So I have been meaning to read more of Clive Barker's stories this year, so I hope to get to the rest of the volumes before Halloween. Volume 1 showcases how the books of blood were created (a creepy origin story) and we have one of the characters who starts to read the stories that were left behind. I had some favorites, and some that I scratched my head at and moved on. I should maybe have given it 3 stars, but heck it's Clive Barker so I rounded it up to 4 stars.
"The Book of Blood" (5 stars)-Apparently faking psychic phenomena is not a smart thing to do cause sometimes the dead come knocking. The story itself reminded me a little bit of Hell House though what comes after is pure Barker. What was really cool about this story though is that it is the origin of all of the stories that come after. What happens to the fake psychic is that his own skin is literally used by the dead to tell their stories. And all of the stories afterwards are stories that are written on his skin.
"The Midnight Meat Train" (5 stars)-Can I say that I saw the movie a few years back and loved it? I was happy that the movie/book differed slightly, but I enjoyed both of them though. A regular office worker named Leo who comes to New York is slowly becoming dissatisfied by what he sees around him. While that is going on, there are reports of a butcher in New York killing people on the subway. The story then transitions to a man named Mahogany who is definitely not a nice guy at all. We get inside his head a bit and the racism that lives there was enough to make me go ick a few times. I did not feel bad at all with what happens in the end. Certain parts of the story are really gross though.
"The Yattering and Jack" (4 stars)-I was so confused by this story at first. It takes a while to get going. But you have a man named Jack that the residents of Hell are very interested in claiming.
"Pig Blood Blues" (2 stars)-I didn't like this one at all. I re-read it twice too, but I feel like I was missing some important context. I also am now kind of scared of pigs. So there's that.
"Sex, Death, and Starshine" (3 stars)-There needed to be more set-up for this one. I want to know how some of the characters even came to be, why the heck they were so focused on acting, and why in the world would the dead even be interested in a play. It was a strange story, just needed a bit more oomph to it.
"In the Hills, the Cities" (1 star)- I really could not get into this one at all. It was so strange and bizarre. I think it sort of reminded me a bit of Nightbreed, but that was about it. I I don't get why two cities would combine into two separate beings, and I don't get why one would then go mad. How did no one hear the thing moving or see it? It was a let down as the final story in this volume.