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The Hellbound Heart [Paperback]

Clive Barker
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2008

Clive Barker is widely acknowledged as the master of nerve-shattering horror. The Hellbound Heart is one of his best, one of the most dead-frightening stories you are likely to ever read, a story of the human heart and all the great terrors and ecstasies within. It was also the book behind the cult horror film, Hellraiser.

In a quiet house on a quiet street Frank and Julia are having an affair. Not your ordinary affair. For Frank it began with his own insatiable sexual appetite, a mysterious lacquered box- and then an unhinged voyage through a netherworld of imaginable pleasures and unimaginable horror… Now Frank- or what is left of Frank -waits in an empty room. All he wants is to live as he was before. All julia can do is bring him her unfulfilled passions…and a little flesh and blood…



Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; (Reissue) edition (1 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006470653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006470656
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 10.8 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Clive Barker was born in Liverpool in 1952. His earlier books include The Books of Blood, Cabal, and The Hellbound Heart. In addition to his work as a novelist and playwright, he also illustrates, writes, directs and produces for stage and screen. His films include Hellraiser, Hellbound, Nightbreed and Candyman. Clive lives in Beverly Hills, California

Product Description

Amazon Review

Clive Barker is widely acknowledged as the master of nerve-shattering horror. The Hellbound Heart is one of his best, one of the most frightening stories you are ever likely to read, a story of the human heart and all the great terrors and ecstasies within.

Review

Praise for Clive Barker:

'Passionate and ingenious… A ride with remarkable views'
Times Literary Supplement

'A powerful and fascinating writer with a brilliant imagination… Clive Barker is an outstanding storyteller'
J G Ballard

'Barker's fecundity of invention is beyond praise. In a world of hard-bitten horror and originality, Clive Barker dislocates your mind'
Mail on Sunday

'Barker is much more than genre writer'
New York Times Book Review


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
So intent was Frank upon solving the puzzle of Lemarchand's box that he didn't hear the great bell begin to ring. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasure and Pain 19 Jan 2014
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Clive Barker's novella will be better known to the vast majority as 'Hellraiser' as that is the film based on this story. It starts off with Frank Cotton opening a box that is supposed to bring him the ultimate in pleasures, but this doesn't turn out to be what Frank expected. Frank disappears from the house he opened the box in, and next we read that his brother Rory, and his wife are moving in to the home.

As we progress with the story we see that Frank was a hedonist, and after becoming disillusioned with what is on offer he becomes nihilistic. For him he expects orgies and such like from opening the box, but he discovers that after being offered sensory overload in fact pleasure means different things to different people, and thus for him it becomes pain, as he is in the clutches of the Cenobites.

With Rory's and Julia's marriage not going so well Frank thinks he can persuade Julia to help him get back to the normal world, but Rory has a friend, Kirsty, who may be able to put the spanner in the works. This story is only novella length, and thus it doesn't really go into much of the world of the Cenobites, leaving a lot up to the readers' imaginations. What we mainly are given here is the lives of the people in our world, and what happens next. This does on the whole make for a fast and thrilling read, but somehow I have always felt that this could have been fleshed out into a full length novel that would add more suspense and horror. This does make an ideal introduction to Clive Barker's works though, if you have never read one of his books before.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick, fast and blazing fun 28 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a short little book, but it definitely packs a punch. I read thing in three (short) sittings and I think it is definitely worth the money. Need a book to get into Clive Barker? Look no further.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explore the depravity of the human heart 28 Nov 2002
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This fast-paced, action-packed novella served as the basis for Clive Barker's extreme horror movie masterpiece Hellraiser, but it is well worth reading on its own merits. The human heart and its vulnerability to perverse pleasures of a sensuous nature is a compelling theme at the heart of Barker's writing. Those familiar with the movie will find that this original story matches up fairly closely with what they have seen, but there are some important differences. For one, a little more information about the infamous puzzle box is revealed. The characters are fleshed out a little better, yet Julia remains a cold person whose motives are not completely understandable. The Cenobites are actually featured much less here than in the movie, and the physical descriptions of them are far less developed--Pinhead himself reportedly speaks with a girlish voice in the novella. The blood and gore are certainly here, but their full magnitude is determined by the imagination of the reader. Interestingly, Kirsty's relationship with Rory (who was called Larry in the movie) is ambiguous at best. While one assumes Rory is her father, Kirsty always refers to him by name, and her relationship with him, if he is her father, is not a normal one for she seems to relate to him as some sort of potential lover.
The depth of Barker's vision is much better developed in print than on the movie screen, and that is what makes this novella a must-read for fans of extreme horror. The dark side of the human soul is a source tapped deeply by Barker's imagination, and he is unafraid of revealing the depravity of any given individual. As such, his writing betrays a complexity and ingenious subtlety which critics of horror will never identify or understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Stuff! 25 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I saw a South Bank Show dedicated to Clive Barker some twenty-odd years ago and before that I thought CB was a bit of an egotistical maniac. But once I had seen that,I understood where he was coming from and what ingterested him and why he wrote the way he did. My first book was "The Hellbound Heart" and I was hooked. From the first moment I felt I was Frank, opening the box, seeing the Cenobites and trying to get out of their clutches. Pity he had to be helped by the awful Julia. And the last few pages with the whole scenario with Frank/Rory, Julia and Kirsty made my head spin. The film is pretty close to the book, but for me the book will always be my first journey into the world of Clive Barker.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not all I had hoped for 25 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
Being a huge fan of Clive Barkers Books of blood and his screen efforts such as Hellraiser, Cabal/Nightbreed and his screenwriting for Candyman, I'd have to say that The hellbound heart disappointed me a bit. I had hoped for a lot more insight in the Cenobites. You are offered a few hints, and there's a bit more about Franks lust for forbidden pleasures than in the movie, but the last forty pages (or so) of this rather short book (128 pages) is wasted away on a lot of chaising around, and you never really get a satisfying psychological insight in Frank; he's just a mean dude, and the hierachy and motives of the cenobites remains somewhat a mystery. I'd much rather recommend Barkers different volumes og the Books of blood if you are to dive into his early gory period. Hats of to the idea of this book (which of course is brilliant, groundbreaking) that would have probably knocked me off my seat if i'd read it back in the eighties and had'nt seen the movie like a million times.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As expected from this author compelling story. Chilling stuff.
Published 9 days ago by P Damen
5.0 out of 5 stars The man who created pinhead.
great book, as usual better than the film. want to buy his books of blood but can't afford it at the moment.
Published 23 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars better than the film
Only ever saw the film on an old portable black & white tv the books much better than the film
Published 1 month ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
This novella is a must for any reader interested in the genre. Well written and punchy throughout; this is the novella that created the Hellraiser movies. Highly recommended.
Published 3 months ago by JWG
5.0 out of 5 stars revisiting a favorite
I had forgotten just how much fun Barker can be with his writing and this book reminded me of that. Granted its different to the movie which is based on the book but you can see... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Aaron Kibbey
5.0 out of 5 stars Hellboun Heart/Hellraiser
I had no idea that Hellbound Heart was the same story (albeit a few minor changes) to the acclaimed horror film Hellraiser. I simply read it because I am a big Clive Barker fan. Read more
Published 4 months ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb short read
For those familiar with Barker's film work like I was, this book was a real surprise. Well written, entertaining and often disturbing, this is really a story that explores the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Adam Holloway
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't get into it
I just can't get into this book for some reason. Hoping to try again at some point in the future.
Published 5 months ago by SarahLJ
3.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Very fast pace. Keeps you enthralled.Constantly upping the tension. Typical Clive Barker,lots of blood and gore. Never fails to chill.
Published 5 months ago by michael mallaghan
3.0 out of 5 stars Bargain for 0.99
Used to have this novella in paperback form but downloaded it onto my kindle a couple of days ago.

Very similar to the movie and a straight forward introduction to clive... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Derek Johnson
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