by Clive Barker
This was my first Barker read, though I'm familiar with his work through the film, Nightbreed. There is no denying that Barker has a wild imagination when it comes to creating monsters!
Infernal Parade is shorter than most of his books. It's a series of short stories that are tied together with a theme, preparation for the Infernal Parade when the dead and demented invade the ordinary world. The one thing that is missing is that the book doesn't take us through to the actual manifestation of this parade, only the individual stories about some of the people and creatures destined to take part.
Barker manages to strike a balance with some of the more gruesome scenes in his stories so that every bit of torn flesh, every drop of blood spilled is relevant to the story at hand and never crosses into the gratuitous. This is a rare skill!
The individual stories each had their own morbid fascination. There were no duds among them. As much as I'm sensitive to Horror stories that involve murder and gore, Barker's treatment of the material just makes me want to read more of his work. The plots were original and imaginative at a level seldom seen in this genre.