Books of Blood: Volume 6
A badass collection of Clive Barker's short fiction.
In "The Life of Death", a woman gets herself mixed up with a plague, murder, and the Grim Reaper. Who she also wants to bang.
Stupendous! Probably the best opener out of all of them, and there were some amazing ones. It was well crafted, there was lots of murder, and a twist (I love twists!) and most importantly - I UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED. You can not believe my frustration and crippling shame when I get to the end of a literary perusal and I have no idea what the fuck is going on. This was the opposite of that. It was straight forward and had a discernible story line, with a clear rising arc horror that culminated in a fantastic twist. Really, I love a good twist, especially one where you think you know the twist ("Haha, I am so clever, with my novel and my smoking jacket and my pipe full of fine aromatic tobacco!") and then BAM, it busts a mega twist all over your perceptions ("Ow, my frontal lobe!"). Great.
Greedy adventurers are taught "How Spoilers Bleed" when they defile one Amazonian tribe too many.
First off, great title; love it. It's graphic, and gives a great visual on how the whole thing will play out. The story was fantastic - an adventure full of blood and retribution. Reprehensible characters that you love to hate, and a broken alcoholic with a pet monkey. Totally horrible, and utterly realistic. Score.
"Twilight at the Towers" explores what really goes on in the spy world.
I was afraid this was going to be some boring old spy story. Berlin, the KGB, a disillusioned spy, a dude with a glass eye... it could have been lame. I've seen K-19: The Widowmaker, and all I recall is Harrison Ford's atrocious Russian accent. Spy stuff is not my thing. But my fears were totally unfounded. This was a rad story! Gore, monsters, violence, as well as suspense and intrigue. THIS is how I like my spy stories.
In "The Last Illusion", a deceased magician is pursued by the very force that gave him his gifts, and it's up to a Private Dick to save him.
This was the best Shaemus story I could ever hope to read - hardboiled detective meets demonic minions of hell. The visuals were very vivid - I particularly loved the varied demons and their musical instruments. Very graphic and gory, and sometimes just plain sick. A nice way to end the anthology... on an uplifting note.
"The Book of Blood (a postscript): On Jerusalem Street" is the culmination of all the horror, and what could possibly become of a man who the dead have used to tell their tales.
This capped off all six books very nicely, and it concluded the account that began everything in the first place. This story was an incredibly apt set of bookends, as it were, and very well done.
Fantastic; the best of the bunch!
All in all, a great collection.