Books of Blood: Volume 5
A badass collection of Clive Barker's short fiction.
In "The Forbidden", a woman enters the ghetto to do research on graffiti, and finds a whole new subculture... OF TERROR.
It's hard to enjoy a story you've already experienced via film (what with the stunting of my imagination and all) but this was "fleshed out" in a different way, and I really enjoyed it. Actually, I found it pretty dang spectacular. It was weird trying to imagine a British ghetto instead of the one in the movie - in my head, everyone was ginger or looked like a Dickens character, and everyone talked with a cockney accent. Freshen up yer alter of sweets and razors, guvnah?
"The Madonna" lives in an abandoned pool, and isn't quite the beatific angle renaissance painters led us to believe.
This was oddly beautiful, in it's own way. Clive Barker really puts the pussy (well, demon/monster pussy) on a pedestal (and by pedestal, I mean abandoned pool) in this one. But he writes so kindly about them. Maybe he just loves monsters, be they lady or dude, or some variation of the two. I pretty sure he also loves aliens, but I digress. As I was saying, this was beautiful - except that I imagined the the great pool monster as Jabba the Hut, which I'm sure Barker wasn't going for. But I always saw Jabba as kind of lady-like with those big limpid eyes. The final scene was rapturously vivid, and I was totally sucked in, so to speak.
"Babel's Children" give a thrill-seeker a run for her money, and give us all something to discuss around the water cooler.
This was different from the usual fare; not a horror, but a grand rollicking adventure... and I liked it. I loved that the adventure seeking protagonist was a lady. And it wasn't because somehow her female genitalia played into a key plot point. I love that about Clive Barker. He lets chicks do stuff. On top of that, the subject matter is terrifically obscene, because, really, it could be true.
"In The Flesh" explores the relationship between two prison inmates, and the relationship one of them has with his dead, murdering grandfather. Did I mention there was a murder town full of ghosts in an alternate reality that they all hang out in?
I found this gorgeous - Definitely one of the beast stories I've read out of the whole lot of books so far. Wonderfully written, like a snapshot in the course of someone's life, with no excess wording or beating around the bush. I was fully able to understand the entire story, and everything finished all wrapped up neat as you please. I loved the imagery of an abandoned town full of hidden murderers confined to their murder environments, and every scene was so eerie and neat. Very intriguing and totally fascinating.
This started off well, and got better and better.