Clive Barker’s Short Stories

Imagination as Metaphor in the Books of Blood and Other Works


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About the Book

Unlike many horror fiction and fantasy writers, Clive Barker is true to the literary heritage of the genre. Though aware of the importance of entertainment in his writing, he embraces the traditional formulas of horror fiction and builds upon them, all the while alluding to the works of Dante, Poe, Mary Shelley, and others. The complexity of Barker’s writing is best evidenced in the six volume Books of Blood. Many of these short stories are entertaining “hair raisers,” yet they do not revel in gratuitous violence, instead relying on style and a masterful sense of language to entertain. This detailed study analyzes the significant themes in Barker’s writing, placing him in the British Gothic tradition of Marlowe, Saki and others.

About the Author(s)

Award winner Gary Hoppenstand is a professor in the department of English at Michigan State University. He has published numerous books and more than sixty scholarly articles on topics ranging from popular culture studies to literary studies to media studies. He lives in Holt, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Gary Hoppenstand

Foreword by Clive Barker

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: references, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [1994]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9355-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Foreword: Regarding Imagination as Metaphor by Olive Barker 1
Introduction: Exiting Banality: A Personal Journey 3

1. Text and Subtext: Clive Barker and the State of Horror 9
2. Highways of the Dead: Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, Volume One 9
3. New Murders, Ancient Evils: Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, Volume Two 65
4. Confessions of a Dark Fancy: Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, Volume Three 83
5. Sexual and Political Puzzles: Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, Volume Four 101
6. Mother’s Fine Children: Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, Volume Five 127
7. Twilight and Other Illusions: Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, Volume Six 151
8. Embracing Imagination: Uncollected Short Fiction and Final Comments 171

Works Cited 211
Selected Bibliography 213
Index 217

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Gives serious literary and structural attention to each of the stories…recommended”—Choice
  • “well-written and intelligent…recommended”—Interzone
  • “a detailed analysis”—Reference & Research Book News