This was the first book I've read from this author.It is very raw and erotic. Not for the faint of heart. The beginning is a bit slow, but it allows the reader to understand the history that causes any evil you can imagine. I was caught up in the story line, but make sure you have the stomach to read this one.
Clive Barker has the terribly wonderful gift of melding sexuality and horror, and he has honed this skill to an art in this book. Coldheart Canyon gives us characters that are flawed and all too human and immerses them in a world of terror and debauchery, but it's done in such a way to make it ever so slightly alluring to the reader. An excellent ghost story and a highly recommended read!
From evidence in the author's introduction, I do wonder if this book was more difficult to produce than his others. I guess it does lack the liquid flow of imagery and energy that some of his other pieces have; but, to be fair, he is puppeteering an immense cast in this work, and some of the clumsiness almost goes hand-in-hand with that effort. Still, it was a page-turner, and had both Barker's shuddering horrors and his dry humour in spades.
The book's format is really interesting. A climax comes early, and then Barker follows the characters well into the aftermath. The climax is so savage it's almost as if he's holding you afterwards, comforting you, soothing you; certainly the characters soothe each other. A reference to human sexuality? Well, maybe. The book does has its fair share of explicit sex. And if you don't know anything about the artist Hieronymus Bosch, you will at the end of this volume.
Fine Little Gem of a Book, January 7, 2006
Reviewer: Ivan (Jacksonville, NC)
This book was so good that I actually wondered if it hadn't already been written before the beginning of time, before the universe itself was born and Mr. Barker didn't actually just discover it for us, and translate it for us from the pure language of the cosmos that it was written in. Perhaps it was originally written upon papyrus in some ancient tongue and buried deep in a crypt only for Clive Barker to have been led there by an angel (or a demon). Perhaps it miraculously survived the burning of Alexandria and through a long sequence of coincidences and synchronicities wound up in the hands of Mr. Clive Barker.
However the book actually came to pass I still kept wincing and my stomach kept turning at all of the perverted and gory details of the book, only for me to realize in the end that they were all necessary for us to still understand the possible condition of the afterlife that he was suggesting, and the development of his characters and the drama of souls struggling after death to overcome the channel to anguish and torment in the region of the dead that people dig for themselves in life.
I guess it's kind of a ghost story. Yeah, there are ghosts, but also weird demon things. Oh, and those ghosts are, how to put it delicately. . .RANDY! Yep, a book about ghost orgies. I enjoy a good pulpy novel now and then, but this was a bit much.
OK...here's the deal. Many years ago I attempted to read one of Clive Barker's books and it was so out there that it was confusing and hard to understand. I couldn't finish it. I said at the time I would never read another one of his books. Well, as you can see I did and what a huge surprise. This book was awesome...it had ghosts, monsters, the occult and supernatural and turned out to be one of the best books I have ever read. I can't believe that the average rating is only 3 stars personally. I am already looking for my next Clive Barker book!
Let me say two things: First, I read 5 or more fiction books per week and am typically unimpressed. Second, I gave up Clive Barker a decade or more ago because his books are too dense, too graphic. I picked this book up on the clearance rack at my local book shop on the off chance that I would read it and it sat, untouched, for months. One night after dinner, after kids were in bed, I read it straight through. All 700+ pages. I couldn't help myself. This book is one you will never forget. It will haunt you. God bless Clive Barker's imagination. It is true horror, only from the imagination of Barker. Pure mental horror. I loved it. 5 stars.
This review pertains to the unabridged reading of this book by Frank Muller. Mr Muller could add magic and depth to any book that he ever read and this was not an exception.
The book was Good. Not Great. It does keep your interest. The book is extremely graphic both in violence and sex. The mass orgy scene in the middle of the book involving Todd and Katya and several of the "dead" could (should) have been left out and it would have improved the book by an additional star.