The Books of Blood were some of Clive Barker's first works to be published. The books are a collection of short horror stories that earned Barker his fame. The stories (according to the "Books of Blood" short story) are the stories of tragic deaths and sorrowful lives, all of which have been scribed onto the flesh of a human being. Barker released six volumes of the books, with the first three and the last three being bound into two omnibus editions. Within the books are the stories which sparked some of Barker's cinematic works: Lord of Illusions (from the story "The Last Illusion"), Candyman (from the story "The Forbidden"), and Rawhead Rex.