Cabal -Book Review

Cabal by Clive Barker was written in 1988 it’s a horror classic that was made into the movie Nightbreed. This book takes horror and throws many of the tropes of the genre on their heads.

The main character is first thought to be his terrible killer until you find out it’s not him he’s being manipulated into believing he’s a killer by his psychiatrist, the real killer. The psychiatrist is the real antagonist of this story which is full of monsters.

The monsters in this book are just like everyone else in the world. They want to live, they want peace. They are more human in many cases than humanity. In many ways, the monsters feel more human than the humans because they sympathize with the main character Boon. Boon doesn’t want to be in his situation. He doesn’t want to become the monster he is forced to become. He’s trapped with the Nightbreed after being bitten and going through alterations in his body.

Every authority figure in this story is shown as being evil. Barker shows his disdain for authority figures over and over by having every instance of authority being exercised end badly for everyone involved.

At the end of this book, you are left cheering for monsters who eat humans to win because that’s just how they are. The humans are awful people. You don’t like the priest or the police.

Much like other works by Barker this book is character driven. You see people grow and change. You experience the world and its changes through the thoughts and actions of the characters in ways that few authors can pull off.

The graphic nature of Barker’s writing has to be mentioned. There is sexual content in this book. It’s not gratuitous in any way and does add to the story. There are scenes that people may not be comfortable with but the overall story is worth pursuing to completion.


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