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Cabal Paperback – 3 July 1991
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Frequently bought together
‘A gripping story of powerful erotic intensity’
‘Barker’s characteristic juxataposition of fascination and fear find eloquent expression in this novella which treats death as metamorphosis into another state of being.’
From the Back Cover
The nightmare had begun....
Boone now knew for sure there was no place on this earth for him, no happiness here, not even with Lori. He would let Hell claim him, let Death take him there.
But Death itself seemed to shrink from him. No wonder, if he had indeed been the monster who had shattered and violated and shredded so many others’ lives.
And Decker had shown him the proof – the hellish photographs where the last victims were forever stilled, splayed int he last obscene moment of their torture.
Boone’s only refuge now was Midian – that awful, legendary place which gathered to itself in its monstrous embrace the half-dead, the Nightbreed...
- Publisher : Voyager GB (3 July 1991)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0006176666
- ISBN-13 : 978-0006176664
- Dimensions : 11.1 x 1.6 x 17.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 781,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cabal is almost a more traditional horror story compared to his other novels, it lacks the grand scale of Weaveworld for example. Naturally there are some new angles to it, but they're not as impactful as some of his other creations. The concept of 'monster' is the heart of the book, whether that be human, or otherwise. And that tone is carried well, you see brutality in many different guises here. This works mainly through the existence of strong and well written characters.
My main complaint is that while the characters are well realised, and the setting appropriate, it only touches on the surface of this strange world. I would have loved to learn more about the nightbreed, and to be honest that of the mask as well. There were histories there that needed to be realised to bring it into the light.
As always though, no matter if the story has its flaws, his writing carries it superbly. It's not often I read a book just for the joy of the words, and while this isn't the strongest of his form (I'd probably pick the Hellbound Heart for that), it is evident as you read it. There's a real eloquence to be admired here. A decent horror read, but not his best.
It's very much the type of book that, upon finishing it, makes you think, "Alright, so where's the other half that's interesting and makes sense."
Of course, the fact that this discussion can be had at all suggests that this a great book. It is. Beautiful, hypnotic, suggestive, and graceful in all its horrors - this is among Barker's very best.
The gore is plentiful in places, which will please many a fan of horror novels. Despite this, the book lacks the same utterly sadistic, grim, nihilistic edge of 'Hellraiser', the film which was directed by Clive Barker. The story of the Nightbreed, who occupy a world built underneath a graveyard, is more in the realms of horror fantasy, though well-written just the same.
Overall, however, this lacks the same kind of 'edge-of-the-seat' visceral terror of other Clive Barker works, despite it's well-crafted style.