Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Clive Barker's Books of Blood, Volume Two, by Clive Barker
(hb; 1984: story anthology)
Stunning, classic anthology, this -- wow-worthy as Clive Barker's Books of Blood, Volume One. Worth owning, and re-reading a few years after your initial perusal of it.
Review, story by story:
1.) "Dread": Solid, semi-predictable story about a philosophical professor (Quaid) whose terror experiments go too far.
The film version debuted at the Fantasia Film Festival in Canada on July 14, 2009. The film is scheduled for stateside DVD release sometime next March.
Jackson Rathbone played Stephen Grace. Shaun Evans played Quaid. Hanne Steen played Cheryl Fromme. Laura Donnelly played Abby. Jonathan Readwin played Joshua Shaw. Vivian Gray played Tabitha Swann. Carl McCrystal played Axe Man.
The film was scripted and directed by Anthony DiBlasi.
2.) "Hell's Event": A charity run becomes so much more when infernal principalities and interests become entwined in it. Clever, visceral, memorable, excellent, this.
In 1989, Eclipse Books published a comic book mini-series, Tapping The Vein, that is based on Barker's writings.
Fred Burke adapted, and Steven E. Johnson, Alan Okamoto and Jim Pearson illustrated "Hell's Event" in issue #4 (its front cover is seen below). This issue also contains an adaptation of one of Barker's other stories, "The Madonna" (published in In the Flesh).
3.) "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament": A bitter, suicidal woman discovers she has transformative, death-dealing powers -- powers that radically change her life. Another visceral, excellent piece.
4.) "The Skins of the Fathers": The gun-toting hick denizens of a desert town (called Welcome) battle a surreal race of "monsters". Cinematic, ironic, epic -- one of my all-time favorite stories from Barker.
Barker would later expand on this ironic human-monster dynamic in his novel, Cabal.
Chuck Wagner and Fred Burke adapted, and Klaus Janson illustrated the re-titled "Skins of the Fathers" in issue #2 of Tapping The Vein (its front cover is seen below). This issue also contains an adaptation of one of Barker's other stories, "In the Hills, the Cities" (published in Clive Barker's Books of Blood, Volume One).
5.) "New Murders in the Rue Morgue": Edgar Allan Poe's famous tale gets a romantic, psychologically-complex update. An old painter (Lewis Fox) returns to Paris, France, after forty years to help clear the name of a friend who's been accused of murder -- a murder which has a literary, too-familiar M.O..
Memorable, classic, charming story.
This anthology is followed by Clive Barker's Books of Blood, Volume Three.