Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Book Review: Infernal Parade by Clive Barker

Infernal Parade by Clive Barker
81 pages Hardcover

Published February 2017 by Subterranean Press

There is no doubt that Clive Barker is one of the most important voices in genre fiction of the late 20th century. His career had various stages and influence that reaches from the form of the short story, horror fiction, art and film. At the peak of his career his work transdended labels and were at times a kinda of dark fantasy that was so original there was nothing like it. So understand that I have a great love and affection for all things Clive Barker. I also really enjoy some of his later works like Coldheart Canyon, but it is no secret that fans lost alot of faith in him after the last two books Mister B.Gone and the Scarlet Gospels. Neither of those books felt like they had the magic of his early works and the Scarlet Gospels was largely believed to have been ghost written by his assistants. Is that true? I don't know but I was skeptical reading this book.

The internal parade is marketed as a novella but really it is a short story collection of pieces Clive Barker wrote in 2004 to go with a series of toys much like his tortured Souls ones. As such they are short character sketches. I felt the first one about Tom Requiem was the best one. the way it was written through the eyes of someone buried alive was disturbing. it was the finest moment of horror anywhere in these pages.

There are cool historical moments and it is certainly a great example of of gothic dark fantasy. Dr. Fetter's Family of Freaks is the one with the most legs to grow into a wider story. At no one does that narrative go beyond starching the surface. I kept waiting for them to tie together and despite the dust jacket saying so I didn't see any evidence. The artwork was good but I was hoping that it would be Barker's own. This was a OK library read but even as nice of a book as it is...I just don't think it is worth the special edition money.

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