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Cabal Paperback – 29 January 2001
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Atlanta Journal-Constitution Clive Barker is back from yet another excursion into his dark and fertile imagination, bearing sinister fruits of fine horror fantasy.
Elle Simultaneously repels and spellbinds the reader...Literature in the tradition of Poe, Shelley and Hawthorne.
Locus The premier metaphysicist of contemporary fiction.
People Barker's dark, powerful imagination -- and his skill in pacing to keep his stories surprising -- make the horror grisly and effective.
Publishers Weekly The most ambitious dark fantasist of our time.
The New York Times Book Review [Cabal] demonstrate[s] why the gleefully gory Mr. Barker is at the top of his genre. Endlessly inventive, he takes familiar themes a step or two farther...dazzling, captivating stuff...
The Washington Post In the hands of a lesser writer this could be just another tale of nightmarish evil...[what] lifts Barker from common craftsman to the rarefied and chancy domain of artist is his profound awareness of the alienation and aloneness of man. And he brings these insights into dramatic focus through the innocence of his monsters...
Washingtion Times [Clive Barker] is a mapmaker of the mind, charting the furthest reaches of the imagination....His ambition and audacity are unparalleled; we know that we are in the presence of a vision that is genuine, unique, and lasting.
Armistead Maupin [Barker writes] with the easy confidence of a tribal storyteller, and elder who has seen everything and committed most of it to scripture.
From the Back Cover
- Publisher : Gallery Books (29 January 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0743417321
- ISBN-13 : 978-0743417327
- Dimensions : 13.49 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 483,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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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.