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The Inhuman Condition Paperback – March 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743417348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743417341
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this collection of five tales of horror, the author uses various devices such as a piece of string, a pair of ghosts, an experimental aphrodisiac, and a pair of hands to lead his characters into a world of nightmarish experiences. Four of the tales are well done, each beginning with a seemingly normal situation: an encounter between a vagrant and a group of young thugs; a traveling evangelist and his companions; a laboratory experiment; and a husband and wife in bed. But with a bizarre twist the element of terror is introduced. The fifth story, about a planned encounter with Satan, is too brief, however. Reader Dillinger Steele's low, even tone sets the mood of this collection. Recommended where Barker (Everville, Audio Reviews, LJ 2/1/95) is popular or wherever horror circulates.?Catherine Swenson, Norwich Univ. Lib., Northfield, Vt.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Time Ever since the heyday of horror fiction...aficionados have been awaiting a writer to transcend the genre and give it new legitimacy. Clive Barker may be the man...witty, unpredictable, and concise....Each story involves an uncanny mix of eroticism and terror.

The New York Times Barker create[s] an atmosphere of dread and foreboding...He makes a bad dream seem not only creepily disturbing but plausible....The Inhuman Condition is Clive Barker at his most effective.

The Washington Post The most provacative tales of terror ever published.

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Customer Reviews

The stories are horrifying, gruesome, and beautiful.
Quentin Xavier
Barker is a great writer of short fiction, and four of these five stories just further prove that.
He can make you fall in love with a character who normal people would loath.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Sinister on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
God, just talking about The Inhuman Condition makes me itch to read it all over again for the tenth time. Clive Barker, especially early Barker like In The Flesh, The Inhuman Condition & The Books Of Blood are so righteously killer, I can't help but re-reading them whenever I get the chance. Talk about visionary horror, Clive Barker turned the entire Horror Genre upside down with his fiction. Inventive, clever, well-written & above all, original, he was like the new incarnation of H.P. Lovecraft. Genius.

The Inhuman Condition consists of five novellas:

The Inhuman Condition: Some hoods roll a drunk and steal something very precious. A piece of rope with three knots in it. Nothing special, right? Well...once you untie the knots, something comes into being. Something terrible. Great story.

The Body Politic: Charlie has the strangest thoughts. He thinks his hands are planning a revolt, plotting against him and the whole human race. Crazy, right? Well...when he wakes up to find that his hands have strangled his wife, he's not so sure any more. Another great, original story.

Revelations!: A modern day ghost story with a small twist. An evangelsit and his troupe check into a motel where a murder most foul had taken do the deceased couple, for they're there to recreate the murder or try and reconcile, who can tell. Witty and strange. Clive keeps us enthralled.

Down, Satan: The only detraction from the book's brilliance. A rather short story about a man who wants to hang with Satan so he builds Hell on earth just for that very purpose. Bizare and dark, never really takes off as a full story.

The Age Of Desire: Weird. That's the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this story.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Will Errickson on July 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is probably the second or third Barker collection I came across, way back in 1987. I was a high school kid, immersed in King, Straub, Lovecraft, Koontz, but Barker was a writer I had to think about, someone whose writing style aimed above the usual 6th grade average. His images were unsettling and confusing--I remember coming to the end of the title story and thinking, "Wwwhaaat?" but that was so long ago. I credit Barker with making me a more discerning, sophisticated reader. Horror could be sharp with wit, laced with the blackest comedy, and subversive like the punk rock music I loved. He approached topics like sexuality and psychology unlike any other writer I had ever read. This book, Volume 5 of "The Books of Blood," is one of the very strongest. He toys with religious fanaticism and fundamentalism in "Revelations," with the Devil in the modern world in the fable "Down, Satan!" and with eros and extreme arousal in "The Age of Desire," one of my favorite stories by him. This was one that I would retell to my shocked friends at lunch. They wanted to be weird, to be outcast, but Ha! they weren't willing to go all the way. Barker, he goes all the way. He is, along with Harlan Ellison and Lovecraft himself, the only writer of any type of fiction, that I can reread now, over a decade later, with satisfaction and awe and respect. Clive Barker. Make no mistake.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Quentin Xavier on December 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
Again, I love Clive Barker. His work is just awe-inspiring. This collection borders on classic in the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and Poe. Shoot, it doesn't just border, it crosses over. These stories will be remembered years to come, mark my words. Clive Barker is genius. His work is the real deal, he cannot be immitated. His craft is so incredible. The stories are horrifying, gruesome, and beautiful. The Body politic is terrifying as is the title story about a knot and the demons that hell unleashes when the knot is undone. This is great stuff. Why can't all authors have this ambition?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Len on June 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a good collection of creepy stories. As usual, Clive Barker delivers wild images, exciting plots and impactful language. The story about the hands is particularly creepy and memorable. If you're new to Clive Barker, start with one of his full-length books and try the short stories later. Full-length character development is where he really shines. If you already love his writing, you'll enjoy these dark tales.

AUDIO VERSION - I'm sorry for Clive Barker that this audio book was performed and directed so poorly. Dillinger Steele mispronounces 50 or so words narrating this short collection. If you love the English language and Barker's beautiful prose, you'll cringe listening to Dillinger Steele mangle it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SHIV SHAKTI on May 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
There are some blood tales in this book.Let me cut to the chase.

1)The body politic.

A very simple story.In a world where our hands have a mind of their own,one man's hand seeks to take over the world!(I know this sounds dumb,but the story is quite good.)

2)The inhuman condition.

A guy and his friends beat up a vagrant for fun,stealing from him a piece of knotted rope...

That same day, the guy who took the knotted rope from the vagrant,begins to unravel it.With the unravelling of the rope his friends suddenly start to die out,one by one...And a lot of evil starts to be unleashed.The same vagrant whom was a victim has to help the guy battle this evil.


Now this is a very fascinating story.A pastor and his wife goes to a motel,for some kind of vacation.The room in which they are staying was the scene of a murder.

In this room the ghosts terrorize the couple.

4)Down satan.

In this story a guy builds a place for satan on earth.A very short story.(not one of my favourite)

5)The age of desire.

A very good story.In this story,a victim of an Aphrodisaic experiment run away from the lab and starts to uncontrollably have sex with people...But then he soon starts to rape and murder people and things start to get nasty...

An overall fairly interesting book.I would recommend it....enjoy...Nigel.
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