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The Hellbound Heart: A Novel by Clive Barker

The Hellbound Heart: A Novel (original 1986; edition 2007)

by Clive Barker

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1,359235,652 (3.8)22
Title:The Hellbound Heart: A Novel
Authors:Clive Barker
Collections:Leeds library, Already read
Tags:horror, fiction

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The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker (1986)

  1. 10
    Cabal by Clive Barker (Anonymous user)

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English (22)  French (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Pretty good, if a little slight. It's totally ridiculous how the publisher has tried to stretch this out to be a novel by increasing the font size and line spacing to absurd amounts.

It's a rather simpler tale. The character are entirely uninteresting, their relationships meaningless, and are given zero context outside of the immediate plot.

The stuff with the Cenobites is interesting, if fleeting, and over all it's a bit creepy but it doesn't haunt for long because nothing ever really feels at stake. ( )
  Daniel_Davis | Sep 30, 2014 |
Familiarization with the far more popular movie version may make this a weak read for some, but The Hellbound Heart is still a well-written, sexual romp with unique imagery. ( )
  Birdo82 | Jul 26, 2014 |
I finished this book very quickly as it was very fast paced. There is a lot of action and gory scenes in the story. But because the book is short I didn't get to learn much about the characters which meant that I didn't really care whether they lived or died.
The plot of the story is very imaginative, I just wish there had been a bit more background about the cenobites and their world. ( )
  26kathryn | Jul 11, 2013 |
Truly super creepy. I have not seen Hellraiser (or most 80s horror movies), so I wasn't sure what to expect. My only complaint is that it's really easy to dislike the victims. It might have been a little creepier if more morally ambiguous people had suffered; instead, I prayed for their painful demise.

Reading it after Mister B. Gone just confirmed what a disappointment Barker's newest book was. This one will be like The Thief of Always, I suspect, which has stayed with me for over a decade. ( )
  BrookeAshley | May 23, 2013 |
3.5 stars.
I've seen 'Hellraiser' of course, and my brother even dressed up as an awesome Pinhead for Halloween 2 years in a row in the late 80s. Mom painstakingly applied about a hundred gray toothpicks all over his head. Some weren't even sharp enough to go in properly, so it took a while, and he just would NOT stop crying... Kidding, kidding! I do wish that we had pictures of that costume though, it was great. My mom is an artistic genius, and my dedicated brother even allowed his head to be shaved almost bald for effect. Good times.

Anyway, back to business. So, I'd seen the movie, but being that young (I was 5 when it came out) I didn't really get it, but my boyfriend likes the movies too, so we have a full collection, and I've seen them again a couple times as an adult. And this is one case where I think the movies are better than the book. True, the effects were pretty cheesetastic, but it was the 80s and the movies themselves are great. Gory and depraved and awesome.

The story itself is short, and quite good, but kind of... sparse. I mean, Barker fits a lot of stuff into less than 200 pages, but he doesn't really describe the Cenobites or give much information about the history of the box, etc. We can fill in the blanks this way, making the Cenobites as horrible as we like, but I think the movies were fantastic for the creativity in depicting them. The book most definitely lacked there.

Anyway, this was a good book, and I'm glad I listened to it. I liked the reader, even though his voice took a little while to get used to. I liked the way he voiced the Cenobites though. Creepy! :) ( )
  TheBecks | Apr 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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« Je veux parler au spectre de quelque antique amant
Qui mourut avant que le dieu Amour ne fût né. »

JOHN DONNE, « Divinité de l'amour »
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-Sabéis lo que he soñado -dijo Frank-. Podéis proporcionar el placer.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061002828, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Originally published in an anthology collection called "Night Visions", this long novella was the basis for the film "Hellraiser". Considered by many Barker fans to be among his best, the story introduces Pinhead, the leader of a group of hell-spawned demons called Cenobites, as he (it?) tries to secure the soul of Uncle Frank, who foolishly thought that he could arrive at the gateway to ultimate pleasure without traveling a path of grisly torture and pain.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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