Books of Blood: Volume 2
A badass collection of Clive Barker's short fiction.
"Dread" centers around an enigmatic young man and his obsession with the fears of those around him.
A few months ago I watched the movie based on this story. Even though the bizz-natch who recommended I watch it gave the ending away (I hate the people who do that almost as much as I hate the people who ruin the end of books, and I'm sure there's a special section of hell for those types) I really liked it. So when I started reading this, I was kind of worried I'd be disappointed, since I already knew the big reveal, and would be anticipating the surprise plot point like a drunken frat boy's friends who hire a "lady of the night" from the specialty area of the red light district (Surprise! It's a boy!) and there would be no delicious mystery, or dawning horror (except on the frat boy's part; unless he was into it, in which case the experience would be pivotal in redefining his gender-based sexual orientation, and then there would be kudos all around). But because the story didn't follow the film (which, obviously happened vice a versa in history but not so in my personal time-space past-present) I was still able to enjoy the reading experience, though not as much as if I hadn't ever seen the film. The story was terrifically vivid, and there are some scenes that are still with me. The gore factor was up there, too.
"Hell's Event" is, of all things, a foot race. Who knew?
This was all right. I wasn't particularly enthralled, except maybe by the portal to H-E-double hockey stick. I mean, shit was cool. Literally. But otherwise, not much seemed to happen. Run. Run run run. Run. I hate running. It's bad for my knees. I guess I just felt indifferent about it. But the story was saved, for me, by good writing.
"Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament" is a macabre recounting of a woman's discovery of power, and what it does to the men in her life, and, ultimately, herself.
Longer, weirder, and more thoughtful than the first two stories in this collection, and the most romantic so far, which may seem weird, but I totally felt it, and the eroticism was very natural. The gore was absolutely disgusting, and there were some really sick scenes in this story, which I loved to bits. There honestly isn't enough hardcore (and I mean HARDCORE) erotic horror. This filled my... horitic tank quite nicely. I also enjoyed the strong female protagonist - powerful women are so rare in literature. Fabulous.
"The Skins of the Fathers" shows us that demons aren't all bad. And not all that removed from ourselves, either.
Really, this was EPIC. Such a weird, horrific story (right up there with "In the Hills, the Cities" in weirdness, actually), but poignant too. That old adage, "Man fears what he can not understand" is pretty appropriate in this instance, and anything where that saying is appropriate pisses me off. The townfolk were extremely realistic, while the "divils" were just fantastic in every sense of the word. The ending was totally SICK. Disgusting, horrible, and awesome; the way every end should be.
"New Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a spin on a classic mystery, or so I presume, as I've never read the original. Because I'm a savage brute with no taste for classic literature.
This was a great capper for this anthology. Not exactly horror, per se, more so fantastic with some hideously depraved situations (Bestiality, anyone? Anyone at all? No takers? Huh). It was definitely good, and very creative. At least I assume it was creative. Again, I didn't read what this was based on. Well, OK, I literally read it on Wikipedia just now, but that hardly counts. Thank god for the internets, eh?
So far, I liked this set even more than the first set!