Review From User :
Looking for good horror Look no further...
My favorite horror novel, ever. Erm... short story collection. Technically.
Wow, wow & WOW! Barker is undeniably unique, a few steps above Stephen King (at this point) in the whimsical world of the macabre. All fifteen of these tales are incredible-- & incredibly wicked--anecdotes, all wonderful drafts for damn-good horror flicks (bettering "Hellraiser," surely) that could become classics as quintessential as Carrie, Pet Semetary or The Shining. Barker has indeed a romantic, and visceral, and uber-gross view of things, foremost a fantastic infatuation with the human body, and with the traffic of the spectral world with mortal sexuality... it's all very toxic, dabbling in the world of erotic masochism and clever even genius motifs of a collective dread.
Indeed, I love the collection. It rivals the very best of King (perhaps only one of his collections hits the visceral nerve a bit more masterfully, albeit less fantastically, than "The Books..."). My favorites are MUSTS (read, read, read!) for those who study the short story; what makes these little nuggets of gold so golden is a true mystery in itself: "Sex, Death and Starshine" cleverly paints a surrealistic picture, rivaling even Dali, of the intermingling of souls with the living (a masterpiece for sure); and "In the Hills, the Cities" has the most memorable "monster" to appear out of the dark subconscious in the longest time, I think, since Frankenstein's demon. This one, too, is a masterpiece, & the imagination for such a clever Voltairesque creation seems so alien and divine as to be madly envied. And in awe of. Lastly, I kinda really dug the monster-flick tale "Rawhide Rex" which should be turned into a script (just looked it up, it is), as the climax is better than mostly any I could think of for a monster story. This guy, it should be clearly understood, is THE Absolute Shit.
“Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we’re opened, we’re red.” These enthusiastic tales are not ashamed of visceral horror, of blood splashing freely across the page.