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Cabal {collection}

af Clive Barker

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579430,346 (3.76)Ingen
A dazzling short novel, along with four of Barker's best short stories--The Life of Death, How Spoilers Bleed, Twilight at the Towers, and The Last Illusion. LG featured Alternate.
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Short novel, padded with a few shorter works. Usual Barker visceral horror. ( )
  gzuckier | Apr 15, 2020 |
This book consists of the novella 'Cabal,' the story which the movie
'Nightbreed' was based on, and four short stories: The Life Of Death, How Spoilers Bleed, Twilight At The Towers & The Last Illusion.
'Cabal' shows Barker at the height of his obsession with grotesque
sensuality. It begins with Boone, a mentally disturbed man who had
recently hoped he had been getting his life together and making a new start. he recently met a girlfriend, Lori, and things had been going well. But now, his psychologist has convinced him that he is actually a brutal serial killer who has been repressing the memories of his atrocious crimes. Right here, it seems this would be enough a a premise for a work of psychological horror - but Barker quickly
changes tack and introduces the shadowy world of Midian - an
underworld populated by monsters - but monsters who desperately needed a refuge from the horrors of our mundane life.
Boone and Lori's flight from the deranged doctor, and their efforts to expose his deeds, are action-filled enough, but the really significant part of the story is Barker's morally ambiguous Nightbreed and their world, delicately and sympathetically portrayed, even while filled with unpleasantly corporeal and carnal details. While acknowledging that some outcasts are cast out for good reason, Barker also makes his case, eloquently, for the need for a refuge for all those with dark secrets, for those driven to desperation.

'The Life Of Death' - a woman who has just - barely - survived a
dangerous surgery has become oddly obsessed with death. She, driven by curiosity, ventures secretly into a just-dug-up plague crypt. In a bizarre state of mind, she becomes convinced that a man she meets there is Death. But is her strange state of mind just the aftermath of her surgery? Or is she becoming ill?

'How Spoilers Bleed' - a couple of Europeans who cold-bloodedly
murder a tribe of Native Americans meet the terrible curse of a
shaman. (And never did two people deserve it more!)

'Twilight At The Towers' - the CIA and the KGB have secretly been training werewolves to work for them. But werewolves want to run and live free, not to be secret agents.

'The Last Illusion' - a stage magician's power has derived from a deal with the devil. And now, the magician is dead. But he wished to cheat the devil at the very last, and a mysterious friend of the performer teams up with a hired detective to try to save his soul from a fate worse than death. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
[Cabal] one of Clive Barker’s earliest novels, published in 1988, contains all of the best of the author’s writing and vision and very little of the overindulgence that can sometimes mar his work.

Boone, a deeply afflicted and sensitive man, has been seeking help from a psychologist, Decker. During therapy, Decker begins to display photographs from a series of mutilations and murders in the area, suggesting that Boone may be responsible. As Boone begins to accept his evil nature, he seeks out Midian, a mythical town he believes is a place a refuge for monsters like him. When he finds the town, he is shot dead by the local police force, who are also convinced of his guilt in the murders. But Boone doesn’t stay dead; and the refuge of Midian has a price that Boone may not be able to pay.

In some of Barker’s later work, he becomes a little too enamored of his vision, giving over any sense of story or character to create every last piece of what his imagination breeds. The result can be messy and confusing. Barker is capable of fleshing out colorful and minutely detailed worlds, but the read is often exhausting and frustrating. There is a sense that the story will never move forward.

[Cabal], on the other hand, strikes the perfect balance, allowing the reader to use their own imagination to bridge the gaps in Barker’s prose. The story never suffers from his habit of lingering too long over a description of some fantastic character or place. In [Cabal], he gives the readers just enough to spur their imagination along on its own. The Nightbreed, a sort of mix of vampires and shape-shifting monsters, are never described in whole cloth. Rather, Barker gives the reader just enough to allow the monster to shape-shift into the reader’s own personal fears.

This edition also re-prints some of Barker’s earlier short fiction:

The Life of Death, a cancer survivor believes that she has met Death, and while he might not be the mythical figure, he’ll do until the real thing shows up.

How Spoilers Breed, a group of men purchase the rights to a tract of South American land that is populated by an all but extinct native tribe. Beware the Curse!

Twilight at the Towers, werewolves as CIA and KGB operatives turns out to be a good fit.

The Last Illusion, provides the first appearance of Harry D’Amour, a sort of noir-mystic detective. Harry guards the corpse of a magician from the Devil who has come calling for the magician’s soul.

The short fiction features unique and carefully plotted stories with punchy, hard-boiled prose. Barker excels in the short fic ( )
  blackdogbooks | Nov 13, 2011 |
1: Cabal, A very unique tale, Barker's creativity never fails to entertain. There is nothing quite likeClive Barker's style and subject matter. He always has something completely different to offer. The tale harkens back to Shelley's Frankenstein in the way that you are drawn to care about the monsters, and the humans become the villians.

also included in this volume are several short stories :

2: The Life of Death, This seems to be Barker's version of Typhoid Mary. A woman unkowingly spreads death to any who encounter her. An enjoyable tale, that reads like a mystery that concludes with an ending only Barker could have penned.

3: How Spoilers Bleed, A tale of "what goes around, comes around" . Several Men who "cheat" a tribe of natives from their land in the jungle, Become victims of mysterious ailments due to a curse placed on them by the tribe's mysterious shaman.

4: Twilight at the Towers, A chilling tale of a mysterious breed of shapeshifters, that mankind has been trying to control unsuccessfully.

5: The Last Illusion, The story that inspired the movie "Lord of Illusions." I found the tale to be much more enjoyable and in depth than the movie. Well worth the read. The Illusionist Swann who sold his soul for the power of Magic, has found a loop hole in the devil's plan, and requires the help of his friend Valentin and Private Investigator Harry D'Amour to successfully ensure his success in saving his soul. ( )
  Deejaytee | Apr 26, 2011 |
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The U.K./Canadian editions of Cabal: The Nightbreed published by Fontana, Collins or Harper/Collins contain only the novella and do not include the additional 4 stories & epilogue of the original U.K. "Books of Blood VI" which were added to the U.S. editions of Cabal published by Poseidon, Doubleday or Pocket Books. The U.K./Canadian and U.S. editions of "Cabal" should not be combined due to this different content.

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A dazzling short novel, along with four of Barker's best short stories--The Life of Death, How Spoilers Bleed, Twilight at the Towers, and The Last Illusion. LG featured Alternate.

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