The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

the hellbound heart, clive barker, hellraiser


“Frank Cotton’s insatiable appetite for the dark pleasures of pain led him to the puzzle of Lemarchand’s box, and from there, to a death only a sick-minded soul could invent. But his brother’s love-crazed wife, Julia, has discovered a way to bring Frank back;though the price will be bloody and terrible . . . and there will certainly be hell to pay.”


Well….damn. Literally. This was quite a read. So let’s just say it to start off with, this is the book that the Hellraiser movie is based off of. And I’ve wanted to see the movie, or at least bits of it, but I wanted to read the short story first when I found out it was a short story. It’s classified as a novella as it is only about 48 pages long but it was a wild ride within those 48 pages.

Clive Barker has a very unique and interesting writing style. He researches what he is writing and clearly knows his stuff. And he is not afraid to be gruesome. This book was extremely violent and creepy as hell. Like it made my skin crawl in a few places. Why did I read it during the Christmas season you may ask? Because I needed a break from Finals, it was a quick read, and it would give me something to give you lovelies. So this is 100% a Halloween season book. Like perfect for Halloween!

Besides being quite graphic with the violence, due to the creatures and the nature of what the point of the story was, it was quite graphic sexually. I’m not talking about like people really having sex, but just images that it put forward and it was crude. However this only happened within the first few pages. This all makes this an ADULT book. Not young adult at all but definitely for adults. I mean technically if you have ‘teen’ in your name you are classified as young adult though, so I’m saying 18+ at least. This was quite explicit and violent material.

However the story was amazing. The idea behind it was incredible and how he was able to get so much into 48 pages was incredible. In a way it felt like a mixture between Stephen King and Dan Brown due to the scary sense from King and the historical and research portion from Brown. However if those two came together, you would need to multiply it by 10 and then you’d get Barker. Stephen King was listed on the back of The Book of Blood by Clive Barker (which I will be reading soon) as saying, “I have seen the future of horror, his name is Clive Barker.” And I love that quote. Clive Barker, I feel, isn’t read much. Many people have heard of the Hellraiser film, even though it isn’t terribly popular now, but not of his stories. But man I am glad I came across him. It was a good little adrenaline boost and the writing was good and it kept you guessing. I honestly had no idea how the book would end. And it felt like a movie when I was reading it. But not a Hollywood film. Those low-budget horror movies that are scarier than anything Hollywood could make.

Do I recommend reading it? Oh yes. I found a PDF of it online which is great but I’d suggest to get it just because it’s a book and I’m sure you’ll read it again. I know I will.

The story was fantastic, it wasn’t a long read and it made you question everything. What’s better?

Just remember, don’t open a box that you don’t know what’s in it.

Happy Reading!