Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker

Eternal novel; vintage Barker. A fun look at old Hollywood’s romance with itself. Should have (and could have) ended five times before it did.

What happens is: In an old and evil monastery in Transylvania in the nineteen twenties, the rich consort of a Hollywood starlet purchases a tile fresco which has been driving monks mad for centuries. Because, see, the devil’s wife inspired the fresco (or something like that.) The starlet installs the fresco in her mansion in the Hollywood Canyons, and then throws orgies for the who’s-who of Hollywood, in which they are allowed to taste the immortality offered by the world within the fresco.

Cut to the modern day, in which a soulless Tom Cruise type gets bad (and unnecessary) plastic surjury to appease his vanity. He then moves into Coldheart Canyon to recover, and awakens the ghosts within. Evil and naughtyness ensue.

This is classic Barker stuff – good if you like his brand of brutality and depravity, but certainly not as good as many of his other works. If you are even slightly squeamish about sexual perversion, you might want to steer clear.

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