Author(s): Clive BarkerDownload
Clive Barker has made his mark on modern fiction by exposing all that is surreal and magical in the ordinary world — and exploring the profound and overwhelming terror that results. With its volatile mix of the fantastical and the contemporary, the everyday and the otherworldly, Weaveworld is an epic work of dark fantasy and horror — a tour de force from one of today’s most forceful and imaginative artists.Barker turns from his usual horror to epic-length fantasy for this account of the Fugue, a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans. The Fugue has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it; the death of its guardian occasions a battle between good and particularly repulsive evil forces for control of the Fugue. Weaveworld is rich with memorable characters, exciting situations, and pockets of Barker’s trademark horror.
Some Reviews: 1191 in Goodreads.com
I first read WEAVEWORLD back in the late ’80s just after it came out, and did so while on a boat trip around the Chester area on the Shropshire Union canal, so it was an episodic reading experience, punctuated by working locks, taking in scenery, and visiting a huge number of pubs. It’s a surprise any of it stuck with me at all really, but I found on rereading this weekend that large chunks of it were there in my memory, flickering lights, raptures as Barker describes them, seductions and visions of elsewhere to make your heart break.
I got more out of it this time round, reading it in a solid chunk over two days. It’s a masterful piece of work, full of Barker’s vision, parts of it poetic, other parts showing off his visual imagination to the full, and all of it grounded in the character of Cal Mooney, lost in the lights of a vision of something he doesn’t understand, but knows that he needs.
The central conceit of a magic carpet, and the wonders it contains is a great one to hang a fantasy on, and this is indeed fantasy, albeit one with a grotesque edge of horror, particularly in the villains, who are among the nastiest in fiction.
It’s a big slab of a book, but I didn’t notice, as I was lost and away with Cal in Wonderland most of the time, and I was almost sad to finish it.
It reminded me of something I’d forgotten, a need for wonder, something my own recent writings has lacked, and something I’ll be trying to rectify. But I can’t hope to reach Barker’s flickering, glorious, raptures of body horror; that vision is his and his alone.
I was sorely disappointed with Barker’s SCARLET GOSPELS, but reading WEAVEWORLD again reminded me that, on his game, he’s up there with the best.
And this is one of the best.
Buddy read with Nick P. starts Monday the 4th!
This book is not for the faint of heart. If you like weird, wonderful and grotesque imagery in your books, feel free to join us.
One of my absolute favoritest-est-est (yes I make up words) books ever. I love a good dark fantasy/horror novel and this one is one of the best… I’d give it 10 stars if I could. It’s filled with grotesque, bizzare, intense, unique, weird, titillating and magical imagery and I love everything about it. It’s not for the faint of heart or the easily grossed out, but it’s also got some fleeting moments of sweetness and light.
I first read Weaveworld in my teens (it’s been many years since then). Since I tend to read it every few years the copy I own is pretty tattered and the pages brown, even though I’ve had to buy it a few times (letting people “borrow” books can be hazardous). I always manage to glean something new from it at each sitting because it’s just. that. good. All the feels, my friends… All the feels.
I’m not going to tell you anything about this book. In fact, you shouldn’t even read other people’s descriptions. There’s nothing better than the sense of discovery you’ll experience as you delve into the strange beauty in Clive Barker’s world.
I think it’s past time for me to crack this one open one more time; maybe you should too.
This is a strange one to review.
This is a strange one to read.
The edition I picked up is a hefty tome of a thing, 500+ thick, too-white (almost glossy) pages with bold red numbers, loosely scattered illustrations and loud chapter announcements. Gorgeous, really, firmly and without question a book (sometimes they are so quiet and uncertain it’s hard to tell). The contents are rather less determined but all the more intriguing for it.
The story twists and loops and (for coincidental lack of a better word) weaves about, mesmerising even when it is unclear, disturbing, nonsensical – which is often. There is a lot of show-not-tell but for once it feels right. The plot is… hard to describe. There is a world, a magic woven up in a carpet, many people seek to own it, to claim it, to destroy it – to love it. Things happen. Silence falls. Things happen again. There isn’t an ending (there isn’t, apparantly, a beginning) and the characters feel archetypal even without a definite archetype. There is a little too much discussion of odd sensations in various characters’ “pricks and balls” – I’m not sure what the fixation was, really – but other than that Weaveworld a strangely enjoyable, even captivating read.
I don’t remember how I came across the idea of reading this. I don’t think it was recommended, I think it was just there, one day, as a concept and then years later I remembered the idea and ordered the book. I think it’s that kind of story, or would like to be – the kind that finds you.
I enjoyed this story, although at times I wasn’t sure. There were moments as I read this fantasy about another world, woven into a carpet, peopled with magical characters, that the line between fascination and skepticism would begin to blur, and I would feel doubt. My investment into the story would begin to recoil. This happened a couple of times at the beginning, and then again in the middle when the action would lull, but it passed quickly each time.
I found the fight to save the Fugue more interesting than the Fugue itself, for the most part. I think the format of the audible book doesn’t lend itself so well to deep analysis of a text–at least, not for me. I know, from looking at other reviews, that there is a lot of allusion, a lot of symbolism at play here, but when I’m just listening to a book, I tend to just let it wash over me without thinking of the deeper elements of the story. That’s why I avoid classic lit on audio–I feel I would miss too much.
I found the characters likable, although Cal and Suzanna took a little while to get up to speed on the dangers of their situations at the beginning. I especially enjoyed Shadwell and his smarmy, unctuous manner. The Hag and the Magdalene were also horrifically fascinating. Although I was slightly bored by the good times in the Fugue, I was saddened by the ultimate fate of some of these characters.
All in all, it’s an absorbing read (or listen!) which I recommend to fans of fantasy. The audio narrator is British, too, and that’s always a plus in my book!
*I decided to edit my review (from 4 stars to 5 stars) because after 2 years, I cannot get this book out of my head. It goes down in my life as one of the most memorable, intriguing, and stimulating books I have ever read. A must-read for Barker fans, or anyone who likes cross-genre books (horror, fantasy, action). Great book. Read below for my original review…………….
The best thing about this book is that it is able to cross genres seamlessly. With elements of fantasy, horror and science fiction, it has become my favorite “non-genre” that I will surely look for in other books. It has the best elements of these genres and seamlessly weaves them in together (see what I did there?). A true mind fuck.
With such a strange and unique concept for the book, it had to be well written for the reader to understand and imagine what the hell is going on. Clive Barker did that: Weaveworld has great imagery, character development and is overall an EXCELLENT read. I would have given it 5 stars except…
It is just too damn long. The version I bought has 648 pages and about 3/4 of the way through the story things get a little stagnant. Without spoiling anything, what started out as one main story line goes into several, so it takes a chapter for each story to have its moment. The result is a very long, drawn out 150 pages or so that could have better been shrunk down to 50 pages.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a mind fuck.
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