The Damnation Game

by

Author: Clive Barker

Title:  The Damnation Game

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 1987

Number of Pages: 448

Geographical Setting: Britain

Time Period: Early 1980’s

Plot Summary:  Marty Strauss, a gambling addict recently released from prison, is hired to be the personal bodyguard of Joseph Whitehead, one of the wealthiest men in the world.  The job proves more complicated and dangerous than he thought, however, as Marty soon gets caught up in a series of supernatural events.  It all starts when a mysterious man named Mamoulian shows up on Whitehead’s property.  It turns out during World War II Whitehead mad a deal with Mamoulian in order to one day be ritch and powerful.   As time passes, Mamoulian haunts Whitehead using his supernatural powers, urging him to complete his pact with him.  Eventually Whitehead relents and chooses to meet with Mamoulian as Marty races to prevent Whitehead’s daughter from becoming entangled as Whitehead seeks to escape his fate.

Subject Headings: Zombies, Good and evil, Former convicts, Rich men, Supernatural, Violence, Selfishness in men

Appeal: Plot-driven, Bleak, Gruesome, Menacing, Violent, Compelling, atmospheric, uneasy, dark, imaginative, descriptive, explicit, horrifying

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Gruesome, compelling, atmospheric

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart by Noel Carroll

A serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a “transmedia” phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten  works, as well as of the horror masterpieces. Working from a philosophical perspective, he tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having their wits scared out of them.  A nice read for anyone wanting to know more about the horror genre.

Dancing with the Dark: True Encounters with the Paranormal by Masters of the Macabre by Stephen
Jones

Fact is definitely scarier than fiction, especially when true stories of encounters with the unknown are retold by the horror masters who experienced them.  This is a good book for any fan of horror.

The Encyclopedia of Hell by Miriam Van Scott

The Encyclopedia of Hell is a comprehensive survey of the underworld, drawing information from cultures around the globe and eras throughout history. Organized in a simple-to-use alphabetic format, entries cover representations of the dark realm of the dead in mythology, religion, works of art, opera, literature, theater, music, film, and television. Sources include African legends, Native American stories, Asian folktales, and other more obscure references, in addition to familiar infernal chronicles from Western lore.  Whitehead makes a deal with the devil in The Damnation Game; this is the perfect book to find out which devil he dealt with.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The Good House by Tananarive Due

The home that belonged to Angela Toussaint’s late grandmother is so beloved that townspeople in Sacajawea, Washington, call it the Good House.  But that all changes one summer when an unexpected tragedy takes place behind its closed doors, and the Toussaint’s family history and future is dramatically transformed.  A gruesome horror story filled with supernatural elements and dealings with the devil should appeal to fans of The Damnation Game.

A Gathering of Crows by Brian Keene

Brinkley Springs is a quiet little town. Some say the town is dying. They don’t know how right they are. Five mysterious figures are about to pay a visit to Brinkley Springs. They have existed for centuries, emerging from the shadows only to destroy. To kill. To feed. They bring terror and carnage, and leave blood and death in their wake.   A terrifying story that should appeal to horror readers who like more carnage mixed in with their horror.  Just like The Damnation Game it is not for the faint of heart.

The Mailman by Bentley Little

It’s the first day of summer in a small American town. We meet a school teacher, his wife, and their young son, Billy. One thing, one seemingly minor thing, goes wrong. And all that was safe and ordinary slowly unravels into nightmare.  There’s a new mail carrier in town, one who’s delivering lethal letters stuffed with icy fear. Now nothing, not even the most outstanding citizens or the most secret weaknesses, is safe from the sinister power of this malicious mailman.  Featuring a strong main bad guy this should appeal to any reader who likes the menacing tone of The Damnation Game.

Name: Jason Rock

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