The Hellbound Heart (Hellraiser Book 1) by Clive Barker

Book Review

Title: The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

Genre: Paranormal, Horror

Rating: 5 Stars

Hellraiser was one of the first movie that really got me into the slasher genre and Clive Barker also wrote the screenplay for that so I was excited to read the novella that spawned the movie. We are introduced to Frank who through his travels came across the story of Lemarchand’s box and eventually is given this mysterious item by a German man named Kircher which some explanation of what the box will reveal to Frank when he manages to solve it. Frank obviously completes the box which is actually called Lemarchand’s Configuration and it summons beings known as Cenobites, theologians of the Order of the Gash. Before summoning them Frank does all the research he can and finds out that they are masters of pleasure which he has been chasing even beginning an affair with his brother, Rory’s soon to be wife Julia. However, Frank soon learns that his definition of pleasure and the Cenobites’ are very different but they take him through to their realm where he can’t escape from.

A few years later, Rory and his wife Julia move into the empty house Frank was staying in which belonged to their grandmother and has been left to the pair of them in her will. Julia takes a disliking to one room in the house which happens to be the room in which Frank summoned the Cenobites and doesn’t enter the room but she feels drawn to it. After Rory has an accident while redecorating the house and bleeds on the floor of that room, Julia sees Frank for a brief moment. Julia’s feelings for Frank haven’t gone away with her marriage in fact, they have gotten stronger. Before he was taken Frank left a little of himself behind and through that he is able to communicate to Julia that he needs blood in order to free himself from that realm and she decides to help. Over the next few weeks, Julia avoids both her husband and friend, Kirsty, who seems to have feelings for Rory in order to lure men back to the house to kill them in order to help Frank.

Each kill brings Frank back to his former self piece by piece but he needs a skin, however, Kirsty has it in her head that Julia is having an affair and wants to catch her in the act before telling Rory. When she goes over to the house after seeing Julia bring another man home but what she finds inside isn’t what she is expecting at all. She finds a monster that resembles a human claiming to be Frank and she does manage to injury him and throw the Configuration through a window before fleeing. In the hospital Kirsty solves the Configuration and summons the Cenobites and in order to save herself she trades Frank for her own soul but she has to get him to admit he is Frank since he has killed Rory and has taken his skin. In the final showdown, Kirsty manages to outsmart Frank and he is recaptured by the Cenobites allowing Kirsty to flee but she doesn’t feel safe even though she has kept her deal with the Cenobites and returned Frank to them. Overall, The Hellbound Heart follows the plot of the Hellraiser movie very closely and I am excited to see what The Toll and The Scarlet Gospels bring to the table especially since The Toll is written by a different author. Highly recommended for the Halloween season.

Buy it here:


Kindle Edition:          

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