The Damnation Game

The Damnation Game

4.2 28
by Clive Barker
     
 

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There are things worse than death. There are games so seductively evil, so wondrously vile, no gambler can resist. Amid the shadow-scarred rubble of World War II, Joseph Whitehead dared to challenge the dark champion of life’s ultimate game. Now a millionaire, locked in a terror-shrouded fortress of his own design, Joseph Whitehead has hell to pay. And no soul

Overview

There are things worse than death. There are games so seductively evil, so wondrously vile, no gambler can resist. Amid the shadow-scarred rubble of World War II, Joseph Whitehead dared to challenge the dark champion of life’s ultimate game. Now a millionaire, locked in a terror-shrouded fortress of his own design, Joseph Whitehead has hell to pay. And no soul is safe from this ravaging fear, the resurrected fury, the unspeakable desire of...

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A deliciously scary tale...Barker’s brilliantly literary work has raised horror to a level of excellence it has rarely reached before.” —Whitley Streiber

“One of the best horror novels in a very long time...do not miss it!” —USA Today

“Original and memorable...engrossing...disturbing...Horror mavens who enjoy violence and harrowing imagery will find plenty of both here. But there is more to The Damnation Game than gore. This story of a supernaturally powerful man who can resurrect the dead probes the many varieties of corruption.” —Publishers Weekly

“Remarkably powerful...Barker has created a truly legendary monster. In pure descriptive power there is no one writing horror fiction now who can match him.”—The Washington Post

“Wonderful, moving and apocalyptic. Death and damnation hang at the end of every chapter. Barker makes us squirm.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Will fry your eyes off! Keep the lights on.” —Larry King

“A masterly novel...a thrill a minute.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“A tour de force of gruesome supernatural horror...startling, hard-hitting, graphic...brilliantly executed.” —Fantasy Review

“A horrifying thriller.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A gripping tale of hideous evil.” —New York Daily News

“Will hold you in its spell. Barker has a keen knack for ripping the skin off every detail and exposing the horrors lurking just below the surface...Captivating and original.” —South Herald Tribune

“Shattering...A full scale, hair-raising assault on the imagination.” —Anniston Star

“A writer of stunning imagination...With his artist’s eye for detail, Barker instills a mythic quality into his vision of hell.” —The Atlanta Journal & Constitution

“The most literate and disturbing horror novel I have ever read. This is the place that nightmares are spawned—read it at your own peril, but read it you must!”—

Imagine

“A powerful, thrilling novel that provokes the imagination and raises the blood pressure.” —The Orlando Sentinel

“Frightening...Scalpel-clean prose and wild inventiveness.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Powerful...original...Barker’s horror is elegant enough that one can admire it as a kind of hellish choreography, with the characters all dancing to his phantasmagorical tune.” —New York Newsday

Philadelphia Daily News
From its brilliant opening to its shocking conclusion, [this] is a compelling work.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Barker has generated acclaim and controversy with his dozens of shorter works published in the six ``Books of Blood.'' His rather long first novel is often engrossing, often disturbing and depressing. Horror mavens who enjoy violence and harrowing imagery will find plenty of both here. But there is more to The Damnation Game than gore. This story of a supernaturally powerful man who can resurrect the dead probes the many varieties of corruption: of the flesh, of ideals, of civilization. The world Barker depicts is controlled by immensely powerful men motivated solely by self-interest. His charactersJoseph Whitehead, captain of industry; his defeated, addicted daugther, Carys; his increasingly frightened bodyguard Marty Strauss; the demonic, perhaps immortal Mamoulian; and Mamoulian's puppet, the disgusting ``Razor-Eater'' Breerare original and memorable. The story, loosely based on Shakespeare's Tempest, is goodnot exactly a pleasurable read in the usual sense of the word, but always interesting. (June 5)
Library Journal
``I have seen the future of the horror genre, and his name is Clive Barker,'' Stephen King has written. Fortunately, this first novel (Barker has published short story collections) more than bears the weight of King's praise. Barker is a better writer than King, and his characters are just as interesting. Set in modern Britain, the story thrusts a flawed ``innocent''parolee Marty Straussinto an epic conflict between wealthy Joseph Whitehead and Mamoulian the Cardplayer, a centuries-old creature with whom Whitehead had struck a bargain to obtain his wealth and power. Whitehead reneges, and the resulting struggle is played out primarily on his fortress-like estate. Barker's excellent writing makes the graphic, grotesque imagery endemic to current horror fiction very effective. Highly recommended anywhere horror fiction is popular. A.J. Wright, Anesthesiology Dept., Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425188934
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/28/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
155,988
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.98(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Whitley Strieber
A deliciously scary tale...Barker's brilliant literate has raised horror to a level of excellence that is rarely seen before.
From the Publisher
“A deliciously scary tale...Barker’s brilliantly literary work has raised horror to a level of excellence it has rarely reached before.” —Whitley Streiber
 
“One of the best horror novels in a very long time...do not miss it!” —USA Today
 
“Original and memorable...engrossing...disturbing...Horror mavens who enjoy violence and harrowing imagery will find plenty of both here. But there is more to The Damnation Game than gore. This story of a supernaturally powerful man who can resurrect the dead probes the many varieties of corruption.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Remarkably powerful...Barker has created a truly legendary monster. In pure descriptive power there is no one writing horror fiction now who can match him.”The Washington Post
 
“Wonderful, moving and apocalyptic. Death and damnation hang at the end of every chapter. Barker makes us squirm.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Will fry your eyes off! Keep the lights on.” —Larry King
 
“A masterly novel...a thrill a minute.” —Chicago Sun-Times
 
“A tour de force of gruesome supernatural horror...startling, hard-hitting, graphic...brilliantly executed.” —Fantasy Review
 
“A horrifying thriller.” —The Wall Street Journal
 
“A gripping tale of hideous evil.” —New York Daily News
 
“Will hold you in its spell. Barker has a keen knack for ripping the skin off every detail and exposing the horrors lurking just below the surface...Captivating and original.” —South Herald Tribune
 
“Shattering...A full scale, hair-raising assault on the imagination.” —Anniston Star

“A writer of stunning imagination...With his artist’s eye for detail, Barker instills a mythic quality into his vision of hell.” —The Atlanta Journal & Constitution
“The most literate and disturbing horror novel I have ever read. This is the place that nightmares are spawned—read it at your own peril, but read it you must!”Imagine
 
“A powerful, thrilling novel that provokes the imagination and raises the blood pressure.” —The Orlando Sentinel
 
“Frightening...Scalpel-clean prose and wild inventiveness.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“Powerful...original...Barker’s horror is elegant enough that one can admire it as a kind of hellish choreography, with the characters all dancing to his phantasmagorical tune.” —New York Newsday

 

Meet the Author

Born in Liverpool in 1952, Clive Barker has written and produced a number of Grand Guignol plays, including The History of the Devil and Frankenstein in Love. His volumes of short fiction, Books of Blood, earned him immediate praise from horror fans and literary critics alike. He won both the British and World Fantasy Awards, and was nominated for the coveted Booker Prize, Britain’s highest literary award. His bestselling novels include The Damnation Game, Imajica, The Thief of Always, The Great and Secret Show, and Everville. He also created the now-classic Hellraiser films, as well as Nightbreed, and Lord of Illusions.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Los Angeles
Date of Birth:
October 5, 1952
Place of Birth:
Liverpool, England
Education:
Liverpool University
Website:
http://www.clivebarker.info

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Damnation Game 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
kennedysGhost More than 1 year ago
Sitting on my bookshelf, I have dog-eared copies of "The Hellbound heart," and "The Books of Blood" which includes one my favorite short stories: "The Forbidden," aka CANDYMAN; so when I read Neil Gaiman's review on Joe Hill's stunning novel "Heart Shaped Box, " he name-dropped this..."the best debut horror novel since Clive Barker's 'The Damnation Game.'" So I hurried to B&N and purchased TDG. In short, that was the last time I took a Neil Gaiman recommendation seriously. This book didn't move me, and dragged its literary feet in the muck of boredom. What a disappointment. If you wanna know who the true heir to Stephen King is...it's Joe Hill, his son.
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Evee More than 1 year ago
It was an okay book. I forced my self to finish The Damnation Game book. I love Clive Barkers other books but this one was a miss for me.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I hope they do make a movie out of this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm usually a Stephen King fan, but I decided to give this one a try, I'm glad I did! This book had me on the edge of my seat, it was scary and suspensful. I would definately read more of Clive's work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read all these reviews about this book after i heard that Barker planned on making a movie out of it. He was talking about how he wanted to make some serious scary movie like The Exorcist, and not just some tongue-in-cheeck teen slasher. I read all these reviews people wrote about how there's no way they can describe what this book is about, but it's simple. Guy named Jo Whitehead, right? He plays a card game with the mysterious and notorious Card Player named Mammoulian back in Russia right after WWII. But the thing is, no one has EVER beat The Card Player. Whitehead ends up beating him. years later, there is a guy named Marty who just got out of prison and is doing work for whitehead. Whitehead is now rich in England. As Marty stays with WHitehead for a few months, he witnesses mysterious and frightening things around the house. He soon comes to discover that this is Whiteheads ancient foe coming back to reclaim his game. I gave this book four stars because, first off, it wasn't scary, it was just suspensful and over-the-top with it's macabre grossness. There's nothing wrong with a little gore, but this is just filthy. Without saying too much, there's one scene in particular that has to do with a dead body, and is rather offensive and disturbing rather than scary.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK DEFENITELY IS NIGHTMARE MARATHON. MADE ME WANNA HIDE THE BOOK AND NEVER READ IT. EVERY WORD KEEPS ME AWAKE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of course the prisoner would want to be released from his sentence, but did he know what the deal truely entailed? Slowly over time, a darker world came to greet him, and this place now seemed like a different kind of prison...