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In the Flesh

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Overview

In the depths of an abandoned steam bath, strangely beautiful women seduce two businessmen into a ritual of macabre sexuality; in a Greek asylum, wise men race frogs to decide the fate of the world; a petty convict's cellmate reveals to him the gruesome birth of evil; a young woman's slum research leads her into the hookhanded grip of the Candyman, a vicious supernatural killer.
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Overview

In the depths of an abandoned steam bath, strangely beautiful women seduce two businessmen into a ritual of macabre sexuality; in a Greek asylum, wise men race frogs to decide the fate of the world; a petty convict's cellmate reveals to him the gruesome birth of evil; a young woman's slum research leads her into the hookhanded grip of the Candyman, a vicious supernatural killer.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Four novellas by horror writer Barker ( The Inhuman Condition ) make up this slim but worthwhile collection. In one, a prison inmate is haunted by the spirit of his grandfather; in another, a young woman studying graffiti in a seedy housing project encounters a local legend in the flesh. This British writer's plots are extremely inventive and creative; like Peter Straub, he produces intellectual horror stories that are truly frightening. Only the final story, in which an American tourist stumbles across a strange asylum, with world-shaking results, is weak in comparison to the compelling eeriness and atmosphere of the others, yet still clever. Horror fans unacquainted with Barker's work will enjoy a new author; established fans will be enthusiastic. Recommended for large fiction collections. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of Bridgeport Lib., Ct.
From the Publisher
Detroit News With elegant, terrifying strokes, Barker draws a universe of fear underlying the commonplace....Behind every mirror, under every carpet and in the heart of dirty streets is an elemental evil, a raw and hungry power....This is good, scary, stuff...The pacing is inexorable, the settings chilling, and the fates remorseless. In the Flesh makes you wonder what horror lies around the corner.

The Boston Herald [Barker] gives his stories the certainties of bad dreams...The first and last stories in this collection stand out as horror classics, meriting frequent glimpses into dark cornersfor a good while after they are done.

The Philadelphia Inquirer Fiendishly good...unnerving, inspired...death, sex, fear, and self-knowledge come forth in many guises.

The New York Times Book Review ...plays upon our unconscious terrors...What a breath of fresh, if chilling, air.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671743871
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 4/15/1991
  • Series: Clive Barker's Books of Blood Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 255
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.77 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Clive Barker

Clive Barker is the bestselling author of nineteen books, including Weaveworld, Imajica, and Galilee. He regularly shows his art in Los Angeles and New York, and produces and directs for both large screen and small. Recent projects include the OscarĀ®-winning film Gods and Monsters, and an exhibition of erotic painting and photographs, The Weird and the Wicked. He lives with his husband, the photographer David Armstrong, in Los Angeles, along with his family of dogs, rats, geckoes, iguana, and turtles.

Biography

Nothing ever begins....Nothing is fixed. In and out the shuttle goes, fact and fiction, mind and matter woven into patterns that may have only this in common: that hidden among them is a filigree that will with time become a world.

It must be arbitrary, then, the place at which we choose to embark.

Somewhere between a past half forgotten and a future as yet only glimpsed."

And here is as good a place as any to begin with Clive Barker, the author of strange and scary stories such as the novel that begins above, Weaveworld. Barker is probably best known as the creator of the Hellraiser franchise -- which began with the novella The Hellbound Heart; later became the 1987 horror classic that Barker directed; and was then a comic from 1989-1994. He accomplished the print-to-film-to-comic trifecta again with Nightbreed, the film version of which was released in 1990.

Barker drew attention with his early '80s story volumes, Books of Blood. His first novel, The Damnation Game, not only put him on a par authors such as Stephen King but earned praise from those same authors. He is widely admired for weaving into his scary stories complex themes about human nature and desires.

In addition to crafting his signature novels, a chilling amalgam of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, Barker is an accomplished artist. (His comic Ectokids is in development as a movie project at Nickelodeon.) He has also written for children -- a fact that surprises readers familiar only with his disturbing adult oeuvre. But, in fact, his children's tales (The Thief of Always, Abarat, etc.) are among his most imaginative.

No matter what his audience or medium, Barker's stories are effective because it's clear that he takes his work, and his genre, very seriously -- and expects the same from his audience. In an interview with Barnes & Noble.com, he told us "[Fantasy and horror] liberate us into a world in which our frustrations and our repressions can take an exoticized form, rendering them more safely and also, if we dare, more approachable."

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    1. Hometown:
      Los Angeles
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 5, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Education:
      Liverpool University
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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