Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic

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9780007150922: Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic

Written with Clive Barker's complete cooperation and based upon years of research and interviews with family, friends, and fellow professionals, The Dark Fantastic is an epic journey into the life, personal and creative, of the "polymath of the perverse": artist, playwright, storyteller, novelist, filmmaker.

After a detailed look into Clive's family history, his youth, and the early, lean years of his life as a playwright and actor in Liverpool and London, The Dark Fantastic undertakes a chapter-by-chapter analysis of his major creative works, from The Books of Blood and Hellraiser to the epic fantasy Imajica, the illustrated children's book The Thief of Always, and the recent novels Sacrament and Galilee. The concluding chapters offer an in-depth preview of Clive's forthcoming work, including the lavishly illustrated Abarat Quartet, which has been licensed by Walt Disney for motion pictures and theme parks.

Rich with insights into the creative life -- and the perils of genre and typecasting -- The Dark Fantastic is a delight for fans, and mandatory reading for anyone interested in the rise, fall, and resurrection of horror and fantasy fiction and film in the late Twentieth Century. It includes the complete text of a never-before-published short story, exclusive glimpses into additional unpublished stories and plays, and a detailed bibliography.

This Cemetery Dance Publications special limited edition will include full-color artwork created especially for the Limited Edition by Clive Barker, as well as some unique surprises not to be found in the mass-market edition!

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Review:

Douglas E. Winter, author of Stephen King: The Art of Darkness 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

About the Author:

Douglas E. Winter has been hailed as "the conscience of horror and dark fantasy." His books include the critically acclaimed novel Run; the anthologies Prime Evil and Revelations; and the authorized biography Stephen King: The Heart of Darkness. An attorney with the internationally based law firm Bryan Cave LLP, Mr. Winter is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. He lives near Washington, D.C.

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