King Threatens To Send Vampires After Clive Barkers Publisher

The text reads:

Dear Ginger Buchanan,

It's easier, I find, to blurb a book (or series of them) when you're not quite as exited and bowled over.  I think Clive Barker is so good that I"m almost literally tongue-tied.  Yes, I stick by it: I have seen the future of the horror genre, and his name is Clive Barker (the paraphrase actually comes from Jon Landau, who said in 1970 that he had seen the future of rock 'n roll and his name was Bruce Springsteen).

What Barker does in THE BOOKS OF BLOOD makes the rest of us look like we've been asleep for the last ten years.  Some of the stories were so creepily awful that I literally could not read them alone; others go up and over the edge into a gruesome territory that no one has really traversed since M.L. Lewis's THE MONK.

Barker's scenes of glaring pulpy horror should cause instant dismissal, but forty or fifty pages is enough to convince any reader of sense and taste (funny word to use in connection with stories like "The Midnight Meat Train," but it's the right word) that this is a tool, and not an end.  The stories are compulsively readable and lit here and there with furnace gleams of wit.

Here's an original.  I hope there are folks at Berkley who understand just how good he is, and how proud you should be of publishing him.  What he's doing will shortly make him an enormously saleable writer, but what he's doing is also important and exciting.

And if you don't send me his novel, I'll have to send a few vampires after you.

Stephen King

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