I gave all my clive barker books away to charity when I found out he is a brony.
Binro the Heretic
But that's Barker's main shtick. He writes fairly run-of-the mill horror but gives the protagonists at least one repulsive kink.
Clive Barker and Stephen King were both at their best stylistically and creatively when they were writing short stories.
This is far from the best thing in the Books Of Blood but it's still pretty fun.
As far as run of the mill, I've got to give him credit for some pretty original ideas in his early stuff at least. Stuff like Son of Celluloid and Confessions Of a (Pornographer's) Shroud and In The Hills, The Cities and that one about the the yacht that gets stranded on an island .
My big criticisms of Barker are that there's not much distinction between any of his dialogue and his own narrative voice, he's pretty much incapable of puling off any kind of humor (this is the closest he got, but that's mainly because his own unfunniness kind of fits the protagonist's character) and that he writes a lot of hetero sex scenes and they're all completely ridiculous, he's almost as incapable of writing plausible hetero sex as Pasolini was of filming it (although in both cases the effect is usually funny).
I pretty consistently like reading anything he wrote before Hellraiser the film made him a big star, though, and the flaws are part of the appeal - it's all got this kind of charmingly gay, British, vaguely goth thing going on that I can't help but like. It's like the literary equivalent of a mid 80s Cure album.
Honestly I've always thought his illustrations were a lot better than his writing and filmmaking. I really like them, especially the sort of spidery, unfinished looking brush and ink stuff.
Not so much his comics though, but I'm not really a big comic fan in general, there are specific artists I really like but the medium as a whole is a bit tepid for me.
Binro the Heretic
OZ, I think most, if not all, the stories you listed are in one volume of "The Books of Blood", maybe the third. I know for sure "Son of Celluloid", "Confessions of a Pornographer's Shroud" and "Scapegoats" (the one with the yacht stranded on the island) are all in the same volume as "Rawhead Rex."
I like Barker. He seems wonderfully flawed. And every time I see any interviews with him now, the first thing that pops into my head is, "I'm Clive Barker. Author, dream-weaver, visionary plus actor. You are about to enter the world of my imagination. You are entering...my Darkplace."
Yeah, I'm pretty sure they are, it just happens to be the only one I actually have had a copy of in the last 10 years so I remembered the titles. I also really liked that one set in a prison and the one in one of the later volumes that were stuck at the end of the Cabal paperback that has something to do with a disease that makes people's skin hypersentisitive or something (that one I haven't read since high school).
Oh and Pig Blood Blues is really good, too, I actually like that better than at least half the others I listed now that I think of it.
I do like Barker, and the flaws are a big part of it, I just like him a lot better in short form. Actually, years ago I owned a copy of "Clive Barker: Illustrator" and I vaguely remember him writing at length in the forward about how he really appreciates art that feels flawed or incomplete (I think it was something along the lines of "the best art is the kind that looks like it's just barely holding together and could collapse into formlessness if you look at it too long." However he phrased it, it was definitely something that really resonated with me as far as what moves me in music especially, but art in general really, and that alone has always given me a soft spot for Clive.
It's an occasion when he gets drunk, lonely and horny on Twitter, because he'll flirt with ANYBODY, myself included.
I have a good friend who has to be informed of this immediately.
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