Clive Barker

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Clive Barker

Postby DrillerKiller on Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:50 am

I'm pretty new to Barker (only read Books of Blood vol 1-3 for the first time 2 years ago...continued from there), and find his imagination to be borderline genius, and his prose inspires me to absorb those words I couldn't grasp, look them up and use them in daily life.

Nobody in the world of literature has ever stunned me this much before.

So far I've read Books of Blood 1-6, Cabal and Weaveworld (fuckin' hell!), am reading Imajica (vol 1) at the moment (I've barely started it - up as far as Dowd's death - and am already astounded) and have Galilee to look forward to.

I'm looking forward to getting through everything he's ever written. Can anyone offer up any suggestions as to which would be the best? Imajica vol. 2 will follow, naturally, but I just wanted to see if any Barker fans could put me on a consistent path to his more fantastic works.
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Postby Constant Reader on Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:39 pm

You can't really go wrong with Barker. For a different taste, you might want to jump from Imajica into either The Thief of Always or the Abarat series. Abarat is amazing (two books so far), just filled to bursting with imagination. Both of those are geared toward younger adults, but it's still very much Barker. You've also got The Great and Secret Show to look forward to.

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Postby athenabodicea on Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:44 pm

Damnation Game is the best Clive Barker book ever....Two guys meet iduring WWII and play a game, which changes their l. Many years later one guy is powerful businessman & the other wants to collect his prize (going back to the game).

Very dark and nasty... gore... evil evil...twisted story..... ABOUT REVENGE!!!!!
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Postby Carolian on Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:45 pm

I fell head-first into THE DAMNATION GAME this summer. Great stuff.

Barker, along with Neil Gaiman, personifies the modern writer of the fantastic. For me, at least.
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Postby so sorry on Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:53 pm

i dabbled in reading barker years ago when i got on a Hellraiser kick, but i could never fully get thru his stuff.
way to heady for my tastes... this guy is seriously demented (not a bad thing for a horror writer!).
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The Great and Secret Show

Postby psychedelic on Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:02 pm

I shall be more brief than I was in my last post. ;)

My favorite Barker novel is The Great and Secret Show. It's filled with great set pieces written in delirious technicolor detail. As my little brother said of it recently, "It's really trippy." The philiosphy of it touched me too, specifically the notion that we touch Trinity only three times; When we're born, when we die, and the first time we fall in love. I personally hope and need a forth time to fall in love again.

Well, I could go on, but I really have to get going. I adore Barker's short stories too. More another time.
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Postby athenabodicea on Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:16 pm

Carolian wrote:I fell head-first into THE DAMNATION GAME this summer. Great stuff.

Barker, along with Neil Gaiman, personifies the modern writer of the fantastic. For me, at least.


Barker personifies perfect horror for me....


Nice fucking av Carolian..... :wink:
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Postby Shane on Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:59 pm

Aside from Lovecraft, Barker is possibly one of the best horror writers ever.

I loved In the Flesh it is a great short story.

It has certain elements that Lovecraft had in the shadow over insmouth. he gives you a clostraphobic feeling which is where the fear and horror is derived from.
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Postby sartori on Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:24 pm

Imajica is the single greatest thing I have ever read, a few times I had to put it down because I was just completely mind-blown. The pure scope of the thing is just unbelievable
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Postby Shane on Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:39 pm

sartori wrote:Imajica is the single greatest thing I have ever read, a few times I had to put it down because I was just completely mind-blown. The pure scope of the thing is just unbelievable


it had some odd moments

I prefer his more horror writing
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Postby Carolian on Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:14 am

Well, I finally read THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW. What a completely amazing, epic, beautifully-written book. Jesus Christ, I feel winded just from reading it.

I don't know, I felt like I swam in Quiddity myself just reading it, heh.
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Postby fried samurai on Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:57 am

I love Barker.Along with the Books Of Blood I'd say Damnation Game is my favorite.

I'd love for him to do more twisted horror like the books I mentioned but I think he's sticking with dark fantasy.
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Postby Vegeta on Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:25 am

The Great and Secret Show is awesome. Very, very, very twisted. Good stuff.
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Postby Shane on Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:59 am

He has not done much in a while. I would like to see him write a screen play sometime soon.
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:05 pm

IMAJICA and WEAVEWORLD are my favorite novels. But BOOKS OF BLOOD remains his best work. Check out "In The Hills, The Cities," "Dread," and "The Midnight Meat Train."
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Postby psychedelic on Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:31 am

I recently read Everville. It's only okay. I found it compelling all the way through, but it seems to follow the same general plot outline of The Great and Secret Show. That said, an okay Barker novel has a zillion times more imagination than scores of other books any of us could mention. I'm trying to think of a favorite part of Everville, but nothing springs to mind. I hope he writes the third book of The Art sooner as opposed to later.

Gotta state what Quinten Taratino said about Barker. "Calling Clive Barker a horror writer is like saying The Beatles were a really great garage band." Were The Beatles a great garage band? Yes, one of the best ever, but of course they were so much more. Barker's fantastic imaginative talents, gentle mix of philosophy and flowing prose spiced with macabre elements makes him a genre onto himself. Sui generis.

His next book is a short story collection called The Scarlet Gospels. I love his short stories so this is good news. I think it's supposed to come out in Fall 2006. After that he's going back to paint, write, and complete the Abarat quartet.

As for me, next up is Sacrament. I started reading Clive when I was 12 or 13, but I fell behind sometime after getting through the early horror stories. I'm reading the books in chronological order. I'd like to get to Abarat sooner as opposed to later, but there are lots of non-Barker books I want to read.
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Postby Malachi Constant on Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:53 pm

I'd like to see a new novel or a book of shorts based solely on the exploits of Harry D'amour as he is Barker's most kick ass recurring sort of character.
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Postby MattXFLexicon on Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:44 am

With Clive Barker it's difficult to recommend a book or two because a lot of his stuff is amazing, for various reasons.

I'd have to say that a number of the stories from 'Books of Blood' are still my hands down favorites. 'The Midnight Meat Train' and 'Dread' are amazing.

'The Damnation Game' is another favorite. 'The Hellbound Heart' is interesting to read as its the source of Hellraiser.

I'm amazed that 'The Theif Of Always' hasn't been produced as a feature yet, another favortite. 'Weaveworld' is another favorite.

He's been more consistently amazing than not, as a visionary.

I have everything expect for his art books, I'm just find his art and photo collections a little too freaky to visit regulary, that is for my taste.
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Postby Al Shut on Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:39 pm

I have finished The great and secret show and reread Everville, both are fantastic reads (liked them better than Imajica and Galilee) with Everville beeing my favorite because of the way different storys come together at the same place rather than new characters joining the main story like in The great and secret show.

The great and secret show was quite different from what I envisioned based from the hints in Everville, but that's okay that way I get two books in one.

Also after reading the first book the fact that nothing happend in the five years inbetween that can't be summed up in two senteces kind of bugged me.

Which brings me to nother point. I really hate to be a demanding fan but I want a third book of the art NOW!!! I wonder what is taking so long?

Has Barker lost interest in that project? Is he waiting for story ideas or for a groundbreaking relevation about the nature of existence that he can incorporate in the book (I would hate to hold my breath for that)? Or is it maybe just a matter of time passing so the time between the releases matches the time between the stories again?

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT???
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Postby konkrete590 on Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:53 am

I have reread Imajica, Great and Secret Show, Everville and Weaveworld so many times. I love the way Barker can take you to a world where the mosters are humane and the humans can be monstrous.
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Postby psychedelic on Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:10 am

Barker will be signing his new novel Mister B. Gone on Saturday Dec. 1 @ 2pm at Dark Delicacies in Burbank. It's a non-series novel that's full-on horror. It's told in first person by a "minor divil" named Jakabok. The Scarlet Gospels is now a stand alone, apparently very large, novel that is "Pinhead vs. Harry D'Amore". Mister B. Gone was written as a small break before plunging into finishing The Scarlet Gospels. For more info on upcoming projects go to: www.clivebarker.info

Here's what clivebarker.info says about Art 3:

"Clive currently hopes to sit down to the Art 3 sometime after books 3, 4 and 5 of the Abarat Series. It's apparently the huge metaphysical nature of the project (including "the unmaking of God") that's delaying the moment of commitment to settle down and write it - although it must surely be worth some effort to finally kill the standard "when is Book 3 of the Art coming?" question that appears whenever two or three are gathered in his name..."

After Art 3, there will be Galilee 2.
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Re: Clive Barker

Postby so sorry on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:46 pm

AICN interview with Barker editor on his latest novel coming up next year

The Scarlet Gospels, the long-awaited Pinhead versus Harry D'Amour story. I'm a fringe Barker fan...I read a few of his books in the 90s, enjoyed the gorier ones over the fantasy ones, thought his artwork was borderline psychotic, and love love love Hellraiser (1 and 2). But he was always just a bit too far out of my reach as far as "loving" his work.

I'm interested in this book though.
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Re: Clive Barker

Postby Spandau Belly on Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:57 pm

After seeing the film NIGHTBREED, I promised to read the novel upon which it is based, titled 'Cabal'. I would say the novel is a better novel than the film is a film.

Barker is pretty good at describing people's feelings in writing, but not good at getting actors to express those emotions through their performances. The characters also have a lot of internal struggles that are presented as thoughts in the novel. A film has to either find a way to express those thoughts externally, which is trickier, or resort to a narration track, which usually feels lazy in movies.

The film follows the novel fairly faithfully, although Barker does get that some things need to be changed for a film adaptation and he changes those things. The main one being that in the novel he leaves it ambiguous as to whether Boone is a serial killer for quite some time. In the film they reveal it right away that his psychiatrist, Decker, is really the killer and framing him. When you see actors, less is up to your imagination, so the audience will clue in quicker that a character is untrustworthy. So it makes sense to not bother trying to make that a secret since it's obvious from Cronenberg's performance that he is sinister.

Also, the part where God tells Boone his destiny and Boone responds by jizzing on God's face was probably too difficult to film before CGI, so they left that out. Maybe Barker will pull a George Lucas and get that added back in later.

I'd say the novel is 80% from the perspective of Boone's girlfriend, Lori figuring things out. The film puts a bit more of the story back on Boone, which is more cinematic and the right choice.

All and all, it's a good novel. It has some of the same weaknesses as the film. I wish we got a bit more sense of community and belonging from the Nightbreed. It's like Boone's barely accepted into their society before it gets destroyed. But I like this story. Good read.
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