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.