Barker was born on the 5th of October, in the year of 1952, in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. Barker is a very prominent English novelist, director of movies, visual artist, and even a playwright. Clive rose to fame during the 1980s upon publishing a number of short stories in a collection. Since then, Barker has been hailed as one of the most notable figures in horror literature.
Clive was the son of Joan Ruby, born as Revill, who worked as a school welfare officer as well as a painter, and father Leonard Barker, an industrial relations firm director.
Best Clive Barker Books
|Books of Blood Series||9.62/10||6 Books||Check Price On Amazon|
|Abarat Series||9.66/10||5 Books||Check Price On Amazon|
|Book of the Art Series||9.54/10||2 Books||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Hellbound Heart||9.52/10||164 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Thief of Always||9.96/10||288 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
Life and Education
Clive attended Dovedale Primary School and Quarry Bank High School, before going to the University of Liverpool, where he primarily studied English and Philosophy.
A notable part of Clive’s early life was, when aged only three, he bore witness to the French skydiver Leo Valentin who, during the course of a performance in Liverpool, slowly fell to his eventual death. The most notable award Barker has received to this date is the Inkpot Award, in 1991. With that said, let’s see what the best Clive Barker books actually are.
Books of Blood Series
Barker’s Books of Blood series is one of the most famous works of the author. The Books of Blood by Barker are some of the most fascinating and spine-tingling novels we’ve picked up to date. The series consists of the following books:
- Books of Blood: Volume One
- Books of Blood: Volume Two
- Books of Blood: Volume Three
- The Inhuman Condition
- In the Flesh
- Books of Blood: Volume VI
The Reddest of Volumes
The Books of Blood are a series of novels that seamlessly fuse the most mundane with the most bizarre, while the characteristic eroticism of Barker’s writing permeates the pages. The world is a dimension that can’t be recognized in the work of Barker, where the everyday logic and rationale we have is null and void.
What Can Be Found
With more than enough dark and disturbing stories to scare even the greats of horror literature, Barker’s works have quite a punch. Some of the best blood stories on Clive Barker Books include the following: – The Nightly Flesh Train, The Trembler and the Jack, Sex, Death and Starlight, The Book of Blood and In the Hills, the Cities. A volume of stories, all too dark and frightening to resist picking up. Accordingly, it is one of the best Barker series.
Barker’s Abarat series is a series of novels that are honestly some of the scariest, but also a couple of the most popular Barker books ever. The Abarat series consists of five novels, so that these Clive Barker novels in order are:
- Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War
- Abarat: Absolute Midnight
- Kry Rising, yet to be published
- Until the End of Time, yet to be published
Tedium or Pain
Candy, our main protagonist of Abarat, is a resident of Chickentown, perhaps the most boring, monotonous place in the whole wide world. Nevertheless, Candy has great expectations for her future. But when a huge wave sweeps Candy away, she is thrown out of this world and thrown into a completely different one.
Each Passing Hour
Candy is located in the Abarat, a group of islands – an archipelago – where each of the islands represents a certain hour of the day. Just like that, Candy is thrust into a world she doesn’t know anything about, other than she is here to save it from the evil that has afflicted it.
Books of the Art Series
Gripping and Fascinating
One of the best Barker series that we’ve had the chance of reading is unquestionably the Books of the Art series. The series is comprised of only two books, but they are still gripping and fascinating works of fiction. With that said, Barker’s series in order goes as follows:
- The Great and Secret Show
What’s in Store
What was, what will be, and what the dream weaves for us are three distinct things – memory, prophecy, fantasy, are the three complementary angles of these views. In Barker’s fiction, to be aware of this relationship is to be wise, but to use this wisdom to your own advantage is to be artful and an artist. The End of the World starts just as soon as a body drops in the Dead Letter Office in Omaha, Nebraska.
A recently non-existing lake appears and falls out of the clouds that spread over Palomo Grove, in California. As war begins ravaging the land, the passion of the most youthful flourishes and burns with that mighty flame. The Great and Secret Show is a show where attendance is mandatory, with the closing curtain ready to be drawn at a moment’s notice. Some of Clive Barker’s best books right here.
The Hellbound Heart
The Hellbound Heart is both one of the top Barker books and one of the best-selling Barker books. The Hellbound Heart was published in 1986, just below the two hundred page mark.
Hellbound Heart is one of the most terrifying novels Barker has ever published, and the true horror and terror still weighs on the minds of those who have finished and closed the novel. It’s a world of screams, chills, and intense despair. In one bright, beautiful, yet silent home on a likewise silent street, Frank and Julia are two adults that are having an affair, as in adultery.
Chained and Bound
However, this is by no means just a run-of-the-mill affair, but a very different kind of one. Frank began his journey towards this insatiable appetite of sexual proportions when he passed an ominous lacquered box, one whose hands pulled him out of his life and into one where sexual deviance and satisfaction are the norm.
Frank is barely a shadow of his former self, which is sitting and waiting in a vacuous room. One of the most dizzying, most satisfying, and interesting books of the author that we have enjoyed reading. Quite possibly Clive Barker’s best book.
The Thief of Always
Brilliant and Unnerving
The Thief of Always, a noteworthy contender for being the best Barker book, is a novel that possesses a brilliant, unnerving, and even uncomfortable twist on the kind of writing Barker usually does.
The Thief of Always was published in the year of 1992, stretching a page count of around two-hundred-and-twenty-five pages. The Thief of Always is one of the best Barker graphic novels, too.
Be Careful What You Wish For
The Thief of Always follows a ten-year-old boy named Harvey. Harvey has been born for quite some time. School is boring, life is boring, everything is boring to Harvey. However, one seemingly random and mundane day, something happens – someone flies into the window of Harvey.
Someone had been listening to Harvey and his desires for something interesting and that someone was Rictus. Rictus speaks of a so-called Holiday House where all the dreams of Harvey can and will become true.
When Harvey arrives at the Holiday House, it seems as brilliant as it was advertised to him. As soon as night falls, it is a perpetual Christmas, but when morning dawns, it is a sunny summer day.
Harvey begins trying to reason out the inner-workings of the house, what with the truly odd countenance of the people and the general disconcerting nature of the house. He finds that the house is feeding on him. It is one of the best Barker books out there. It can also be viewed as one of Barker’s children’s books, though the content might be a bit too much.
Weaveworld is one of Barker’s longest novels out there. Coincidentally, out of all Clive Barker’s books, Weaveworld stands as one of the best-rated Barker books ever. The seven hundred pages of Weaveworld may be discouraging for some, but those that make the effort will find a convincing tale therein.
Forced to Hide
Once upon a time, there was magic. There were places of holiness, and there were places of secrecy. There were beings with majestic powers known as the Seerkind. But then the Scourge came into play.
The Scourge that possessed great power even though its mind was marked by madness and had the sole intention of completely destroying the Seerkind. The motives of the Scourge were secret, and as more and more Seerkind died, the majority were forced into isolation and hiding.
Hope That It’s All Over
The Seerkind hid in a carpet knowing that no one would think to look there. They hoped they could wake up when the time of the scourge had come and gone. Eight decades later, as the Weaveworld’s custodian dies, the duties are left to Suzanna.
As Suzanna tries to wrap her head around all things, she meets a man named Calhoun Mooney, who expresses an interest in one particular carpet. Somewhere far, however, the Scourge still lies.
Out of all the novels among our Clive Barker book reviews, Imajica definitely belongs in the league of the best books by Clive Barker. Imajica was published in the year of 1991, spanning a whopping eight hundred pages.
Imajica is a horror epic that cannot be defined in any other way. It is a world where the very concepts are different from the common ones, where details are never lacking, and where the dread of Armageddon is palpable.
In Imajica, we meet Gentle, a man that is a master art forger while also adhering to the sensual things of life. Judith Odell is the woman who has the might to cast influence over the fates of men. Pie’oh’pah, lastly, is an extraterrestrial assassin that has arrived from a different dimension with one purpose.
That dimension in particular is just one of the five that the Imajica system contains, where everything is at odds with what the common man would expect. Nonetheless, the Earth and those that dwell in the Imajica are linked by a special bond. As Gentle meets Judith Odell, his life ravels in more ways than just one, and as Pie’oh’pah learns of a horrible crime, the reader knows that he is in for quite the story.
Another Startling Novel
Cabal is yet another startling, fear-inducing tale from the grim mind of Barker. Cabal is one of those novels that if we gave our picks for Clive Barker’s books ranked, it would come out as one of the best Barker novels easily. Cabal was published in 1988 and was made into a movie, as well.
Can’t Recall Anything
Cabal starts out with a young man named Boone. Boone is a man afflicted with an unnamed mental disorder. At present, Boone has been informed of a number of savage murders that took place in Calgary, which he perpetrated.
This information is passed onto Boone by his psychiatrist, Decker. Nonetheless, Boone remembers nothing of the killings mentioned. Boone tries to take his own life, which is when he finds himself in the search for Midian, a mythical city, where the vilest are granted sanctuary.
Home of Fiends
Boone is then transferred to a clinic, where a fellow patient, bearing the name of Narcisse, informs him where exactly Midian is. Narcisse supposed that the ongoing situation was a test from those of the Night Breed, so he, upon telling Boone of the way to enter Midian, mutilates his own face by means of a razor.
Following this, Boone makes his escape. As he gets to the location he was given, he finds that the city of Midian is located underneath a cemetery, of all things.
The Damnation Game
Into the Cage
The Damnation Game is a standalone novel published by Barker, one that deserves the moniker – the best Barker novel. Out of the whole list of Barker books, no matter how scary and disconcerting, the Damnation Game stands out on its own. The Damnation Game was published in 1985.
The main character of The Damnation Game is none other than Marty Straus. Marty Strauss is a gambling addict who just got out of prison after his stay there. Although he has just been released from the bars, he receives a job offer as the personal bodyguard of a man named Joseph Whitehead, who is known as one of the richest men in the world.
Worth noting is that while Strauss is indebted to many earth-dwelling men, he does have his fair share of debts to otherworldly beings, too. Soon enough, the seemingly clear and cut job of body-guarding Joseph Whitehead, turns completely sour.
The mansion where Joseph lives and which Strauss is supposed to keep safe becomes invaded by a man named Mamoulian, against whom earthly weapons, such as a gun, are completely powerless. We really cannot recommend this book enough to all our readers.
Mister B. Gone
Spawn of Hell
Going forward with our picks for Barker’s best books ranked, we have another ghostly novel, one titled Mister B. Gone. Mister B. Gone is a novel that was published in 2007 and has about two hundred and fifty pages. It is definitely one of the best Barker horror novels.
Jakabob Botch, in whose honor the novel is titled Mister B., is a bit of an odd entity, to say the least. Jakabob Botch is a demon that has a terribly scary and fear-inducing past, one that would make even the vilest serial killers of Earth quiver and scream out in fear. Jakabob Botch was born in one of the deepest recesses of hell, where the most inconceivably horrific beings dwell, lurk, and prowl.
Finally On Earth
Jakabob Botch was spawned by parents who were quite unfit to be parents at all. His mother was given to the licentious and lecherous crafts of life, while his dad was a drunk that liked a bit too much to hit others.
Once Jakabob Botch manages to get on the Earth-side of things, not just in the fiery pits of hell, he finds himself in Mainz, namely during the fifteenth century, where Johannes Gutenberg lives. Botch, unlike other such beings, isn’t intrigued by just watching history unfold; he wants to take part in it.
Where to Rest
Coldheart Canyon is yet another devilishly intriguing, enthralling, and bone-chilling experience headed by the great author Barker. Out of all Clive Barker’s novels, given that one wanted to know Clive Barker’s novels ranked, we would have a hard time not putting Coldheart Canyon among the topmost. Coldheart Canyon was published in 2001.
Coldheart Canyon, as many novels in the oeuvre of Barker, possesses a certain mighty quality to it, a grim ambience and a horrific atmosphere that pervades through its pages, from the front cover to the back cover. The main character of the novel is an actor who is beloved and known as being a very, very famous action movie hero, who, following a surgery that went very horribly wrong, is in need of a place to stay and recuperate.
Quite the Resting Place
The agent of the actor, who is known for being very faithful and loyal, locates a certain glamorous, yet seldom stayed-in mansion, located in the Hollywood Hills, nearly at the top.
The first owner of the mansion, though, was a marvelously attractive woman who was given to all the pleasures and satisfactions of life, but what she left in her wake upon dying is nothing short of immaculate and pure horror. Among the best Clive Barker books and with a reason, too.
The Scarlet Gospels
The Scarlet Gospels is a standalone book from Barker, one that we think deserves its spot among the top Clive Barker novels. It really is one of the best Clive Barker horror books there is. The Scarlet Gospel was published in 2015 and has just over three hundred and fifty pages.
The Scarlet Gospels is a novel that plunges the many fans of Barker back to the earliest times of two very famous Barker characters that will engage in a battle of good and evil, a battle older than time.
Detective Harry D’Amour, a man that examines all things that have to do with the preternatural, magical, and especially evil sides of crime. The foe, however, this time around is none other than Pinhead, one of the most iconic horror characters of all time. As such, this counts as being one of Barker’s Pinhead novels.
The investigator of things quite out of the ordinary is set to meet and do battle with the hellish priest of demons and cenobites, Pinhead. Worth noting is that the novel brings what the fans of Barker had been clamoring for, for years and years. The story herein is one inspired by a veritable terror and a potent chill. The readers will not be disappointed by this masterful entry on the list of Barker novels.
Those That Rule
Galilee, yet another brilliantly woven and fiendishly intriguing novel from the master of horror, Barker, is a terrific novel. On the Clive Barker books list, one can find many ghostly, frightening stories, but the Galilee sticks out among the fray. Galilee was published in the year of 1998, spanning more than six hundred pages.
The Geary Dynasty, being all that wealthy, all that affluent, and all that mighty, has had the pleasure of reigning over America and the society of America for tens of years, now. The family, however, is brimming with surreptitious ordeals, with tenebrous, fear-inducing secrets, and they, for all intents and purposes, are at war with the so-called Barbarossas.
The Barbarossas are a group whose origins only myths and legends can speak of, though their influence and power are no less intense. The might that the Barbarossas possess have to do with trading a bit of flesh for a little bit of soul.
The two groups have been at war for some time, but now everything is set to accelerate to a terrible level. When the prince of the Barbarossas meets, falls in love with, and has his love returned by Rachel, the Geary’s new family member, having married the scion Mitchell, there is no telling what things are going to happen, only that they will chill us to the bone.
Sacrament, a brilliant and fantastic work from Barker, is one that would certainly find itself among the highest-ranking novels if we were putting forward our picks for Clive Barker’s books in order of, say, best to worst. Sacrament was published in 1996, with a page count of nearly six hundred.
Sacrament starts out with a young boy who has an interaction with an ominous, strange, even bizarre man, one that supposedly brings about the extinction of other species. This interaction and experience are revealed to have been very significant in the life of the young boy, as he has grown up to be a documentation expert on the topic of these kinds of extinctions, with his own mind wanting the end of extinctions, period.
However, as the man continues on with his work, he learns of a devastating secret, one that is deeply woven into all things that roam and walk the Earth. The writing of Barker is at its most potent in this novel, as he analyzes what it actually signifies to be a man, what it signifies to be a human, what to be a gay man, all in a world where deterioration and decay are the norm.
One of the most important works and most significant contributions to literature by Barker, ever. We cannot recommend this novel just enough, so we hope that our readers will pick it up as soon as possible. Honestly, one of the best Clive Barker books ever.
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Series
Hellraiser series is unquestionably the most well-known and famous work of Barker ever. The very mention of the Clive Barker’s Hellraiser novels or Clive Barker’s books with Pinhead is enough to bring a chilling touch to any conversation. The Clive Barker’s Hellraiser books in order are:
- Hellraiser Vol. 1
- Hellraiser Vol. 2
- Hellraiser Vol. 3
- Hellraiser Vol. 4
- Hellraiser Vol. 5
Barker had only written a novel featuring Pinhead once prior to the series right here, with the Hellbound Heart, and then with the movie series.
However, here the Hellraiser series reaches its true might as the priest from the depths of hell gets the chance to tell us yet another tale of his. Clive Barker’s Hellraiser books are genuinely a couple of the most terrifying novels ever put to paper, but the fact that they are Clive Barker’s Pinhead books makes the terror even greater.
The Hellish Priest
As the tale of Pinhead and his Cenobites continues, we are subject to a journey into the heart of horror, the crux of fear, and the very center of all things mad. Anyone that has an affection for Pinhead or a penchant for horror ought not to miss this series – they are some of the greatest stories that Barker ever told.
The series is also presented in a kind of graphic novel form, leading some fans to refer to these kinds of books as Clive Barker’s comic books – go figure. Lord of Illusions is another novel from Barker that we recommend picking up.
Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)