Okay, they're not vintage and they're not collectible and they're not even available in the United States, but I recently found out that Clive Barker's novels have been reissued by Harper Collins under their Voyager imprint. I dig 'em; thought you might too. They're classy and accurate. How refreshing!
Above you see The Hellbound Heart, his 1986 novella which was the basis for some movie or other. I haven't read it since 1992 but I remember enjoying it. That cover image is perfect, utterly perfect, don't you think? Unfortunately I could not find the artist's name.
Odd that Tarantino has a blurb for an epic dark fantasy novel, but still, it's cool. I've read Weaveworld (1987) a few times, and reviewed it here.
Cabal (1988), another novella that led to another movie you mighta heard of. Nice tattoo-like imagery, evoking perhaps the monster Peloquin.
The American editions of The Great and Secret Show (1989) never used the strange totemic pendant that features so largely in the novel, its details showing the strange physical and spiritual evolution of humanity. The first in that eternally-planned trilogy entitled - not too pretentiously now! - The Art.
Ah, Imajica (1991). One of my favorite novels ever, and still Barker's magnum opus and, I believe, the work he wants to be remembered by. A dark and erotic epic fantasy novel that ultimately kills off God - Hapexamendios his name. But I hate to use that word, "fantasy," because it evokes hobbits and chainmail and faeries, which is precisely what Imajica is not. Unlike anything I've ever read. Except maybe other Barker books.
The first sequel to Great and Secret Show, 1994's Everville, also uses the pendant and reuses another famous King quote about Barker. I loved Everville back in '95 and wrote an effusively earnest review for Amazon way back when that makes me cringe now.
Sacrament (1996) was a departure: not an epic, but a much more personal story about a wildlife photographer's near-fatal run-in with a polar bear, and his recovery. Although the photographer is Barker's first major homosexual character, Sacrament is more mainstream than most of his stuff, but still has that unique sort of dark fantasy Barker's great at. It's a novel I recommend to non-horror readers.
Lots of sex and intrigue, this was Barker obviously out for a lark, producing a straight potboiler but in his own unmistakable voice. He's insisted that Galilee (1998) was the beginning of another series of novels about a Kennedy-esque clan. I'll believe it when I see it.
I never finished Coldheart Canyon (2001) and it's the last full-length adult novel he's written to date. The cover gets right at the historical Hollywood orgies depicted within. Nice.
And here's Barker on the back cover of the US paperback edition of Everville. Handsome!
H. P. Lovecraft – author
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