The Damnation Game

The Damnation Game

by Clive Barker

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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There are things worse than death. There are games so seductively evil, so wondrously vile, no gambler can resist. Amid the shadow-scarred rubble of World War II, Joseph Whitehead dared to challenge the dark champion of life’s ultimate game. Now a millionaire, locked in a terror-shrouded fortress of his own design, Joseph Whitehead has hell to pay. And no soul is safe from this ravaging fear, the resurrected fury, the unspeakable desire of...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425188934
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 202,449
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.84(h) x 0.93(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Born in Liverpool in 1952, Clive Barker has written and produced a number of Grand Guignol plays, including The History of the Devil and Frankenstein in Love. His volumes of short fiction, Books of Blood, earned him immediate praise from horror fans and literary critics alike. He won both the British and World Fantasy Awards, and was nominated for the coveted Booker Prize, Britain’s highest literary award. His bestselling novels include The Damnation Game, Imajica, The Thief of Always, The Great and Secret Show, and Everville. He also created the now-classic Hellraiser films, as well as Nightbreed, and Lord of Illusions.


Los Angeles

Date of Birth:

October 5, 1952

Place of Birth:

Liverpool, England


Liverpool University

What People are Saying About This

Whitley Strieber

A deliciously scary tale...Barker's brilliant literate has raised horror to a level of excellence that is rarely seen before.

From the Publisher

“A deliciously scary tale...Barker’s brilliantly literary work has raised horror to a level of excellence it has rarely reached before.” —Whitley Streiber
“One of the best horror novels in a very long not miss it!” —USA Today
“Original and memorable...engrossing...disturbing...Horror mavens who enjoy violence and harrowing imagery will find plenty of both here. But there is more to The Damnation Game than gore. This story of a supernaturally powerful man who can resurrect the dead probes the many varieties of corruption.” —Publishers Weekly
“Remarkably powerful...Barker has created a truly legendary monster. In pure descriptive power there is no one writing horror fiction now who can match him.”The Washington Post
“Wonderful, moving and apocalyptic. Death and damnation hang at the end of every chapter. Barker makes us squirm.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Will fry your eyes off! Keep the lights on.” —Larry King
“A masterly novel...a thrill a minute.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“A tour de force of gruesome supernatural horror...startling, hard-hitting, graphic...brilliantly executed.” —Fantasy Review
“A horrifying thriller.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A gripping tale of hideous evil.” —New York Daily News
“Will hold you in its spell. Barker has a keen knack for ripping the skin off every detail and exposing the horrors lurking just below the surface...Captivating and original.” —South Herald Tribune
“Shattering...A full scale, hair-raising assault on the imagination.” —Anniston Star

“A writer of stunning imagination...With his artist’s eye for detail, Barker instills a mythic quality into his vision of hell.” —The Atlanta Journal & Constitution
“The most literate and disturbing horror novel I have ever read. This is the place that nightmares are spawned—read it at your own peril, but read it you must!”Imagine
“A powerful, thrilling novel that provokes the imagination and raises the blood pressure.” —The Orlando Sentinel
“Frightening...Scalpel-clean prose and wild inventiveness.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Powerful...original...Barker’s horror is elegant enough that one can admire it as a kind of hellish choreography, with the characters all dancing to his phantasmagorical tune.” —New York Newsday


Customer Reviews

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Damnation Game 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
kennedysGhost More than 1 year ago
Sitting on my bookshelf, I have dog-eared copies of "The Hellbound heart," and "The Books of Blood" which includes one my favorite short stories: "The Forbidden," aka CANDYMAN; so when I read Neil Gaiman's review on Joe Hill's stunning novel "Heart Shaped Box, " he name-dropped this..."the best debut horror novel since Clive Barker's 'The Damnation Game.'" So I hurried to B&N and purchased TDG. In short, that was the last time I took a Neil Gaiman recommendation seriously. This book didn't move me, and dragged its literary feet in the muck of boredom. What a disappointment. If you wanna know who the true heir to Stephen King's Joe Hill, his son.
etimme on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't get quite what I wanted from this book. Its pace ended up being quite plodding, the story was light on explanations, and none of the characters were very compelling. I enjoyed the idea of a man given supernatural powers being exhausted with life, but we barely went into the history of the villain.The horror was graphic and rife with gore, but I will stick to short stories next time.
KRHolbrook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hard to say what's wrong with a book that really draws you into the moment of what's going on. Sadly, I can't say that I can give this a full five-stars worth of a read.The beginning didn't have too much of a hook for me. Sure, it had its creepy and interesting moments, but all in all it was about a thief/gambler looking for this illusive card-player that supposedly always won in a game. He wanted to test the person's skill. I wasn't too keen on that. However, the things that the thief had seen and heard in his search was intriguing enough, I suppose. A good beginning when it comes to reading through the entire book . . . but alone without insight on what had happened, not so much.The characters . . . well, they each had their own problems to deal with. In the end, I liked each one in their own twisted way. Except for the girl. An interesting gift she has as a sensitive, but other than that she did nothing for me. (And judging how the ending went, I wouldn't have kept her around.)How Clive Barker used colons and semicolons so much kind of threw me off toward the beginning, because I don't think I've ever read anyone with the style he has. I got used to it though and loved it. His descriptions and emotions in the writing was spot on as well.So despite it not having a five-star rating, it's definitely worth a read.
lithicbee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I gave this book 104 pages before I gave up. I have highly enjoyed other works by Clive Barker, but this one was taking too long to get into anything substantially... horrific. After 104 pages, I know there is a guy who owes an awful debt to a supernatural card player, and there is an ex-con working for him. That's about it, and there wasn't anything in those pages to make me care about either of them. Oh well, not my cup of tea.
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is dark, horrifying, and smart. For fans of horror or Faustus-related legends and works, this novel is a must-read, but I'd recommend it also to readers who simply enjoy a thought-provoking read and can deal with the darker areas of the imagination. Barker's characters and plots are beautifully crafted, and it's easy to see him engaging with the horror genre and traditions of horror in a way that many writers don't do. Simply put, Barker has thought about the end-goal here, and he's carefully crafted this book in a way that makes it transcend horror literature and genre. Fans of Neil Gaiman will appreciate some of his moves here, but it's worth noting that while the book is an easy read, this book is a heavier read than any of Gaiman's texts. If you make yourself take the time to think through the ideas that Barker presents here, the book becomes richer with each page, as well as more horrifying. I don't have any doubt that this will become a classic of horror literature, but it's also an incredibly beautiful and smart read if you can take the rawness of it all. In other words, highly highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disturbing and compelling, i had to keep reading. His economy of words and significance of each one make for a total immersion in the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I stopped reading this after the first few chapters to read something else what it was I really can't remember right now I just know I didn't think this one very interesting at the time . I came back and finished this book . Not too shabby glad I gave it another try.
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Evee More than 1 year ago
It was an okay book. I forced my self to finish The Damnation Game book. I love Clive Barkers other books but this one was a miss for me.
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