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Cabal Paperback – January 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743417321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743417327
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Comprised of a novel and four long stories, this volume is classic Barker, full of lurid, bloody imagery and action involving large-than-life characters. It's great fun and provides plenty of thrills or giggles, depending on how seriously you take it. In the novel, Cabal , Boone, a recovering psychotic, is cleverly manipulated by his psychiatrist, Decker, into believing that he has committed several savage murders. Decker, of course, is the villain, but Boone does not catch on. Considering himself unfit for human society, Boone flees, eventually to come upon Midian, a large crypt inhabited by the Nightbreed, dead souls in shape-changing bodies, neither good nor evil, who turn Boone into one of their own. Of the shorter works, the best written is "The Life of Death," about a woman who becomes enthralled by death and is transformed into a kind of Typhoid Mary. Another, "The Last Illusion," which concerns the fate of a magician's corpse, is full of intriguing moments. First serial to Penthouse; Doubleday Book Club main selection; Literary Guild featured alternate.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The New York Times Book Review [Cabal] demonstrate[s] why the gleefully gory Mr. Barker is at the top of his genre. Endlessly inventive, he takes familiar themes a step or two farther...dazzling, captivating stuff...

The Washington Post In the hands of a lesser writer this could be just another tale of nightmarish evil...[what] lifts Barker from common craftsman to the rarefied and chancy domain of artist is his profound awareness of the alienation and aloneness of man. And he brings these insights into dramatic focus through the innocence of his monsters...

Elle Simultaneously repels and spellbinds the reader...Literature in the tradition of Poe, Shelley and Hawthorne.

Washingtion Times [Clive Barker] is a mapmaker of the mind, charting the furthest reaches of the imagination....His ambition and audacity are unparalleled; we know that we are in the presence of a vision that is genuine, unique, and lasting.

Publishers Weekly The most ambitious dark fantasist of our time.

The Boston Herald Barker's work reads like a cross between Stephen King and...Gabriel García Márquez. He creates a world where our biggest fears appear to be our own dreams.

People Barker's dark, powerful imagination -- and his skill in pacing to keep his stories surprising -- make the horror grisly and effective.

Armistead Maupin [Barker writes] with the easy confidence of a tribal storyteller, and elder who has seen everything and committed most of it to scripture.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Clive Barker is back from yet another excursion into his dark and fertile imagination, bearing sinister fruits of fine horror fantasy.

Locus The premier metaphysicist of contemporary fiction.

Customer Reviews

This is my favourite Clive Barker novel.
Vivid imagery told in a dreamlike voice unmatched in modern fiction.
Michael Williamson
Really good story, interesting characters.
Andy J. Ussery

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Stone Junction on March 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Monsters have always played a large part in our collective subconscious. They lurk in shadows, under beds, at the ends of dark alleys. Monsters are always with us, in one form or another. Clive Barker realizes this. And Barker also realizes that sometimes, the monster we don't know is far more preferable than the ones we do.
CABAL is Barker's ode to the monster, not as a fearsome predator that only lives to destroy, but as a misunderstood creature that is alternatively loathed and envied. We despise the monster, because we wish to be one ourselves.
Boone is a young man who is teetering on the brink of insanity. While he has been getting treatment under the watchful guise of Dr. Decker, he is still far from unsure that he is well. And when Decker declaims Boone as a subconscious serial killer, with eleven confirmed victims under his belt, Boone decides that his only option is to find Midian, the place where the monsters play. What Boone discovers is an underworld of loneliness and despair, as the monsters of the world attempt to live their lives in peace, uninterrupted by the insanity of humankind.
Barker has always had a, shall we say, fondness for the darker impulses of man. In his BOOKS OF BLOOD series, and his novels THE HELLBOUND HEART and THE DAMNATION GAME, he presents the readers with individuals who truly live their lives on the edge, daring life, limb, and soul to satisfy their primal yearnings. In Boone, Barker has created another unsatisfied loner who craves acceptance, believing he cannot function in normal society. Barker understands the human heart, and isn't afraid to admit that not all desires are the same. But just because one person's desires may differ from another's, does not necessarily make that person wrong. It's all a matter of persepctive.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By No*BoUnCe on March 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
My review is only for this current Kindle version's content and what I paid for. I purchased and then returned this book due to the fact that the description states this book is 368 pages in length and, according to the printed versions by publishers Pocket and Poseidon Press with similar lengths, this Kindle version should also include the four short stories. However, this was not the case.

This Kindle version does NOT include the short stories at the end. It includes only the novella, which adds up to about 195 pages in length.

Amazon or the Publisher needs to correct their description and information about this novella (Which currently says "Print Length: 368 pages, Publisher: Crossroad Press; Macabre Ink Digital Edition, (January 30, 2014), Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc."), for it is NOT the same length (page-wise) as the printed versions of "Cabal" (ISBN-13: 978-0671626884, ISBN-13: 978-0743417327).

I do not recommend this Kindle version of "Cabal" if you want the novella and short stories for the current asking price. Amazon/Publisher needs to lower the price and correct the page length description or simply include the missing short stories to match the printed editions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sadiesaidhorror on March 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am a huge fan of Clive Barker. He has a penchant for tales of transformation both internal and external, as he tends to bring his characters to physical change while also bringing them into dark and fantastic realms outside of their primarily common lives. Cabal is a story about just that- transformation. The architecture, society and psychological state you are made to experience through dark hero Boon and his turmoil are simply brilliant. Clive always delivers gore with a perfect touch of class.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Sinister on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
The strage thing is this: Nightbreed is one of my favorite films of all-time and definetly my favorite Clive Barker flick, but Cabal, which Nightbreed was based on, is nowhere near my favorite Barker novel. Why is that? Well...for one thing, it's too compacted, more novella than novel. Secondly, there seemed to be elements missing that the movie captured better. The movie better than the book? Are you mad? It's true, on that rare one in a hundred chance, the movie is far superior to the book. Still, Cabal is not bad, it's just not my favorite. Clive Barker knows how to freak us out with stuff we've never even imagined imagining, stuff that would turn us schitzo if we ever encountered it in reality. That's Clive's gift. Cabal just misses slightly. Four other stories accompany Cabal: The Life Of Death, How Spoilers Bleed, Twilight At The Towers & The Last Illusion. Of the four, I particularly enjoyed How Spoilers Bleed: The natives have a clever way of dealing with intruders bent on destroying their homeland. The Life Of Death: A woman, fascinated with death, becomes a regular Typhoid Mary as she spreads death wherever she goes. The Last Illusion is the basis for Lords Of Illusion. Interesting.

Dig it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen B. O'Blenis on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Cabal" is the novel the movie "Nightbreed" was based on (directed by its own author, Clive Barker) and the first appearance of the Nightbreed, who've aquired a dedicated following of fans over the years. Despite the fact that both the movie and the original novel were both helmed by Barker, there are quite a few differences.

In both, the character of Boone believes himself to be responsible for a number of murders, and heads off to find the legendary city of monsters, Midian, home to the Nightbreed. In the movie, the Breed were more sympathetic and there was a sense that Boone was seeking Midian in order to control the monsterous aspects of himself. In "Cabal", while there are sympathetic and even likable aspects to both the Nightbreed as a whole and, especially, to individual members of the Breed, they are as a whole a much nastier and more bloodthirsty lot. There is dazzling imagination at work in the descriptions of the Breed, but their world of Midian and the glimpses of their lifestyle are less developed, more bare bones and primitive. It kind of fits with the more basic, barbarous nature of much of the Nightbreed. This is as a whole one of the darker and certainly more nihilistic of Barker's novels (though definately not as much so as "The Great And Secret Show").

This is subjective, but I found most of the main protagonists - both human and Breed - a little...lacking. The character who held the most interest for me, and gave the book much of its power, was a shapeshifting little girl Nightbreed named Babette.
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More About the Author

Clive Barker was born in Liverpool in 1952. He is the worldwide bestselling author of the Books of Blood, and numerous novels including Imajica, The Great and Secret Show, Sacrament and Galilee. In addition to his work as a novelist and short story writer he also illustrates, writes, directs and produces for the stage and screen. His films include Hellraiser, Hellbound, Nightbreed and Candyman. Clive lives in Beverly Hills, California.

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