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The Books of Blood, Volume 1

Written by: Clive Barker
Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Books of Blood combine the ordinary with the extraordinary while radiating the eroticism that has become Barker's signature. Weaving tales of the everyday world transformed into an unrecognizable place, where reason no longer exists and logic ceases to explain the workings of the universe, Clive Barker provides the stuff of nightmares in packages too tantalizing to resist.

Never one to shy away from the unimaginable or the unspeakable, Clive Barker breathes life into our deepest, darkest nightmares, creating visions that are at once terrifying, tender, and witty.

The Books of Blood confirm what horror fans everywhere have known for a long time: We will be hearing from Clive Barker for many years to come. This first volume contains the short stories : "The Book of Blood," "The Midnight Meat Train," "The Yattering and Jack," "Sex, Death, and Starshine," and "In the Hills, the Cities."

©1984 Seraphim Films (P)2013 David N. Wilson

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven Savile
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2013-05-09

Everyone's a Book of Blood

What did you love best about The Books of Blood, Volume 1?

I've been reading Barker and collecting his stuff since the late 80s. He's the great imaginer of our time. These first stories, raw, powerful and shocking at the time ushered in a brand new understanding of the politics of horror. No longer were we talking about the outside threats, the aliens, the monsters, we were facing our own inner demons, we were the monsters, and Clive Barker really understood that long before the rest. The human monster is the most frightening of all. And these stories, from the Midnight Meat Train rattling beneath NYC to the unhappy demonic Yattering trying to do the job he hates, the visceral nature of Pigs Blood Blues, Sex Death and Starshine... brilliant... but truly the gem, the story that assures Barker's legacy is that final one, In the Hills, The Cities... which is quite possibly one of the best stories of fantasy-horror ever written.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roy
  • 2017-09-24

Pure brilliance!

The stories themselves are interesting and emotionally touching. Of course we get the Clive Barker mood with it's suspence, horror and gore. Anyone who calls himself/herself a horror fan must experience "The Books Of Blood".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kevin connolly
  • 2017-10-19

WICKED !

Mr Barker has delivered yet again another masterpiece of Science fiction/ Horror.
Books of Blood #1 was great.
can't wait to read the rest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kurt
  • 2013-10-22

Throw Ration and Reason out the window!

Any additional comments?

After listening to these stories I went on an aggressive search for everything that Clive Barker had released through Audible. He is a Master Story teller. I still have his stories in my head! Life is so full of the everyday... Barker knows how to take you away. But who knows where he is going to take you. AWESOME.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly Scott
  • Ohio, United States
  • 2013-07-10

Riveting and Bone-Chilling!

Quite possibly the scariest audiobook I have ever listened too! From the author who brought us the "Hell Raiser" movies, I should have known this would be a riveting, bone-chilling experience. No one can write horror like Clive Barker with his twists and turns, and mind-bending exploits into the dark side of humanity. This collection of short stories is certainly not for the faint of heart! I'm not typically a fan of a lot of "gore" but with Barker's stories it's inevitable and it works fantastically to his advantage. Each of these stories left me in absolute awe....and yes, rather afraid of the dark. I quickly learned that these were not the stories to listen to before going to bed. But, they were incredible nonetheless. The narrators all performed outstandingly and to choose one favorite over the others would be a grave injustice. Each narrator had a unique, eerie quality that only enhanced Barker's writing and brought it to life. My initial impression was that the narration had a "Twilight Zone" appeal to it but then quickly stepped beyond and into something much darker and much more sinister. As an audiobook, this was an astounding performance of stories that I would highly recommend to fans of Horror Fiction, and particularly fans of Clive Barker. Very well done....FIVE stars!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2014-10-31

A BOOK OF BLOOD WRITTEN IN BLOOD

ONCE YOU BECOME A MAN, YOU START TO DIE
This is six short stories or novella's. I liked one of the six, thought that two were okay, didn't like one, but thought it had potential and was not crazy about the rest. All stories were predictable.

1. The Book of Blood. B-, This sets up the reason for the rest. It is written in a sort of Lovecraft style with masturbation thrown in.

2. The Midnight Meat Train. B-, Had potential, was probably the goriest. Has lots of butchered bodies. The word blood is in every other sentence. When will writers realize that for adults, just saying blood, does not scare us?

3. Pig Blood Blues, D+, A long drawn out story. Early on we find out that this pig eats people. We are told this several more times, each time as if it is a new revelation. This one was not mentioned in the summary.

4. The Yattering and Jack, B+, Kind of funny, closest to a surprise ending, entertaining. If ever sold by itself worth purchasing, but don't buy this whole collection for it.

5. Sex, Death & Starshine, C, Starts with a blow job and later has a corpse giving a blow job. The bj's were not enough to save the story. It's another, the people in arts should be worshiped and perhaps given another award show.

6. In The Hills, The Cities, C+, just an excuse for Barker to write about men having sex with men, the story was pretty stupid.

The Barker worshipers have hit the unhelpful button on anyone with the balls to tell the truth, so read this while you can.

Q: WHERE'S YOUR SENSE OF ADVENTURE?

A: I FORGOT TO PACK IT.

38 of 59 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Weinberg
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 2013-05-09

Finally!

What made the experience of listening to The Books of Blood, Volume 1 the most enjoyable?

Some of Barker's best early stories are in this volume. The narrators are strong and the tales still pack a great punch. The introductions mentioned in the description, however, are nowhere to be found. Just the stories.

Collecting the first three Books of Blood into one full audio book may have been a better idea, but it's a fair price for a half-dozen stories of this quality. "Midnight Meat Train" is a classic, but the final story in V1 is something truly special.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Travis
  • 2014-09-22

Not Quite what I Expected

When I purchased this audiobook my intention was to listen to some stories that scared me. The first story, "The Book of Blood", did just that. It was unsettling.

My expectations were being met and the next story, "The Midnight Meat Train", started off in the same vein but ended on a weird note. A couple of the other stories were more humorous than horrifying but "Pig Blood Blues" and "In the Hills, The Cities" both hit all of the right horror notes.

What was evident from the start is that Clive Barker is a good writer and knows how to tell a story. The narrators all did a good job as well. There's nothing bad I can say about this omnibus other than if you are looking for a collection of stories that are all straight horror then you should look somewhere else. If you are looking for a mixture of straight horror and horror comedy then this collection is right for you.

Even though I was looking for straight horror I am happy that I read Mr. Barker's collection because they were all interesting stories.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris L. Hansen
  • Cashmere, WA USA
  • 2013-10-08

Fantastic reading of Barker's early work!

If you could sum up The Books of Blood, Volume 1 in three words, what would they be?

Vivid, evocative, seductive.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Books of Blood, Volume 1?

Hearing the "boom," "boom" stepping of the gigantic city-collective Popolac as it approached the story's two, traveling protagonists standing in its path.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

I can't really choose one, as the narrators were all spot on, though I did have a laugh at the "Yattering."

If you could rename The Books of Blood, Volume 1, what would you call it?

Seriously?

Any additional comments?

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed all the readers. I hope they add all six books in the future, not just the first two.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • A girl has no name
  • Millington
  • 2019-10-15

Classic Clive Barker

I read these books when I was in high school and the stories never get old.
Love Clive Barker and is a must listen.