Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker


Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker, 2001

My favorite quote: “There’s always some light in the darkness, somewhere.”

Notable characters: Todd Pickett, the failing movie star; Tammy Lauper, his number one fan; Katya Lupi, the 20s-era movie star

Most memorable scene: Katya and the snail, because Jesus f*cking Christ … Only Clive Barker, I tell ya … That’s certainly not the only shuddery scene to be found in Coldheart Canyon, but that’s the one that makes me shiver even still

Greatest strengths: Coldheart Canyon, like a lot of Clive Barker’s work, effectively blends horror, tenderness, glamour, perversion, erotica, beauty, and repulsion. I don’t know how he does it, but even when I don’t like the plot, if Clive Barker wrote it, I’ll read it — and with great pleasure 

Standout achievements: In Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker shows off many a writerly skill, but his ability to seamlessly bounce between old and current-day Hollywood without confusing the reader or losing their interest is at the top of my list. 

Fun Facts: The character of Jerry Brahms was inspired by Clive Barker’s close friend, actor Roddy McDowell

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: I discovered Coldheart Canyon many years ago when I was still dreaming of being a writer myself, and as I read it, I remember wondering what genre it was supposed to be. On one hand, it was like a horror story, on the other hand, not so much. It certainly wasn’t anything like Hellraiser, after all. But as I kept going, I realized I didn’t care, that it didn’t matter what box it belonged to because it was GOOD. So, I have to say, that’s what Coldheart Canyon (and Clive Barker) taught me: that a good story is a good story, and in the big scheme of things, genre doesn’t matter. Just write the story you love — and make it good — and let other people decide what shelf to put it on

How it inspired me: Looking back on it, I’m sure I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration for my own work from Clive Barker in general — and Coldheart Canyon in particular. Ghosts, orgies, orgies with ghosts … yeah. This one definitely inspired a few things from me … 

Additional thoughts: Coldheart Canyon is a long book — a damned long one. But it needs to be and personally, I like it that way. When any story is placed in the capable hands of writers like Clive Barker, size definitely matters … and as far as I’m concerned, the bigger, the better. 

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Read Coldheart Canyon

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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