Ginger Nuts of Horror
WARNING: This series contains HUGE spoilers, and is designed as a discussion for people familiar with the source text. I do not wish to spoil your enjoyment of The Hellbound Heart, so please read it before reading this. Thanks.
So I had read this one before, albeit at least fifteen years ago, mainly as a function of having seen the movie and being curious about the source material, and yet I've found this essay to be hands down the toughest one to write so far.
Because of the movie.
See, I've seen Hellraiser a lot of times. And unlike some people, I still think it's pretty awesome. But it makes reading this novella a very strange experience. I mean, it's different, in many crucial respects, from the name of the brother (Rory instead of Larry), to the fact that Kirsty is not Larry's Rory's daughter from his first marriage but his friend (and from her side, fairly clearly an unrequited lover), to the physical appearances of the Cenobites... the list goes on. And the problem for me, as the above makes clear, is that the movie is my primary frame of reference, and so I spent much of the book noting the differences rather than managing to engage with the story purely on its own terms. Added to my misery is the fact that on occasion, the two pieces do mirror so closely that I had a weird doubling effect in my mind, like reading the novelization of the film.
For those of you who can't wait for the release of The Scarlet Gospels, or who haven't been lucky enough to read it already.Here is a chance to listen to the first chapter of The Scarlet Gospels.
WARNING: This series contains HUGE spoilers, and is designed as discussions for people familiar with the source text. I do not wish to spoil your enjoyment of Lost Souls, so please read it before reading this. Thanks. It's available to read for free from Clive Barkers website at http://www.clivebarker.com/html/devotion/macab/stories/lost.html
As with the last post, this is my first encounter with 'Lost Souls', and my second Harry D'Amour story. We open in the middle of the story, with Harry in pursuit of a demon called Cha'Chat. This 'sublimely malignant' creature has evaded Harry long enough for him to turn in desperation to a blind clairvoyant for help, determined to send the demon back to the other side of the schism before Christmas Day. This, by the way, is all from the first four paragraphs. The economy of Barker's storytelling here is seriously impressive: we learn all this, plus the fact that D'Amour blames himself for the demon’s escape (interestingly because it pulled a very similar trick to 'the widow' in The Last Illusion), and even have time for some classic noir flavour ('...Christmas in New York; season of goodwill and suicide'). Again I am struck by the sheer confidence, bordering on bravado, in the writing. Barker casts his phrases vividly and economically, and as the reader I found myself immersed almost immediately.
WARNING: This series contains HUGE spoilers, and is designed as discussions for people familiar with the source text. I do not wish to spoil your enjoyment of The Last Illusion, so please read it before reading this. Thanks.
I guess I need to start this with a shameful confession. With the exception of The Hellbound Heart, I haven't read any of the stories on this list prior to now. In my late teens/early twenties, I devoured with relish Weaveworld and Imajica, and The Thief Of Always had a lasting effect, but I never got hold of The Books Of Blood or The Great and Secret Show. So for the most part, these columns will represent a voyage of discovery for me, albeit of a writer whose talents I have huge admiration and respect for. I'm sure many of you will have a far greater familiarity with the texts than I do, and I look forward to the conversation in the comments.
So, with that in mind, let's talk about The Last Illusion.
In a very special series of retrospective reviews, Kit Power will be taking a look at the books that formed the road to the release of Clive Barker's The Scarlet Gospels, the book that has had every single fan of Clive Barker and Hellraiser biting their fingernails in anticipation.
The series will also feature multiple reviews of The Scarlet Gospels, from myself, George Lea, Kit Power, and Paul M. Feeney, and some guest articles from Maz Johnson and a few others.
This is going to be an epic series of posts to celebrate the launch of this much anticipated book.
Please comment on the articles and reviews, we would love to get a conversation going.
And If you would like to contribute an article to the series please drop us a line.