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Summary

The long-anticipated new novel from best-selling author Clive Barker.

The gates to hell are open, and something beckons.... The last of Earth's magicians are living in fear. A Cenobite Hell Priest known as Pinhead is killing them off, gorging on their knowledge to enhance his own magical powers as part of a quest to takeover hell.

Meanwhile Private Investigator Harry D'Amour is fulfilling the final wishes of the dead, who communicate with his business associate, the blind medium Norma Paine. But while investigating one such case, Harry inadvertently opens up a rift between hell and the real world. When nemesis Pinhead emerges through the portal, a vicious battle ensues.

After failing to enlist Harry as one of his Scarlet Gospels, an elite group of indefatigable messengers who will witness his takeover of hell, Pinhead captures Norma, and Harry realizes he must go through hell - literally - to save her.

©2015 Clive Barker (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Critic reviews

"Gruesome, madly entertaining, eminently picturesque in all sorts of crazy ways, this is Barker in fifth gear and a set of adventures his fans will relish." (Maxim Jakubowski, lovereading.co.uk)

What listeners say about The Scarlet Gospels

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book. Read it and enjoy

It's not often that I spend an entire day plugged into my iPhone listening to a book from start to finish but this is one of those rare occasions where I couldn't help but see the story through to the end stopping only for coffee and snacks or when the cat insisted on attention!

If you're familiar with Clive Barkers early works than The Scarlet Gospels are like slipping on an old comfortable robe or meeting a good friend that you haven't seen for a while. The story itself is brilliant and the plot absorbing. Without spoiling the end, just like the Box, a door is now opened for more of the same from one of my favourite authors.

I look forward to reading of the future of a world in which Hell may come calling when you least expect it.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Dreadful Narration

The story by Clive Barker is really well written and precise it's just a shame about the narration that spoils it. The slow droning voice of John Lee cuts out the urgency of the story and makes it slow and dreary and what the hell is with all those really over the top American accents that he keeps putting on the characters, they make you cringe and the voice he gives to Pinhead makes him sound like he's your next door neighbour not the high priest of Hell. Really audio should chosen anther narrator for this book...Andrew R

2 people found this helpful

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Fails to inspire, excite, inform or satisfy

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Almost a decade in the making, and butchered to half its original length (presumably by an understandably nervous publisher) this lacklustre tale fails to inspire, excite, inform or satisfy.I’d been following its slow development over the years, and was always intrigued by what I heard from Mr. Barker. Sadly, after hoping for some payoff all the way to the final page, we never learn Pinhead's true demonic name, the Order of the Gash (of which Pinhead is a key member) is present but never mentioned by name, the promised scene with Pinhead at The Crucifixion is missing, and the Hell-shattering confrontation doesn't include Harry D'Amour except as a bystander. To say more would be to give away what few surprises the book contained. All we get in THE SCARLET GOSPELS is a lot of wandering around, some fairly undetailed exploration of Hell, and more characters than were needed to carry the plot. Hugely disappointing after such a long wait.

Would you ever listen to anything by Clive Barker again?

Yes. The man is an important voice. This simply was a weaker offering.

What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The presentation was excellent, the narrator terrific. Some of the New York accents were a little overdone, but perhaps those are accurate to the characters.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, there were some good scenes, and it was nice to see Harry D'Amour again.

Any additional comments?

One for hardcore Clive Barker fans only.

4 people found this helpful

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Not Impressed

I found the story to be less impactful than I would have expected from a Barker book but I think the reader made it worse. every voice ended up sounding like a characture of a breathless old stereotypical new yorker.

1 person found this helpful

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bad narration

As usual; Clive Barker doesn't fail to satisfy. This would have been an excellent story to listen to if it hadn't been for the terrible narration. The accents are so awful that it's as if he's joking at times! Pinhead at the very least deserved much more. Instead he is made to sound like a disgruntled butler. Very disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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should be good

the story is solid but Clive Barker, for all his ideas, is not a great writer of prose.

the narration is horrible. all the character voices are basically the same & almost unlistenable to.

1 person found this helpful

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meh

Got this book on recommendation, John Lee the narrator is good at just reading the story. However, all comes crumbling down when it comes to the accents. They are god awful, at the end of the book I wasn't sure whether the story was an out and out comedy or not.

Seriously, in the moments that are leading up to certain story points John Lee narrates well building the scene with Barkers words, then WHACK a hideous immersion breaking accent comes out and bursts the scene.

I laughed more at this book than any other so far. Including the great Red Dwarf books I've had.

Two of the Characters voices are so similar, that if I'd missed there was two people in the room, I'd think it was some inner dialogue.

It's a shame, now this could very well be a poorly written Barker book too. Certain aspects of it being childishly silly.

If you are a Hellraiser fan (movies) it doesn't fix the itch, if you are a Hellbound heart fan it's overly muddies the waters.

In short, read something else first, come back to this another time.

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Grim and gory.

Scarlet gospels is a great follow up to Pinheads story, the hell priest has upped his aspirations and Barker has crafted a well rounded and typically gruesome story. If I have one single niggle it's the reader just cannot convey Pinhead very well. Though this is likely due to the fact Doug Bradleys portrayal was so epic.

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    5 out of 5 stars

barker does it again

so good. Lucifer oh my word. cant wait to listen to more by him . yes !

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Fascinating story

Thoroughly enjoyable. Truly outstanding descriptions paint an amazing picture in the mind. I could visualise every word. An absolute must for any Hellraiser fan!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-07-21

starts off today

first few chapters were okay but basically turns into a mess and ignores everything once the held hell priest shows up and the whole thing becomes some 13 year old's edgy fanfic.

The voices killed it for me too, everyone across like an elderly Jewish man from new York.

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  • matt foster
  • 11-05-17

incredible.

An incredible and fitting end to the hell priests story. Great story and brilliantly written and told.