Thursday 6 October 2022



The Hellbound HeartThe Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first read this novella when I was a teenager, but with the new movie coming out in a few days, I wanted to revisit this tale of greed and gore.

Julia is married to Rory, but is still hung up on the one encounter she had with his brother years ago. Kirsty is Rory's friend, but is secretly in love with him. And Frank, he's a depraved human being who opens a portal to hell...

This might be my second time, with decades in between, but I once again enjoyed the hell (pardon the pun) out of this story.

I love Clive Barker's writing style. It's unique, doesn't hide behind niceties, and always treads the thin line between pleasure and pain. And The Hellbound Heart is the perfect example of how well he tells such sexually-charged tales.

At the core of this story are the very flawed humans who live such unhappy lives and refuse to do anything about it. Rory only loves his wife because he's obsessed with her beauty. Kirsty stays friends with Rory only because she's in love with him. Julia is so bored she can't stop fantasising about a single sexual encounter with a jerk. And Frank, well, his only ambition in life is pleasure. His own, of course.

And this is before the murders start. 😳

They're not very nice or honest people, so it's not surprising that the Cenobites enter their lives. And speaking of the Cenobites, it's funny how they're really not the focus of this tale at all. In fact, they only make very brief appearances. Yet, pop culture has lifted them to such heights.

We love monsters, don't we? Mostly because it's safer to focus on them than the fact that humans are the real monsters.

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