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Summary

Tortured Souls is one of the most vividly imagined, tightly compressed novellas ever written by the incomparable Clive Barker. At once violent and erotic, brutal and strangely beautiful, it takes us into the heart of the legendary "first city" known as Primordium, the site of political upheaval, passionate encounters, and astonishing acts of transformation.

Lurking at the edges of this extravagant tale is the ancient entity known as "Agonistes", who accepts the pleas of selected "Supplicants" - transforming them, through a combination of art, magic, and pain, into avatars of violence and revenge.

The story begins when a freelance assassin named Zarles Krieger commits a routine murder-for-hire. This act will lead him to two life-altering encounters: one with the daughter of his victim, the other with Agonistes himself. This conjunction of the human and the inhuman stands at the center of this instantly absorbing creation.

With great authority and equally great economy, Tortured Souls expands to become a portrait of Primordium itself, with its hierarchies, its hidden mysteries, its shifting power structure, and - most significantly - its indelible cast of characters. A perfectly controlled example of what Barker calls "The Fantastique", Tortured Souls is something truly special, a story whose imaginative reach and sheer narrative power are evident with every word.

©2014 Clive Barker Ink (P)2015 David N. Wilson

What listeners say about Tortured Souls

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Imaginative Short Story from the Master

Clive Barker is one of the greatest horror writers of all time. While this story is quite short it still has an epic feel in a similar vein to Weaveworld and Imajica.
It was my first time listening to a Peter Bishop narration and I enjoyed it immensely. He has a natural reading style and does a very good job with different character voices.
A quality presentation from Crossroad Press.
Highly recommended.

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Short, Satisfying Example of Barker's Work

Not just for completists, Tortured Spuls isna beautiful example of the kind of 'dark fantasy' that Clive Barker is famous for. Highly recommended.

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It's shortness was it's only failing.

a macabre and mildly disturbing tale. short, but consistent. excellent read if you enjoy hellraiseresque tales.

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  • Jason
  • 28-10-18

Short but sweet.

My only complaint the only last for and hour and half. I would love to find out more about primordia and the dark future of the city and its inhabitants. Most of the terrofying parts art left to the imagination. It is a lovely horror story of with a hint of disturbing love. I would recommended to all lovers of horror.

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  • Skerfrigma
  • 05-03-20

Wish there was more.

A novella comprised of six short stories originally released with six action figures from McFarlane toys telling the story of six monsters in the City of Primordium. The narrator is good and the only issues I have with the story are the lack of descriptors used for the Agonistes, Lucidique, and Kreiger which I cant tell if it was intentional or just overlooked because of the original included figures. This is less of a problem in chapters 3-6. The only other issue is more a wanting for more from these characters and world. Overall a good starting point for people interested in Clive Barkers work that is less graphic then his usual.

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  • Josh Downes
  • 09-10-18

A worthy story from the master of visceral horror

Possibly the most well thought out story ever written for a toy line. Clive Barker's charnal house imagery lends itself wonderfully to this short form story, and Peter Bishop's even and deliberate narration is quite suited to the mythological tone of the writing.

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  • Carlos
  • 01-08-22

Favorite CLive Barker Novela

This is by far my favorite novela by Clive Barker! The story is absolutely amazing and I would so love for the story to continue. Clive Barker has a way of storytelling that keeps you wanting more and the descriptions of his creations makes your own imagination go wild! Jump into the streets of Primordium and insert yourself into the chaotic story of revenge, torture, rebirth and love found in the most uncommon of situations! When I read it the first time I was done in and hour because I couldn’t stop turning the pages! Love love love Clive Barkers twisted imagination!

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  • KatrinaIsBootsB
  • 18-03-22

Delightful, Disgusting, and Heartrending

I want more! Such rich mythos and world building. even with such a short story I felt deeply for the characters. Genius!

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  • Suikage
  • 20-12-21

Great back story

This a great story that adds lore to the set of Tortured Souls figures. I wish it was longer but for what it is they did a great job. The narrator has a great eerie tone.

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  • Vanessa
  • 13-07-21

only wish it was a full book



if u like Barker or cenobites this is for you also check out the old mcfarlane figures

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  • Textile Arcade
  • 14-06-21

Love me some Clive!

I absolutely loved this short, but satisfying story. I want more of Primordium and the gang!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-03-21

Anachronistic

the anachronisms are driving me nuts. either barker is dumbing down his work or he's becoming delirious. I have read EVERYTHING he's written, and this is the worst if them all. I'm very disappointed.

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  • Jason Begly
  • 03-02-21

Tortured Souls: The Legend of Primordium

I enjoyed this book. I thought it was very well written and performed. I loved the plot line and the characters. It was a great short story by a great horror writer. There is just something about the way Barker writes.