- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Gallery Books; 01 edition (29 Sept. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439140901
- ISBN-13: 978-1439140901
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hellbound Hearts Paperback – 29 Sep 2009
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About the Author
Clive Barker is the bestselling author of over twenty novels and collections, including Weaveworld, Imajica, and Galilee. He regularly shows his art in Los Angeles and New York, and produces and directs for both large screen and small. He lives in California with his partner.
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Hellbound Heart is one of my favourite reads, having read it several times over the years, and I do also enjoy the first two Hellraiser films.
The original story dealt with a character named Frank who, having grown bored with his own sordid life, sort out a puzzle box called the Lemarchand Configuration, with the belief that solving the puzzle would summon Cenobites, who could inflict pleasure beyond any human imaginings.
Having solved the puzzle, the Cenobites arrive, referring to themselves as “The Order of The Gash”; horrific creatures, with extensively mutilated bodies, who drag Frank off to Hell (in pieces), for eternal torture, and their pleasure.
The remainder of the story revolves around Franks escape from Hell; beyond the above the story is of little relevance to this book.
The book essentially tells stories which build on the mythology of The Cenobites, The puzzles used to access them, with a few stories thrown in which have just drawn inspiration from the book/films.
I won’t run through each individual story, a breakdown can be found in other reviews, or on other web sites; needless to say, as with all collections of short stories, there are some great, some ok, and some that just… well no, just… no.
I read this on a kindle app, and there were no major issues, bar one story – “Wordsworth” which is a comic. The comic has been reproduced in black and white and squashed in, at a poor resolution, to the point of illegibility. There is text as well (the text printed in speech bubbles/narrative boxes); below each comic page, but without the images, it is impossible to clearly comprehend what is going on.
I was a little let down by this, until I reached the end of the book, to find, as an extra, Neil Gaimans script for the comic. I would advise those reading this on kindle, to skip the Wordsworth story, and read the script at the end; it is a far more satisfying read. I mention this here, because the extra is untitled in the “chapters”; it is something I stumbled across upon finishing the book, just because I was flicking through the last few pages. Anyone who stopped reading after the final story could easily miss this. (I have not come across a paperback copy of this book, so I am unsure if the comic is more legible in that format).
All in all, a great collection of hellish tales, some of which I will be returning to at a later date. Most of the stories, can be read in the space of 20-30 mins, making this a great book for commutes, or for those who don’t get as much time to read as they would like.
If you are a fan of Clive Barker, and Hellraiser - although be aware that the majority of the cenobites in this collection are new creations ('pinhead' does not even feature once)- then this book is recommended to you.
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