Book Review: “Books of Blood Volume 1” by Clive Barker

Book 11 of 2023 comes from an author I’ve always meant to read: Clive Barker.

“Books of Blood Volume 1″—the first in a six-book series—contains Barker’s various short stories. I’d always loved 1987’s “Hellraiser”, adapted by Barker from one of his books, “The Hellbound Heart”. So a collection of his shorter fiction seemed like a decent place to start. Having finished the short “Volume 1”, I still think it was a good idea.

Considering that “Books of Blood” was Barker’s first published work, it’s pretty good. In general, the quality of the stories is uneven, but the highs far outshine the lows. ‘The Midnight Meat Train’ and ‘Pig Blood Blues’ are exceptional horror tales. The other pieces also have something to offer. At its worst, “Volume 1” is okay, but at its best, it’s spellbinding. I see why it made such a splash when it arrived in the eighties; it signals more excellent works to come.

I recommend “Volume 1” and look forward to reading Barker’s follow-up books.

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