The Essential Clive Barker

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9780006514688: The Essential Clive Barker

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.

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).

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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Review:

The Essential Clive Barker represents the kind of accolade few horror writers are granted and this selection of pieces has all the imaginative scope and fiery invention of his very best work. The settings move from the Yorkshire Moors to a grim inner-city London, while the bizarre magical tribes created by Barker (such as the Seerkind and Nightbreed) may be found alongside working-class heroines and refugees from post-war Warsaw. Some of the tales have only minimal supernatural elements, while others take their protagonists into realms of existence far beyond our own. This is an ambitious summation of Barker's career, a veritable treasure chest which has over 70 excerpts from novels, plays and novellas selected, and with fascinating introductions, by Barker himself. In 20 years, his literary achievement is more considerable than that of Stephen King, and his place in modern writing (not just the horror and fantasy genres) is assured. Few are as adroit at Barker at plunging the reader into a surrealistic dreamworld:

The dream-sea leapt up against her face when she spoke its name, and its undertow pulled at her legs. She didn't attempt to fight it, but let it lift her off her feet and carry her away like an eager lover. The waves, which were substantial enough at the shore, soon grew titanic. When they raised her up on their shoulders she could see a wall of darkness at the horizon, the likes of which she remembered from her last moments in Kissoon's Loop. When they dropped her into their troughs, and she plunged below the surface, she glimpsed another spectacle entirely: vast shoals of fish, moving like thunderheads below her. And weaving between the shoals, luminous forms that were, she guessed, human spirits like herself.
-- Barry Forshaw

Review:

Praise for Clive Barker:

‘An invocation of both magic and the imagination… A majestic maze of mythmaking’
WASHINGTON TIMES

‘Passionate and ingenious… A ride with remarkable views’
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

‘A fabulous, engrossing war of the worlds’
PEOPLE MAGAZINE

‘Barker dislocates your mind’
MAIL ON SUNDAY

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