With a special introduction by Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City, this is a unique selection of the author’s best short stories and extracts from his novels, chosen by Clive and accompanied by a personal commentary which reveals the man behind the art.
Clive Barker takes us on a personal tour through the dark and fantastic land of his imagination.
Huge in scope, this unique collection examines the work of a man who has taken us further than any other writer of modern fiction: from the fantastic lands of The Fugue (Weaveworld) and the Dominions (Imajica) to the uncharted waters of the dream sea, Quiddity (The Great and Secret Show and Everville). His peerless imagination has only been matched by both his storytelling – from the groundbreaking series of short stories, the Books of Blood, which served as a wake-up call to a floundering horror industry, to the grand metaphysical vision of Galilee – and his ability to create memorable characters such as Will Rabjohns (Sacrament), Shadwell the salesman (Weaveworld) and Judith (Imajica).
In addition to this, The Essential Clive Barker includes an introduction by the renowned Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City, and a specially written commentary by Clive which gives a brand new insight to the man and his Art.
A unique project by a unique author, The Essential Clive Barker will appeal both to long-time fans of his work, and anyone with an interest in great fiction.
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This 576-page sampler of Clive Barker's darkly fantastic work has an unusual format. You'd expect a huge collection of his macabre short stories (like the three 1984 Books of Blood that made his name in horror), or perhaps an omnibus of the sinisterly exotic novels in which he moved from Grand Guignol to his own warped brand of epic fantasy. Instead, here's a book of bits: 70-odd passages from novels and plays, plus four complete stories and an introduction in which our author offers glimpses of what makes him tick. The Essential Clive Barker is thematically arranged in thirteen sections, each with its own brief prologue--"Doorways", "Journeys", "Visions and Dreams", "Lives", and so on. Some of these fragments are powerful and evocative, some numinous, some horrid; many are teasers to make you wonder what comes next. Reading this is like sitting through a movie-length feature composed entirely of trailers flaunting pyrotechnic effects. It's a volume for dipping into rather than swallowing whole. There are fine things here, especially the complete stories--including "In the Hills, the Cities", that unforgettable mix of surreal horror and Balkan political allegory. But aficionados will already own the books containing these excerpts, while newcomers surely prefer to begin with a complete novel or collection. A perfect present for the Barker fan who has everything else. -- David LangfordReview:
Praise for Clive Barker:
‘An invocation of both magic and the imagination… A majestic maze of mythmaking’
‘Passionate and ingenious… A ride with remarkable views’
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
‘A fabulous, engrossing war of the worlds’
‘Barker dislocates your mind’
MAIL ON SUNDAY
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