Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Scarlet Gospels

Since the early nineties, there have been rumors, mere whisperings perhaps, that a mysterious tome known as The Scarlet Gospels was being written. It’s author? Well, there could only be one author of such a thing: Clive Barker. But what exactly would comprise these other gospels? At one point, erotic poetry. At another, a collection of dark fiction. And then this: a sequel to the novella that birthed the Hellraiser movies, The Hellbound Heart. Ah, what reader of The Hellbound Heart can easily forget it? The Lemarchand box. The Order of the Gash. The Cenobites. Pinhead. This is what Clive Barker fans have been waiting for, a sequel, and that is exactly what you’ll find when you read The Scarlet Gospels. This time, though, Pinhead (a moniker the Hellpriest despises, by the way) shares the stage with that beleaguered, demon-killing detective of the dark arts, Harry d’Amour, and when these two meet, it won’t be pretty. No punches are pulled here. There will be blood. There will be a harrowing journey through the bowels of hell. And there will be a final showdown between good and evil. Like The Hellbound Heart, this story doesn’t sit still, it moves. But, disappointingly, it lacks the poetic eloquence of its predecessor and the depth of Barker’s earlier imaginative masterpieces. (If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: there is nothing in the canon of dark fantasy that can top Barker's Imajica.) Regardless, if you’ve been reading Clive Barker for as long as I have, The Scarlet Gospels is well worth your time. 

So tell me, are you ready to take a trip to hell? Mr. Barker has such sights to show you.

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