In all of horror fiction, there are few authors as iconic as Clive Barker.
He is a British author, playwright, and filmmaker, who has done more for the horror genre than many others.
In the 1980s he created a series of short stories that were compiled into a series of collections known as the Books of Blood.
Clive Barker is perhaps best known for creating the character of Pinhead, who was adapted onto the big screen in the movie Hellraiser.
Clive Barker’s work combines fantasy and horror elements to create terrifying tangent universes, populated with unique monsters and captivating characters.
With a body of work that rivals some of the greatest horror writers of all time, Clive Barker is a difficult author to follow up on.
But if you’ve enjoyed the work of Clive Barker, and want to find some other thrilling horror novels that will keep you up at night, you should check out authors like Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, and Paul G. Tremblay.
Books By Clive Barker
Clive Barker has a long list of different novels that started in the 1980s.
His first novel The Damnation Game is a dark tale that sees a troubled character going through a series of supernatural events that showcase the very depths of humanity.
After this, he published the first novel of the Hellraiser series, The Hellbound Heart, to which he would later add two entries in the mid to late 2010s.
It’s worth noting that Clive Barker has also written a huge variety of plays, most of which were published in the 70s and 80s, and he also has a series of short story collections.
Most of his novels are placed in the genres of either dark fantasy, horror, or some combination of the two.
Authors Like Clive Barker
Stephen King – Iconic Horror Author
One of the other biggest names in the history of horror literature is Stephen King.
He is an American author who has written some of the most important horror novels of all time.
If you loved the dark, twisted worlds of Clive Barker, then you should check out some of the most popular horror books of Stephen King.
Firstly, you’ll want to check out his first novel, Carrie, which is the story of a teenage girl who obtains psychic powers.
After a homecoming prank goes terribly wrong, Carrie unleashes blood and destruction on all those before her.
This is King’s first novel and struggles a little from inexperience, but it’s a great place to start if you want to see how his writing style develops.
Another vital book from Stephen King to read is The Shihing, which is often called his masterpiece.
The Shining is the story of a family trying to survive the winter in a hotel where malevolent forces gather to torment them.
If you liked the Shining, another great choice is his horror epic IT, which sees a group of kids called ‘The Loser’s Club’ face off against a psychotic, child-eating clown.
Stephen King has published over 70 novels, so there’s a lot to get through, but some of his other more noticeable horror stories include Pet Sematary, Cujo, Salem’s Lot, Misery, The Stand, Needful Things, and Bag of Bones.
- King has a huge wealth of different novels to choose from.
- He starts with characters in his writing process, which makes them feel alive and intriguing.
- King, like Barker, has created some iconic horror monsters like Pennywise the Clown.
- His writing doesn’t contain as much horror/dark fantasy crossover as Clive Barker’s.
Themes: Childhood, Family, Monsters, The Past, Inner-demons.
H.P Lovecraft – Classic Horror Writer
If you loved the short stories of Clive Barker, as well as some of his body-horror and cosmic-horror creations, then H.P. Lovecraft is a great author to go back and read.
Lovecraft is known as the creator of cosmic horror, a genre that deals with monsters lurking in the outer reaches of space, and in the depths of the ocean.
His most notable work is most likely The Call Of Cthulhu, but fans are also captivated by his wide array of short stories including Dagon, Polaris, Memory, The White Ship, The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Street, Nyarlathotep, The Color Out Of Space, The Rats In The Walls, The Horror At Red Hook, and The Shadow Out Of Time.
Many people consider these novellas some of the best entry points into his work, as they display some of the most important aspects of the Cthulhu mythos he created, as well as some of his best prose and overall storytelling.
- Lovecraft’s prose style is often celebrated as one of the most impressive in all of literature.
- Read Lovecraft to see the first glimpses of what we call cosmic horror.
- Created dense lore to go along with his stories.
- The work contains some clunky dialogue.
- H.P. Lovecraft is very much a product of his time, often expressing views that some would consider dated or offensive.
Themes: Existentialism, Space, The Mind, The Unknown.
Paul Tremblay – Cutting-Edge Horror Author
Next up, we have a modern author who has published consistently since the early 2010s. Paul Tremblay is a good example of the best modern horror has to offer.
He’s quite different from Clive Barker in terms of tone, but his work is a great next step after reading some of Barker’s classics.
He is perhaps best known for his novel A Head Full Of Ghosts, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Novel in 2015.
This is the tale of a family who finds that their fourteen-year-old daughter suddenly becomes mentally ill.
However, as we continue through the story, we begin to suspect that this might be the result of demonic possession.
This is an incredible story that blurs the lines between what is read, and what is not.
Another highlight of Tremblay’s work is Disappearance At Devil’s Rock, which follows the tradition of kids in a small town being stalked by a malevolent presence.
When thirteen-year-old Tommy Sanderson goes missing, his best friends and mother are left to pick up the pieces and find out what happened at Devil’s Rock.
Winner of the Bram Stoker Award, The Cabin At The End Of The World was recently adapted into a movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
It tells the story of a family taking a vacation in a small cabin, who then stumble into a scenario where they are involved in a prophecy about the end of the world.
You can also opt for Survivor Song, one of his most recent novels, which tackles the concept of a highly infectious virus that cuts through the state of Massachusetts.
- Tremblay has a cutting-edge style that is very fast-paced and fun to read.
- Like King and Barker, Tremblay likes to use well-developed characters to drive his stories.
- All of the novels take familiar tropes in the genre and twists them slightly.
- Doesn’t have the wealth of work of someone like Clive Barker.
- None of his books are as iconic as some of the others on our list.
Themes: Family Life, Childhood, Mental Health, Mystery.
The difficult thing about being a horror fan is that there isn’t the huge wealth of novels that you might find in fantasy-fiction, or in science fiction.
However, there are still a lot of iconic reads for you to work your way through.
If you’re looking for something similar to Clive Barker, I would suggest checking out the best that the genre has to offer.
Stephen King is an author who has dominated the genre for years, and for good reason.
H.P. Lovecraft is a great choice if you want to read more in the cosmic-horror genre.
Paul Tremblay is a bright new voice in horror fiction that will no doubt continue to write thrilling novels over the course of his career.
I hope that this article has helped you to find the best authors like Clive Barker and that you now have some picks for your next spine-tingling read!
Happy reading, make sure that you turn all the lights on before you get started!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Reading Order For Stephen King?
Most constant readers of Stephen King suggest that you read his books in published order, at least until you get through his initial horror phase of publishing.
What Is The Best Clive Barker Novel To Start With?
A good choice to begin with the work of Clive Barker is The Book Of Blood I, which is his first short story collection.
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