The Hellbound Heart: A Novel

The Hellbound Heart: A Novel

by Clive Barker


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061452888
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/02/2007
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 50,676
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Clive Barker is the bestselling author of twenty-two books, including the New York Times bestsellers Abarat; Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War; and The Thief of Always. He is also an acclaimed painter, film producer, and director. For twelve years Mr. Barker has been working on a vast array of paintings to illuminate the text of The Books of Abarat, more than one hundred and twenty-five of which can be found within this volume.

Mr. Barker lives in California. He shares his house with seven dogs, three cockatiels, several undomesticated geckoes, an African gray parrot called Smokey, and a yellow-headed Amazon parrot called Malingo.


Los Angeles

Date of Birth:

October 5, 1952

Place of Birth:

Liverpool, England


Liverpool University

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Hellbound Heart 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 102 reviews.
Janus More than 1 year ago
'The Hellbound Heart' served as the inspiration for the movie 'Hellraiser'. I am ashamed to say I have only seen the second movie and one of the countless straight-to-DVD sequels. It's really quite amazing how butchered the ideas Barker came up with have become with each subsequent film iteration. First and foremost, as usual, Barker writes with subtle grace that has won him numerous fans and sets him apart from the typical genre author. The story is short, sweet and to the point. The violence is relatively sparse but rather intense, and even that may be up for debate. Thematically, this is a story of obsession and repercussions. As for the assertion that the films have deviated significantly from the source material I'm afraid that further explanation may give away some rather enjoyable parts of the book. If you enjoy HP Lovecraft then it is reasonable to assume you will enjoy this novella.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a horror novel that is as much a morality tale, then this story is perfect. Sins of the flesh, adultery, and the temptation to seek supernatural pleasure are all woven with equal amounts of exposition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barker is an excellant storyteller. If your only exposure is the film, there are differences but i feel they add more to the characters.
jennybennyhillbilly More than 1 year ago
I just love Clive Barker's sick and twisted mind.
Mike Murphy More than 1 year ago
Great book they need to put weaveworld on the nook next
Soliman More than 1 year ago
Clive Barker is such a great writter, whom I find strangley underrated, and proves it with this tale of the desires of the human heart. A really sick and fun story, The Hellbound Heart shows just how far a man will go to experience all the pleasures of carnal lusts and his wildest desires. The characters brought into the tale are all great and fun to explore...done throughout the Hellraiser films (1&2!!!)...and the main, sickening couple, Frank and Julia, are most memorable. The Cenobites, the hellish creature thought to be able to grant you your wildest wishes, are called upon by Frank after he opens a puzzzlebox, and he asks to experience the pleasures of the flesh; not knowing that his definition of pleasure wasn't the same as theirs. Later Julia finds that he is "living" within the house she has just moved into and also figures what it takes to keep him coming out and reconstructing himself...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
evelyn vasquez More than 1 year ago
I love this book......! It' way better than the movie! A must read for any horror movie fans out there!
jac8304 More than 1 year ago
I paid 6.99 new at bn last year. Save 2 bucks and buy the paperback. As for the book, fantastic read, wonderful author. Must have for Clive Barker fans and horror enthusiasts. Even though it is horror, and gross at times, Barker has a wonderful voice and underneath the gore he tackels some really interesting subjects.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although Barker is an eloquent and often beautiful writer, his images are among the most horrific ever put to paper. This is a shocking and graphic story of violence and love, pleasure and pain, cynicism and hope, among other contradictory emotions. Barker has a depraved imagination which he lets run free in this short, thoroughly engrossing novella. While many of the passages repelled me and made me feel revulsion, I could not put the book down. A must read for all fans of modern horror at its most gruesome and viceral. This is a book I will not soon forget.
Anonymous 3 days ago
This book makes you scared. I felt like that I wasn't alone in the room.
Anonymous 12 days ago
Great horror novel. Followed the movie.
tsnake on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I enjoyed this book, but read it years AFTER seeing Hellraiser. As a first, i my experience, the movie was much better than the book, but I could probably re-read it to see if my opinion changes.
elvendido on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Maybe I've been spoiled by Barker's long-ranging epics, but the Hellbound Heart felt way too short for me. I finished it in a day, between my commute and my lunch break. It felt like it should have taken days to immerse myself, not barely 2 hours. I haven't seen the movies yet, so I'm coming at this relatively unbiased, though like I said earlier, you can't really compare this slim volume to his other fiction. On its own, it's an amazing horror story, one that seems like it would indeed translate well, if not better, to the screen. Time for netflix...
Anonymous 3 months ago
Hellblazer is one of my favorite horror movies and it’s inspiration didn’t disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the book and the movies.
Adam_Gentry More than 1 year ago
Blinded by desire, they never dreamed what would follow. In his arrogance Frank Cotton opened a door to another world, and became a prisoner of the horrors that ruled there. He watches from his cell as his brother, Rory, moves into the very house where Frank met his end. He has but one chance, Julia, Rory’s wife. With frantic words he reveals how Julia can bring him back, without sparing a thought to the price, or what might follow him. The opening is one of the strongest I have ever read. Audiences are quickly ushered into a story of addiction, desire, and otherworldly mystery. The writing is incredibly sharp, as artful details paint a picture of horror which could easily invoke disgust, but instead paints a portrait of dark beauty that’s enough to take your breath away. Then, in the tradition of classic horror, the story shifts to an everyday scene, leaving audiences to wonder when the otherworldly horror will return, and pounce upon these unsuspecting characters. Audiences are treated to a variety of perspectives, including those who will ultimately become the villains of the narrative. Through their journey the story explores issues of addiction and inurement, echoing that classic quote, “when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back.” It’s a slow narrative, and at times audiences may grow tired of the repetitive nature of some of the later scenes, but strong writing manages to carry the day, building up tension as the stage is set for a strong, if somewhat abrupt conclusion. All the right questions are left unanswered, giving audiences a good framework from which to imagine their own personal ending to a suspenseful and very well written story. +Strong Writing +Strong Scenes +Strong Perspectives *Slow, minimalist plot *Simple Characters 4/5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will always love this man's work!
SharonDG More than 1 year ago
While short, this book is intense and visceral. I didn't find it "scary" exactly, but I would certainly describe it as horrifying. It's quite gory, but because the characters are largely unlikeable I didn't experience any strong emotions at the things that happened to them. This is the first book I have read by Clive Barker and I confess, while the story itself isn't exactly my style, I did love his writing. His story keeps you turning the pages and his language is often quite lovely, something I did not expect. Excellent premise, excellent writing, but be prepared for graphic gore if you read this book.
ryanseanoreilly More than 1 year ago
A carnal visage of thrill-based plotting that is both fast and to the point…that being the tip of a meat hook. This tale is told from differing points of view. The story’s initial character, Frank, is wrought with hedonistic addictions that can no longer be satiated through earthly delights. Instead, Frank, uses his seedy contacts in the underworld to push his fingers through quivering portals which grant access to other planes of existence. Clive Barker’s prose is airy and meaty at the same time. When the gate opens, this author is off to the races and deftly capturing the horrific tones he aims to achieve. Along the way he manages to let storyline stub its toes and scrape its knees along the ground just enough to make sure the reader is paying attention (without overdoing things). The characters in this fast-paced novella all have issues. Each of them wrestles with banal afflictions based in selfish desires. Barker manages to intertwine their journeys through familial relationships and themes of unrequited love—contrasted by base desires. Each person’s fate is wrapped up in the others. Then Barker throws open a supernatural gate to hellish dimensions, and lets the demons feast on all the weakness and short comings that have been laid bare. The demons, Cenobites, are unique entities that have managed to capture horror fans everywhere in their unique yet familiar perspective. Barker etches out the barest flesh of this secondary world and utilizes the fantastical elements sparingly, mostly preferring the humans to bring about their own demise (as they wont to do) and letting the Cenobites play clean up. There is always a choice, perhaps not a clear choice or an easy choice, but the characters in this novella all take matters into their own hands. And pay for their choices. I must say that this short story took me back to younger days, when I would stay up late cracking the spine of an old Stephen King tome—every once in a while looking up to make sure that a dimensional rift hadn’t opened up behind me without my noticing. It’s a fun tale of terror that moves along at an impeccable pace and takes enough shots at your gut to make you think twice about our baser human leanings. In contrast to King, however, Barker’s prose is much less wordy. The story has a good mix of immoral complexities and supernatural interferences to give the characters a healthy dose of agency and make you concerned about their wants/needs/goals, whether from aghast or earnest emotion. You simply have to find out if they might pull this off, or if you know they won’t—how far they’ll get before it all comes apart. All in all, a solid read. If anything, I would have liked to see more of the Cenobites, but perhaps that was the point. Too much of the supernatural element might have lessened the effect. Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debatedu in a lively discussion on my podcast: “No Deodorant In Outer Space”. The podcast is available on iTunes, Tune-In Radio, Stitcher, Google Play Music, YouTube or our website (
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not bad for a novella. Very short, but has good character development. I'm going to have to watch the movie again. Two stars because the nook version was missing a page and some punctuation was out of context.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago