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What's Your Pleasure?

January 23, 2017

Frank's sole purpose in life is to experience the pleasures of the world, without consequence. Frank's brother just wants to be good husband, and live a quiet domestic life. Frank's actions pull his family into a horrifying world full of horror.

Frank Cotton’s life has revolved around experiencing pleasure. Whether he’s fulfilling his sensual fantasies or finding new ways to fleece the men around, Frank’s life revolves around him and feeding his wanton urges. But recently, life has become dull for the poor boy. Frank feels like he has experienced everything the world has to offer. Thus, he begins his search for something new, and something better: the ultimate sensuality and the highest pleasure!
Frank’s journey leads him straight to Lemarchand's box, which is rumored to hold untold wondrous sights. He unearths what information he can about the box’s creator, what doors are open to him upon possessing the item, and he even gets some tips on what rituals to do and offerings to leave for the people that should come calling.
Frank is downright giddy to experience firsthand the splendor he has heard so much about. His life seems to have been leading up to this point, and everything has to be perfection. The offerings are laid, the mood is set, and now the box is open! What comes next can only be described as horror, madness, and sensation meets whips, chains, and razorblades.
The Hellbound Heart is a novella by Clive Barker. It inspired the Hellraiser movies which is how I found out about the book. The novella is a very tight, well-paced, and horrifying story; it’s less than 200 pages. I like that within mundane activities or descriptions, there is something unsettling lurking within the details. Also, I like that even though the main protagonist is Frank Cotton, each character has a decent level of definition. Frank’s decisions are what power the novella, but each character’s actions are what move the plot along.