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review 2016-08-20 13:49
Clive Barker The Scarlet Gospels
The Scarlet Gospels - Clive Barker

I totally forgot about this! That's how much I thought of it, I guess.


I was totally disappointed with this, in fact the more I think about it the more I am. Clive baker can write much better than this. And I honestly understand he wasn't well, but is his publishing agents demanding he write book's because this wasn't in Clive style at all.



There was a subtle little drop of cold canyon in this, but this isn't honestly in my opinion his style. He brought into play charter's that have nothing to do at all with “The pinhead” and the overall plot, it's self while really good lacked so much! All in all was very disappointed with this a very disappointing sequel to the whole Cenobite mythos :(


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review 2015-09-15 16:23
The Scarlet Gospels review
The Scarlet Gospels - Clive Barker

It's been a long time since I read anything by Clive Barker and after reading The Scarlet Gospels, I cannot help but wonder if my memories of what I read as a teenager are largely rendered through rose coloured glasses.

To be fair, I thoroughly enjoyed the first quarter of this book. Having "Pinhead"/High Priest hit a gaggle of magicians like a freight train was delightfully gory and over-the-top. I thought, at that stage, I was in for something special - other reviews be (heh) damned! Even the next section, re-introducing the reader to Harry D'Amour and detailing his run-in with same High Priest had me thoroughly hooked (I'll stop now, I promise). But then a whole bunch of barely sketched in characters were introduced, Barker seemed to decide urban fantasy was more his bag than gore-laced horror, and everything started to go down hill.

By the time D'Amour is chasing Pinhead through hell, it all became too bombastically silly for me to take even remotely seriously. Thing seemed to keep happening around Harry and crew, but nothing was happening because of them. In the end, they may as well have not been there.

Though I appreciated the scope of Barker's imagination, it eventually felt like he was simply trying to one-up himself with the next unimaginable structure, or debased sexual act, or crappy double entendre within the dialogue. In short, it all became a bit ridiculous, and by the end, I had long since ceased to care about any of the characters.

All that said, it was still better than every single Hellraiser movie sequel after the third one. For the record.

2 Second Sights for The Scarlet Gospels

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text 2015-09-03 17:02
Reading progress update: I've read 117 out of 368 pages.
The Scarlet Gospels - Clive Barker

Maybe because it's been so long since I read any Clive Barker, but I'm enjoying this a whole heap more than I envisioned I would after reading some of the reviews.

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review 2015-08-14 23:55
Oh how the mighty have fallen...
The Scarlet Gospels - Clive Barker

I am a huge fan of Clive Barker and have been for many years. His novella "The Hellbound Heart" is an absolute classic and his novel "Cabal" is in my top 10 greatest books list of all time. He has put out some amazing work in literature with titles such as "Imajica", "The Books of Blood" and "The Great and Secret Show". Plus, with his work on the big screen and on canvas, he truly has molded the world and future of horror as we know it today and many years to come. 


The Scarlet Gospels, however, left me unfulfilled. The writing felt very lazy in places, as though it were thrown together by someone who wanted the work to be done as quickly as possible, and at other times it just dragged on and on (and not in the artistic sense, but more like he thought "Oh crap, my word count is down! I'd best drone on for seven pages". His past works have been near-nigh perfect. He set a tone, an atmosphere and three dimensional plot that sucked in the reader. Plus, his imagination was something to genuinely be scared of. This, however, just seems like recycled material with Pinhead as the poster boy to sell more copies (am I the only one who's sick of Pinhead?). 


I also found that the characters were boring. I really didn't give a monkeys about who lived or died and by the time I got halfway through I just wanted the endeavor to be over and done with. 


However, I do have some good points about the book: The premise of black magic and the occult was quite a nice little stir and the man obviously made a little effort into some of his research (though to be honest, I have a feeling Clive Barker may move in familiar circles when it comes to the dark arts) and the religious flair did give it a sense wonder. A lot of people also said that this book was "too camp", which is a little unfair. After all, Clive barker is gay, and if he wants gay characters to talk about gay things, why can't he? I say more power to him and encourage him to embrace it! So I have nothing but respect in that manner, as it's a very bold and brave move. So well done for that, sir. 


I think, personally, if Barker trimmed the fat, didn't overuse certain metaphors and phrases ("coup de grace" pops up like a million times, I swear) and kept things rolling, this would have made an awesome novella! But unfortunately, it overstayed its welcome for me. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-06-13 20:20
Review: The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
The Scarlet Gospels - Clive Barker

Clive Barker is back with only his second adult novel in the past decade, and the result is... middling. The premise pits fan favorite Harry D'Amour against the most famous and infamous of Barker's creations, the Hell Priest, aka Pinhead (or Pinfuck, as Harry takes to calling him. master of the pun, Harry is apparently not.) In practice, while the books starts with a huge, engaging bang, it then languishes on a ton of in depth world building and exposition. Harry becomes Pinhead's witness, the proposed author of his testament, his Scarlet Gospels, and does little else. He loses any and all potency as a protagonist by sheer virtue of not doing anything except trailing after Pinhead in Hell.


While the plotting and the pacing in that first part of the book are really strong, the writing is fairly bare, and, by Barker's standards, nearing appalling. The prose takes a massive step up after, but the plot, such as it is, slows to a crawl, and the characters come off as shockingly flat: Dale is strangely inconsistently written after his introduction, Caz was only mention by Harry before he gets stuck in their group, and Lana's only introduced pages before she gets thrown into Hell with them. Lana bitches, Dale flirts, and Caz... calls Harry Harold? That's pretty much their most defining characteristics. Norma is cool, but has some very negative tropes attached to her (Magical Negro in fiction, yup). I loved Harry, but he's merely reactionary for fully two-thirds of the books.


I wasn't really here for Pinhead, so the inconsistencies didn't really bother me. I think Hell was extraordinarily well done, beautifully described, richly imagined and realized. However, setting it up so that only Lucifer himself is powerful enough to ultimately end Pinhead is hilarious and disappointing.


And then it continues on. And on and on, after the climax. In the reading slump I was in, that was painful. There's a reason movies cut to the heroes returning home triumphantly. And, good God, what reality did that scene with the preacher in his limousine belong to? I guess it was supposed to be humor, which was not only bizarrely executed, but poorly timed, since they're literally carrying Norma's dead body with them, grieving and bruised.

And, what is that? The Lament Configuration mysteriously appearing in Harry's office at the very end?! Do I smell cliffhanger? No. No, I don't, because they just get rid of it, and at that point, I was tired, and I was done.


I like to think I had realistic expectations for this novel, maybe a tad on the high side. And while it was all right, it failed to even meet my middling hopes for it.

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