Even as she stared, morsels of cement crumbled into
space. She heard them patter away from her; she could even hear their
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.
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 1988Coming To Grief bibliography...