Author(s): Clive BarkerDownload
Clive Barker’s bestseller Weaveworld astonished readers with his visionary range, establishing him as a master of fabulist literature. Now, with The Great and Secret Show he rises to new heights. In this unforgettable epic he wields the full power and sweep of his talents. “Succinctly put,” says Barker, “it’s about Hollywood, sex and Armageddon.” Memory, prophecy and fantasy; the past, the future, and the dreaming moment between are all one country living one immortal day. To know that is Wisdom. To use it is the Art. Armageddon begins with a murder in the Dead Letter Office in Omaha. A lake that has never existed falls from the clouds over Palomo Grove, CA. Young passion blossoms, as the world withers with war. The Great and Secret Show has begun on the stage of the world. Soon the final curtain must fall. In this, the First Book of the Art, Barker has created a masterpiece of the imagination that explores the uncharted territory within our secret lives and most private hearts. Sprawling, ambitious, triumphantly magical and satisfying, The Great and Secret Show is what the rest of life is all about.
Some Reviews: 718 in Goodreads.com
This book is a trip and a half. It is weird and visceral yet I couldn’t put it down. The imagery in it is sometimes graphic and downright nasty (there is a scene where one of the main characters is fascinated with a back room sex show in a bar in Mexico where a woman is having sex with a dog… and it describes it in intimate detail) but it keeps your curiosity peaked and keeps you wondering what is going to happen…
Well I finished it last night and I gotta say… wow! This Clive Barker guy has a hell of an imagination. The whole last 30 pages simply led you into a follow on book implying that this one only scratched the surface of this idea of Quiddity and the iad. It isn’t very often that I get all the way through a book this fat but I did this one and I am going to get the follow up, Everville, this weekend. It is equally fat but I am looking forward to delving deeper into the world of the Shoal, Iad, Quiddity and the dream world that exists between this plane and the next…
The summer I read this book was the summer I changed my mind about the horror genre. Previously, I had read some subpar Stephen King and some even more subpar Dean Koontz. A friend recommended the Great and Secret Show to me, saying it was like King’s The Stand, but better.
I skeptically started the book and was immediately glued to the page. Barker mixes dark fantasy and horror elements comprising a concoction that I’ve never found in any other book.
The story is near impossible to explain without making it sound like a cliche, boring horror novel. Palomo Grove is a small California town where two ancient powers awaken, Jaffe and Fletcher. The Jaffe is an evil entity while Fletcher seems to be good. Their presence seems to be having a mysterious effect on the town and its residents.
Barker introduces us to the residents of Palomo Grove, including my favorite surly reporter, Grillo. Somehow, Barker manages to simultaneously develop a large handful of characters and storylines while making the book feel cohesive. Overall, an amazing book and recommended to anyone who feels the horror genre is tired and boring.
A gorgeous, sensuous dream of a novel that is, not surprisingly, about the stuff of dreams. Barker’s signature wild mix of fantasy, sex and horror is on full display in this apocalyptic story as is his richly evocative prose. I lost myself in this story for hours on end and even ignored my dog’s feeding time twice (sorry, Jake!). This is the kind of virtuoso performance I have come to expect from Barker (and what I expected, and didn’t get, from The Scarlet Gospels).
I do have to say that I found this book slightly misogynistic in that Barker spends his verbal acuity differently when describing a character’s sex organs. In dialog, he will have his characters use the words “cock” and “dick” to describe the male genatalia, but in his narrative voice he will describe it as a “member” or simply as “hard”; but for females, he simply uses the term “cunt” (though twice he did use the word “slit” for the same character) in dialog and narration. Such an ugly term. But it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book at all. It just amused me greatly.
I’m looking forward to read the sequel next.
I have long considered myself to be a collector of good horror. (in itself a seemingly diametrically opposed descriptor…)
But this book really rips the sheet off of the things we don’t dare ever face, let alone think about while accentuating their terrible beauty in muted fascination… managing to engulf you in a very accessible series of fantastical and, at first glance, unrelated sub-plots/events that culminate in more than a few hints at; revolutionary concepts concerning the philosophy and religion, of evolution, human nature and the existence of more dimensions of reality than what meets the eye.
Clive Barker makes you taste color, see music and redefine your accepted experience! of the soul.
First of all I’d like to say that I am absolutely fascinated by Clive Barker, his writings and his images. Once I saw a documentary about him, in which his drawings of various monsters were shown, they were awesome. What’s more, he said he just saw these images in his mind; he didn’t think them up, he just saw them!
After I read Imajica and saw Clive in the flesh when he was visiting the premiere of ‘Lord of Illusions’ here in Amsterdam, I just knew I would always try to keep track of whatever he’s doing. Now, about the book. It’s the second Clive Barker I’ve read, and although I liked Imajica better, I was again anxious to finish the book as well as ‘scared’ of finishing it and returning from this dreamlike world to my everyday world.
I love Barker’s sense of humour, and he writes in such a way that the occurring events aren’t as unthinkable as they were before you started reading the book. My favourite part of the book is probably the shaping of the Jaffe’s terata, and the dreaming up of the town’s people favourite people, from tv or real life. I especially liked the idea of William Witt’s house full of copulating pornstars, entertaining themselves with his huge collection of bow ties. Anyway, I would have given this book 5 stars if it wasn’t for Imajica which I liked better. And if you somehow get to read this Clive, come visit Amsterdam again sometime soon.
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