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Janelle's Horror Book of the Week-March 29th, 2021




Happy Monday horror friends! I’ve been in a Clive Barker mood, so I picked up an old favorite: Books of Blood, Vol 1-3. Then I thought, maybe I should compare the novella The Midnight Meat Train to the movie. I cannot believe I had no idea it even existed until a couple of months ago. It stars Bradley Cooper for Pete’s sake. Clive Barker is a prolific writer, especially in the horror and fantasy genres. My first introduction to him was The Hellbound Heart, which worked for me because I’m a longtime fan of the Hellraiser movie series. My favorite fantasy novels are The Thief of Always and Weaveworld - they are forever in my heart. Barker’s prose is exquisite and his artwork is insanely gorgeous. If you haven’t read him, and want to, might I suggest the Books of Blood collection. Anyway, I digress.


“Every body is a book of blood; Wherever we’re opened, we’re red.”

The Midnight Meat Train is quite dense for short fiction. The story begins as a horrific thriller and ends in actual horror. We learn there is a serial killer on the loose called the Butcher, but there is more to the story. I won’t go into the plot because I feel the title is enough of a spoiler. The reader learns very little about the main character, Leon Kaufman, but doesn’t feeling shorted and the New York setting is visceral, dark, and gritty. And Barker doesn’t disappoint in the blood and guts department, so beware.


“New York was just a city. He had seen her wake in the morning like a slut, and pick murdered men from between her teeth, and suicides from the tangles of her hair.”


As I stated in the beginning, The Midnight Meat Train movie stars Bradley Cooper, but it also features Vinnie Jones and Leslie Bibb. Cooper, although quite different from the book, plays his character perfectly. Additional characters were added for the sake of the movie, but I don’t think it hurts the story in anyway. The cinematography is awesome and the stylistic way in which it was shot almost carries the movie. You see, the plot line is fairly different from the book, but the overall story arc is still present. And gore is definitely plentiful without completely relying on it. Overall, the book and the movie are very different experiences but both are well worth your time.

Happy Monday!

Janelle Janson @ She Reads with Cats

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