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1. Clive Barker's Books of Blood
2. Mister B. Gone
3. The Hellbound Heart: A Novel
4. Weaveworld
5. Imajica: Featuring New Illustrations
6. Abarat (Abarat, 1)
7. The Damnation Game
8. The Great and Secret Show
9. Forms of Heaven: Three Plays
10. The Inhuman Condition
11. The Thief of Always: A Fable
12. Everville
13. Clive Barker's Age of Desire
14. The Reconciliation (Imajica, Book
15. Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic:
16. Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood
17. Scared Stiff: Tales of Sex and
18. Galilee
19. Sacrament
20. In the Flesh

1. Clive Barker's Books of Blood 1-3
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 528 Pages (1998-10-01)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425165582
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
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.Amazon.com Review
"Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red." For thosewho only know Clive Barker through his long multigenre novels, thisone-volume edition of the Books of Blood is a welcome chance toacquire the 16 remarkable horror short stories with which he kicked off hiscareer. For those who already know these tales, the poignant introductionis a window on the creator's mind. Reflecting back after 14 years, Barkerwrites:

I look at these pieces and I don't think the man who wrotethem is alive in me anymore.... We are all our own graveyards I believe; wesquat amongst the tombs of the people we were. If we're healthy, every dayis a celebration, a Day of the Dead, in which we give thanks for the livesthat we lived; and if we are neurotic we brood and mourn and wish that thepast was still present.

Reading these stories over, I feel a little of both. Some of the simpleenergies that made these words flow through my pen--that made the phrasesfelicitous and the ideas sing--have gone. I lost their maker a long timeago.

These enthusiastic tales are not ashamed of visceral horror, of bloodsplashing freely across the page: "The Midnight Meat Train," a grislysubway tale that surprises you with one twist after another; "The Yatteringand Jack," about a hilarious demon who possesses a Christmas turkey; "Inthe Hills, the Cities," an unusual example of an original horror premise;"Dread," a harrowing non-supernatural tale about being forced to realizeyour worst nightmare; "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament," about awoman who kills men with her mind. Some of the tales are more successfulthan others, but all are distinguished by strikingly beautiful images ofevil and destruction. No horror library is complete without them.--Fiona Webster ... Read more

Customer Reviews (74)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Mindblowing
As much of a King fan as I admit to be, there is something much more severe and fantastic about Barker and his writing. I enjoyed this collection of short stories particularly because of the variation in themes and plots. Put it to you this way: the first time I read "Midnight Meat Train", my jaw dropped; it opens you up to the potential of fiction and storytelling. Dark, intense, and brutal, the "Books of Blood" will surely whet your appetite for the sinfully alluring craving for intelligent, articulate horror fiction. Highly recommended.

2-0 out of 5 stars Without the benefit of atmosphere or psychology, this collection is heavier on brutality than actual horror. Not recommended
In three volumes, Books of Blood is a collection of 15 horror stories: tales of hauntings, unnatural acts, women with terrifying powers, men born of monsters, and demonic beings. It could be a cavalcade of horrors, but the stories rely on unusual premises and simple brutality instead of atmosphere, suspense, or psychological motivation--and so for this reader, they were largely a disappointment. Most short story collections are a mixed bag in terms of quality, but Books of Blood has an average success rate of just one story per volume. These successful stories ("Pig Blood Blues" in volume one, "Dread" and "Jacqeline Ess" in volume two, and "Scape-Goats" in volume three) vary themselves in quality, sometimes within the same story: "Dread" and "Scape Goat" both begin marvelously but end on low notes that echo weaknesses in the rest of the collection. But what makes these selections stand out is an intriguing, often frightening premise (a talking, man-eating pig; a woman who can alter flesh with a thought) combined with atmosphere, suspense, and/or psychological underpinning. The result is a story that intrigues, holds the reader captive, and submits him to sights of horror and dread--for in this collection, Barker never shies from the worse sort of violence.

Many of these aspects may seem to be fundamental to a horror story, but too often the short fiction in Books of Blood is missing them. Instead, the stories rely on simple brutality to drive their horror. The loosened bowels, hanging entrails, and devilish visages would be horrific in a visual medium where they would shock and disgust, but Barker's descriptions are more factual than evocative and a reader (like this one) not given to mental images may find that they fall flat. Meanwhile, the subtleties of atmosphere, suspense, and psychology are often incomplete or absent. As a result, the sometimes-clever, intriguing, frightening concepts are lost in hasty revelation and undercut by a lack of emotional depth: too many stories float by on the fact that hell is supposed to be scary, and too few stories explore the impact of hellish powers on the human mind. A slight overemphasis on humor turns the subtlety of dark humor blatant and flat, and further degrades the horror. I applaud Barker's willingness to indulge in outlandish concepts, brutal violence, and the other extremes of the horror genre--there's potential there for the sort of horror that disgusts even as it gives a pleasant chill. But such bare bones are not enough, and execution of the stories in Books of Blood leaves much to be desired. Horror is,however, a particularly personal genre: frightening concepts and successful execution varies between readers, and one with a more vivid, active mental eye may find an ideal horror story in this collection of short fiction. I, however, found too few worthwhile stories in Books of Blood to justify trooping through all the rest, and I can't in good faith recommend the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bible of Horror Fantasy
The incredible writing and stories that brought Clive into the public eye will not disappoint. In this edition, read over 500 pages of the raw horror-fantasy that made one of todays most prolific and talented writers a sensation.
The content of the stories themselves are absolutely incredible in their scope and leave you altogether changed for the experience. Tender contemplations, unbelievable violence, and dreams you've never fathomed are the collective spine of this collection, and these themes are juggled through all manner of time, place, and perspective, leaving your senses and imagination reeling.
The sex, vulnerability, violence, humor, surrealism, hubris, and sadism are deeply affecting on a truly primal level, and indicate the presence of a writer that does not create fiction so much as he remolds our deepest darkest secrets and shows them to us, which is the goal of all true art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Barker's Work Is Magnificient!
Hands down the best single author anthology book I have ever read.Barker opens up new angles and dimensions in horror that create or more correctly make known 'new' horrors that already exist but we've never focused on before.Great author and I don't say that easily because I didn't personally like his introduction but after reading just a few tales found I was a presumptuous fool.

5-0 out of 5 stars a great book
i havent read every single story yet but the ones that i have read are great and now im reading weaveworld and for me i believe clive barker has a genius imagination and very disturbing and always a great twist.so i suggest for whoever loves horror and have never read any clive barker books read the books of blood. ... Read more

2. Mister B. Gone
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 256 Pages (2008-11-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$4.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061562491
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

You hold in your hands not a book at all, but a terrifying embodiment of purest evil. Can you feel the electric tingle in your fingers as you are absorbed by the demon Jakabok's tale of his unintentional ascent from the depths of the Inferno? Do you sense the cold dread worming its way into your bloodstream, your sinews, the marrow of your bones as you read more deeply into his earthly education and unspeakable acts? The filth you now grasp has been waiting patiently for you for nearly six hundred years. And now, before you are completely in its thrall, you would do well to follow the foul creature's admonition and destroy this abomination of ink and paper before you turn a single leaf and are lost forever.

You have been warned.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (121)

3-0 out of 5 stars "Mister B. Gone" (From BookBanter)
The moment you pick up this book, you know you're in for a treat.It's small and compact, inviting, around 200 pages long.On the front black cover is the title in Gothic type: Mister B. Gone, with Clive Barker carved in rough letters beneath.Between the two lines is a strange pictograph making one curious and interested.On the back is the same symbol and not another word.Turn the cover and there is a strange marble page design, which kind of looks like a webbing of veins and arteries, followed by two title pages, then the book begins with these words: "BURN THIS BOOK."

Bestselling author Clive Barker hasn't released a book in some time, and is currently in the middle of his four-book Abarat series, as well as the third book in the Art trilogy due sometime this decade or the next.And yet the concept for Mister B. Gone suddenly occurred to Barker one day and he was supposedly unable to do anything else until he got this book out of his head.

This book is about a demon.In fact, it's a book written by a demon; it's his story, because he's trapped in the book.He has but one request for the reader: to burn the book and free the demon by killing it, presumably sending it back to the ninth level of hell.His name is Jakabok Botch, and as he continuously tries to convince the reader to burn the book, he reveals more of his life story.

It is the sixteenth century, and when the demon is trapped and scooped from the ninth level of hell to the surface by a group of people looking to make a profit from selling demon skins, Jakabok's adventure begins.He soon befriends another demon, Quitoon, of a much greater size and power than him, and their friendship lasts over a hundred years, as they spend their time terrorizing and demonizing the world.The story builds and builds to a crescendo involving Joahnnes Gutenberg and the invention of his revolutionizing printing press which will irrevocably change the world.

While Mister B. Gone lacks the depth, development and sheer incredulity that one is used to with Barker's work, it is nevertheless a great little horror story.And each time Jakabok threatens on the page that he is coming up behind you with a knife, the reader can't help but reflexively stop and look behind them.

Originally written on November 10th 2007 ©Alex C. Telander.

For more book reviews and author interviews, go to [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars Not the best Clive Barker novel, but still is very enjoyable.
I read all of Mister B. Gone the first day I picked it up, something about the book kept me going. Though it isn't the best book he has ever written I still enjoyed it nonetheless. I think some people disliked this book because they picked it up and expected it to be like his past writings, and were shocked when it wasn't.
It is a good read, and can be knocked out in a day or two depending on your time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Please B. gone...
The book has something to say, and what it has to say is simple; the world is ugly, Hell unfair, and burning some books is doing them favors. The book should know, too, because the book itself is not what it seems. Aside from being something that has pages that "write themselves" and "speak to the reader's intent," it has a demon inside. Thsat's right, a demon - and not a happy one. There's a tale inside that demon, too, and the tale says that - well, I can't tell you that one without ruining something.

Mr. B. gone was a book I had really high hopes for, and a book that frustrated me to the point that it took over a month to read it. At first it has tthis skipping flow that is supposed to mimic the cries of a demon that simply wants to be let go, and this occurs quite a bit as you move along. You have pages, and I mean pages, of these vague little threats that say that the book could have you for nreakfast, that you pormised this and that, and that the book's request is fairer than fair.
And, really, it seemed to be correct.

Within those parts is a story, and the story tells the tell of the occupant within the book. When the story started I was willing to overlook the threats and the begging to read this, but it soon became apparent that the little demon's storytelling wasn't the peako of interest. I should have guessed it, too - demons are said to be lairs and, well, this one walk those wild ways.

So, why do I give it low stars? It didn't seem to draw me or anyone else I knew in, didn't have a spark of life in it, and it didn't make me say Wow. All it made me think was that money could be flushed away without even seeing the money find its way out of one's pocket, and this was ugly.
Yes, it was ugly and it earned this a rounded up 3, saying i liked it BUT just that. I cannot say buy, that's for sure.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderfully Original Horror Allegory
One wonders after having read Clive Barker's latest and delightful return to his "bread and butter" horror genre, is this author a student of media prophet Marshall McLuhan's as well?It sure seems so.Without giving very much away, the crux of "Mr. B. Gone" has to do with Professor Herbert Marshall McLuhan of Toronto University's "second great technological tsunami" in the history of human kind.The first environmental "catastrophe" in technological terms for human beings, according to McLuhan, was the phonetic alphabet.Because it gave humans "an eye for an ear" and offset the balance of the five senses, making the all-detached eye sovereign, and launching all kinds of madness thereupon - destroying the tribal nature of human life, which by the time of the Renaissance, the SECOND cataclysmic invention EXTENDED, ushering in nationalism, the city state, schizophrenia, and ultimately world war.And what was this SECOND technological "scourge?"Well:This second technological "breakthrough," shall we call it ... if you don't already know, you will after having read Barker's inventive tale of demons versus angels, gore and grue, hellspawn and heaven's heathens.Barker takes McLuhan's thesis and paints it awful and hideous, where God plays dice and the Pope is DEFINITELY not what he seems.The implications and ramifications of Barker's allegory play out nothing short of dire and apocalyptic, wrapped in a surface tale of, literally, a very, VERY "minor demon," about whom one cannot help but feel extreme pity, as one would unto humanity itself, exposed to the REAL evil - "the second coming" of sensorial-skewing technology, perhaps Yeats' "rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem to be born."You as the reader might well roll your eyes when you consider this trope (or rather if you do not), but then, McLuhan (and arguably now, Barker also) would say that you are a somnambulist if you refuse to contemplate your environment which is determined by technological change.McLuhan often quoted from another consummate author of the macabre, Edgar Allen Poe, and in particular, his short story, "Descent into the Maelstrom."Mr. Barker's "Mr. B. Gone" might well be considered, an extended sequel to Poe's horrific vision, and how one escapes from it or rather, provides a counterirritant to being sucked into the black hole of technological idiocy.Undoubtedly Dr. McLuhan, if not all scholars well-versed in the theory of technological determinism, and now Mr. Barker himself, continue to be onto something here, if nothing else, the salvation of humanity through control of its environment, rather than the other way around.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Barker's best, but Doug Bradley is excellent!
Doug Bradley (aka "Pinhead" from the Hellraiser films) should be chained to a microphone and forced to narrate ALL of Clive Barker's books!He does such a great job.His enthusiastic narration elevated this otherwise merely decent story to the level of truly enjoyable.Barker and Bradley manage to make Mr. B. (the character) at once likable and repellent, humorous and frightening.Just when I think Mr. B. is someone with whom I could share an interesting afternoon chat, he goes and does something that makes me think I'd be much better off if our paths never crossed.Although far from being my favorite of Barker's novels, Mister B. Gone is still a good "read," at least in audio book form.Its dark, playful tone reminded me a bit of The Thief of Always, as both books could sort of fall into that "horror novel for children" category.Mister B. Gone, however, is certainly the darker and less-playful of the two.It actually reminded me a bit, too, of Voltaire's Candide.Mr. B. seems to share Candide's naivete about the world, but unlike Candide, Mr. B. doesn't merely suffer the abuses heaped on him.Instead, he gives as bad as he gets, so much so that I began feeling as if Mr. B. deserved everything he got and more.As usual, Barker's writing is first-rate, and although the story ultimately didn't seem to lead anywhere, Bradley's narration made the journey enjoyable.2.5 stars for Barker.4 stars for Bradley. ... Read more

3. The Hellbound Heart: A Novel
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 164 Pages (2007-10-01)
list price: US$11.99 -- used & new: US$6.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061452882
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Frank Cotton's insatiable appetite for the dark pleasures of pain led him to the puzzle of Lemarchand's box, and from there, to a death only a sick-minded soul could invent. But his brother's love-crazed wife, Julia, has discovered a way to bring Frank back—though the price will be bloody and terrible . . . and there will certainly be hell to pay.

Amazon.com Review
Clive Barker is widely acknowledged as the master of nerve-shatteringhorror.The Hellbound Heart is one of his best, one of the mostdead-frightening stories you are likely to ever read, a story of the humanheart and all the great terrors and ecstasies within. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (78)

4-0 out of 5 stars Domestic horror
Morally bankrupt and nihilistic Frank Cotton has found this world and the pleasures it has to offer lacking, boring, and predictable. After hearing about Lemarchand's Configuration, a puzzle box that if solved opened up a realm of unimaginable pleasure, he finds it and spends hours trying to solve. He succeeds, but instead of hoards of nude women, like he was expecting, the Cenobites emerge instead. They are horribly scarred and mutilated beings that perceive extreme pain as not different from extreme pleasure. They take him to their extradimensional plane to suffer for eternity. Meanwhile, Rory, Frank's brother, and his wife Julia have moved into the house passed down from their grandparents. When Rory is injured during the moving in process, Frank uses his blood to communicate with our world. He demands more blood from Julia, who has been infatuated with him ever since their affair shortly before her marriage to Rory, to become whole again. She complies and feeds him several men. Kirsty, Rory's friend, suspects Julia is having an affair and discovers Frank and Julia's horrible plot. Will she be able to return Frank to the dimension he escaped from or would the Cenobites rather have her instead?

I recently saw the film Hellraiser, so I had to read the novella it was based on. There is very little difference in plot and characters between the two works. However, both have their own strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the film is the horrific visuals it provides. The Cenobites look so much more disfigured and fetishistic than I ever would have imagined. The audience is also shown some of the horrors in the other world and I was shocked by how twisted and horrifying the images were, considering it was made in the 80's. I was riveted to the screen (with my mouth gaping open) and literally couldn't look away. The book only describes the Cenobites, but not in a great amount of detail. The other world's sights aren't described at all, but the novel excels in ways the film did not.

The novel is incredibly well written. Even though the character development is a little lacking, I really didn't notice too much because the writing is so fluid and rich with dark imagery. The relationship between Frank and Julia seemed to happen spontaneously, but their evil tendencies that were exhibited later made them a fitting couple. Their sick relationship is an interesting comparison to the false, empty one between Julia and Rory. However, Frank's interest in her is only to be restored to human form and nothing more, showing Julia in the role of her husband: adoring and unaware of the other's indifference. Both relationships are exposed to be hollow and devoid of anything remotely resembling love. Julia is portrayed as much more malicious than in the film. She has nothing but disdain for her husband and would like nothing more than to kill him. Frank and Julia represent the need for man to seek more and more empty, fruitless sensory experience and where this road will lead if gone to extremes. This view may be depressing, but makes for an entertaining and horrifying read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better then the movie.
I finished this a few weeks back and I have to say it was a pretty good read. I wish we could have dove more into the cenobites and their story but I also think the lack of info made them mysterious and kept the story interesting. It was also kind of weird to find out that pinhead wasnt the leader of the cenobites. Kind of depressing actually. The brutality of Julia was disturbing. The movie didnt portray her as gruesome as the ink did. The concept in general is pretty terrifying, an eternity of being ripped apart by a bunch of freaks confused on what pleasure is...or maybe thats just a matter of perception...weird.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sick, twisted, and infamous....In a good way.
If you enjoy horror, you can't do better than this. This short, but rich novella by the great Clive Barker is soaked with blood, sex, and demons. This story which inspired the Hellraiser films captures Barker's massive talent for writing short horror. If you like Hellraiser, you will love this book. If you hate Hellraiser, you will still most likely love this book...Well, unless you are offended by grizzly blood shed and perverted sex acts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliance in only 164 pages
Clive Barker's 1986 novella "The Hellbound Heart" is a true work of horror fiction that uses the most intricate and descriptive language throughout the entire book. It is no coincidence that this novella spawned one of the most successful horror movie franchises of all time. Each character helps move the story along perfectly and this story provides many more intricate details into the atmosphere when compared to the original Hellraiser film. I could not recommend this work any more strongly to any horror enthusiast, film or literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Boxing - only with gloves on, please.
LaMerchant created a beautiful puzzle that allows for more than just a game. Although he provided little musical keys to tell you if you've gone the right way or the wrong way, he did a lot more than that. The opened a door where Cenebites, orators for the Order of the Gash, can be found, These being have secrets, plenty of them, and they are willing to share. And th esights they show - pleasure comes from them, given time.

When I first bought this WAYYYY back when, I never realized what it would become. I also never realized that the story would one day be told through an armada of sequels - some good but most badly bad. The one thing I like that the book gives you is an account of the box straight up. You have Frank and you have the box and, when mized, they are not a delightful pair. I also like the way the Order is described; when yous see a picture of these beings, you get too much to really appreciate it all. Here, every flayed piece of happiness is sitting on the table.

Aside from that, I like Frank's tale and how people like Julia slip in. Frank has a strong persona and it makes his use of people ease, academic even, and that description is beautiful. Here, I can picture everyone on the list, the Order included, and I can see the box he has found. When you combine that with the turning tables, the twisting plots, and the horrors abounding, you have one beautiufl arrangement of - well, I doubt lowers come in "steel," but they are something pretty.

For fans of the Hellraiser series, read this. It gives you Frank and the box and so much more. Otheriwse, you miss stuff. You also have a different set-up and flow and, really, a different conductor in the program of pain. But, regardless, you'd like it. Non-fan like it, too, as well they should. In my opinio, this is one of Barker's best pieces and it never gets enough praise. ... Read more

4. Weaveworld
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 672 Pages (2001-04)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$8.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743417356
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

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. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (131)

5-0 out of 5 stars By far, Barker's best
That's all I need to say. You can read the other reviews, and you can read the synopsis..... but you should really read the book, it's truly remarkable. Unlike anything he's written. I would love to see Spielberg make a film of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars clive barker is awesome
i received this book today, arrived in perfect condition.it was sent one time, and i didn't receive it, but the bookseller very graciously sent another, which arrived in two days.weaveworld is one of my all-time favorite books, and i'm happy to have my own copy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the ending
I read Weaveworld in high school and loved it. I thought I'd pick it up and read it again.Honestly, 3/4 of the way through this book I wasn't too impressed. I had it rated at 3 stars. The first part of the book is a little slow to develop.Not that there wasn't any action, just that there are relatively few major plot developments and I was patiently waiting for something big to happen.

The last 1/4 was so good, however, that I considered giving this book 5 stars.I think the ending was why I liked it so much when I read it the first time.Once the Scourge enters the scene, the plot thickens and the action picks up. I won't give away anything, but the ending is very satisfying. It culminates in a moral that will touch every fantasy fan deeply.

The world and themes Barker creates are unique and impressive. It took a lot of imagination to pull this off. I just can't give Weaveworld 5 stars, but it's definitely a good read and I would recommend it to all fantasy readers.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Barker's Best Book
I was not terribly impressed with the story line. I usually love Clive Barker, but this was not his best book by any means.

5-0 out of 5 stars Weaveworld leaves a lasting impression
Quite simply the best book Ive read for a long time.When people describe books as a 'page turner', I sometimes dont agree but this IS a page turner.The story is so fast paced you never want to put it down just to see where the story goes next.The world that is woven into the carpet sometimes feels like the story embedded in this book, its addictive, deep and draws you in.Easy to keep track of the characters unlike some books, and the locations sometimes seem similar to places youve been to.Thouroughly recommend this book to those who want good fantasy fiction! ... Read more

5. Imajica: Featuring New Illustrations and an Appendix
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 896 Pages (2002-08-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$10.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060937262
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
From master storyteller Clive Barker comes an epic tale of myth, magic, and forbidden passion -- complete with new illustrations and a new Appendix.

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.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (135)

5-0 out of 5 stars Barkers Best
This is Barkers best work. In Imajica he develops a late 20th century myth of our current Western beliefs in stunning fashion. He moves the reader through a series of worlds that are beyond anything I have read before. It is funny, profound, a technicolor dream opus that is waiting to take you away.

4-0 out of 5 stars My intoduction to Horror
I'm 43 and so far I've never really liked horror book (or movies really), but this book is definantly opening my mind to like other kinds of writing besides the Si-Fi/Fantasy I normally read.Don't get me wrong, I still don't like Horror flicks, but if all Horror books are this good, I may read more.

1-0 out of 5 stars Too unrealistic
I tried to get into this novel but I just could not.I seemed too far fetched and too unrealistic.Seemed pretty cool and then the story just took me into a scene which just seemed almost "silly".

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Gloriously Wonderful
Clive Barker sure knows how to give his stories life: with breath and pulse, and with each page, he draws you deeper and deeper into their embrace (it's really hard to pull away). Although, I'm happy to say, Imajica is one I'd never pull away from. From beginning to end I was absolutely consumed by Barker's story telling. My unwillingness to put the book down left me a little sleep deprived, but it was well worth it. And I'd be willing to do it again and again and again. Kudos Mr. Barker! I think this book is down right perfection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Big, crazy, and rich
I wish I were a college professor of gender studies. This would be an awesome text about One Artist's Perception of Gender Duality. What, you never got assigned 800-pg novels? Or maybe I could assign my hapless students to read it in opposition to His Dark Materials. At least those come in smaller packets. This is a big, epic book, with big crazy sex, and divinities familiar and alien. I find the central love story a little unconvincing, but the crazy details are richly ornamental. It's like a Fabrege egg of a story, or like one of thone huge crazy sugar Easter egg dioramas where you look through this tiny hole and keep seeing more and more, and one of the things you see is a tiny sugar egg..... and in it is a dog in a chef's hat carrying a can of dogfood on a tray*. I like this book. It is not for everyone. If you never made it through long tedious fantasy novels which we could mention, don't bother. If gnosticism bothers you, say no. There are rapes, dead children, and dead gods. It is, to me, a compelling story.

*If you get that reference, you get a biscuit. ... Read more

6. Abarat (Abarat, 1)
by Clive Barker
Mass Market Paperback: 496 Pages (2004-09-01)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$4.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060596376
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

A journey beyond imagination
is about to unfold. . . .

It begins in the most boring place in the world: Chickentown, U.S.A. There lives Candy Quackenbush, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future might hold.

When the answer comes, it's not one she expects.

Welcome to the Abarat.

Amazon.com Review
In Abarat, accomplished novelist and artist Clive Barker turns his considerable talents to creating a rich fantasy world for young adults.

Candy Quackenbush is growing up in Chickentown, Minnesota, yearning for more--which she finds, quite unexpectedly, when a man with eight heads appears from nowhere in the middle of the prairie, being chased by something really monstrous. And so begins Candy's epic adventure to the islands of the Abarat. Peopled by all manner of creatures, cultures, and customs, the islands should prove a fertile setting for the series that Barker is calling The Books of Abarat. Candy is an intelligent and likable heroine, and the many supporting characters are deftly drawn, both in words and in the full-color interior art that Barker has produced to give the story an extra dimension.

Abarat delivers the rich and imaginative storytelling that Barker is known for, with less overt horror or violence than one of his adult novels might include. However, Candy's path isn't an easy one, and young adult readers should appreciate the hard choices she must make along the way. --Roz Genessee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (184)

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING PAGE TURNER
This book is amazing clive barker creativity and imagination is one of a kind this book makes want to keep turning the pages this book also touches the heart i highly recommend this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Trippy in a good way
Abarat was a pretty legit fantasy book. I mean it would be hard to get any more fantastical than this. The world described was a feast for the imagination that actually made my brain hurt a couple of times. As much as I thought the illustrations were very clever and well-done, I almost wish they hadn't been there so my imagination could have run even more freely. Beyond that, it did seem disjointed at times, but maybe that can be attributed to the fact that I have only read this, book 1. The main girl, Candy Quackenbush, is about as boring as the town she comes from, which makes the story a bit irritating because, of course, I find myself only wanting to read about the more interesting characters (like Christopher Carrion). Near the end of the book, there was no more suspense for me because I was so bored with Candy I didn't really care if she lived or died. But some of the other characters are very interesting and much make up for it.
Overall, slightly crazy but enjoyable.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books!
I originally heard this book on CD, and it hooked me immediately. I've read a lot of books in my short life, but this is one that I absolutely LOVE! In fact, it is one of my most favorite books that I have ever read. Though there may be a few minor flaws, the imagination that went into this book and its sequel blew me away. The plot was unique, which may have been what caught my attention. When you've read as much teen fantasy as I have, you start to see the same ideas over and over. This however was completely new. Though I missed the illustrations when I first "read" the book, they greatly add to the story. I would definitely recommend this book, though not everyone may love it as much as I do.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Promising Beginning
The only criticism this book deserves is that it really leaves you hanging. It's a wonderful book, but you better buy both at once, because it'll be almost impossible for you to wait.
"Abarat" is a very rich, engaging fantasy, written for children but easily enjoyed by most. The protaganist is downtrodden but spunky, smart but not brilliant, curious but not reckless, introspective but interesting, and--this is the best--she's believable. Her reactions to the Abarat are realistic. Ccandy Quackenbush is an excellent leading lady, complex but not confusing. Barker made his heroine well.
The book does start off, not rockily, but ambiguously; if you're not at least a little patient, this book will drive you crazy, especially when it starts jumping between the two major groups of characters--who basically haven't even met each other yet. While "Abarat" ties together marvelously, you can't believe that it will at times.
As well, the writing at the beginning is a little static. While this is to emphasize the drudgery of Candy's life, Barker did it a little too well; however much we like Candy, neither she nor her situation is interesting. Luckily that changes fast--Barker gets the book off the ground as quickly as he can--it's easy to think you aren't really going to like it. Don't let it fool you, though. It might start with a little too much mystery, and a little too much--how shall we say--boringness, and it might end jumping around with not nearly enough resolution as one may like, but these are relatively minor problems. "Abarat" is a good fantasy, and is definitely worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning introduction to a new world
Candy Quackenbush is unhappy on the rolling plains of Chickentown Minnesota.Then a sea washes up in front of her and the master criminal John Mischief and his seven brothers draw her into a nascent war between Day and Night among the 25 islands of Abarat.Candy is washed into a realm where Christopher Carrion plots the unification of the destructive forces of Abarat under his leadership and an eternal Night without Day.Abarat, where each island is a different hour of the day, except for the mysterious Twent-fifth Hour.

Abarat is a world of infinite variety, diverse races, and impending war that will marshall magic, technology, beasts, and peoples to choose between a balance of Day and Night, and one unending Night.At the center of this struggle is Candy Quackenbush.She doesn't understand why she's the center of this, or why Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight, is determined to find her.

Abarat is an incredibly rich and detailed world, with characters who have both depth and color.Endless and diverse, Clive Barker has created and illustrated a fantastic world that begs to be toured.

Not for the faint of heart, Abarat has disturbing imagery and themes, violence and cruelty.But it also has compassion, hope, and beauty.

You'll usually find this in the Teens or Independent Readers sections, but it may be too intense for some younger readers, and has subtlety and depth to appeal to a much broader audience.

An outstanding beginning to a voyage through an incredible new Day and Night.

E. M. Van Court ... Read more

7. The Damnation Game
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 448 Pages (2002-11-05)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425188930
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A reclusive millionaire makes a deal with the devil. Just another horror tale? Don't bet on it.

It's from Clive Barker. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (87)

3-0 out of 5 stars A decent read, but somewhat dissapointing
Let me start by saying that I only bought this novel because it claimed to be a horror story. If you're looking for a light thriller to read on vacation that will send occasional chills up your spine this will do just fine. I was looking for something a little more intense.

Praises for "The Damnation Game" made it seem like the scariest tale of all time. "Will fry your eyes off", "A horrifying thriller", "One of the best horror novels in a very long time", "Truly horrifying"... King even said something about Barker's latest novel being "the future of horror". Throughout the entire novel I can remember only a few horrifying situations. The rest is eerie imagery and spooky dialogue.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer claims The Damnation Game is "Wonderful, Moving, and Apocalyptic". What is apocalyptic about a spooky semi-immortal man sneaking around a lavish mansion doing magic tricks with sparklers for a formerly imprisoned body guard. Yea we get it, he can resurrect dead animals & humans... we get it. Looking at the imagery from "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" creeps me out more frequently than reading this novel.

Again I'd like to reiterate that if you're looking for a THRILLER and not a horror novel then this is for you. I'm only ranting because I feel I've been misled.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure raw horror
Marty Strauss, a gambling addict, has just been released from prison when he gets hired as a personal bodyguard of Joseph Whitehead, one of the richest men on earth. What first seems as a common security assignment, quickly turns out to be much more dangerous. Joseph has some debt that he needs to repay and it is not to some earthly power. When the mansion gets invaded by a devilish man named Mamoulian, it becomes clear that a simple gun won't help against his powers.

The Damnation Game is the first novel by Clive Barker, directly written after he published his first trilogy of highly renowned Books of Blood. Although it is actually his debut, all the strong characteristics of his later works can be found in this Faustian story. Clive tackles subjects like incest, self-mutilation and cannibalism with a unseen rawness that makes the shivers run down your spine. Certainly the scene where Mamoulian first shows up at the mansion is horrendously detailed in its gruesomeness. If I only think about the description of the severed finger, I get the creeps. At first reading it might seem that the story is not very original, but that seems hardly an issue. The power of The Damnation Game lies mostly in its depiction of the deterioration of oneself due to the destructive power of an addiction.

To call this book a masterpiece might be going a bridge too far, but at least it great literature. But be warned: if you're looking for a feel-good story, go search somewhere else!

3-0 out of 5 stars Lofty Goals
Clive Barker has a reputation of pushing the envelope in his fiction to create a hallucinogenic landscape of terror.Certainly the original Hellraiser movie, my only introduction to Clive Barker, gave credence to this reputation so I decided to test one of his novels."The Damnation Game", besides his "Books of Blood" volumes, was the one title that seemed to get the most recognition.Perhaps this is because it was his first novel to be published and perhaps because it showcased his literary talent in a genre that was thin in that category.What ever it was that appealed to audiences, I did not find it in this book.

"The Damnation Game" feels like it had lofty goals but ultimately falls far short of reaching them.A modern re-telling of Faust, "The Damnation Game" centers around a successful businessman ( Joseph Whitehead) who hires an ex-con ( Marty Strauss) to protect him from the devilish creature Mamulian, whom he made a bargain with at the end of WWII.

The entire book is written in a very monotone style, perhaps a result of trying to showcase a literary flair, that creates very little atmosphere.Sections that are supposed to terrify leave the reader not breathless but confused and uninspired.For sure Mr. Barker has a knack for the twisted and I really liked his take on "Nothingness" and how he moves certain scenes beyond the reader's expectation.The Razor Eater is such a grotesque and deplorable character that he stands out among the rest, reminding the reader how twisted Mr. Barker could be.Unfortunately for the reader the other characters needed more depth than the Razor Eater, a depraved sexual predator zombie, to drive the story forward.
Marty Strauss, the hero of the novel never really rings true.There is a lot of background on Marty but none of the pieces seem to fit together to create a character that makes sense.We are introduced to former lovers, drug dealing friends, his talent for boxing boxing, and many other things that really did not add to the story or help me understand Marty's motivations besides payment.That goes for Whitehead as well.He is supposed to be a ruthless business man, but the reader sees none of these characteristics first hand, only in descriptions of the man by other characters.
Even Mamulian, the central protagonist and a centuries old devil who comes back to collect the soul he is owed, falls flat and is dull.

Maybe I missed something bigger in this novel but I found most of it to be slow and tedious.The story is there, the writing is better than most, but the execution is poorly handled.

2-0 out of 5 stars SLOOOOooooowwww!!
After reading this book, I almost can't believe that it's the same author that wrote Weaveworld and The Hellbound Heart!What started out as an interesting novel with a great and creative concept, was slowly dragged, and dragged, and dragged on WAY TOO LONG until it's creativity soon fizzled out.Honestly, if I were writing this book I would have chopped several hundred pages off the end of it.It's as though he through in a bunch of filler just to have a nice, thick novel to show off.Skip it!And skip Coldheart Canyon too!

5-0 out of 5 stars Damnation Game
Very Creative story.Be warned, it is written in British.So if you have a good vocabulary, enjoy the book, if not, get a dictionary ready. :D

Clive paints a picture that few authors can.He is an artist in his field. ... Read more

8. The Great and Secret Show
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 672 Pages (1999-12-01)
list price: US$18.99 -- used & new: US$4.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006093316X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

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.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (92)

5-0 out of 5 stars brilliant story about men and immortality
Barker provides us with an electrifying and engrossing tale.

This is not science fiction and is barely a fantasy.Its roots seem closer to surrealism and to the drawings of H.R. Giger.Barker wrote the introduction for Giger's Necronomicon, and in doing so revealed his own values, which are central to the narration of The Great and Secret Show.

It may seem flippant, but The Great and Secret Show is a unique fantasy that seems close in its architecture to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind.Mitchell wrote a masterpiece of human characterization.We all know people like the characters she drew, and we can accurately predict how they will respond in the situations they find themselves.What Barker has done is give us attitudes, moods, and powerful feelings, especially jealousy and resentment, which are personified by the characters in a way that engages our minds almost obsessively.

There's a Shakespearean strength and mastery of human personality in The Great and Secret Show.It even hints and warns us, with an almost humorous wisdom, about the critical differences between the gods and mortals.He lectures us, very convincingly, that the isles of Ephemeris and the far side of the Sea of Quiddity are and should be beyond us.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book I've ever read.
Quite simply the best book I've ever read. Admittedly, it's my first Barker book, but as a huge literary horror fan (lovecraft, matheson, young koontz, etc), I found myself absolutely redefining my expectations of what the genre of horror fantasy can be. Clive paints uniquely searing, vivid, and psychedelic events and unforgettable characters, combined with a relentless pace that kept me absolutely obsessed for 658 pages. Clive's ability to tell a sweeping, encompassing horror-fantasy epic in such an easily readable, yet profoundly moving and contemplative way, is testimony to the fact that he is eons ahead of any other horror and/or fantasy writer today, and has truly earned the title the back of the book praises him with, a master storyteller. The only drawback to this book is for those unfamiliar and uncomfortable with Clive's style of unapologetic in-your-face descriptions, including: erotica, love, horror, incest, murder, bestiality, gore, dreams, nightmares, etc. If, however, you are ready to hear one of the greatest stories of good and evil ever told without averting your eyes, it's a crime not to read this book. A timeless classic that trumps any other story I've ever read. On to Everville!

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it at age 16 and it is still one of my all time favorites 20 yrs later.
As I said I loved it 20 yrs ago & still love it now. The book has stood the teat of time. Mr.Barker continues to further the art w/ every book he puts out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Epic and Entertaining
If you are looking to get into Barker, start here. If you are looking for something creepy, fun and smart then look no further. Everybody I know who read this, loved it. Barker does an absolutely perfect job of baiting our curiosity. He hones in on the sense we all have, that there is more to our daily lives- something bigger. He uses that basic premise to lure us into learning more about his secret dimension lurking close by.Its addictive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book ever
If you enjoy books by Stephen King, you should experience a book by Clive Barker.The Great and Secret Show by all means is my favorite books of his all time.It really entraps you! ... Read more

9. Forms of Heaven: Three Plays
by Clive Barker
 Hardcover: 378 Pages (1996-12)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$49.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061052701
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Following the success of Incarnations comes Clive Barker's second collection of playsthree very different dramas that share the universal themes of transformation and redemption. Like the books and films that have made his name familiar worldwide, their comedy is always tinged with darkness, their tragedy is never that far from some half-glimpsed wonderment.

Crazyface follows the life of a great fool whose adventures in Europe's Dark Ages mingle equal measures of comedy, tragedy, and miracles. The drama continues in Paradise Street as an extraordinary group of time-travelers transform Clive Barker's hometown of Liverpool. Transformation is again the theme in Subtle Bodies. Quiddity, the sea of dreams which will weave its own powerful enchantment in Barker's later novels, transforms a hotel into a sinking cruise ship, taking its dreaming passengers into new depths of panic and revelation.

Even readers already familiar with Barker's many wondrous worlds will discover a host of surprises within these pages. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly funny plays from the master of the fantastic
In Forms of Heaven, the second collection of plays written by Clive Barker during his early creative years, three extraordinary plays have been brought together. In Crazyface the audience follows the adventures of the famous Tyl Eulenspiegel and the struggle for a valuable secret between the great countries of Europe's Dark Ages. In Paradise Street an impoverished and totally destroyed Liverpool street get a visit of a group time travellers that is not at all interested in keeping the equilibrium of time. And finally in Subtle Bodies Clive Barker shows what happens if some outrageous characters stay the night in a hotel and share one apocalyptic common dream.

The many fans of Clive Barker are already more than convinced of the amazing imaginative powers of the author. But the early plays that Clive wrote might still amaze many of them. In a format that is less descriptive than a 400-page novel, the author still succeeds in constructing a fantastic and powerful imagery that again and again absorbs the reader into a sea of dreams and imagination. Whereas in his previous collection of plays, Incarnations, the focus was overwhelmingly on the horrific and the violent, the plays collected in Forms of Heaven have a much lighter and humorous common denominator. Certainly the scenes where many actors share the stage are not only strangely absurd, but also tremendously funny. The outspoken production notes, added to each play, will help you to feel what it would be like to see them acted out on a real stage. I sure hope to get an opportunity to enjoy such a show.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice stories, bad plays.
Although, as always, the stories are a very nice read, they don't come accross as plays. Only one of the three plays would be managable on stage, and even then difficult for an audience. The other two are nearlyimpossible. Still a nice read though.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great and entertaining plays. Incredible imagination.
I am very happy with all the Clive Barkers works. I can't figure out how he writes all these great stuff. His imagination is out of this world. I love reading it. He sends my mind flying. ... Read more

10. The Inhuman Condition
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 192 Pages (2001-02-27)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743417348
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

A master storyteller and unrivaled visionary, Clive Barker has mixed the real and unreal with the horrible and wonderful in more than twenty years of fantastic fiction. The Inhuman Condition is a masterwork of surrealistic terror, recounting tragedy with pragmatism, inspiring panic more than dread and evoking equal parts revulsion and delight. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
Excellent book, especially for horror and dark fantasy fans! This is definitely one of Barker's best works in my opinion, you won't be let down. I recommend to anyone!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good collection of creepy stories
This is a good collection of creepy stories.As usual, Clive Barker delivers wild images, exciting plots and impactful language.The story about the hands is particularly creepy and memorable.If you're new to Clive Barker, start with one of his full-length books and try the short stories later.Full-length character development is where he really shines.If you already love his writing, you'll enjoy these dark tales.

AUDIO VERSION - I'm sorry for Clive Barker that this audio book was performed and directed so poorly.Dillinger Steele mispronounces 50 or so words narrating this short collection.If you love the English language and Barker's beautiful prose, you'll cringe listening to Dillinger Steele mangle it.

3-0 out of 5 stars A fair read
There are some blood tales in this book.Let me cut to the chase.
1)The body politic.
A very simple story.In a world where our hands have a mind of their own,one man's hand seeks to take over the world!(I know this sounds dumb,but the story is quite good.)

2)The inhuman condition.
A guy and his friends beat up a vagrant for fun,stealing from him a piece of knotted rope...
That same day, the guy who took the knotted rope from the vagrant,begins to unravel it.With the unravelling of the rope his friends suddenly start to die out,one by one...And a lot of evil starts to be unleashed.The same vagrant whom was a victim has to help the guy battle this evil.

Now this is a very fascinating story.A pastor and his wife goes to a motel,for some kind of vacation.The room in which they are staying was the scene of a murder.
In this room the ghosts terrorize the couple.

4)Down satan.
In this story a guy builds a place for satan on earth.A very short story.(not one of my favourite)

5)The age of desire.
A very good story.In this story,a victim of an Aphrodisaic experiment run away from the lab and starts to uncontrollably have sex with people...But then he soon starts to rape and murder people and things start to get nasty...

An overall fairly interesting book.I would recommend it....enjoy...Nigel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clive Barker Take Us On The Nightmare Journey Of A Lifetime
God, just talking about The Inhuman Condition makes me itch to read it all over again for the tenth time.Clive Barker, especially early Barker like In The Flesh, The Inhuman Condition & The Books Of Blood are so righteously killer, I can't help but re-reading them whenever I get the chance.Talk about visionary horror, Clive Barker turned the entire Horror Genre upside down with his fiction.Inventive, clever, well-written & above all, original, he was like the new incarnation of H.P. Lovecraft.Genius.

The Inhuman Condition consists of five novellas:

The Inhuman Condition:Some hoods roll a drunk and steal something very precious.A piece of rope with three knots in it.Nothing special, right?Well...once you untie the knots, something comes into being.Something terrible.Great story.

The Body Politic:Charlie has the strangest thoughts.He thinks his hands are planning a revolt, plotting against him and the whole human race.Crazy, right?Well...when he wakes up to find that his hands have strangled his wife, he's not so sure any more.Another great, original story.

Revelations!: A modern day ghost story with a small twist.An evangelsit and his troupe check into a motel where a murder most foul had taken place...so do the deceased couple, for they're there to recreate the murder or try and reconcile, who can tell.Witty and strange.Clive keeps us enthralled.

Down, Satan:The only detraction from the book's brilliance.A rather short story about a man who wants to hang with Satan so he builds Hell on earth just for that very purpose.Bizare and dark, never really takes off as a full story.

The Age Of Desire:Weird.That's the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this story.A group of scientists are doing experiments with hallucinogenic love drugs.The results are very interestng.Probably the most pornographic of all the stories.This one will make you wonder what really churns through Clive Barker's brain.

Overall, an excellent incarnation of horror.Buy it, read it, love it.

Dig it!

1-0 out of 5 stars Did a 10th grader write this?
This is a horribly written piece of garbage. Why it was published is a mystery to me. It needs to be proofread, spellchecked and re written. Th stories are nonsensical gross-outs that go nowhere and leave the reader feeling unsatisfied. This is pure bush league. What an embarrassment to literature. Try Stephen King for sophisticated, interesting horror. ... Read more

11. The Thief of Always: A Fable
by Clive Barker
Hardcover: 225 Pages (1992-11)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$17.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060177241
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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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 round 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 its darker facewhen Harvey discovers the pitiful creatures that dwell in its shadowsthat 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 ambitions for his new guest, for Harvey's soul burns brighter than any soul he has encountered in a thousand years... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Easy Read
This book is surprisingly refreshing. I often find it hard to find a fantasy book where the author doesn't babble on in which case i lose interest. This book is great for light reading and the illustrations are captivating, i like that Clive Barker can make it so easy for me to let my imagination run free with no boundaries.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chills
In many ways this is the scariest of Clive Barker's novels. Not gorey, but the idea was chilling. I know it has been done before (like in the Island of lost boys in Pinnocchio) but it was still terrifying. Next to Imajica: Featuring New Illustrations and an Appendix this is my favorite Barker novel.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, but good
This is a quick reading book.
First of all, if you're looking for some more Hellraiser stuff, keep looking.
Don't think that this is all fluffy bunnies, and purple flowers either.This is an evil entity that's in charge of what happens to the main character.I know that makes you think WHAT?!!I don't want to say too much and ruin it.

This doesn't help much, but I can only say that I started out reading sci-fi/fantasy, most of the Horror books didn't have much of a plot they only wanted to be graphic.Then I got turned on to some H.P. Lovecraft, which lead to reading Clive Barker. This story isn't overly graphic, but it's creepy.In short, I think it's worth a read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Theif of Always
Thank you so much for this. I have been Clive Barker fan for such a long time and to find it in hard cover and autographed is like a dream come true. Thank you again so much Chad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Re-found gem
I recieved this book as a gift when i was about 10. My father and I read it together and I remembered it as being very good and that even my father liked it. Now that i'm out of college and on my own, I am slowly getting all my old stuff out of their storage--including this book. I picked it up and couldn't put it down. It was just as good as I remembered it. Poigniant, well written with a lively pace, and a sympathetic protagonist that I can still identify with. If your a parent with a 9-12yr old son get this book. ... Read more

12. Everville
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 704 Pages (1999-12-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$7.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060933151
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
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Product Description

On the borderland between this world and the world of Quiddity, the sea of our dreams, sits Everville.For years it has lived in ignorance of the gleaming shore on which it lies.But its ignorance is not bliss.Opening the door between worlds, Clive Barker delivers his characters into the heart of the human mystery; into a place of revelation, where the forces which have shaped our past--and are ready to destroy our future--are at work.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars The masterful Art Trilogy continues...
A spectacular sequel to The Great and Secret Show and the second book of the Art, Everville continues the plot five years later, bringing many characters back into starring and bit roles. The brilliance of the book lies in the way it weaves (over a four hundred year span of time) a whole new story into the original while continuing the amazing writing, pacing, and characterisation of the first book. As the middle book of the trilogy, it steers clear of normal plotline conventions and works incredible twists into the already epic story, while continuing the searing apocalyptic vision of the first; the crushing horror, the tender dreams, the surreal sights, and most especially the representation of the human struggle at its realest, our fears and triumphs, conveyed through a horror fantasy masterpiece that hits home unrelentingly and undeniably. Old characters return alongside brilliant new ones who enrich and drive home the narrative, and together they create a new cast of extraordinary shades of morality, sexuality, belief, and violence. In order for this book to be truly understood and enjoyed, you definitely should read TG&SS before you read this.
The only downside, in the end, is having to wait for the last book of the trilogy to find out how this brilliant and massive tale concludes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Last good book by Clive Barker
My personal opinion is that this was Clive Barker's last good book.It's the sequel to the Great and Secret Show. The characters and situations are weird, unforgettable and horrific. I've been waiting for Barker to come out with the 3rd book, but my impression is that he just can't seem to continue it.I think he finally ran out of creative gas.

5-0 out of 5 stars An expertly woven tale of our world and the next one over.
Everville is the sequel to The Great and Secret Show, and while I suppose you could read it without reading TGaSS first, I wouldn't recommend it.Many of the characters from TGaSS return, and Barker does a great job of juggling their stories with all the new people he introduces in Everville.True, some characters are given short thrift, but they have their parts to play in this novel and probably the planned Third Book of the Art as well.

The first hundred pages or so of Everville, however, deal not with the characters we know from TGaSS, but rather with some historical events that set the stage for not only the rest of the book but for the events of TGaSS as well.This beginning is slow going at first, but stick with it; the rest of the ride is well worth it.

What I really liked about Everville is that it explores the world of the Metacosm in much more detail, almost to the level of a fantasy novel, but keeps it grounded in our reality by having it always be seen through the eyes of mundane POV characters.In other words, fantastic things are happening to the characters, but it always feels like a story about the world you and I live in, not some alternate Earth in another dimension.

Everville had me racing to the end of the book to see how all our characters' lives intersect.Now I can't wait for more stories from this branch of the Clive Barker story tree.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthy Follow-Up
Nice, but kinda looses focus towards the end. It's almost as if he was worn out and ready to move on to something else. But then again, in saying that, I'm more than ready to read the 3rd (and hopefully final) book if and when it ever comes out.

As an avid reader, I appreciate the attention to detail and unique storytelling Mr. Barker gives us with each and every effort. His stories are so beautifully written, painfully, almost shamefully honest in exposing those well hidden good / evil traits each of us possess. Mr. Barker is the best in presenting both sides of the human coin. I wantto say: Kudos! Mr. Barker, for a well crafted, well written story. Soooooo much better than The Great and Secret Show, but then again,notquite up to the level of some of your other finer work.

2-0 out of 5 stars Super Reader
Didn't really enjoy this at all, compared to the other Barker books. This is pretty much when I stopped reading him, in general. A quite disappointing book after the other work I had enjoyed reading in the past. Hard to put the figure on quite why, but it could well be that there are just not enough monsters. ... Read more

13. Clive Barker's Age of Desire
by Clive Barker, P. Craig Russell, Tim Bradstreet
Hardcover: 64 Pages (2009-05-13)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$5.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0980147921
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
First time in print! Clive Barker's dark vision follows the last days of a genetically altered and homicidally ecstatic sexual compulsive. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars The AGE OF DESIRE Arrives At Last.......
Clive Barker's AGE OF DESIRE has been a long time coming. Originally meant to be published by Eclipse Comics in the early 1990's, the adaptation by comic book legend P. Craig Russell was fully scripted and partially illustrated when it was deemed unfit by Eclipse's Editorial staff, who promptly rejiggered the script and handed it over to Artist Timothy Bradstreet for illustration. Bradstreet labored away at the adaptation, never suspecting that not only was he not collaborating on the book with Russell, as he was led to believe by Eclipse, but that Eclipse was moments away from bankruptcy. Eclipse went under, Russell and Bradstreet remained unpaid, the adaptation went unpublished, and the artwork was lost forever. Or so it seemed......

Recently, Bradstreet was contacted by a former employee of Eclipse Comics, who had found a few boxes of old stuff from Eclipse that happened to contain most of his original art from AGE OF DESIRE. Bradstreet contacted Russell, the two polished up the book, and here we are, over 18 years later.......

And the verdict?

Pretty damned good. The story is taken from Clive Barker's BOOKS OF BLOOD, and concerns itself with an experimental Aphrodisiac gone horrifically wrong.....Russell's script is pitch-perfect, and Bradstreet's art is remarkably polished for someone who was just starting his career off. Aside from a few maddening typos, Desperado has created a beautiful little hardcover package, and my hat is off to them for unearthing this long-buried gem. In addition to the main story, the book is rounded out by short (Three pages apiece) essays from Russell and Bradstreet that detail the project's long and winding road to print, and a few pages of Russel's original pencil pages. ... Read more

14. The Reconciliation (Imajica, Book 2)
by Clive Barker
Mass Market Paperback: 544 Pages (1995-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061094153
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The magical tale of ill-fated lovers lost among worlds teetering on the edge of destruction, where their passion holds the key to escape.

There has never been a book like Imajica. Transforming every expectation offantasy fiction with its heady mingling of radical sexuality and spiritual anarchy, it has carried its millions of readers into regions of passion and philosophy that few books have even attempted to map. It's an epic in everyway; vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. A book of erotic mysteries and perverse violence. A book ofancient, mythological landscapes and even more ancient magic. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Barker at his best
this story is amazing. if you haven't, then read it. if you have, read it again!

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a "new" book!
I was looking forward to purchasing this item, but after reading L. Farster's review, I decided to do a bit of research.Like L. Farster, I discovered that The Reconciliation (Imajica, Book 2) is not "new" book, but rather that the original Imajica (I have the hardcover from '91) has been split into two books.Thanks, L. Farster, and yes, Amazon.com should make more it clear!

5-0 out of 5 stars #2?in the series, I dont think so
I love Clive Barker's work.But I feel Decieved because I have read this book before, when it was just one book.You should make this clear to your customers.I will be more careful next time.
I loved the book the first time but I am not going to buy the first half again. How disappointing it was not a totally new story about the same Imajica.
Or am I wrong?I don't think so.

5-0 out of 5 stars Erotic, Adventurous, and Way the Hell Out There
Let me start off by saying that I absolutely LOVE Clive Barker. He comes second only to Anne Rice on my list of favorites. He is the master of comteporary erotic fantasy fiction and everytime you open one of his books you can't help getting sucked in.

Imajica is one of my ultimate Clive Barker favorites. The book starts off with a theory about love stories: there can only ever be two lovers, not three. Therefore, it is no surprise when we learn that two men are in love with the same woman and one of them has decided to have her killed. He instantly regrets his hasty decision and goes to his rival, asking him to stop the assassin.

Zacharias Fury, artist and womanizer extordianare, agrees to stop the assasin and find Jude (the woman these two men are in love with). He succeeds in saving her from the greatest assassin of all time -- a creature from another realm who can shapeshift into whatever his "customer" desires. This creature is the ultimate fantasy -- have sex with it and it will be whoever you want, WHATEVER you want. And that's not all. You want someone killed? The shapeshifer Pi will get it done.

::SPOILER:: The shapeshifter's work is not done, however. After an argument with Jude, Z. Fury returns to his small hotel room and is preparing for a miserable night's sleep when there's a knock on his door and he opens it to find Jude standing there. As he and Jude make sensual love, the phone rings, and Fury answers it to find . . . . JUDE (gasp!) on the other end.

This is possibly one of the funniest parts of the two part novel. You will aboslutely fall in love with the characters ofPi, Fury, and Jude. And I promise, Zacharias Fury WILL travel to another world -- hence the title Imajica -- and free the poor imprisoned goddesses trapped there.

Clive Barker says this story is an allegory about Christ. See if you can find the similarities.

1-0 out of 5 stars Imagibore
This book starts of very well, with lots of interesting idea's which you hope exspect to be explained more fully as you read on.

However the deeper you get into the book the more you notice how half baked it all seems, jumping from one outlandish idea to another, and contradicting itself at every turn (one example is: 'nothing disturbed her from this sleep, not even dreams' and then in the next sentance 'she was awoken from whatever dream she was having') it is full of contradictions which often made me shake my head in disbelief.

You are led to beleive that what the imagica 'is' will be explained in the fullness of time, but the conclusion to the story was the biggest flop in a book ive ever read, I wont give anything away, suffice to say that the imagica is never explained, I dont think the author even had an idea to start with.

The way men are constantly refered to as the 'destroyers' and women as something so much better is strange to start with, but as the author continues to press his 'point' home it gets bewildering, boring, and then quite worrying (does he hate his own sex so much he has to put them down in every other sentance?)

I think if Mr Barker had taken more time to develop his idea's and set the story out across more books (I never complain about buying a story that is set across 3 or even 6 different books!) it could of been a great and interesting tale.

Sadly it is a mix of half baked mix philosophy, religion and magic, in places it found it so boring I had to put it down and could only read small chunks at a time, by the time I was nearing the end I was skimming pages of seemingly pointless drivel trying to get to somthing substantial, which alas never came.

I cant recomend this as a purchase, rent it from the library but dont waste your money. ... Read more

15. Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic: The Authorized Biography
by Douglas E. Winter
Hardcover: 688 Pages (2002-08-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0066213924
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Clive Barker: a modern myth-maker, explorer of our darkest instincts and ultimate fears, the writer who -- more than any other contemporary figure -- has shaped our nightmares through diverse media. Novelist, playwright, scriptwriter, artist and director, he is a master at twisting the mundane to make it fantastic, frightening and ultimately meaningful.

Douglas E. Winter's detailed and highly literate biography, made possible by unprecedented access to Barker and his closest friends and family, offers readers a privileged insight into Barker's own story: his Liverpool childhood and adolescence; his forays into the world of theatre, mime and direction; his meteoric rise to fame as the author of the Books of Blood and Weaveworld, and the director of Hellraiser; his move to Hollywood to pursue a film career and his growth as an artist in many different media, which has taken him from theatre -- the first form of human expression -- into the digital age.

Interwoven with this revealing and personal journey into Barker's life is a grand tour through all of his fiction and film, from his earliest unpublished work -- including the short story "The Wood on the Hill," which is published here for the first time -- up to his most recent novel, Coldheart Canyon and beyond, giving a tantalising glimpse of things to come.

Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic unlocks the beating heart of a polymath, a creator, a true artist, and reveals at last a man with one of the twentieth century's most phenomenal imaginations, and the vision to lead us on many strange and fabulous journeys in the years ahead.

Amazon.com Review
Douglas E. Winter, author of Stephen King: The Art ofDarkness and editor of two major dark-fiction anthologies (Prime Evil and Revelations), may be the reigning expert on modern horror. If his book Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic is not the definitive biography of that polymathic author-playwright-auteur, it is only because the volume appeared when its subject was still in his late forties.

At 501 pages, plus 50 pages of endnotes and nearly 100 pages of Primary and Secondary Bibliography, The Dark Fantastic is an impressively thorough document. It covers Clive Barker's life from before birth (giving background on his parents, grandparents, and the hometown he shares with the Beatles) through the early years of struggle to his successes as an internationally bestselling author, Hollywood screenwriter-producer-director, and family man. The biography makes it clear that Barker has always had exceptional talent. (The Dark Fantastic includes, as an appendix, a previously unpublished story, written in Barker's early teens, "The Wood on the Hill." This uneven but fully developed fable of hubris is a tale authors twice as old would be proud to have written.)

Readers expecting a tell-all biography will be disappointed. A good portion of The Dark Fantastic is devoted to summaries and assessments of Barker's creations in many media. However, Winter's critical examinations are interesting, sympathetic, and honest. The Dark Fantastic is a must for all Barker fans and all serious scholars of horror and the fantastic. --Cynthia Ward ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars thorough insight
a powerful, enlightening and elegant look inside the life of an amazing talent. Another one of my favorite biographies (that I've read in the last year) is Aldous Huxley, An English Intellectual, by Nicholas Murray - but this one on Clive Barker is phenomenal! I'm stunned by the exhaustive research and careful analysis that these highly gifted biographers bring to the table.

Winter is highly descriptive and brings revelation after revelation in vivid, intelligent detail. My only complaint would be that practically every rock is unturned in Barker's various works. This is great if you have read or seen them all; but if you are new to Barker, it pretty much gives a lot away! This complaint is overcome by the magnitude of such a monumental work as this. Winter is a true genius. The skilled writing is so entertaining that any sin is easily forgiven!

Artists who have left (and are leaving) such a profound influence are worthy of the infinite efforts of a truly grand investigator/author; and Mr. Barker got the expert treatment on this one, indeed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insert witty title here.
I took this book out from the library because I was in the mood to read non-fiction about fantastic fiction. I hadn't actually read any Barker, except for two false starts on Sacrament. I now intend to rectify that situation, as I've gone out and fetched myself a copy of Weaveworld and intend to get to it forthwith, followed by his other books. This is the best biography I've read (although that's a limited number) and certainly a fascinating look into an author I knew very little about beforehand. I wish Mr. Winter's look at King was as recent, because then it would be high on my list of priorities as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read.
Reading about Clive Barker's polymathic inclinations, one recalls a scene from his book, The Great and Secret Show.In that tale, postal worker Randolph Jaffe, assigned to the dead letter room, unwittingly finds himself at a spiritual crossroads of America.Uncovering hidden truths by exploring the ramblings of the lost, the lonely, and the mad, Jaffe gets a glimpse of other worlds just under the surface of the "real" one.

Clive Barker has also glimpsed other worlds, but rather than driving him mad, these visions have compelled him to communicate what he has seen to others.This compulsion has led him to express himself in a multiplicity of media, including the sketches he drew as a child (and indeed, throughout his life), the plays he wrote in his twenties, the short stories he penned as he matured, the movies he directed, or even now, in the portraits he paints.It is this impulse that Douglas Winter, a polymath in his own right (lawyer, journalist, editor, author, book critic, public speaker), attempts to chronicle and explicate in The Dark Fantastic.

The book is arranged chronologically, following Barker from his early life in Liverpool, to his years on the London theatre scene, culminating in the present day, where we find him in Hollywood at work on his latest undertaking, the multimedia project known as The Abarat Quartet. Winter seems to have had unrestricted access to his subject and to those around him, as he cites knowledge gained from interviews with Barker and a plethora of Barker's family, friends, lovers, ex-lovers and business partners.Although Winter makes no claim of objectivity, he maintains a respectable distance from his subject, providing valuable insights into both the man and his work.Doing so, he makes a convincing case for Barker's inclusion in the pantheon of the leading creators of fantastic literature.

Perhaps the most important revelations are found near the end of the book, where Barker becomes more comfortable with his sexuality, finding true love with photographer David Armstrong.There also, he deals with the death of his father and his subsequent descent into depression.Barker's latest epiphany is the most fascinating, as he comes to realize that hundreds of paintings, seemingly created at random to combat his depression, all contained common themes, themes that eventually coalesced to form the basis of his Abarat Quartet project.The fact that he unconsciously worked his way towards mental health, even while breaking new barriers, is both inspirational and awe inspiring.

The book's upbeat �ending" (Barker's only fifty as of the publication date) bodes well for the future.Barker, it seems, will continue to receive messages from other realities, filtering them through his artistic sensibilities to make them more palatable to us lesser mortals.We, the audience, merely have to open our minds, experience his work, and learn. By allowing Barker to take us to other worlds, we can more easily absorb the lessons he has to teach us about our own.

4-0 out of 5 stars the man and his art
I do not often read biographies, but since Clive Barker is one of my favorite authors and I enjoy his writing so much, I figured I would give this book a shot. First off, if this book were just about the life of Clive, it would be at probably only half as long. Winter uses much of the book as an in-depth critical analysis of Barker's fiction. At first I didn't like this method, and if you are not familiar with all of the works he discusses, the respective sections may not be as informative. However, as I read more and more of the book, it became clear that Winter was not only analyzing Barker's fiction, but Barker himself as well. At times this works wonderfully, shedding light not only on Barker as a writer and person, but on the process of creating art and literature. I learned a lot about writing and many times discovered things in his fiction that I had not seen before. Thus, if one was rereading Barker's works, Winter's book could be an insightful commentary. The only problem that I had with the book was that at some points if felt not like a biography but only a critical interpretation of certain pieces. The in-depth analysis of most pieces of Barker's work seemed a little overboard for a biography. Otherwise, this is a very well-written, insightful, and overall entertaining book. A must for any fan of Barker, fantastic fiction, or an interest in creativity in general, since Barker seems to leave very few creative endeavors unexplored. ... Read more

16. Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood Ghost Story
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 704 Pages (2009-11-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$4.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061769053
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Film's most popular action hero needs a place to heal after his surgery 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 deeds has not yet died. There are ghosts and monsters haunting Coldheart Canyon, where nothing is forbidden . . .

Clive Barker's Coldheart Canyon showcases the boldly innovative New York Times bestselling master at the very top of his formidable and frightening skills. Clive Barker is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty books for adults and children. He is also a widely acclaimed artist, film producer, screenwriter, and director. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (136)

1-0 out of 5 stars Strange, very very strange
I happened on this book by chance at the library, bought it for quarter for it off their discard shelf. Never heard of Clive Barker, know little about him even now. There's nothing on the front cover or on the inside flap to tell you how bizarre the story is going to be (I have the book jacket showing the guy in the tuxedo). Unfortunately I didn't read the back cover mentioning Barker as a horror writer, but I don't think the horror was the whole problem with the reading of the book because I gave up on it during Part 4 (out of 11) before it got into the really weird parts, and then skipped the Epilogue to get it over with. I'm going to return the book to the discard shelf so the library can make another quarter off it. Or sell it at a garage sale so I can redeem my quarter.

3-0 out of 5 stars Quick Interesting Read, but not scary
This was the first Clive Barker novel I have read.I got the title from a list of scary ghost stories.I can not complain too much about a book that is almost 700 pages and I read in three days.It was entertaining and interesting, just not scary.I was hoping for a good ghost story that might make me check under the bed, but did not get it.Not a bad book, just not scary.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book!
Good book.I hadn't read Barker in a few years, but this book was really good.I will gladly recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars fascinating dark Hollywood ghost story
Willem Zeffer manages the career of silent film star Katya Lupescu who sadistically took pleasure from others.While in Romania, Willem buys painted tiles from a medieval monastery that graphically show bizarre sexual encounters.He brings them to Hollywood though he is unable to explain to himself let alone his wife why he had to buy the erotic artwork.However, he has them placed inside of Katya's Coldheart Canyon mansion; which leads to a who's who of the silent film era coming to her home ostensibly to see the queen of frozen sadism, but deep down each knows they visit to admire the sexual arousing masterpieces.

Six decades since a bewildered Willem brought the tiles to California, movie star Todd Pickett recovers from slipshod cosmetic surgery at Coldheart Canyon mansion.At the same time he wallows in self pity, the president of a Todd fan club, unhappily married Tammy Lauper, decides to visit her recuperating hero to help him heal.Still visiting the mansion are the ghosts of Hollywood legends and wannabes who came to see the artwork of the Queen of Hell condemning a hunter to sexually depravity that gripped each of them when they were alive and continues its fascination well passed their death, a hellish time on earth.

This is a fascinating dark Hollywood ghost story that also pays homage to the legends of the silver screen.The story line is fast-paced and gripping though not particularly as frightening as some of Clive Barker's previous works.Fans will enjoy Mr. Barker turning Jacqueline Susan and the spirit of Harold Robbins on their respective heads as they are just two of the ghosts of Hollywood residing at Coldheart Canyon.

Harriet Klausner

4-0 out of 5 stars help me!
Todd Picket cancels his appointment with Burrows because his dog gets sick. Then after Dempsey(the dog) dies Todd calls Eppstadt and asks him for Burrow's phone number to make an appointment because it is not in the phone book! Well,something wrong with this picture! Clive Barker is a wonderful writer and such goofs happen to everyone but where was an editor?!

... Read more

17. Scared Stiff: Tales of Sex and Death
by Ramsey Campbell
Paperback: 240 Pages (2003-08-01)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$10.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765306050
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Ramsey Campbell has won four World Fantasy Awards, ten British Fantasy Awards, and the Horror Writers' Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. Publishers Weekly calls Campbell "a horror writer's horror writer," adding, "His control of mood and atmosphere is unsurpassed." The Cleveland Plain Dealer says his horror fiction is "of consistently high quality," and The Washington Post praises Campbell for continuing "to break new ground, advancing the style and thematic content of horror fiction far beyond the works of his contemporaries."

The original publication of Scared Stiff almost created the sub-genre of erotic horror.Never had sex and death been so mesmerizingly entwined.Clive Barker, in his Introduction, says, "One of the delightfully unsettling things about these tales is the way Ramsey's brooding, utterly unique vision renders an act so familiar to us all so fretful, so strange, so chilling.Sex . . . is the perfect stuff for the horror writer, and there can be few artists working in the genre as capable of analyzing and dramatizing [this] as Campbell."

For this edition, Campbell has added three new stories which have never before appeared in book form.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
A short selection of Campbell's story wherein he is dealing more explicitly with
sexuality, from the disturbed and the alone kind, to the volunteer for group ritual with bad end variety.They are pretty decent, overall, with a 3.45 average.

Scared Stiff : Dolls - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : The Other Woman - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Lilith's - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : The Seductress - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Stages - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Loveman's Comeback - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Merry May - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : The Limits of Fantasy - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : The Body in the Window - Ramsey Campbell
Scared Stiff : Kill Me Hideously - Ramsey Campbell

Coven lubrication.

3 out of 5

Throat art.

3.5 out of 5

Artificial Love Mate.

3 out of 5

Must satisfy.

3.5 out of 5

It's a trip to not do it by myself.

3.5 out of 5

Sexual summoning.

4 out of 5

Ritual ending.

4 out of 5

New scenes.

3 out of 5

Spin show recognition.

3.5 out of 5

Like to be a victim, please.

3.5 out of 5

4-0 out of 5 stars Essential Ramsey Campbell
If you bought this book expecting a lot of sexual action, then you'll be sorely disappointed.Eroticism is *not* hot sex. Try your local adult bookstore, instead.That said, *real* Ramsey Campbell and/or *real*fans of the horror genre will appreciate this collection.To be fair, the first three titles aren't all that.They are, in fact, rather dull.However, the shudders and shivers pick up in "The Seductress" and increase from there. Hot sex seekers should look elsewhere for their carnal fixation(s).

4-0 out of 5 stars A keeper!!!
Not as much hot sex as title impresses, but by far my best collection of Ramsey Campbell's stories. I only like about half of his book, but this one's a keeper!

1-0 out of 5 stars I would give this book a zero if I could!
I bought this book for $5.00 in hardcover at Barnes & Noble, and it was the worst $5 I have ever spent.I usually don't feel compelled to write reviews here, but I couldn't sit on my disappointment with this book.The stories are so nonsensical that half the time when they were over I had no idea was happened.Every story in the book stinks!I kept reading, hoping that at least one would be enjoyable, but nope.Sorry to say it, but this book is a huge stinker. Don't even waste the time getting it for free from the library!

5-0 out of 5 stars The deadly art of seduction
Clive Barker's introduction is as good as the stories themselves, stating in regards to the melding of horror and erotica that "In an age when characters in all manner of fiction have forsaken their blushes to fornicate, horror fiction clings to its underwear with a nunnish zeal."Since Scared Stiff was first published in 1988, this was one of the influential books that led to the production of more erotica in horror, such as the Hot Blood series.

There are only seven tales in this collection, making it a wonderful traveling companion or vacation book.Starting with `Dolls', we visit a quiet village and the witch's coven that conjures the devil during orgies, leading to `The Other Woman', a tale of an artist's obsession with his work bleeding over onto the canvas of his own life.

Next is `Liliths', probably my favorite story in the compilation.A strange shop appears out of nowhere, and a man makes a purchase that changes his life.A life sized doll that fills him with compulsive behavior.
`The Seductress' is a low-key suspense tale, of obsessive love and a mother's revenge.`Stages' tells of us a deadly combination of $ex, drugs, and voyeurism.`Loveman's Comeback' speaks of possession, and the lengths one will go to in order to break out of a bad relationship.And finally, `Merry May' is about wandering into a strange town, and finding their odd celebration a little more than you can handle.

While in comparison to today's erotic horror, Scared Stiff is a bit tame for this blossoming genre, but Ramsey Campbell's early foray into this forbidden realm truly opened doors for those of us who enjoy peeking into the bloody rooms to find titillating delights within.If you are really a fan of visceral lust run amok, then you should own a copy of Scared Stiff.Enjoy!
... Read more

18. Galilee
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 816 Pages (1999-09-20)
list price: US$16.50 -- used & new: US$8.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0006178057
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A massive tale of secrets, corruption and magic between two feuding families -- the powerful Gearys and the shadowy Barbarossas.EVERY FAMILY HAS A SECRETAs rich as the Rockefellers, as glamorous as the Kennedys, the Geary dynasty has held subtle sway over American life since the Civil War, brilliantly concealing the depths of its corruption. All that is about to change. For the Gearys are at war. Their enemies are another dynasty -- the Barbarossas -- whose origins lie not in history but in myth.When the prodigal prince of the Barbarossa clan, Galilee, falls in love with Rachel Geary, the pent-up loathing between the families erupts in a mutually destructive frenzy. Adulteries are laid bare. Secrets creep out. And insanity reigns.Galilee is a massive tale, mingling the sharp realism of Barker's bestseller Sacrament with the dark invention for which he's known worldwide, and surpassing both with an epic tale which will surely rank as the crowning achievement of his career. ... Read more

19. Sacrament
by Clive Barker
 Paperback: 447 Pages (2005-12-09)
-- used & new: US$14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0007755236
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A famous photographer lying in a coma holds the key to the salvation of the world. But first he must travel back into the traumatic events of his childhood.Will Rabjohns has everything. He's handsome, he's rich, and he's revered as the world's greatest wildlife photographer. He's also a haunted man, driven to risk his life for his art -- to capture the raw tragedy of the wild, the beauty of nature's violence.After a near fatal encounter with a polar bear, he lies in a coma. There he must relive a central childhood memory: a meeting with ancient and terrible forces which revealed to him the mystery at the heart of nature. And he realizes that if he awakes, he must confront the darkness of his past and wage a war, not only for his own soul, but for the soul of the planet and every animal that breathes upon it.Amazon.com Review
A boy has an encounter with a man who causes extinctions ofother species, so he grows up to be a man who documents (and thusappeals for a halt to) those extinctions. This dark fantasy tale isunlike Clive Barker's other recent ones: it is more tightly plotted,and more of this world. In a sequence of well-executed storieswithin stories (comparable to Russian dolls), Barker unfolds acompelling examination of what it means to be human, to be a man, andto be a gay man--on a planet where aging, disease, and death bring"the passing of things, of days and beasts and men he'dloved." A satisfying long novel packed with vivid images,memorable characters, and a melancholy mood that reaches for hope. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars To love and lose
This book strikes a particular chord with me; It reminded me of love lost too early to cancer (early 20's).An excellent Barker book that is a departure from what I expected out of the man who crafted The Great and Secret Show (ambitious effort of his I admire for its re-readability) and the collected short of The Inhuman Condition (downright disturbing).I would reread the Barker books I've read to make this particular title last as it seems to echo with all of his writings in particular ways at particular points within the prose.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite Clive Barker book
The story is decent in some spots but if you are expecting something rich and stylized like "Weaveworld" or "The Great and Secret Show" then you are going to be disappointed.Reading it is a long, frustrating and laborious process.The story is boring and the most interesting characters aren't used enough. The ending is anit-climatic and you find yourself wishing that something truly terrible would happen to the main character just to make the story interesting.
It would have been ok if it had been written by a different writer, but my expectations for Clive Barker are high (and probably unreasonable).

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, dark fantasy
Clive Barker is unlike any other author I read.In this one he branches out to touch on some contemporary issues.I found it very entertaining.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mysteriously entertaining!

This book is totally good.I am a bit disturbed to know that alot of people abstained from reading this book because the main character was gay.But I will tell you something.Although the main character is gay,the book isn't.The story line does not concentrate on anything gay.This is one of the best books I have ever read.It is not a horror novel as much as a fantasy novel.The ending part of this book gets a bit confusing,but it is nevertheless properly written.This book is totally successful as far as I am concerned.
You see,the thing about Mr Barker is that he writes what other writers wouldn't not dare to write.He takes a lot of chances and,quite frankly,I think that is the only way to be successful.
Some writers out there have a tendency to "recycle" their stories,which completely sucks...
The book,though thoroughly developed,feels quite unfinished at the ending,forcing me to give it four stars.
The plot is as follows:Mr Will Rabjohns is a great photographer.He deals mainly with taking pictures of wild animals.
And what is truly fascinating is that he takes a lot of chances,risking his life to get his job done.
While taking the picture of a bear,he becomes the victim of an accident.He goes into a coma.During his coma he relives his childhood,realizing that there is something important from his past that has come to "haunt" him.(two strange people who changed his life in ways he never thought possible).
He soon wakes from his coma and goes on the journey of a life time,trying to confront and conquer this force before it conquers him...
(IN this review I tried not to give away too much of the story.Because it would kill the suspense.)
I just wanted to give you a brief outline of the plot.
This book is a fantasy/drama/suspense....

Enjoy.................this review was written by Nigel.

2-0 out of 5 stars Wildly inconsistent in plotting and tone
This Clive Barker effort begins promisingly, but fails to deliver substantial incentive to reward the reader. Will Rabjohns, photographer and British expatriate, suffers a coma which leads him to re-explore the pains of his extraordinary early life.The childhood flashbacks are easily the strongest points of the novel. Though haunting and bleak, this subplot is full of magical wonder, drawing the reader into the finely-rendered boyhood psyche of young Will. However, these childhood flashbacks are marred by the eventual introduction of gratuitous sexuality, though I admit this is my subjective reaction. Despite other reviewers' objections, the homosexual subtext is truly inoffensive, but what is offensive is the mundane storytelling of the adult Will's daily routine after awaking from the coma. The remainder of the novel is written without much soul. Had Barker reimagined Sacrament as a childhood story, it surely would have been a winner. ... Read more

20. In the Flesh
by Clive Barker
Paperback: 192 Pages (2001-01-30)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$3.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074341733X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Terrifying and forbidding, subversive and insightful, Clive Barker's groundbreaking stories revolutionized the worlds of horrific and fantastical fiction and established Barker's dominance over the otherworldly and the all-too-real. Here, as two businessmen encounter beautiful and seductive women and an earnest young woman researches a city slum, Barker maps the boundless vistas of the unfettered imagination -- only to uncover a profound sense of terror and overwhelming dread. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars Each Story Better Than the Last
I had read a lot of Clive Barker's short stories when I was younger, but forgot which ones I had read since I hadn't read them all. I couldn't remember if I had read In the Flesh or Inhuman Condition since they both started with the same letter. While reading this one, none of it was familiar until I got to the second of four stories, called "The Forbidden". It is the basis for the Candyman movies. I never saw the movie, but the story stuck with me since it was very creepy and gross. When I read it, the movie had not been made, but one scene in it became ingrained in my brain. A woman who is doing some graduate school research on a very poor neighborhood.She goes into an abandoned house to find drawn on the wall an extremely disturbing face laughing, but the doorway was being used as the mouth. It was so descriptive that when I had an assignment in my junior English class to describe a room that another person in the class would have to guess who it belonged to, I described that room. No one guessed it was the room of a psychopathic killer, but instead thought it was a messed up teenager. :)

The first story in the book, called "In the Flesh", didn't do much for me. It had supernatural and horror elements to it with a guy who had questions about good and evil and where sin comes from. Then he gets a cellmate who just isn't quite right. I think when I first started reading Clive Barker, I was attracted more to his horror stories, but as I got older, I enjoyed his fantasy stories more. The first one was more in the horror realm, but beyond the final twist and the "city" that he dreams about, I didn't care much about the crazy cellmate. I actually could have enjoyed the entire story if the cellmate had been left out, even though I guess it was the point of the story, I just didn't care for that half of it.

I actually enjoyed each story more than the last one so I did enjoy "The Forbidden" more, but my favorite part is still the room description. The rest of it was not as cool as I remembered. I did enjoy the third story, "The Madonna",that did have supernatural elements but it seemed more in the fantasy vein and I just loved it. It is about an abandoned bath house where naked women swayed some men to come to them, but the men might not have wanted to do it if they knew the consequences.

My favorite story was the last one called "Babel's Children" where a women who loves to drive off the beaten path comes across a nunnery that isn't run by nuns, but has held some brilliant minds captive for years for some very twisted games. It was the most realistic story out of all of them, but you still had to suspend your disbelief about the games being played. With the way some things happen in the world, you wonder sometimes that maybe major world decisions are being made the way it is described in the book. I had a good chuckle about the absurdity of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short, well crafted, imaginative fiction
This is one of Barker's earliest collections, and shines because it is free of the usual flights of fancy that color his newer, longer works.Barker still posesses one of the most unique imaginations in literature, but his longer novels are sometimes muddled with too much fantasy as opposed to horror.There is no such problem with these short pieces.Razor sharp writing, evocative descriptions, and a unique philisophical view within each keep these stories fresh even over twenty years after their publication.It is hard to find proper words to describe Barker's work because it is so full of imagination, that it sometimes defies any type of description.He definetly takes chances that no other writer would, which is all the more exciting because you are reading the work of a young man who is just finding his voice at the time. While the opening story is probably the best, the second story, The Forbidden, is the inspiration for the movie "Candyman", and is also quite strong.

If you've never read Barker before, this is a good place to start, along with The Hellbound Heart and the Books of Blood.The strength of his imagination is palpable during reading and, like any good writer of horror, he takes you on a journey that is both believable and totally fantastic all at once.

5-0 out of 5 stars Made me a fan
"[When I read Clive Barker,] I feel like Elvis Presley watching the Beatles." - Stephen King

To get any potential bias out in the open, I want to say two things.First off, if I were to pick my favorite horror writer, it would be a toss-up between H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker (although Shirley Jackson's brilliant "The Haunting of Hill House" puts her in the running, but I don't see her as a full-blown horror writer).It still shocks me that Barker is outsold by King and Rice.Secondly, this was the first book by Clive Barker that I had read, so that may have affected my opinion.

The thing that draws me to his writings is his writing style.The man simply has a way with words.I could never imagine being near as good of a writer as this man.Sure, Stephen King has a great imagination, but he doesn't match this man's eloquency.This man could write air bag instructions and it would be fascinating.Also, he does an excellent job of mixing sub-genres.Horror can be classified into two sub-genres: psychological horror and gore.The former, when done right, is truly frightening.The latter is not, but is still appealing in a way.To paraphrase Stephen King, it's like looking at a car accident.You don't know why you look, but you still always turn your head, and while your conscious tells you that you should hope that the victims are alright, deep down you want to see blood.Clive Barker's works contain both elements.His writings are frightening due to the psychological elements and a constant sense of dread, but at the same time he paints his work like a car accident.Thirdly, I enjoy the fact that he rarely writes a straight-forward story.His plots are replete with metaphors and character motivations are rarely simple or Freudian.

Now it's time for a story summary.This book contains four stories that are somewhere between short stories and novellas.The first two are pure horror and the last two are modern-day fantasies, although they both contain elements which, though not scary, can be a bit disturbing.I'll try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but minor spoilers do come up in any synopsis.

"In the Flesh" - The story starts by describing a prisoner who is obsessed with the idea of original sin.He doesn't fully accept the Bible and he investigates this topic in his free time which, like any prisoner, he has plenty of.All the while, he has dreams every night of a ghost town in the desert.Initially, he doesn't understand what the dreams are about.Soon enough, a cellmate is introduced.He is a skinny man who quickly becomes a typical prison victim due to his size and his meek nature.His father (or grandfather, I forget) was a murderer who was executed at the prison and buried near the cell.At night, he speaks to his (grand)-father as if he were alive.The other prisoner soon finds out that the man has inherited a terrible supernatural power from his (grand)-father.What follows is a series of disturbing events related to the new prisoner's powers and the old prisoner's dreams which slowly become more revealing.These things are eventually tied together and the first prisoner eventually learns where sin comes from.

"The Forbidden" - There's more spoilers here than in the other synopsises, but it's hard to avoid.Skip reading this part if you care.The movie "The Candyman" was based upon this story.The story revolves around a student doing research on the topic of urban legends.She visits a ghetto and learns about its urban legends through interviews and by photographing graffiti inside of abandoned buildings.The most common legend that arises from the interviews and the graffiti is that of the "Candyman".He is supposedly a serial killer with a hook on one hand who murders townsfolk in very brutal ways that would make Richard Ramirez look like a nice guy.However, having noticed parallels with other common urban legends, she naturally doubts the stories.She then checks newspapers and records and her beliefs are essentially confirmed.However, she finds out that the Candyman is in fact real.He is a supernatural being who was made and kept alive by the stories and continues killing to keep the stories and himself alive.Naturally, the student becomes more involved than she wishes.
WARNING: This story is unbelievably graphic.It's hard to believe that this made it past the editor.

"The Madonna" - This story is about two men who are visiting a large abandoned bathhouse.The electricity has not yet been turned on, so they explore the maze-like building with flashlights.On one trip, one of the men catches glimpse of what he thinks is a naked woman.He obsessively explores the bathhouse to find her.He eventually finds a very, very odd discovery within the bathhouse and he is affected in a very disturbing way.

"Babel's Children" - This is my favorite story from this collection.I won't give too much away.The story starts with a scene involving a woman who has car trouble and seeks out help.She notices a building in the distance and travels there for assistance.It turns out to be a nunnery, but she also notices that there are cameras everywhere.The nunnery is revealed to be a cover for a secret government organization and the woman is held captive for security reasons.She investigates further and finds out the organization's shocking purpose and then she seeks to set things right.
Note: This is the only story in this collection not grounded in fantasyland.Yet, I wouldn't classify it as an "it could actually happen" story since the plotline is a bit of a stretch.

I adore every story in this collection, but I'll rank them from favorite to least favorite anyway:
Babel's Children (many people's least favorite...hmmm)
In the Flesh
The Forbidden
The Madonna

4-0 out of 5 stars The Forbidden and Others
This was one of Clive Barker's early books, a collection of short stories. Included is the novella for one of the most realistically terrifying horror films ever made, and an icon of its time, The Candyman. As far as horror series go, this is one of the scariest because it's so realistic. As far as Barker goes, I can respect him. As a teenager and young adult I idolized him, then as I began doing my own projects I emulated influences like Barker's kind of disturbing Christian constructs and also those of [...]. I think that Clive Barker will remain an icon of the 80s and 90s generation of gothic horror because Pinhead and The Candyman are right up there with Freddy or Jason, which they somehow continue to make today. The new Hellraiser movies became stereotypical staring with the fourth one to the newer ones, as it remained realistic, moreso making the cenobites seem like the good guys amongst a mess of caricatures.

5-0 out of 5 stars In The Flesh AbsolutelyF*cking Rox!!!!!
First things first.The Last reveiwer referred to King and Koontz as hacks.King and Koontz should not be uttered together in the same sentence.That is sacrilege.Koontz is a hack.King is God.We mock what we don't understand.We fear what we cannot perceive. And let us remember, if it wasn't for King's kindly reviews, Mr. Barker might still be an obscure genius.Let me get one thing straight, Clive Barker is a (...)genius.No need to be angry with Mr. King.Secondly, let's talk about In The Flesh.Not for the average or mainstream reader as the last reviewer mentioned (He seemed very hostile and confused.Gender issues?Skeletons in the closet?)nor the faint of heart.Clive Barker is an acquired taste.Rigid in style and precise in wording, Clive Barker is not afraid to show us everything we never wanted to see.Be it pornographic or horrific, Barker never flinches.In The Flesh & The Forbidden are the masterpieces here.The Forbidden has the origins of the silly Candyman pictures, but I assure you, this incarnation of the Candyman is all out chilling.In The Flesh is a dark prison tale of a young man haunted by the taint of his grandfather's infamous deeds.The Madonna and Babel's Children are the lesser, but still brilliant tale of the book.The Madonna is a chilling, perverse look into the shadows of an abandoned sauna where strange apparitions dwell and ungodly depravities are unleashed.Babel's Children is a story of a woman on holiday who takes a wrong turn in the wilderness and comes across a strange abbey with even stranger inhabitants.Are they all crazy?Only Clive will tell.Overall another great chunk of Clive Barker's perfection.Read this and be afraid, for down the way and around the corner is an empty flat with a lot of graffitti on the walls, take a look inside and remember, Sweets to the sweet.

Dig it! ... Read more

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