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The Damnation Game by Clive Barker
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The Damnation Game (1985)

by Clive Barker

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1,683174,247 (3.57)24
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A little bit slow in developing the plot, but good reading and competent writing; I read many of his books and appreciate this author, but he seems to have given his best in the past! ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
Barker bores the crap out of me... ( )
  librarylord99 | Mar 25, 2016 |

Barker knows how to write creepy stuff. More importantly, his stories are not just attempts at seeing how high the gore-factor can be pumped; he finds a way to inject some morale truths and enough ambiguity to keep a reader thinking.

Martin Strauss is prisoner released into the care of an eccentric millionaire. His job is to provide for the rich man's needs. Martin is mystified by the electric fencing and high powered lights that surround the mansion he is to serve in but his figures it's the kind of paranoia that comes being being obscenely wealthy. As the story unfolds, and Martin begins to peripherally see more of the dark nature to his new residence, it becomes clear that he's simple inhabiting a prison of a new kind, one with the grandest types of punishment and redemption.

With the impending close of Border, I managed to score this copy for less than 2 bucks. Had the story been so-so or even something I couldn't finish, I knew I could consider it "no biggie" because of the cost, but that's not how it went with this tale.

This ones worth whatever price you find it at.
( )
  RalphLagana | Jan 23, 2016 |
Kindred's Reading Challenge: #7 A horror novel by Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker or Robert Bloch
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
“Hell is reimagined by each generation. Its terrain is surveyed for absurdities and remade and, if necessary, reinvented to suit the current climate of atrocity; its architecture is redesigned to appall the eye of the modern damned. In an earlier age Pandemonium - the first city of Hell - stood on a lava mountain while lighting tore the clouds above it and beacons burned on its walls to summon the fallen angels. Now, such spectacle belongs to Hollywood. Hell stands transposed. No lightning, no pits of fire."
- from Clive Barkers’ “The Damnation Game"

Clive Barker’s first full-length novel is magnificent. It’s dark, intense and mostly unrelenting in it’s steady construction of supernatural horror. While full of gut wrenching visuals and causing a limitation of my ability to fall asleep, this novel beats with a heart of literature under it’s skin of genre horror.

Barker builds his story and characters layer by layer. Some might feel the early going is a bit slow but I would argue that the greatest of meals are those that take longer to make.

I’ve only recently discovered how pervasive is H.P. Lovecraft’s influence in modern horror. Not sure how this stayed off my radar for so long, but let’s just be glad that I finally figured out. “Damnation Game” in imbued with the spirit of Lovecraft. Just take a glimpse at a couple of passages from Barker, and his Lovecraftian storytelling of an otherworldly evil that lives just beyond site of the visible world and just on the edge of the great Void.

“It was, for a moment, not her who started out between the bars. It was something dredged up from the bottom of the sea. Black eyes swiveling in a gray head. Some primeval genus that viewed him - he knew this to his marrow - with hatred in its bowels."

“He became aware (was it just his dream life, denied its span in sleepless nights, spreading into wakefulness?) of another world, hovering beyond or behind the facade of reality."

If there’s anything to downgrade my rating it’s Barker’s awkwardly rapid transition of the budding affair of our two protagonists from tentative emotional exploration to full on can’t-live-without-you intensity. I either missed a paragraph or two, or Marty and Carys fell hard and fast after the first time they ‘hooked up’.

It’s a relatively small complaint, however. The story is terrific; the plot solid; the finish satisfying. Highly recommended. ( )
  JGolomb | Apr 13, 2015 |
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"Doch nicht befreit, obzwar beherrscht wie Sklaven,
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Shelley: Der entfesselte Prometheus
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Für J. R. G.
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The air was electric the day the thief crossed the city, certain that tonight, after so many weeks of frustration, he would finally locate the card-player.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425188930, Mass Market Paperback)

There are things worse than death. There are games so seductively evil, so wondrously vile, no gambler can resist. Amid the shadow-scarred rubble of World War II, Joseph Whitehead dared to challenge the dark champion of life’s ultimate game. Now a millionaire, locked in a terror-shrouded fortress of his own design, Joseph Whitehead has hell to pay. And no soul is safe from this ravaging fear, the resurrected fury, the unspeakable desire of...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:32 -0400)

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