» » Inhuman Condition

Download Inhuman Condition epub

by Clive Barker

In this fully dramatized audio program a harrowing and unforgettable story of evil unfolds. A band of youths commits a senseless act of violence and comes into possession of a string of knots. The untying of each knot will unleash a living nightmare until the final knot is undone and the ultimate terror is witnessed.
Download Inhuman Condition epub
ISBN: 0671612697
ISBN13: 978-0671612696
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Genre Fiction
Author: Clive Barker
Language: English
Publisher: Pocket; First Edition edition (August 1, 1987)
ePUB size: 1263 kb
FB2 size: 1192 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 866
Other Formats: azw lrf txt rtf

All the stories in this collection are fun and kept me glued to the pages. I couldn't stop reading and the collection of stories in here are way more interesting than what is found in the first three volumes of The Books of Blood.
clive barker is my absolute favorite writer. He can make you fall in love with a character who normal people would loath. You become so involved in his words, the world could literally crumble around you and you wouldnt even bat an eye unless it was to turn the page. Amazing.
Excellent book, especially for horror and dark fantasy fans! This is definitely one of Barker's best works in my opinion, you won't be let down. I recommend to anyone!
I love Clive Barker. Period.
Confession time: first, this is my first exposure of any kind to Clive Barker's writing. And, other than watching the first Hellraiser as a child (a film I scarcely remember at this point), this is my first real exposure to Clive Barker media in general. I am aware that this is merely one volume in a larger collection of classic horror stories called, collectively, "The Books of Blood." Thankfully, there appears to be no rhyme or reason to the way in which these stories were published, so I don't need any knowledge about their wider context in the collection to adequately evaluate them. This book consists of four novellas and a short story of varying quality. I'll be discussing them individually:

The Inhuman Condition: This is the novella the collection is named after for whatever reason. It's actually one of the weaker stories in the collection. In it, a group of young hoodlums beat up and rob an old man. One of them takes a curious piece of string with knots in it. The old man is not at all what he seems, however. This story is the most traditional horror story of the bunch, and plays out like an average creature feature you might watch on Syfy. While Clive Barker is an excellent writer and expertly builds tension in certain scenes, the story as a whole kind of fell flat for me, as it never seems to go beyond graphic violence and spooky scary monsters to point toward anything grander. If you're in the mood for a traditional, well-written horror story with little in the way of actual surprises, you'll enjoy this one.

The Body Politic: Following the unambitious first story is this crazy little nightmare, which is, in my opinion, the second strongest story in this collection. This story elaborates on the paranoia of losing control of oneself. What if your hands actually had minds of their own and decided they didn't want to stay on your body anymore. What follows is an absurd but weirdly creepy little piece about the miniature apocalypse that happens when one hand frees itself from its owner and decides to awaken other human hands to a revolutionary uprising. It's as stupid as it sounds, yet I will admit that, upon finishing this story, I couldn't help but regard my own hands with some suspicion for some time, so imaginatively evocative was this story. This is another one that proceeds like a traditional horror story in terms of the way it's structured, yet the weirdness, dark humor, body horror, and apocalyptic undertones of this piece completely transform it into something unique. Highly recommended.

Revelations: I'm a bit conflicted about this story. On one hand, it's a bit too slow and methodical for my tastes, and I don't think the climax makes up for how long it takes to really get anywhere, but at the same time this is very different from the traditional horror stories Clive has been telling up until this point (in this collection, at least). In this novella, the wife and friend of a famous evangelist stay the night at a haunted hotel that was the scene of a murder years before. This piece is more psychological in nature, focusing on the oppressive relationship of the fundamentalist christian evangelist with his unhappy wife, who gradually discovers she is able to see ghosts, for whatever reason. There is a parallel story about the ghosts of a man and wife who died years before. The wife had murdered the husband in one of the hotel rooms, she was put to death for the crime, and their ghosts have ostensibly come back to the hotel to make peace. This is a really interesting story for multiple reasons. The mundane way the supernatural elements of the story are approached is interesting: the author makes no attempt to have the ghosts seem scary to us. Instead, they're simply characters who happen to be invisible to most people. We're privy to their thoughts and actions like we are any of the other characters in the story. There is an interesting exploration of gendered marriage dynamics, and the ways in which married men can hurt and exploit their wives. It doesn't develop much beyond that, however. Interesting, but occasionally boring piece.

Down, Satan!: A very short story, lasting only a few pages, that follows a rich man who attempts to build a facsimile of hell in order to draw Satan out to meet with him. It's an interesting piece, but nothing much really happens with it, and it feels more like a writing exercise than anything.

The Age of Desire: The standout novella in this collection and, in my opinion, one of the most memorable works of short literature that I've ever read. This starts out like a police procedural, but quickly becomes a horrifying and incredibly subversive meditation on the destructive power of overpowering lust. An ordinary man becomes extraordinary in the worst way possible after getting injected with an experimental drug that directly stimulates his creative sexual libido. The degree of his sexual mania builds and builds over the course of the story until he is literally unable to see anything but sex in the world around him. It's terrifying, yet strangely intoxicating, and Clive's fantastic writing style evokes that building sense of ecstatic sexual mania in the reader until he or she almost seems complicit in the transgressive acts that occur in this narrative. I'll avoid saying anything else about this, as the reader should experience it for herself. This is an amazingly creative horror story. I can only imagine how shocking it was when it was originally published decades ago. Absolutely recommended.

There were a few near-misses here, but the quality of the writing and creativity on display here really won be over. This might be the first Clive Barker book I read, but it won't be my last.
In the mid-to-late eighties, after the first three successful installments of the Books of Blood, the next three in the series were released under the same title. Earlier this year, these three books were re-released in paperback from Pocket books. The Books of Blood IV and V were published under the names of the first short story in each respective book: The Inhuman Condition and In the Flesh. The Books of Blood VI was published differently: joined with the novel Cabal, the four stories are added on after the novel, providing a very nice anthology for fans of Clive Barker.

"The Inhuman Condition": Two thieves decide to vent their anger on a hapless hobo, while the other sees little use in this and decides to wait at the side while the other two reduce the vagabond to a bloody pulp. Karney, while he impatiently waits, finds a piece of rope with three knots in it, belonging to the now bloody hobo. Taking the line of knots home, he furiously begins to attempt to untie one. It takes him days, but finally it is complete and a supernatural beast is released.

The same occurs with the other two knots. However, the hobo wants the knots and its beasts back, for they are very much a part of him in a way that the reader cannot possibly imagine.

"The Body Politic": A story where one's hands attain their independence and seek out a way to separate themselves from the unwanted body they are connected to. Like some nightmarish disease, this spreads to many people, and scenes are revealed in amazing imagery by Barker's skilled pen, of hands detaching themselves from their respective bodies and then strangling and strangling until there is not longer any movement in the husk that the hands were once connected to.

Only one man is able to devise a plan that will lead to the extinction of this army of protesting hands, though he carries it out at the sacrifice of his own life. Nevertheless, the world is safe again, for the moment. In another place, a new horror animates itself in rebellion.

"Revelations": Two of the characters in this story have been dead for twenty years (he from a bullet shot by his wife for cheating on her; she from the electric chair after being tried and convicted for the murder of her husband). They return to the scene of the crime in an effort to understand what went wrong.

At the same time there is another couple, he an annoying Bible-thumping evangelist, she submissive and unquestioning. But this night will be different. This time she will no longer submit to his whim and that of God; she will stick up for herself for the first time. It will end in bloodshed and death, in a grand finale where shots will be fired. The end is already determined. And then again, not.

"Down, Satan!": A man loses his belief in God, his new plan is to find Satan and deny him, proving to God how faithful he is. To bring Satan to him, the billionaire creates a pseudo-Hell in North Africa: "There were ovens large enough to cremate familiars; pools deep enough to drown generations. The new Hell was an atrocity waiting to happen; a celebration of inhumanity that only lacked its first cause." Though he is unsuccessful in ensnaring Satan, the many pain-inflicting tools of this New Hell begin to work, seemingly of their own accord.

"The Age of Desire": A new drug has been invented, one which turns on the libido to its full potential and lets it rule the body over the brain and the heart. The first time it is administered to a human, he rapes and kills the doctor then escapes. The other doctor disappears into hiding. The police arrive and pick up the pieces and try to understand what is going on. Meanwhile the infected human, possessed by what he considers an all-consuming fire on his skin, attacks the nearest person (be they male or female) and proceeds to abuse them in every sexual way possible. His desires rise to such a crescendo that he proceeds to find a sexual interest in inanimate objects, such as brick and stone.

Originally published on September 10th 2001 ©Alex C. Telander.

Originally published in the Long Beach Union.

For over 500 book reviews and exclusive author interviews, go to [...]
lucky kitten
These five stories, four of which are somewhat long (for a "short story" i mean-55-65 pages) and one that is very short, make up volume four of "The Books of Blood". Having read the first 3 volumes, i was expecting gruesome, stomach-churning, and blood-curling stories. To some extent they were these things, but the stories weren't quite as bizzare as i thought they'd be. However, this does not mean they are weak stories, they certainly are not. Barker is a great writer of short fiction, and four of these five stories just further prove that.
Once again, Barker blends his high-class writing style with top-notch horror/suspense. The guy is just a unique writer with an amazing imagination.
The Body Politic was the only story i felt was weakish and a little silly. (this story is the reason i gave four stars)
My indivual ratings:
The Inhuman Condition-5 stars
The Body Politic-2.5 stars
Revelations-5 stars
Down, Satan!-4.5 stars
Age of Desire-4.5 stars
Total rating-4.3.....definitely worth reading for fans of short stories, fans of Barker, and horror fans.