISBN 9780425087398 To a surgeon, cutting into the human body is an art. Muscle and flesh are his canvas, the scalpel his tool. He studies the composition of the organs -- their balance and form -- the structure of the bones and network of blood vessels. He makes his incision, cutting, slicing with loving care. — Clive Barker is another type of surgeon. — He understands the human body too. He knows how the nerves send impulses to a riveted brain. And he knows how the hot blood surges through veins and arteries under a thin membrane of skin. And then gushes out... Five stories of horror and intrigue include, "Dread," "Hell's Event," "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament," "The Skins of the Fathers," and "New Murders in the Rue Morgue." Reprint.

30 review for Books of Blood, Volume Two

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    From the opening slice of his second viscera-dripping Book o’ Blood, Clive Barker carves into the mind of the reader an apt description of the primary theme explored in this collection: There is no delight the equal of dread. If it were possible to sit, invisible, between two people on any train, in any waiting room or office, the conversation overheard would time and again circle on that subject. Certainly the debate might appear to be about something entirely different; the state of the nat From the opening slice of his second viscera-dripping Book o’ Blood, Clive Barker carves into the mind of the reader an apt description of the primary theme explored in this collection: There is no delight the equal of dread. If it were possible to sit, invisible, between two people on any train, in any waiting room or office, the conversation overheard would time and again circle on that subject. Certainly the debate might appear to be about something entirely different; the state of the nation, idle chat about death on the roads, the rising price of dental care; but strip away the metaphor, the innuendo, and there, nestling at the heart of the discourse is dread. While the nature of God and the possibility of eternal life go undiscussed, we happily chew over the minutia of misery. The syndrome recognizes no boundaries; in bath-house and seminar room alike, the same ritual is repeated. With the inevitability of a tongue returning to probe a painful tooth, we come back and back and back again to our fears, sitting to talk them over with the eagerness of a hungry man before a full and steaming plate. For all of Barker's attachment to prose detailing the reduction of the human form into bloody chunks of offal, and his fondness for the loss of bowel control, both of which are most assuredly on display here, the man clearly can write and his stories are generally both imaginative and evocative. The five stories in this collection range from most excellent to mostly okay, with the majority trending toward the positive side of good to very good. Barker’s mastery of descriptive atrocity are fully unleashed and his prose conjures some V…I…V…I…D images in the mind’s visual display. This brings me to my personal dividing line between Clive Barker at his best and Clive Barker at his MEHest. When Barker’s talent for obscene imagery is added as spice to garnish an already terrific story exploring inside the darker cracks of the human psyche, we get a classic Barker banquet of BAM!!. On the other hand, when the literaGORE is included to add meat to a story that is otherwise mostly bones and gristle, than we are usually left with some titillating, shock moments in an otherwise forgettable tale. For the most part, Barker cooks up the former. Here’s the menu: DREAD: My favorite story of this group and the only one that I would give the full 5 stars. College student Stephen Grace meets comes under the spell of the mysterious Quaid and his philosophical fascination with, you guessed it…dread. What people fear, why people fear and how people react and deal with their fear is the center of Quaid’s worldview. You can begin to imagine where this one might lead and I will leave it off there except to say that I thought the last 10 pages were superb and completely unexpected based on the stories beginning. How’s that for a plot tease? 5.0 stars. Hell’s Event: A decent, but very forgettable piece about a “once a century” contest between the denizens of Hell and unwitting champions of humanity. If Hell wins, Armageddon follows. If mankind wins, another 100 years of the pain and misery that is normal human existence. Eh…six of one, half a dozen of the other. 2.5 stars. Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament: This is classic Clive Barker. While I didn’t like this quite as much as the first story, this one is tremendously creative and contains some of Barker's best descriptive work in the entire collection. An unhappy woman tries to kill herself and awakes from her botched suicide attempt with extraordinary powers that she puts to gorrifically grisly use. Barker spins atrocities with the best of them, but what really sets this (and all of his better stories) apart is his interpid evaluation of humanity's darker aspects and his willingness to take chances. The story works on multiple levels. 4.5 to 5.0 stars. The Skins of the Fathers: A small town of and their battle with monsters that exhibit far more humanity that the human residents. This could have been fantastic as Barker unleashes some amazingly bizarre imagery onto the narrative. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t quite gel and we are left with more of an artsy monster movie that was enjoyable but felt somehow like it missed the high water mark. 3.0 stars. New Murders in the Rue Morgue: Easily the strangest piece in this collection. Barker takes the original Edgar Allen Poe story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and creates a sequel, an homage and a re-imagining all in one. It is ambitious and mostly effective and if I had been more familiar with the original Poe story I might have appreciated it more. As it is, I liked it but didn’t love it. 3.5 stars. Overall, not quite as good as the first Books of Blood and just short of 4 stars. A strong 3.5 stars and one I recommend to fans of horror short fiction.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    Do you know what I like about Clive Barker's stories? It is the sheer verity of the macabre filled tales he presents for us. If I am sitting down with a Clive Barker story, I know I will be reading something new! Same applies to this collection. There are five creepy tales, varying from psychological horror to supernatural horror, from hell sponsored races to superhuman femme fatale, and from monsters that created men to monsters that men create. The collection opens with a dreadful tale call Do you know what I like about Clive Barker's stories? It is the sheer verity of the macabre filled tales he presents for us. If I am sitting down with a Clive Barker story, I know I will be reading something new! Same applies to this collection. There are five creepy tales, varying from psychological horror to supernatural horror, from hell sponsored races to superhuman femme fatale, and from monsters that created men to monsters that men create. The collection opens with a dreadful tale called..uh.. "Dread". It's a rather disturbing psychological tale where a guy is using his friends as guinea pigs in his psychological experiments. I thought the first half was excellent, but last act's writing was a bit incoherent which is understandable as it reflects the situation. The second story, Hell's Event have a really cool ending. seriously, You got to read this one. The third story, Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament is loaded with powerplay, sex and ultimate control. It's a really fun read with an unpredictable last act. Oh, wait! That's another thing I love about these stories. They are unpredictable for most of the part and they are no cliches! The Skins of the Fathers is another story with solid ending. I loved the image that Barker painted at the very end. The story got monsters, shocking revelations, gunplay and wicked characters. And lastly, New Murders in the Rue Morgue! Yes, the same Rue Morgue created by Poe. This felt rather out of place in the beginning but quickly became sinister as the story progressed. The finale of the story was rather ironic, and I liked it. But this is probably the weakest of the lot. Overall, Braker's second Book of Blood is almost as good as the first Book of Blood, I especially liked Hell's event and Skins of the father.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maiden Misty's Musings

    Still here reading my reviews? Good now go get the second installment that is just as powerful as the first. I loved every story from beginning to end. I think I will need therapy when I get to the end of the books for the loss I will feel. 😻😻😻😻😻

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    This is a well-written and well-constructed book of stories, but already—in his second book of horror fiction—Clive Barker shows evidence of decline. The first “Book of Blood” was obsessed with the fleshiness of mortality, entwined in the corporeal roots of fear. This singlemindedness gave the work a classic quality: it was the work of a man eager to eviscerate a multitude, in a quest either to reclaim some lost refinement or to obliterate his sensibilities altogether. This much was clear: his pa This is a well-written and well-constructed book of stories, but already—in his second book of horror fiction—Clive Barker shows evidence of decline. The first “Book of Blood” was obsessed with the fleshiness of mortality, entwined in the corporeal roots of fear. This singlemindedness gave the work a classic quality: it was the work of a man eager to eviscerate a multitude, in a quest either to reclaim some lost refinement or to obliterate his sensibilities altogether. This much was clear: his passion was genuine, his purpose serious. I do not find this to be true with this second book. Barker seems to have almost exorcised his old obsessions, and now is idly toying with them, exploiting them. His greatest achievements now derive from parody, or the almost-parody of the baroque. The first two of the five tales, “Dread” and “Hell’s Race”, are the least successful. The first is a rather conventional tale of “Rm. 101” torture (in this case, fears of meat, fears of deafness), and the second is just what its title promise: a rather dumb tale of Hell’s annual race against humans, with Earth as the usual prize. The third story, “Jacqueline Esse: Her Will and Testament” (my favorite) is memorable for the way it heightens Barker’s concerns (sexuality, pain and desire, the limits of body) into parody. (Jacqueline’s superpower is the ability to alter men’s bodies into fantastic—and fatal—shapes. Barker’s descriptions of these metamorphoses are detailed, and will not soon leave the reader’s mind.) Almost as good is “The Skins of the Fathers”, a story that begins like a drive-in movie with a motorist stranded, out of gas, on the desert, who sees something strange in the distance, shambling across the road. (Here again, it is Barker’s detailed description of these odd creatures that sticks in the memory). Although not quite up to the level of the two previous stories, the “New Murders in the Rue Morque” is an homage that treats a literary classic with respect and puts a distinctive spin on the identity and motivations of the murderer. Yes, Book of Blood I was better, but, if you can keep from being disappointed, you will find much in this book of horror tales to delight you. Even when he is not at his best, Clive Barker is very good indeed.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul Nelson

    Volume 2 of Clive Barkers Books of Blood contains 5 positively delectable tales of terror starting with Dread, Quaid is a man who experiments with fear. He picks his test subject and forces them to realise their ultimate horror and how long it takes to get there but his own dread can't stay hidden forever. Hell's Event is a charity race held in London every hundred years, a race between Hell and mankind, the winner to rule the earth. Equal doses of Hell's representatives and the unwitting ideal Volume 2 of Clive Barkers Books of Blood contains 5 positively delectable tales of terror starting with Dread, Quaid is a man who experiments with fear. He picks his test subject and forces them to realise their ultimate horror and how long it takes to get there but his own dread can't stay hidden forever. Hell's Event is a charity race held in London every hundred years, a race between Hell and mankind, the winner to rule the earth. Equal doses of Hell's representatives and the unwitting ideal of man, one side desperate to win the other not a clue to the importance of the result. Some do however and confidence breeds contempt, it’s not just about the race however, there are some wickedly compelling characters on the periphery. Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament was probably my favourite story, a woman fails in a suicide attempt and as a result finds she has abilities worthy of nightmares. Sex, dismemberment and much worse, this woman's story is totally gripping. Disturbing horror with a slice of love that takes some searching for but results in an unlikely happyish ending. This was a cracking story amidst the scattered body parts. The Skins of the Fathers sees Davidson witness a procession of monsters when his car breaks down. Years past saw these creatures mate with a woman from the local town and they've come back to claim the child. Easier said than done in the Arizona desert. New Murders in the Rue Morgue is a strange tale of an experiment with a primate. Lewis is called to Paris when a friend is arrested for murder, his investigation reveals something astonishing and something his friend can't face. Second volume done and I'm seriously getting into Clive Barkers twisted rhetoric and general fiendishness. Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

  6. 5 out of 5

    RJ - Slayer of Trolls

    Clive Barker's second book of short stories in his "Books of Blood" collection is more of the same in all the right ways. The stories are highly imaginative, extremely violent but also thought provoking in a literary fashion that is rare in the horror genre. As usual, the list of stories below is accompanied by a rating and some song lyrics that might be relevant or amusing: Dread - 4/5 - dealing out the agony within Hell's Event - 3/5 - runnin' with the devil Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testamen Clive Barker's second book of short stories in his "Books of Blood" collection is more of the same in all the right ways. The stories are highly imaginative, extremely violent but also thought provoking in a literary fashion that is rare in the horror genre. As usual, the list of stories below is accompanied by a rating and some song lyrics that might be relevant or amusing: Dread - 4/5 - dealing out the agony within Hell's Event - 3/5 - runnin' with the devil Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament - 4/5 - you're never good enough in the eyes of a woman with a mean streak The Skins of the Fathers - 4/5 - when you coming home dad? I don't know when, but we'll get together then New Murders in the Rue Morgue - 4/5 - we're just tryin' to be friendly, come and watch us sing and play

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    A mixed bag of short stories - not as good as the first volume, but most of the stories were still impressive. Unfortunately the first short story, Dread, wasn't too my liking. Strange since I usually love the book of blood stories, but it was weird and just kind of pointless. A man obsessed with fear trials takes it too far to make his point. Hell's Event was my favorite of the group. A charity race held every hundred years where the contest winnings could literally mean the end of the world as A mixed bag of short stories - not as good as the first volume, but most of the stories were still impressive. Unfortunately the first short story, Dread, wasn't too my liking. Strange since I usually love the book of blood stories, but it was weird and just kind of pointless. A man obsessed with fear trials takes it too far to make his point. Hell's Event was my favorite of the group. A charity race held every hundred years where the contest winnings could literally mean the end of the world as Hell unleashes its fury - but all the contestants don't know that. Some of the key players have it rigged to turn out demented, of course, but the main character is a diverse individual who comes across fresh and well-rounded. It's dark and demented and twisted but awesome and well-written to boot. Jacqueline Ess was an interesting take on a woman who comes into her own power and then takes it to a demented level. Told with multiple shifts from a man who became obsessed with a woman he shouldn't and the woman herself. Filled with blood-drenched sexual scenes and bizarre twists on a traditional love story, the ending is a disturbing twist that imprints on the mind. The Skins of the Fathers started a little slow and hard to get into but ultimately was satisfying. Creatures have come out to attack but there is not a horrible and monstrous backstory with them, but with humans instead. It became fascinating and of course sad. New Murders in the Rue Morgue may pay homage to the original story and involves a primate, but it didn't hold my interest as much as some of the others. Still well-done and imaginative enough. Even if the first was a bit better, Clive Barker just rocks with short fiction and all the Books of Blood installment are recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    "Dread" - Four stars. I think the story begins to flag after the vegetarian scene, but it's still a disturbing ride. "Hell's Event" Four stars. A little too political for my liking, but you gotta love Barker's imagination. "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament" Five stars. Brutal and nasty and sexy and fucking weird. "The Skins of the Fathers" Five stars. Monster sex. Wicked stuff, yo. "New Murders in the Rue Morgue" Two stars. It was okay. Probably my least favorite Barker story until I find one "Dread" - Four stars. I think the story begins to flag after the vegetarian scene, but it's still a disturbing ride. "Hell's Event" Four stars. A little too political for my liking, but you gotta love Barker's imagination. "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament" Five stars. Brutal and nasty and sexy and fucking weird. "The Skins of the Fathers" Five stars. Monster sex. Wicked stuff, yo. "New Murders in the Rue Morgue" Two stars. It was okay. Probably my least favorite Barker story until I find one that's worse. In summation: Nifty little collection, but I think I liked the first volume more. This one ended on a shitty note, in my opinion. Final Judgment: Highs and lows.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jovana Autumn

    At this point, I can say that I am slowly but surely, becoming a Clive Barker fan. Here's the thing: Barker knows his genre. He knows how to write a phenomenal horror story, he has an insight into human psychology and how to evoke horror/terror with his writing. His skill is most apparent with his Books of Blood. At times, the first two volumes reminded me of a modernized Edgar Allan Poe, imagine my delight when I read the last story inspired by Poe's detective story but they are entirely unique At this point, I can say that I am slowly but surely, becoming a Clive Barker fan. Here's the thing: Barker knows his genre. He knows how to write a phenomenal horror story, he has an insight into human psychology and how to evoke horror/terror with his writing. His skill is most apparent with his Books of Blood. At times, the first two volumes reminded me of a modernized Edgar Allan Poe, imagine my delight when I read the last story inspired by Poe's detective story but they are entirely unique and stand out from many other works from modern writers of the genre. "Dread" "There was pain without hope of healing. There was life that refused to end, long after the mind had begged the body to cease. And worst, there were dreams come true." ➔Pennywise who? The second greatest horror story I have read that involves coulrophobia or the irrational fear of clowns. The first is "The Last Feast of Harlequin" by Thomas Ligotti. A tale that explores the origin of dread itself, a social experiment gone horribly wrong. Two college students get involved with a mysterious man and his questionable philosophy, a traumatic experience guaranteed. This raises the question of whether the nature of fear can be rationalized and does rationalization give birth to dread? Personal rating: 5/5 "Hell's event" "Democracy is still a new cult: It’s not lost its superficial glamour yet. We’ll give it another century, and have the best of them then.” ➔ A story that brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "corrupt politician". Imagine if Earth and Hell had a literal race where they decide which realm gets to rule over the Earth. Now imagine that race talking place in daylight and nobody in the human realm knows about it, besides a few runners. Add corruption to the story and a conclusion where luck/blindness plays a big role, and there you go, a critic of the faults of one social regime plus an anxiety-fueling piece of short fiction. Personal rating: 4,5/5 "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament" "On reflection, of course, that seems laughably naive. To think she wouldn’t have known that she contained such a power. But it was easier for me to picture her as prey to such skill, than mistress of it. That’s a man speaking of a woman; not just me, Oliver Vassi, of her, Jacqueline Ess. We cannot believe, we men, that power will ever reside happily in the body of a woman, unless that power is a male child. Not true power. The power must be in male hands, God-given. That’s what our fathers tell us, idiots that they are." ** "She’d gone through her life, it seemed, looking for a sign of herself, only able to define her nature by the look in others’ eyes. Now she wanted an end to that. It was time to deal with her pursuers." ➔ Jacqueline, a former housewife finds power both within and outside of herself and takes revenge on the men that did her wrong. One can't help but feel sympathy for her, from her selfish cheating husband to men who hopelessly fall in love with her and her power seeking death because of it — men of the story have done her wrong and seen her only through her gender. The only man that saw her for what she is as a person and gave her respect was Vassi. If you think about it, an image of a woman holding power is rarely represented through history, how many women were forgotten and discarded because of their gender? The things Jaqueline experiences here, this treatment from most men in the story is what every woman experiences in one way or another through her life, in smaller or bigger dosage but it still stings. This story as a whole stands out to me, definitely one I will be returning to in the future. Personal rating: 5/5 "The Skins of the Fathers" "Still, men would be men. Maybe Aaron would be different, though perhaps he too would go back in time into the human world and forget what he was learning here. The creatures who were his fathers were also men’s fathers: and the marriage of semen in Lucy’s body was the same mix that made the first males. Women had always existed: they had lived, a species to themselves, with the demons. But they had wanted playmates: and together they had made men. What an error, what a cataclysmic miscalculation. Within mere eons, the worst rooted out the best; the women were made slaves, the demons killed or driven underground, leaving only a few pockets of survivors to attempt again that first experiment, and make men, like Aaron, who would be wiser to their histories. Only by infiltrating humanity with new male children could the master race be made milder." ➔Did my aversion towards the desert setting prevent me from fully enjoying this story? Most definitely. Did I still enjoy the message and structure of the said story? Yes. Nothing much to say here, polarisation between good and evil in a traditional sense doesn’t exist in Barker's stories, often the characters that carry them don't fit the role. Personal rating: 3/5 "New Murders in the Rue Morgue" "Everyone in his narrow world, it seemed, was hurt and broken. Everyone was suffering; and yet the source, the heart of the suffering, was nowhere to be found. Only Phillipe had pointed an accusing finger: at Lewis himself." ➔A part of me is convinced that Barker took this story as a challenge to prove to the reading audience why Poe's underrated detective stories are good. It's the writing and construction that make this story parallel to the original - even his main character is enveloping the traits of fictional detectives like seeking the truth at all cost and applying reason and deduction when needed. Nonetheless, the conclusion was dreadful. Personal rating: 4/5 Final thoughts: I would trust Barker to write a story out of random tropes and elements being pulled from a hat, and that's my two cents. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay, I did not expect volume two to be this good?! RTC.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*

    Clive Barker is a surgeon of the macabre, one whose scalpel never makes a stray cut. This story collection continues to reveal his unique mastery of the genre. What kind of nightmares must this man have had, to fuel his unfathomable visions? All authors dread the question, "Where do you get your ideas?" In Barker's case, I would be terrified to learn the answer. These stories include psychological, diabolic, and otherworldy horror set firmly in a recognizable world. They evoke genuine human long Clive Barker is a surgeon of the macabre, one whose scalpel never makes a stray cut. This story collection continues to reveal his unique mastery of the genre. What kind of nightmares must this man have had, to fuel his unfathomable visions? All authors dread the question, "Where do you get your ideas?" In Barker's case, I would be terrified to learn the answer. These stories include psychological, diabolic, and otherworldy horror set firmly in a recognizable world. They evoke genuine human longing and pain and at times thrill with sexuality. What struck me most was that Barker imbues his characters with genuine humanity and respect for their persons, whether they be young or old, male or female, American or European, rich or poor, Black or White. He doesn't judge or diminish anyone. Of the five stories (Dread, Hell's Event, Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament, The Skins of the Father, New Murders in the Rue Morgue), only one flailed: The Skins of the Father's narrative was all over the place. Dread was my least favorite story (lacking the supernatural thrill that I love) but it did lead my mind to wander over my own time in university, which in restrospect is a very bizarre time. My favorite story is probably Hell's Event, the least serious of the bunch but with surprising turns (don't look back!). Warning: New Murders in the Rue Morgue contains spoilers for its inspiring story (Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe), although I think 180 years is an acceptable wait time to divulge the story's events.

  11. 5 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    3.5 One of the interesting things about this selection of stories is that I found myself rooting for a homicidal clown (or a clownish character to be precise), a female serial killer and demons. Dread I prefer supernatural horror to the realistic human monsters. Dread features a real life possibility, a man who in his quest to beat his fears became an unfeeling monster. Hell's Event Every hundred years a race takes place in London. Only few know about it. This year a young successful runner will hav 3.5 One of the interesting things about this selection of stories is that I found myself rooting for a homicidal clown (or a clownish character to be precise), a female serial killer and demons. Dread I prefer supernatural horror to the realistic human monsters. Dread features a real life possibility, a man who in his quest to beat his fears became an unfeeling monster. Hell's Event Every hundred years a race takes place in London. Only few know about it. This year a young successful runner will have to give his best to beat the odds. Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament It starts with a woman trying to commit suicide. Her husband gets to her in time. This is the turning point in Jacqueline Ess's life. Thanks to her pain, loneliness, general misogyny and other people's betrayals she gets a strange power over flesh. Literally. This disturbing story even has a very satisfying happy ending. It is even romantic. The Skins of the Fathers Man is created by beings he drove underground when he became too strong. This time there will be another violent encounter between the two species. Humans do not look good in this story. New Murders in the Rue Morgue A creepy, weirder and much more disturbing than Poe's story. An old man gets a cry for help from a friend in Paris. Her brother, who is over sixty, has been accused of murder of his nineteen year old lover.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Vacca

    The second Books of Blood is a lot less accomplished than its preceding cycle of short stories. While those were the work of an imagination unhinged, though with purpose, these are less realized--and as a result less successful--flights of dark fancy that only offer thrills at a surface level. Sure, there are impossible transformations of the flesh, otherworldly beings with inscrutable desires, and the blurring of pain and pleasure as two separate emotions; but here these feel more perfunctory r The second Books of Blood is a lot less accomplished than its preceding cycle of short stories. While those were the work of an imagination unhinged, though with purpose, these are less realized--and as a result less successful--flights of dark fancy that only offer thrills at a surface level. Sure, there are impossible transformations of the flesh, otherworldly beings with inscrutable desires, and the blurring of pain and pleasure as two separate emotions; but here these feel more perfunctory rather than exploratory. Though a sophomoric work, each of these stories are written in a brisk style that clips along even if what's left behind is often a mess. Yet who can complain too much about a starved vegetarian tormented with rotting meat, a face-slurping demon participating in a charity race, a femme fatale who brings new meaning to body dysmorphia, a monster gang bang that is both consensual and tender, and a sexed-up retelling of Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue"?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Petry

    This is my second reading (as far as I can remember) of Clive Barker's Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three since high school when they blew my mind apart. My interest to re-read these stories came earlier this summer when I re-read ""Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament" as reprinted in the excellent collection Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders edited by Doug Murano. In 2014 it was announced that Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey was set to star in the movie version of This is my second reading (as far as I can remember) of Clive Barker's Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three since high school when they blew my mind apart. My interest to re-read these stories came earlier this summer when I re-read ""Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament" as reprinted in the excellent collection Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders edited by Doug Murano. In 2014 it was announced that Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey was set to star in the movie version of Jacqueline Ess, though IMDB still lists the project as in development (as of Oct 2017). In volume 2, like the previous volume, some stories really worked for me and others were fell into the good not great category. On this re-read the stories that absolutely destroyed me (in a good way) were the last three: "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament" "The Skins of the Fathers" "New Murders in the Rue Morgue" Well worth re-reading and if you've never read any of the Books of Blood: Volumes One to Three I suggest fixing that immediately.   

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    My favorite from this volume was probably The Skins of the Fathers.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pantelis Andreou

    Barker never cease to amaze me with his short stories! These 5 stories were even better than the first others

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Dread I read Dread ages ago in its graphic art format and really can’t remember much about it besides the fact that it made my skin crawl a little. 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. Sev Dread I read Dread ages ago in its graphic art format and really can’t remember much about it besides the fact that it made my skin crawl a little. 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 . . . 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 can get through the first few dull pages you get a decent payoff. Hell’s Event Hell’s come up to visit the streets of London in order to gather up some souls. Hell enjoys a good wager and intends to win a big race but a nosy competitor catches on to his plan. This story mostly bored me. There was a lot of talk about racing and winning, blah, blah, freaking blah. Finally, things take a turn for the creepy midway through when the runners realize they’re running for more than a prize, they’re running for their lives and . . . democracy! Though things finally picked up overall I didn’t care much for this story. Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament Jacqueline’s life is one boring day followed by another. She can’t take it anymore and decides to put an end to her misery but fails in the attempt and is brought back from the brink of death with a grisly talent and a new lust for life. It’s horribly humorous. Then we switch gears and read Oliver Vassi’s testimony where he explains how he first met Jacqueline and was instantly under her spell. Enamored by her but knowing she’s been lying to him he starts to snoop into her past and gets a small taste of her power and then wants more . . . Foolish man. This was a great story; so far my favorite possibly because of the twisted love story and creative goriness Barker delights in as he details his dark tale of lust, power and love. The Skins of the Fathers When Davidson’s Mustang breaks down on the side of the highway in the desert he immediately hears a song and thinks he sees a line of dancers. So the fool gets it into his head to chase them down, hollering like an idiot. A few actually stop, only to reveal themselves as monsters. He poops his panties and attempts to flee and the beast reduces his beautiful car to pieces of shredded metal and skedaddles in a glorious burst of flames. After this weird encounter Davidson is picked up, stinky pants and all, by another driver. He got off easy but he’s too dumb to leave town. “Once every generation or so, the desert spat out its demons and let them loose awhile.” This is what cocky sheriff Packard’s dad told him as a young ‘un but he never believed that crap until the gooey remains of a Bar-B-Q’d demon show up in his town. Nasty fun and gore ensue but then the true horror begins when Barker introduces a wife beating, child abusing man. And when the reason he’s so damn mean is revealed, well, I’ll just say that the monsters have something to do with it. A hick sheriff, small minded red-necks and some silly women fill out the story and there wasn’t a likable one in the whole lot. The “demons”, determined to fix a cataclysmic error made eons ago, may be the only decent characters here but they’re not all that bright either. I liked the idea behind this story but in the end some of the actions of the monsters just didn’t make a whole lot of sense. New Murder in the Rue Morgue Lewis returns to Paris at the request of life long friend Catherine. Their old friend Philip, a randy old coot who at 69 years of age is still going at it with beautiful 19 year olds, is accused of brutally murdering his latest lovely young thing. Philip has no interest in being saved and only wants to die but Catherine begs Lewis to stay, to investigate. So investigate he does and what he uncovers is downright bizarre and if I say anything else I’ll no doubt ruin the story for you. This one was weird and that’s all I’m saying.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dan Corey

    Though not quite as strong as the first volume of Books of Blood, I still enjoyed this collection. And I really need to hand it to Barker. This guy’s imagination is pretty wild. He throws caution to the wind and just goes for it every time, no matter how crazy the idea. You have to respect that. Highlight: Dread. I LOVED this story. Psychological horror at its finest. I wonder if this story inspired the filmmakers who created Saw a bit. Though not nearly as gory, they definitely share some DNA. Though not quite as strong as the first volume of Books of Blood, I still enjoyed this collection. And I really need to hand it to Barker. This guy’s imagination is pretty wild. He throws caution to the wind and just goes for it every time, no matter how crazy the idea. You have to respect that. Highlight: Dread. I LOVED this story. Psychological horror at its finest. I wonder if this story inspired the filmmakers who created Saw a bit. Though not nearly as gory, they definitely share some DNA. Lowlight: New Murders in the Rue Morgue. This is is the first short in Books of Blood so far that I can honestly say I didn’t like. It’s a sequel of sorts to Edgar Allen Poe’s famous detective story. Unfortunately, this didn’t hit at all for me. Overall, one super strong story, one weak one, and three good ones. 4/5 stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dreadlocksmile

    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 new comer. Stephen King, already known as a master in the genre, we 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 new comer. Stephen King, already known as a master in the genre, went as far as to pronounce Clive to be "the future of horror". The books won both the British and World Fantasy Awards, as the public lapped up the gore soaked pages. After this initial success, Barker followed with a final three volumes, creating a collective masterpiece of horror. 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 is the second in the series of six that were released in their individual forms back in 1985. This volume contains the following short stories: Dread - 34 pages "One man's obsession with fear drives his victims one step beyond sanity, to unspeakable slaughter". A nasty little opening story for this second volume. Here we have a tale of fear and desperation, as the story revolves around the psychological state of its principal characters. The short is well-written, forming a vivid scenario of utter fear and dread as the horrors mount to a dramatic conclusion. The story was later adapted by Fred Burke in 1992 into the Eclipse Books graphic novel 'Dread' where it was illustrated by Dan Brerton. Hell's Event - 23 pages "The race is on. And the Devil will take the hindmost". A gripping and enjoyable story that keeps you entertained throughout. The pace never slows down as you race through this fiendishly dark and twisted storyline. The story was later adapted in 1990 into the graphic novel 'Tapping The Vein - Book 4' where it was illustrated by Steven E. Johnson, Alan Okamoto and Jim Perason. Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament - 33 pages "A story of sex and power, and the bloodbath that awaits us at the limits of desire". This story holds a little glimpse of the Barker that will unfold in the later years, with his outstanding imagination for redefining the properties of the flesh. This is an erotic story that decays into something bizarre and twisted as Barker delves deeper into his imagination. One of my personal favourites. The Skins Of The Fathers - 32 pages "Once, they had fattened a human child, these monsters from beneath the desert. Now they want him back". This short is packed with suspension and mystery as we are carefully taken on a haunting trip into this dark offering of horror. The storyline spirals to a dramatic ending with eerie reminders of ideas used within 'Lord Of Illusions' and maybe even 'Cabal' / 'Nightbreed'. A gripping and enjoyable read. The story was later adapted in 1989 into the graphic novel 'Tapping The Vein - Book 2' where it was illustrated by Klaus Janson. New Murders In The Rue Morgue - 27 pages "History is about to repeat itself in Poe's notorious street, as old horrors return to shed new blood". Centred around the principal idea that Edgar Allan Poe's classic story The Murders in the Rue Morgue is actually the work of fact not fiction. This weird and horrific story, sets out a mysterious and compelling storyline as we are treated to some classic Barker horror. The story was later adapted by Steve Niles in 1993 into the Eclipse Books graphic novel 'The Life Of Death' where it was illustrated by Hector Gomez. All in all, volume two is a thoroughly enjoyable and darkly bizarre read that will entertain anyone into the world of horror or fantasy. Running for a total of 150 pages, it's a book that you'll find yourself returning to time and time again.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Niki

    Everything I said in my review for the first volume applies for this volume as well. Flawless ideas and execution. I do have to mention, though, that for some reason I din't like this volume as much as the first. Maybe it was the subjects and personal preference, maybe my expectations were raised. Doesn't matter. I still enjoyed this volume very much. My favourite story was probably "Dread", and my least favourite "The Skins of the Fathers". (God, the description of the Philosophy students was D Everything I said in my review for the first volume applies for this volume as well. Flawless ideas and execution. I do have to mention, though, that for some reason I din't like this volume as much as the first. Maybe it was the subjects and personal preference, maybe my expectations were raised. Doesn't matter. I still enjoyed this volume very much. My favourite story was probably "Dread", and my least favourite "The Skins of the Fathers". (God, the description of the Philosophy students was DEAD ON)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert Reiner

    I loved Books of Blood volume 1 and loved this one even more. All five stories are 4.5 to 5 star quality. My only experience with Barker are these first two Books of Blood and I'm blown away with how this guy writes. Dare I say that this guy might be up there with the likes of King himself? Highly recommend these Books of Blood for those (like me) who are new to this author. I loved Books of Blood volume 1 and loved this one even more. All five stories are 4.5 to 5 star quality. My only experience with Barker are these first two Books of Blood and I'm blown away with how this guy writes. Dare I say that this guy might be up there with the likes of King himself? Highly recommend these Books of Blood for those (like me) who are new to this author.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jarek "the Mistborn" Dąbrowski

    The second book of blood was just as good as the first one for me. I think there was more gory stuff in this one though. Any way there are 5 stories i liked them all so i give this 5 stars:) Underneath all the sick bloody stuff there are some serious themes in these stories. I like that. The skins of the fathers was the most gruesome i think:D I will be reading vol 3 for sure

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Dread*** Hell's Event** Jacqueline Ess**** The Skins of the Fathers**** New Murders in the Rue Morgue*** Dread*** Hell's Event** Jacqueline Ess**** The Skins of the Fathers**** New Murders in the Rue Morgue***

  23. 4 out of 5

    Armand Rosamilia

    Another book I read over thirty years ago as a teen, and it's still holding up. Re-reading it after all these years was enjoyable, and I remembered a couple of the stories but not all of them. Favorites are opener "Dread" and "Jacqueline Ess" for the characters involved. Glad I went back to this! Another book I read over thirty years ago as a teen, and it's still holding up. Re-reading it after all these years was enjoyable, and I remembered a couple of the stories but not all of them. Favorites are opener "Dread" and "Jacqueline Ess" for the characters involved. Glad I went back to this!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    The first story was Dread. I quite liked this one. It begins with a student and teacher, Quaid and Cheryl, discussing emotions like fear and dread. When Cheryl says she can’t feel fear, Quaid manages to prove her wrong. This part is shown as Quaid’s guest, Steve, is browsing through Quaid’s collection of photographs. In this part of the story, Quaid recollects how he imprisoned Cheryl with only a piece of steak to eat. (She’s a vegetarian.) The way Clive Barker describes this is very effective. The first story was Dread. I quite liked this one. It begins with a student and teacher, Quaid and Cheryl, discussing emotions like fear and dread. When Cheryl says she can’t feel fear, Quaid manages to prove her wrong. This part is shown as Quaid’s guest, Steve, is browsing through Quaid’s collection of photographs. In this part of the story, Quaid recollects how he imprisoned Cheryl with only a piece of steak to eat. (She’s a vegetarian.) The way Clive Barker describes this is very effective. His writing is very straightforward in order to paint shocking images of a woman being driven insane by her tormentor. He manages to dive into the psyche of each individual character, showing their thoughts and progresses the descent into insanity. For example, take this terrifying excerpt: “But nobody came to interrupt him, as he made friends with the axe. First he smiled at it. The curve of the blade of the axe smiled back. Then he touched it. The axe seemed to like being touched.” Barker’s use of point-of-view and personification is very effective and very well done. Hell’s Event is a mildly interesting story about Hell trying to claim new victims during some sort of big race. It packs some good suspense when Cameron accidently finds a passageway and begins his decent into Hell, Dante’s interpretation. The minions of Hell also try to chase down another person named Joel and attempt to claim him as well. Like I’ve said before, there are some minor scares, but I felt like this story had much more potential than that which was given. Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament reminded me a lot of Carrie. It involves a girl who discovers her frightening power akin to that of telekinesis. With this power, she kills many people who she feels have wronged her. There are three moments when the story shifts to a man named Vassi, who, for some reason, is madly in love with Jacqueline. So madly in love, it would be as understatement not to call it obsession. While I felt this story was a bit too long-winded for its own good, I was entertained by it. The ending was somewhat of a twist, but it certainly wasn’t anything too shocking, unlike In the Hills, the Cities. The Skins of the Fathers starts off to an exciting start. Davidson gets attacked by some sort of creature. However, I felt like I didn’t need to read details about how Davidson soiled his pants out of fear or that then creature’s genitals were erect. Gross. There’s even a part later in the story where he gets an erection while being consumed by the ground. Really Barker? I think you’re taking this way too far. Anyways, the story involves the town curiously named Welcome being attacked by demons. I felt it hard to keep my attention by this point. There were several characters trying to fight off monsters and this story certainly seemed less unique or engaging compared to the first novel. New Murders in the Rue Morgue is a very bizarre story, which shouldn’t be too surprising, considering the abnormality of the previous tales. This one involves a man named Philippe who murdered an innocent young girl. However, there is a mysterious man (Is it really a man?) found in his apartment. This story read very quickly, but like previous tales, didn’t feel wholly captivating. Out of all the previous stories, this one is quite reminiscent of Pig Blood Blues in that it has a mystery involving a creature and an ending that feels very familiar. I give this story commendation for not being as long-winded as some of the others, but it still feels lacking of the necessary hook or scare that the first book had. Another major complaint I had about this book was the misogyny. How often does the reader have to read about a woman being called a whore? (Perhaps it’s just me overreacting but) Clive Barker really seems to enjoy objectifying women? The reader is oftentimes subjected to read about the woman’s breasts or long passages about sex. (Geez Clive, getting a bit too excited there?) At this moment, I find it hard to recall just how many times I’ve read the word “whore,” but it’s just about everywhere here. The passages about sex and body parts are sometimes just disturbing, particularly in the last story. All in all, the first book was a strong collection of short horror stories, including some of the most interesting ones I’ve read. (Keep in mind, I haven’t read much, but I certainly recommend Douglas Clegg.) This novel was decent, but certainly not as good. The best story in this would definetly be Dread, since it was the only one that was suspenseful, disturbing and throughoughly entertaining throughout. However, this installment failed to keep up with the first.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    On the whole, I enjoyed this follow-up collection...just a tiny bit less than the first one. The two standout stories of the five for me were 'Dread,' for its ability to unsettle and disturb, and 'The Skins of the Fathers,' for the cinematic visuals and pacing. On to book 3. On the whole, I enjoyed this follow-up collection...just a tiny bit less than the first one. The two standout stories of the five for me were 'Dread,' for its ability to unsettle and disturb, and 'The Skins of the Fathers,' for the cinematic visuals and pacing. On to book 3.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The second volume of this collection starts out slow, picks up the pace, and then winds down again. All five stories are good and well-done, but two of them are not up to the standards set by the other three. Shall we? "Dread" has an interesting conceit. Quinn is a philosophy student with a bizarro theory that all conversations center around dread. To prove this, he stages a couple of experiments that force a couple of unlucky souls to face their wirst fears. First, he hold a vegetarian hostage, e The second volume of this collection starts out slow, picks up the pace, and then winds down again. All five stories are good and well-done, but two of them are not up to the standards set by the other three. Shall we? "Dread" has an interesting conceit. Quinn is a philosophy student with a bizarro theory that all conversations center around dread. To prove this, he stages a couple of experiments that force a couple of unlucky souls to face their wirst fears. First, he hold a vegetarian hostage, eventually forcing her to eat a piece of rotted meat to survive. He then holds one of his colleagues hostage, forcing him to reenact a childhood incident where he was deaf. In the end, Quinn's study comes back to haunt him and he is forced to face his own fears with disastrous results. I thought the ending of this one relied too much on coincidences. Since Quinn never voices his own fears and dreads in the story, the fact that his attacker just happens to get the exact thing that would press Quinn's buttons right seems a little far-fetched to me. "Hell's Event" -- Satan sends a runner to participate in a marathon. The winner of this race determines the fate of humankind. One of the runners catches on and is so busy trying to stop the demon from winning that neither notices a third party overstepping the finish line. Human kind wins, but someone always pays in contests with The Devil. Nice images in this one of Hell being an icy cave. A fantastic story with a nice twist at the end. "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament" -- possibly the most depraved story fo the bunch, but especially well-written. Miss Ess discovers that she has the power to control the shape of the human body, forcing the people she doesn't like to gruesomely fold in on themselves. Horrifying descriptions of human beings being turned into, essentially, suitcase-sized blocks of flesh. Bittersweet ending, despite the disgusting descriptions in the story proper. "The Skins of The Fathers" -- My favorite story in this volume. Demons rape a woman and impregnate her. The demons return six years later for their child. A posse is formed to defeat the monsters. The images at the end of this tale (of human beings trapped in concrete) will never be forgotten. "The New Murders in the Rue Morgue" -- a clever retelling of the classic Edgar Allen Poe story. A nice homage, perhaps, but the continual references to the original story make this one seem less creative than it is. Basically, a man holds an ape captive and tries to teach it to be human. Of course, it begins to act more human and experience all of the emotions that make humans, you know, human. This includes rage and lust.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Malum

    A little more uneven than the first volume: no amazing stories but a few stories that weren't very good. For me, the standout was "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament", which is a Hellraiser-like body horror story. A little more uneven than the first volume: no amazing stories but a few stories that weren't very good. For me, the standout was "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament", which is a Hellraiser-like body horror story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rowan MacBean

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Dread - A rather sociopathic student of philosophy takes it upon himself to perform some experiments dealing with the nature of fear. It comes back to bite him in the ass. I liked this story. My favorite thing was that it was told from the POV of one of the psycho's friends-turned-subjects, even when the poor guy has gone completely nuts. Hell's Event - Every 100 years, Satan sends a representative to run a race against the best the human world has to offer. If the minion wins, Satan gets to rule Dread - A rather sociopathic student of philosophy takes it upon himself to perform some experiments dealing with the nature of fear. It comes back to bite him in the ass. I liked this story. My favorite thing was that it was told from the POV of one of the psycho's friends-turned-subjects, even when the poor guy has gone completely nuts. Hell's Event - Every 100 years, Satan sends a representative to run a race against the best the human world has to offer. If the minion wins, Satan gets to rule the planet. If the humans win, he is sent back grumbling to Hell. There's one part where a guy gets his face bitten off. Literally. Other than that, I thought this one was kind of boring, really. Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament - Bored housewife attempts suicide. Fails. Discovers she now has the power to change people's body shapes with her mind. She kills a few people, becomes a prostitute, ends up killing herself and the only guy who ever really loved her by using her powers during sex. There. I've saved you the trouble of reading it. I have a tendency not really to notice misogyny in books and movies unless it's really blatant, but this story made me feel uncomfortable in that department. The Skins of the Fathers - A parade of demons/monsters/whatever returns to an Arizona town six years after impregnating a local woman, intent on reclaiming their son. They do so, but not without considerable protest in the form of gun battle from the locals. I really liked this one. It was not quite like any Others-use-human-incubators story I can ever recall reading before. Most of them make the Others the bad guys. New Murders in the Rue Morgue - I'm sorry, Clive Barker. I love you, but this story was just stupid. I don't even have the heart to summarize it. Ugh.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David Agranoff

    Saw this on the shelf at the library and decided to re-read this classic. Barker was the master of Horror short stories in the eighties and all the stories hold up very well. Dread the opening story is probably the most well-known from this volume. It is remembered with good reason, it is a powerful story that in many ways predates and proves the wrongs of the excessive trend of torture porn in horror. It was also recently made into an OK movie. To me stories that worked best for me this time wer Saw this on the shelf at the library and decided to re-read this classic. Barker was the master of Horror short stories in the eighties and all the stories hold up very well. Dread the opening story is probably the most well-known from this volume. It is remembered with good reason, it is a powerful story that in many ways predates and proves the wrongs of the excessive trend of torture porn in horror. It was also recently made into an OK movie. To me stories that worked best for me this time were Hell’s event about a marathon runner who is racing for all humanity against the devil. I didn’t remember this story at all. I did enjoy it. I have never forgotten “The Skins of the Father,” which is the most Lovecraftian of Barker shorts( not that it is very Lovecraftian, but as close as Barker gets). Skins holds up very well and even though I remembered it still came across as powerful. Not as strong as volume one, or Volume 4-5(Inhuman Condition & In the Flesh in the U.S.) in my opinion.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thee_ron_clark

    Clive Barker's Books of Blood is a series of his short stories. I had this one a long time ago and didn't get to it before someone decided they needed the book more than I did. I held off for awhile because it really pains me to buy the same book twice. Anyway, I found myself mixed on this one. I enjoyed the first story, Dread. The entire concept entertained me and it was pretty well written. I also enjoyed Hells' Event and Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament. After those stories, I began The S Clive Barker's Books of Blood is a series of his short stories. I had this one a long time ago and didn't get to it before someone decided they needed the book more than I did. I held off for awhile because it really pains me to buy the same book twice. Anyway, I found myself mixed on this one. I enjoyed the first story, Dread. The entire concept entertained me and it was pretty well written. I also enjoyed Hells' Event and Jacqueline Ess: Her Will And Testament. After those stories, I began The Skins of the Fathers. I was at first into the story. It had a Cabal-like feeling about it. This fell apart though and I felt the story ended quite poorly with a number of unanswered questions. New Murders in the Rue Morgue ended well enough, but it was a bit boring to me over all.

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