The Scarlet Gospels

Clive Barker’s long awaited book, The Scarlet Gospels, is finally in the hands of fans.

Focused on Pinhead, of Hellraiser1 fame, and Harry D’Amour, a private detective in several of Barker’s works, it was eagerly awaited. Barker would revisit and expand the mythos and reveal what was merely suggested in prior works. The story sets Pinhead in motion, with Harry D’Amour and allies seeking to oppose and witness what occurs.

It’s a disappointment. It isn’t a bad book, but it isn’t up to the standards of previous work from the author. And after years of hints and anticipation, it’s a much smaller book than expected. Teased at 243,000 words in manuscript form by the author, the final published form is significantly shorter. It feels as if a much longer work simply had large sections lopped off, leaving snippets of details unexplained. It’s unpolished compared to much of Barker’s work, and seems intended to set up a series rather than designed to tell the tale and wrap up questions.

It was not bad. It was not great. I just expected more.

★★★☆☆


  1. With the story focusing on the canon details of Hellraiser and Pinhead as written in Clive Barker’s work, rather than the extended movie franchise.