Author(s): Clive BarkerDownload
Clive Barker is widely acknowledged as the master of nerve-shattering horror. The Hellbound Heart is one of his best, one of the most dead-frightening stories you are likely to ever read, a story of the human heart and all the great terrors and ecstasies within.At last he had solved the puzzle of Lemarchand’s box. He was standing on the threshold of a world of heightened sensations. In moments the Cenobites – who had dedicated an eternity to the pursuit of sensuality – would be here. They would reveal dark secrets that would transform him forever.
Some Reviews: 1660 in Goodreads.com
This is Frank.
Frank is not having a good time. No, sir, he is not. You see, Frank thought he was signing up for a time of his life when he summoned the gruesome Cenobites, but he made a mistake of not reading the terms and conditions when he summoned them. Now he is stuck in eternal torment in Cenobite world and it’s not the figurative eternal torment that poets and lovers feel, but quite literal eternal torment where his flesh is ripped from his body until he is nothing but chunks of meat.
Seriously, don’t be like Frank. Read terms and conditions.
Clive Braker’s novella, Hellbound heart is a gory masterpiece because it is original, bloody and well crafted. The story introduces one of the distinct horror icons to the world: Pinhead and his lackeys. The human characters are not exactly well fleshed out, but all the parts where our antagonist Frank is literally being fleshed out more than makes up for that sin. Clive Barker has a knack for crossing the line to the disgusting and disturbing imagery side of the horror, and still make the reader keep going with his excellent storytelling skills.
Also, Helluva last act!
Rare RARE instance in which the movie actually manages to surpass the novel. Just barely.
Then again, Barker directed his own creation on celluloid, so there’s that. “Hellraiser” is not even included in the sacred list of horror films I adore (the genre which may be the hardest to love, easiest to make fun of, and which for that reason is my favorite), but no one can’t say that it isn’t mega creepy & creative. The merger of pleasure and pain– Ahhh!
This novella (which can be digested in one sitting) packs quite a punch. This is an important book for the genre, one that showcases Clive Barker’s poetics in a compact way. You’ll want to read another one of his immediately after!
And, as a fun note, John Kozak, the singer of my band, Of The Arcane, had his head sculpted by our friend, Mitch Gonzales, into the likeness of Pinhead, and was presented to Clive at the very first signing we attended of his at The Dark Carnival bookstore, in Berkeley, CA.
Clive liked it so much, Mitch gave it to him as a gift.
A few years later I met up with Clive who said he had the head encased in glass and on display in his home.
John Kozak Pinhead
4.5! If you consider yourself a horror fan then you must read this book! It’s an absolute classic!
The Hellbound Heart starts out from the perspective of Frank. This man is trying to figure out how to open the Lemarchand’s box, so that he can unleash Cenobites into this world. Frank was told that once they came they could give him absolute pleasure. Well, it’s safe to say that things go horribly wrong and the Cenobites trap Frank in their realm. Later on his brother and his brother’s wife Julia move into the same house. He then tries to get Julia to make several sacrifices in order to set him free.
Clive Barker is a master at making books that not only creep you out, but also want you coming back for more. I loved, loved, loved this book!
PS: This story is a little graphic and is filled with several gruesome scenes. If you have a weak stomach then I would suggest that you choose a different book. Also, you should watch Hellraiser. That movie was based off of The Hellbound Heart.
Many people don’t realize that this book is actually a parody; a commentary on the ever increasing thrills we post-moderns crave from our lives and even horror fiction, films, etc. Look up Barker’s own comments if you don’t believe me. In fact, Barker has never written a story more gut wrenching and extreme than Heart; some equal it, but none actually exceed it. The fact that it spawned an entire industry of graphic novels and films all predicated on the the goal of being ever more extreme is an ironic commentary in itself. One wonders whether Clive is secretly enjoying the further irony that his baby spawned, just the thing he was commenting on, or just taking it to the bank.
The Cenobites and the Lamarchand’s Configuration are two of the great creations in horror and certainly one of the reasons the novella resonates so well with horror fans (ignore the fact that one of the films ruins the creation, makes the Cenobites “good” and mindful of their former lives).
In any case, the novella is as perfect a modern horror story as there ever was written and Barker, and few others, have ever equaled it though he/they have tried. It is hard to repeat perfection. One of the reasons the book is so good is it jettisons all the horror tropes and traditions up to it’s time to create a truly original story. Add to this Barker’s perfectly evocative prose. It didn’t hurt that it was especially memorable because it came out in the ’80s when horror fiction was a having a sort of Renaissance.
Every horror fan should have to read this story and watch the first two films (maybe Bloodlines too). If you haven’t, you aren’t a real horror fan, yet. Oh, and avoid Hellraiser III (the film) at all costs. It makes a joke of the entire Cenobite concept.
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