I've been itching to read something by Clive Barker for some time now. Cabal is now my official Clive Barker introduction.
While I haven't yet read the short stories included in the book I have (I'm not sure if they're with every edition of Cabal or not), but I finished Cabal a week or so again and have since moved on to other things. I'd mentioned needing gore, or good examples of it, in the hopes of making, ah, messy things in my book a bit more visceral. Cabal had some good bits to that end, but overall I felt a bit let down by the story. It's only about 200 or so pages, but it feels shorter than that.
I think my main problem was that I never really got into the characters. At all. Boone was just some random guy who got sucked into all this. I never knew much of his history, which I suppose was necessary because of his "memory loss" but I was curious as to why he was visiting a doctor in the first place. In fact, when I pictured the guy, despite the fact that seeing a psyciatrist is expensive, I thought of him as scruffy, scary-looking, almost of a homeless guy quality. I didn't have much to go on. I didn't even know he was supposed to be handsome until his girlfriend took over the story and said Boone was a fine-looking guy. The story was actually hers...sort of. The blurb made it seem like hers, she had the most camera time (so to speak), though there was the occasional head hopping.
I wanted to see more of Midian. For those of you wondering, Midian is a place where all the super-freaks, creatures, and monsters of the world live, staying out of the sunlight and away from people who would kill them without a second thought. I would have liked to explore that place, it's history, and more of the things that inhabit it. But to no avail.
Maybe I would have liked it better if I were more in tune with the characters - when Lori was in danger of getting killed by a total psycho, I hardly felt her fear. I don't often read horror, so when I do, I expect it to totally freak me out. I mean, hell, I still have fear the dark from time to time. Just last night I had a paranoid chill up my back and looked over my shoulder into a dark room and in my mind, threatened whatever was lurking in there with death, or at least one hell of a fight. So for this story, in which the dark contains all sorts of weird things creeping around, to leave me feeling "meh" and without any extra fear of, well, anything (not like I need any), is a bit disappointing. Maybe I would have liked it better if Midian wasn't under attack by a bunch of podunk small town cops (in Canada no less). By the way, all the inhabitants of Midian knew what was coming. One creature had a procog vision of it. The head honcho that created Midian knew they'd be invaded. And they didn't put up a few snags? No defense? I mean, if creature-A knew creature-Bob was going to die, wouldn't Bob not stand by the door later on? Maybe they didn't know the exact circumstances, but still, when creature-A starts naming names, wouldn't those named get as far away from the surface of danger as possible?
I also wish I would stop critiquing books as I read. I noticed Barker did a lot of this:
"Do you think so?" said Lori.
"Of course," came the reply.
A lot of "came the reply" tags. It kind of sucked when more than one person was involved with the conversation. I felt like Blinkin of Robin Hood: Men in Tights. "Pardon? Who's talking?"
Normally my imagination runs wild. Not so much here. I would have preferred to stick with Boone and explore Midian. Find out what happened to Peloquin. I don't care that the head sheriff gets his best ideas on the crapper. *snort* Little things, mostly.
Anywho, one down, four to go. Live Girls or Berserk will be next. Shouldn't take long to read them either. 3 days for each, max.
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<-- Kuski's work makes me think of Midian. Check it out, it's liquid awesome.