James Cooper: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

June 28, 2010 by
Filed under: Bury Me With This Book, Interviews 

Bury Me With‘s sixteenth entry features the choice of UK writer and editor James Cooper

Books of Blood“If ever there was a more fitting book to be buried with than Clive Barker’s Books Of Blood, I can’t for the life of me imagine what it might be. I’m one of the lucky few to own a copy of the definitive Stealth Press hardback editions containing all six volumes in one glorious package. I cherish it beyond measure. It’s protected by a Mylar plastic cover and weighs 4½ pounds – the equivalent of about five pints of beer (and, yes, merely in the interests of research, I have checked). Suffice to say, it is not a book to be read in bed. Again, I’ve tested this so you don’t have to and can report that my feeble triceps, accustomed to lifting only one beer at a time, were unable to support the book for more than a few minutes. Pathetic, I know, but true…

Still, it is a book that elevates the spirit each time I hold it in my hands. It reminds me of something hot and primal, beyond the simple act of reading, as though merely to own such a thing has the capacity to quicken the blood. These stories, all thirty-one of them, possess the unique quality of every great story: when you read them for the first time, they feel fresh. Unlike anything you’ve ever read before. It doesn’t matter if you first read them back in 1984, or if you’re reading them for the first time now, these tales retain a pulse of such startling originality, such raw, elemental power, they become the yardstick against which one instinctively measures everything else, from Bradbury to King, and all the pretenders that nestle in between.

Why are the Books of Blood so good? Because they complement each other so beautifully. Because they enrich the soul of the reader. Because every brutal stroke of Barker’s pen reveals something new. Because at the heart of every story lies the truth.

Don’t take my word for it; go and read them for yourself. Or re-read them. I defy you not to be mesmerised by the sheer variety of the tales, the humanity (and inhumanity) of the characters, the dark poetry embedded in Barker’s prose.

Ah! To be buried with the Books of Blood. How sweet eternity…”


James CooperAbout James Cooper:

James Cooper’s latest collection of stories, The Beautiful Red, is available from Amazon or direct from the publisher, Atomic Fez. He is the author of the novel The Midway (Crowsing Books) and is the editor of the anthology Dark Doorways (The Prufrock Press). A collection of interviews with some of the leading lights in dark fiction, In Conversation: A Writer’s Perspective, was published by the British Fantasy Society in September 2009.


3 Comments on James Cooper: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

  1. Abel on Thu, 16th Feb 2012 2:35 pm
  2. I have this book too and Clive barker signed it and gave it to me saying i deserve it.

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!