Author(s): Clive BarkerDownload
Master storyteller and bestselling novelist Clive Barker creates an enchanting tale for both children and adults to cherish and retell. The Thief of Always tells the haunting story of Harvey, a bright 10-year-old who is suffering from the winter doldrums, and of a creature who takes him to a place where every day is filled with fun, and Christmas comes every night. Illustrated.
Some Reviews: 1828 in Goodreads.com
Although this was my second time reading this book, I didn’t remember anything from the first time through given I read it 25 years ago when it was first published.
I’m used to the all out horror and gore of the other Clive Barker books I’ve read, and this one is definitely NOT that. Although his book definitely has its creepy moments, it is firmly in the YA genre. I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second half only because I thought the resolution felt a little too “easy”. However, for a short book, there was still a lot going on and I did feel satisfied with the ending.
Given this is meant to be a fable, I appreciated the overall message of the book. Don’t waste any of those precious minutes of your life because you’ll soon want them all back.
Fun story! Ten-year-old Harvey Swick is bored with life until he is lured by a stranger to the Holiday House. There, you can have all of your desires fulfilled. Every season happens every day, and you get to celebrate Halloween and Christmas every day. You get to eat all of your most favorite foods and just have fun all day. But there’s a trade-off, and you don’t find out about it until it’s too late. Evil lurks in the Holiday House in the form of an unseen “vampire” thief. He’s a different sort of vampire, who takes something more precious than your blood.
If I tell my favorite things in the book, it will spoil the fun for others, so I’ll shet ma mouf. I *will* say that I loved it when Harvey returned to the House to demand the time that was stolen from him. I love that concept!
This book was shelved with the adult library books, so I didn’t know it was a young adult book until I got into it. Now I’m eager to try some of Clive Barker’s novels for adults. If you have youngsters, especially boys, they will love this book. It was published in 1992, so it pre-dates a lot of current stories that may have similarities.
A demented version of The Phantom tollbooth. This was my first foray into the works of Clive Barker. I love when adult authors write books for a younger audience, because they often bring their edge with them and this is no exception. I could easily read this to my daughter, and I’m sure she will be equally creeped out without being fully traumatized. I love how Barker wrote the four seasons that the house cycles through each day, evoking the feelings of each season through his words.
When I picked up a used copy of this book a few months back, i also found a copy of the graphic novel adaptation. Going to read that now, just for fun.
The great gray beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive. Here he was, buried in the belly of that smothering month, wondering if he would ever find his way out through the cold coils that lay between here and Easter.
That’s an awesome opening to a story on ennui, and the desire to live only for holidays and good times. What would happen if we fast-forwarded through all the ordinary times and lived for holidays, birthdays, and vacations? Life would be very short. And we’d miss out on those quieter times where relationships with family and friends have time to deepen, become real.
The Church is wise to give the largest portion of the liturgical year to “Ordinary Time”. That’s where intimacy with God and neighbor thrives, where heroic tales of annunciation, transfiguration, torture, death, and resurrection give way to the more mundane aspects of the spiritual life. I’m not saying Barker has church liturgy in mind as he spins Harvey’s and Hood’s tale. But he does capture the sense of sadness and diminishment in lives lived only for Easter-times and weekends. I absolutely loved this story, and wish to high heaven that I’d been able to read The Thief of Always as a child.
Speaking of children, the picture of 10-year-old Clive at the book’s end is wonderful. Such an angelic little boy! To know the grinning bespectacled little boy grows up to create Hellraiser and Books of Blood? Priceless. Don’t be fooled by appearances, everyone.
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