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Barker, Clive

magical horror

(British, 1952– )

Clive Barker was born in Liverpool, and made an immediate impact with the stories collected in the six volumes of The Books of Blood (1984–5). Concentrating on the closely described details of anatomy and violence that he later translated to films like Hellraiser and Candyman, Barker's early work created a new kind of horror that owed as much to a knowing sense of sexual danger as it did to the more conventional Gothic style of his near-contemporaries. Weaveworld (1987) is the most widely acclaimed of Barker's novels for its ingenious account of a world contained within a carpet where the rules of magical fantasy and horror combine to often startling effect. The Great and Secret Show (1989) is set in California and Hollywood and the story of magicians fighting for control of ‘the art’, a magical force of enormous power, is at least in part a satire on the entertainment industry. The Damnation Game (1985) is the tale of a gambler undone by a demonic opponent.

Stephen King, James Herbert  WB

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