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Clive Barker

Clive Barker(1952- )
Clive Barker was born in Liverpool. He is the worldwide bestselling author of the Books of Blood, and numerous novels including Imajica, The Great and Secret Show, Sacrament and Galilee. In addition to his work as a novelist and short story writer he also illustrates, writes, directs and produces for the stage and screen. His films include Hellraiser, Hellbound, Nightbreed and Candyman. Clive lives in Beverly Hills, California. Read and listen to excerpts at Clive Barker’s website.
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Abarat

Abarat — (2002-2011) Young adult. Publisher: Once upon a world, where time is place, a journey beyond imagination is about to unfold… It begins in the most boring place in the world: Chickentown, U.S.A. Candy Quackenbush lives in Chickentown, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future might hold. When the answer comes, it’s not one she expects. Out of nowhere comes a wave, and Candy, led by a man called John Mischief (whose brothers live on the horns on his head), leaps into the surging waters and is carried away. Where? To the ABARAT: a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day, from the Great Head that sits in the mysterious twilight waters of Eight in the Evening, to the sunlit wonders of Three in the Afternoon, where dragons roam, to the dark terrors of Gorgossium, the island of Midnight, ruled over by the Prince of Midnight himself, Christopher Carrion. As Candy journeys from one amazing place to another, making fast friends and encountering treacherous foes — mechanical bugs and giant moths, miraculous cats and men made of mud, a murderous wizard and his terrified slave-she begins to realize something. She has been here before. Candy has a place in this extraordinary world: she is here to help save the Abarat from the dark forces that are stirring at its heart. Forces older than Time itself, and more evil than anything Candy has ever encountered. She’s a strange heroine, she knows. But this is a strange world. And in the Abarat, all things are possible.

Clive Barker 1. Abarat: The First Book of Hours 2. Days of Magic, Nights of War 3. Absolute Midnight Clive Barker 1. Abarat: The First Book of Hours 2. Days of Magic, Nights of War 3. Absolute Midnight

Abarat: A wild ride, a long way to go

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Abarat by Clive Barker

Clive Barker began writing THE BOOKS OF ABARAT series after painting a number of images inspired by dreams. The first book, Abarat, certainly possesses a dreamy, wonderland quality. I felt curiously aware throughout that I had entered a rather indulgent flight of Barker's imagination. I didn't buy the illustrated version of Abarat, (because, I admit, I didn't know anything about it) but if I could go back I probably would. It's a funny one because I usually like to make up my own mind about how an imaginary place looks. I get worried by detailed front covers as I suspect they are trying to plant images in my mind (and woe-behold any book with a television actress on the front). But when an author starts with a painting, hi... Read More

The Damnation Game: Beats with an eloquently bloody heart

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The Damnation Game by Clive Barker

Clive Barkers first full-length novel is magnificent. It’s dark, intense and mostly unrelenting in its steady construction of supernatural horror. While full of gut wrenching visuals – resulting in several nights of me restlessly attempting to fall asleep — under a skin of pure horror, this novel beats with an eloquently bloody heart.

Barker’s skills shone through early in his career as The Damnation Game was a Bram Stoker Award Nominee for Best First Novel (1987), World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (1986), and British Book Award Nominee (1988).
Hell is reimagined by each generation. Its terrain is surveyed for absurdities and remade and, if necessary, reinvented to suit the current climate of a... Read More

Mister B. Gone: Not what I was expecting

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Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker

Thanks to the movies Hellraiser, Lord of Illusions, and Candyman, I was introduced to Clive Barker, but it was his writing that made me a hardcore fan. Imajica, Weaveworld, Books of Blood, The Great and Secret Show, Everville: all personal favorites of mine and great examples of Mr. Barker’s wild imagination and unique talents. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I last read a Clive Barker book, so when I heard about Mister B. Gone I couldn’t have been more excited, especially after reading the press release: “A propulsive frightfest layered with psychological nuances, textured characterizations, philosophica... Read More

Infernal Parade: Only for the most passionate Barker fans

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Infernal Parade by Clive Barker

This is an unfortunately disappointing collection of microstories from Clive Barker, an author who helped define my reading experience in mid-1980’s junior and high school. The six very loosely connected stories that make up the 88 pages of Infernal Parade (2017) were originally provided as exclusive companions to collectables made by McFarlane Toys in 2004. I believe these are part of a larger macroverse of characters published in Barker’s 2014 novella, Tortured Souls: The Legend of Primordial.

Weaveworld and Books of Blood, the “Hellraiser" movies based on The Hellbound Heart, and Read More

Magazine Monday: Nightmare Magazine, August 2013

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Matthew Cheney’s “How Far to Englishman’s Bay” leads off the eleventh issue of Nightmare Magazine. Max, the protagonist, impulsively decides to close up his bookshop and permanently leave his home on the day he turns 50. Max drives miles away from his home, finally deciding he’s lost and stopping to ask directions. It’s here that his story has its denouement in an odd bit of horror that seems unrelated to what went before, all the detail about his leaving, its effect on a friend, giving away his cat, gathering snacks — a full half of the tale. Is there a moral to this story? Perhaps: that we should not be so concerned with the years that have gone before that we forget to plan for those that still lie ahead. Or maybe that being self-centered is bad. Or maybe that obesity can have unexpected consequences. It’s a strange story that doesn’t coalesce into a focused tale.

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The Living Dead: Zombies aren’t the point

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The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams

I never knew there were so many ways to tell a zombie story. I pretty much thought that the George Romero version was it — dead people wandering around holding their arms out in front of them and calling out “braaaaaaains,” looking to munch on the living. I never did know why they had to hold their arms that way, but they all did — I thought.

John Joseph Adams has chosen his material wisely in The Living Dead, a collection of short stories about zombies by some of the biggest and best names in the horror business, as well as the newest and hottest. I resisted this book for a long time because I’ve never been fond of zombies, but upon diving in, I discovered that the zombies aren’t really the point; the point is to tell a good story. And these authors do that, with a vengeance.

... Read More

The New Weird: As terrifying as Kafka on LSD

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The New Weird by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

It’s easy to imagine two different readers reacting in opposite ways to The New Weird. One might find it delightfully odd; the other might find it as terrifying as Kafka on LSD. And a third might find it delightfully odd because it’s as terrifying as Kafka on LSD. Certainly, no one is likely to find it boring.

The New Weird is a well-organized anthology, with a short, useful introduction; a section entitled “Stimuli,” containing older selections (though not very old; the oldest piece, by Michael Moorcock, has an original copyright date of 1979, while the Thomas Ligotti selection was published only in 1997); “... Read More

The Monster’s Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes

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The Monster's Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes edited by Christopher Golden

FORMAT/INFO: The Monster’s Corner is 400 pages long and consists of 19 short stories. Also included is an Introduction by the editor Christopher Golden, and biographies of all of the anthology’s contributors. September 27, 2011 marks the North American Trade Paperback publication of The Monster’s Corner via St. Martin’s Griffin. The UK version will be published on the same day via Piatkus Books.

ANALYSIS: The New Dead was one of my favorite books of 2010, so when it was announced that Christopher Golden was putting together another horror-themed anthology, I couldn’t wait. Like The New Dead Read More

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories

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The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

I haven’t actually read every page of The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, yet I’m giving it my highest recommendation. Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Master and Mistress of Weird, The Weird is 1126 pages long and should really be considered a textbook of weird fiction. It contains 110 carefully chosen stories spanning more than 100 years of weird fiction. Here’s what you can expect to find in this massive volume:

A “Forweird” by Michael Moorcock gives us a brief history of the weird tale, discusses how it has defied publishers’ attempts to categorize it into neatly-bordered genres, and gives examples of writers who are revered by modern reade... Read More

More speculative fiction by Clive Barker

Book of The Art — (1989-1994) Publisher: In the little town of Palomo Grove, two great armies are amassing; forces shaped from the hearts and souls of America. In this New York Times bestseller, Barker unveils one of the most ambitious imaginative landscapes in modern fiction, creating a new vocabulary for the age-old battle between good and evil. Carrying its readers from the first stirring of consciousness to a vision of the end of the world, The Great and Secret Show is a breathtaking journey in the company of a master storyteller.

Clive Barker The Book of Art 1. The Great and Secret Show 2. EvervilleClive Barker The Book of Art 1. The Great and Secret Show 2. Everville


Clive Barker Imajica 1. The Fifth Dominion, 2. The Reconciliation
Imajica — (1991) This is one volume that contains both parts: The Fifth Dominion and The Reconciliation. Publisher: Imajica is an epic beyond compare: vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. At its heart lies the sensualist and master art forger, Gentle, whose life unravels when he encounters Judith Odell, whose power to influence the destinies of men is vaster than she knows, and Pie ‘oh’ pah, an alien assassin who comes from a hidden dimension. That dimension is one of five in the great system called Imajica. They are worlds that are utterly unlike our own, but are ruled, peopled, and haunted by species whose lives are intricately connected with ours. As Gentle, Judith, and Pie ‘oh’ pah travel the Imajica, they uncover a trail of crimes and intimate betrayals, leading them to a revelation so startling that it changes reality forever.


Clive Barker WeaveworldWeaveworld — (1987) Publisher: Clive Barker has made his mark on modern fiction by exposing all that is surreal and magical in the ordinary world — and exploring the profound and overwhelming terror that results. With its volatile mix of the fantastical and the contemporary, the everyday and the otherworldly, Weaveworld is an epic work of dark fantasy and horror — a tour de force from one of today’s most forceful and imaginative artists.


Clive Barker CabalCabal — (1988) Publisher: For more than two decades, Clive Barker has twisted the worlds of horrific and surrealistic fiction into a terrifying, transcendent genre all his own. With skillful prose, he enthralls even as he horrifies; with uncanny insight, he disturbs as profoundly as he reveals. Evoking revulsion and admiration, anticipation and dread, Barker’s works explore the darkest contradictions of the human condition: our fear of life and our dreams of death.


Clive Barker The Thief of AlwaysThe Thief of Always — (1992) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Mr. Hood’s Holiday House has stood for a thousand years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles, a blissful rounds of treats and seasons, where every childhood whim may be satisfied… There is a price to be paid, of course, but young Harvey Swick, bored with his life and beguiled by Mr. Hood’s wonders, does not stop to consider the consequences. It is only when the House shows it’s darker face — when Harvey discovers the pitiful creatures that dwell in its shadows — that he comes to doubt Mr. Hood’s philanthropy. The House and its mysterious architect are not about to release their captive without a battle, however. Mr. Hood has ambitious for his new guest, for Harvey’s soul burns brighter than any soul he has encountered in a thousand years…


book review Clive Barker SacramentSacrament — (1995) Publisher: Living and dying, we feed the fire. Will Rabjohns, perhaps the most famous wildlife photographer in the world, has made his reputation chronicling the fates of endangered species. But after a terrible accident, Will is left in a coma. And in its depths, he revisits the wildernesses of his youth and relives his life with a mysterious couple who have influenced his life as an artist and a man. When Will awakens, he sets out on a journey of self-discovery — one where he will penetrate the ultimate mystery and finally unlock the secret of his destiny. Soaring, provocative and passionate, Sacrament is a masterwork from the pen of one of today’s moist acclaimed authors.


Clive Barker GalileeGalilee — (1998) Publisher: Rich and powerful, the Geary dynasty has reigned over American society for decades. But it is a family with dark, terrible secrets. For the Gearys are a family at war. And their adversaries are the Barbarossas, a clan whose timeless origins lie in myth, whose mystical influence is felt in the intense, sensual exchanges of flesh and soul. Now, their battle is about to escalate…When Galilee, prodigal prince of the Barbarossa clan, meets Rachel, young bride of the Gearys’ own scion Mitchell, they fall in love, consumed by a passion that unleashes long-simmering hatreds. Old insanities arise, old adulteries are uncovered, and a seemingly invincible family will begin to wither, exposing its unholy roots…


book review Clive Barker Cold Heart CanyonCold Heart Canyon — (2001) Publisher: Film’s most popular action hero needs a place to heal after surgery that has gone terribly wrong. His fiercely loyal agent finds him just such a place in a luxurious, forgotten mansion high in the Hollywood Hills. But the original owner of the mansion was a beautiful woman devoted to pleasure at any cost, and the terrible legacy of her deed has not yet died. There are ghosts and monsters haunting Coldheart Canyon, where nothing is forbidden.


book review Clive Barker Books of Bloodbook review Clive Barker Books of BloodBooks of Blood — (1988) Publisher: The stories written on the Book of Blood are a map of the dark highway that leads out of life towards unknown destinations. Few will have to take it; most will go peacefully along lamplit streets, ushered out of living with prayers and caresses. But for a few, the horrors will come to fetch them. With the 1984 publication of Books of Blood, Clive Barker became an overnight literary sensation. He was hailed by Stephen King as “the future of horror,” and won both the British and World Fantasy Awards. Now, with his numerous bestsellers, graphic novels, and hit movies like the Hellraiser films, Clive Barker has become an industry unto himself. But it all started here, with this tour de force collection that rivals the dark masterpieces of Edgar Allan Poe. Read him. And rediscover the true meaning of fear.


 

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Why You Should Read… Clive Barker

So we come to our fourth week of extolling the virtues about some of our favourite authors. Today we welcome Sharon Ring, from Dark Fiction Review. Sharon is on Twitter as @DFReview and can also be found on Facebook. She would like to talk to you about Clive Barker.



Will this be five hundred words of preaching to the converted? Surely everyone who reads genre fiction has read at least one Clive Barker book? I think, for anyone new to genre fiction, a stroll through some of Barker’s work should be more or less compulsory.

Reading Barker seems to be a rite of passage. When I brought up the subject of Clive Barker and his BOOKS OF BLOOD on Twitter recently, I fo... Read More