“In the Flesh” by Clive Barker (Pocket Books, 2001)

The Dark Weaveworld of Clive Barker,
Part 2 of 3: “In the Flesh”

In the Fleshstarstarstar

BIOGRAPHY: Clive Barker is the bestselling author of nineteen books, including Weaveworld, Imagica, and Galilee. He regularly shows his art in Los Angeles and New York, and produces and directs for both large and small screen.  Recent projects include the Oscar-wining film Gods and Monsters, and an exhibition of erotic paintings and photographs, The Weird and the Wicked.  He lives with his husband, the photographer David Armstrong, in Los Angeles, along with his family of dogs, rats, geckos, iguanas, and turtles.

“In the Flesh”: A new inmate has joined the prison: a descendant of a man who murdered his wife and children; the man was hung and his grave is under an old bush.  The inmate, through the powers of the supernatural, is able to transcend the real world and pass into the plane of death, reaching the town where murderers live after they die.  There he finds his grandfather and a reconnoiter of the unusual kind takes place.  But what the inmate doesn’t know is that the grandfather has other plans in mind, which involve a trade-off, bringing his old body back to life, where he will be able to continue where he left off.

“The Forbidden”: The true story to the successful movie, Candyman, brings a college student to the ghettos of New York, where she hears the local legend of the man who smells of sweets and takes lives.  The police pretend he doesn’t exist, even though lives have been taken.  It is all very much shrouded in mystery, as Helen tries to solve what is really going on.  There is a final confrontation between Helen and the Candyman, while the world around continues on as if nothing is happening.

“The Madonna”: In a special building of astounding architecture there is a supernal activity taking place.  In a pool the genesis of this metaphysical creation happens.  A female beast of disgust, creating imps of revulsion, which are suckled by lolitas of captivating beauty and innocence.  And when people discover this repulsive Eden, they inevitably engage it, but then an astounding change takes place from which they can never return to their former selves.

“Babel’s Children”: A small island in Greece supports a prison facility of the most exceptional kind.  A group of the most powerful people on the planet, created after the Second World War to control worldly decisions.  Their existence must remain hidden, since they are like gods.  But when they are visited by an inquisitive female, all this will change, and their existence is brought into doubt.

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Originally published on October 1st 2001 ©Alex C. Telander.

Originally published in the Long Beach Union.