Clive on Coming To Grief

Even as she stared, morsels of cement crumbled into space. She heard them patter away from her; she could even hear their distant splashes.
But now, entranced by her sudden dread, she heard another noise, close by, a noise she had prayed never to hear in the waking world, the grit of nails on the stone face of the quarry, the rush of caustic breath from a creature that had waited oh, so patiently for this moment and was now slowly and purposefully dragging its way up the last few feet of the cliff toward her. And why should it hurry? It knew she was frozen to the spot.

Oops. We've drawn a complete blank on meaningful comment from Clive - or even passing reference ! All help gratefully received. We look forward to the introductions being written for the Collected Short Stories (see the 'Books Still To Come' section of this site).

...other comments

Maria Papa : "Clive Barker, one of the hottest new writers in decades, poignantly depicts a woman's reconciliation with her mother's death and, in turn, her own childhood fears in Coming To Grief."

Today's Masters of Modern Horror Share Their Short Works for the First Time

By Maria Papa, Prime Evil, US Presskit, May 1988

Michael A. Morrison : "In Prime Evil... the focus is on people rather than monsters. Thus Clive Barker treats the creature that lurks in the quarry beneath the Bogey-Walk in Coming to Grief as secondary to his protagonist, Miriam Blessed... In this moving, unexpectedly 'quiet' story, Barker abstains from gore and violence and from the pat nihilistic ending a lesser writer might have opted for, attaining a rare effect in horror fiction: terror and sentiment fused by deep concern for character..."

Up from the Pulps: The Evolution of the Horror Short Story

By Michael A. Morrison, IAFA Newsletter, Fall 1988

Philip Nutman : "Clive Barker's contribution, Coming To Grief, is one of his best pieces of short fiction. Moving into Ramsey Campbell territory, he perceptively details a woman's emotional aftermath when her mother dies. No blood, no perverse imagery, only carefully crafted prose and genuine emotion."

Prime Evil - review

By Philip Nutman, Fear, No 3, November - December 1988

Coming To Grief bibliography...

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