Cover image for Tortured souls : the legend of Primordium
Title:
Tortured souls : the legend of Primordium
Author:
Barker, Clive, 1952- , author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Burton, MI : Subterranean Press, 2015.

©2001
Physical Description:
87 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Summary:
"Tortured Souls is one of the most vividly imagined, tightly compressed novellas ever written by the incomparable Clive Barker. At once violent and erotic, brutal and strangely beautiful, it takes us into the heart of the legendary "first city" known as Primordium, the site of political upheaval, passionate encounters, and astonishing acts of transformation. Lurking at the edges of this extravagant tale is the ancient entity known as "Agonistes, " who accepts the pleas of selected "Supplicants, " transforming them, through a combination of art, magic, and pain, into avatars of violence and revenge. The story begins when a freelance assassin named Zarles Krieger commits a routine murder-for-hire. This act will lead him to two life-altering encounters, one with the daughter of his victim, the other with Agonistes himself. This conjunction of the human and the inhuman stands at the center of this instantly absorbing creation. With great authority and equally great economy, Tortured Souls expands to become a portrait of Primordium itself, with its hierarchies, its hidden mysteries, its shifting power structure, and--most significantly--its indelible cast of characters. A perfectly controlled example of what Barker calls "the fantastique, " Tortured Souls is something truly special, a story whose imaginative reach and sheer narrative power are evident on every page."-- Provided by publisher.

After a routine job, assassin Zarles Krieger faces the victim's daughter and an entity known as Agonistes, who resides in the legendary city of Primordium.
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781596066366
Format :
Book

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Summary

Author Notes

Critics of the horror story have frequently called Clive Barker the "British Stephen King". Born in Liverpool in 1952, Barker attended the University of Liverpool but moved to London in 1977, where he worked as a commercial artist and became involved with the avant-garde theatrical community. Primarily a playwright during this period, he also produced short fiction that he would eventually publish as part of his six-volume collection titled Books of Blood (1984-85).

More than any other author of contemporary horror fiction, Barker has had a major impact on the direction of the genre. He has introduced strong elements of sex and graphic violence into his fiction, but these elements are employed with an artistic objective. Barker underscores his work with complex subtextual metaphors and artistic allusions. Preoccupied with the craft of writing and with its effect on the reader, Barker is an innovator of formula and genre, often parodying the former in order to change the philosophical contour of the latter.

Barker has achieved commercial success not only with his short fiction but also with his novels, which tend to be epic in scope and to blend elements of horror with those of high fantasy.

Barker is one of the more influential voices in horror cinema, having written and directed a number of films.

His printed works include The Candle in the Cloud, Absolute Midnight, The Scarlet Gospels, and Black is the Devil's Rainbow: Tales of a Journeyman. His films include Dread, Tortured Souls: Animae Damanatae, and Hellraiser.

(Bowker Author Biography) Clive Barker was born in October, 1952, in Liverpool, England, and graduated from Liverpool University. While a student, the resourceful Barker formed a theater company as an outlet for his career as a budding playwright. After minor success with several plays such as "Frankenstein in Love," Barker vaulted onto the horror fiction scene with the publication of his short stories, "The Books of Blood." Later books such as "The Damnation Game," "Imajica," and "Everville" have further established his reputation as a Master of Horror.

Barker gained further popularity with several motion picture projects. Unhappy with previous film versions of his works, he chose to direct the successful movie "Hellraiser," which generated a string of sequels. In addition to writing and directing, Barker has produced several of the movies in both the "Hellraiser" and "Candyman" series.

Besides his writing and film activities, the multitalented Barker is an actor and illustrator, with several published volumes of his artwork. Barker is a recipient of British Fantasy awards and a World Fantasy award, and resides in Los Angeles. (Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Horror legend Barker (Hellraiser) builds a world of corruption, decay, political intrigue, and bile-inducing detail in this tightly constructed novella. After introducing Agonistes, an imperfect creation of God who hears the pleas of the wronged and remakes them in the most horrific manner imaginable, Barker focuses on the fictional ancient city of Primordium, where hit man Zarles Kreiger ends up in a romantic affair with Lucidique, the daughter of his latest victim. They're both transformed by Agonistes, changing the balance of power in the city and leading to the creation of more abominations. Primordium is fully fleshed out with small details, but much is left for readers to wonder (and have nightmares) about, like just how the mad scientist Talisac managed to make himself pregnant with one of the monsters. All are damned in this solid, sordid read. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.