You know, novels by Clive Barker have been staring me down since I haunted the ONE aisle of adult fiction novels in the local Waldenbooks (before big box bookstores made their appearance near me)...but I never actually read one. Until now.Barker, Clive. The Hellbound Heart. 1986. New York: HarperPaperbacks, 1991.Summary
: Frank, a jaded hedonist in search of new pleasures, makes contact with another dimension and is enslaved. He makes contact with his sister-in-law Julia and convinces her to kill for him so that he can return to the normal world. However, his plot is foiled by Kristy, who also mistakenly contacts this other dimension and convinces the Cenobites to take Frank back.Comments
: I'm not sure what, exactly, I was expected when I bought this novella, but it wasn't the coolly English tone of the prose coupled with Anne Rice-style erotic horror. The mythos of the story was quite creative and not even fully-exploited within the scope of the story. I could easily imagine its genesis being some combination of boogieman from the closet and midnight masturbatory fantasy. Incidentally, though there was nothing overtly homoerotic (save that, as per many male authors both gay and straight, Barker is more comfortable writing about male genitalia), certainly nothing I would've picked up on 10+ years ago that I first considered reading this novel, I did note that it seemed quite possible that Frank paid for that Lemarchand box that was the key to the other dimension with sexual favors. (--; Not to mention that the "There must be more to life than nonstop sex!" theme shows up disproportionately in modern fiction by gay male writers. Anyway, an intriguing world. I suppose I should check out the films or Barker's other novels at some point.Notes
: mass market paperback, 14th printingRating
- Horror novels tend not to be that scary in my opinion, but this one at least had a couple genuinely creepy images.