Clive Barker - where do I begin?

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Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by scottmitchell74 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:24 pm

Direct me to his best and I will begin reading it.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Shiney on Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:34 pm

My opinion:

Start with Books Of Blood....There are stories that are so fucking brilliant your head will ache ("Dread" "In The Hills, The Cities") there are good ol' "fun" schlocky tales ("Sons Of Celluloid") but they are mostly extremely original....

I always found his novel work to be a bit draggy..."The Damnation Game" is good..."Weaveworld" is cool too.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Kenwood on Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:48 pm

I'm not a fan of the Books of Blood, to be honest. But I absolutely LOVE Imajica, Weaveworld, The Great and Secret Show, and it's sequel, Everville. Those books are fucking brilliant.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by kurtnewton on Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:53 pm

Books of Blood are it. I envy your first time reading these.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Shiney on Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:59 pm

Agreed. My Mom got me those when I was in 8th grade and actively starting to write...I had read about them and wanted badly to get them, but being in Flyspeck we had to order them from a bookstore, a town an hour away...I got them and raed them over a weekend and they blew my fucking mind.

"The Inhuman Condition" collection is good as is "The Hellbound Heart" (Filmed as HELLRAISER) and "Cabal" ("cabal" was filmed as NIGHTBREED)

get on it, Son.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Brian Sammons on Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:06 pm

Like most people here (except for Ken who’s admittedly a bit…odd Wink ) I have to agree, the Books of Blood are amazing. By far his best work. His longer works have always been kind of hit or miss with me, but his short fiction is great.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by kurtnewton on Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:12 pm



See that giraffe there? That's Ken.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Kenwood on Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:31 pm

Haha! Awesome.

I guess my expectations were too high with the Books of Blood. They're legendary, and I read them as an adult. I simply wasn't blown away. I guess saying I wasn't a fan was a bit extreme. I like them, but don't find them amazing. Not even close.

However, those books I did name, I do find amazing.

And then I read Sacrament... vomit

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by scottmitchell74 on Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:56 pm

I guess my expectations were too high with the Books of Blood. They're legendary, and I read them as an adult. I simply wasn't blown away.

I just finished the Books of Blood. This was my exact experience.

I envy your first time reading these.

That's how I feel about first time H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King readers. I return to Lovecraft over and over, but it's never like the first time.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Shiney on Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:57 pm

Scott...tell me "In The Hills, The Cities" did not floor you....


I rememebr being put off by the gay bits in it (I was like 15) but the plot was so out there, and the visuals it supplied...wow!!!

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Tall Tyrion on Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:20 pm

In the Hills, The Cities is one of the few truly original concepts. Barker was very good, but not great, IMO. Shame he's not writing anymore.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Kenwood on Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:30 pm

scottmitchell74 wrote:
I guess my expectations were too high with the Books of Blood. They're legendary, and I read them as an adult. I simply wasn't blown away.

I just finished the Books of Blood. This was my exact experience.
Check out Imajica next. Lots of fantasy but plenty of horror as well. It's epic, though. One book split into two massive paperbacks. It's amazing, though. Weaveworld is another you should definitely check out. I think that period, between 1987 and 1994, is when Barker was at his most brilliant.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Shiney on Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:31 pm

"The Damnation game" is quite good as well.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Tall Tyrion on Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:31 pm

Weaveworld and The Damnation Game are two essentials.

I remember being bored by Imagica, though.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by scottmitchell74 on Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:41 pm

Scott...tell me "In The Hills, The Cities" did not floor you....

It was interesting and unique, but for some reason didn't floor me.

I think if I'd read Barker before Lovecraft I'd have been more impressed, but I saw some of Lovecraft in Barker's writing and so there was this minor "been there, done that" feel to some of the stories.

They were all at least good. Not one of them were even average, but as a whole I give the Books an 8/10.

My favorites were probably "Meadnight Meat Train", "Rawhead", and I can't rememeber the name but the one where the dude did the experiments on people's fears.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Brian Sammons on Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:50 pm

That would be “Dread”. I also always liked “Pig Blood Blues”.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by scottmitchell74 on Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:26 pm

Yeah, that was a good one as well.

They were all good, but I was never blown away.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by KrimsonKing on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:45 pm

Resurrecting an old thread here but Clive's a hero of mine (and a local one at that). I started with the Books of Blood in the late eighties and was immediately caught up in his world. Hellraiser was audacious and such a breath of fresh air after all those Jasons, Freddies and Michaels. Moving on to the novels, I found most of them to be outstanding - The Damnation Game, Cabal, Weaveworld, The Great And Secret Show, The Thief Of Always and Everville - but Imajica dragged and Galilee even more so. His recent return to the field with Mr B Gone was a little disappointing but I love what he's doing with Abarat.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Shiney on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:47 pm

I liked "Coldheart Canyon"...it could have used some trimming but it was a cool story.

I love his shirt fiction though. Books of Blood, In The Flesh...brill-i-fucking-ant!!

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by KrimsonKing on Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:26 pm

Oops, I forgot Coldheart Canyon. Yes, that was a great book - although I could have done without the trip to the vet's; I think he only put that in there because his own dog had died.

In The Flesh, In The Hills the Cities, Son of Celluloid, Dread, Age Of Desire, The Yattering And Jack, Hell's Event, The Midnight Meat Train...classics all.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Tall Tyrion on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:50 am

The short stuff is where he was the best, IMO. He was still hungry when he published The Damnation Game and Cabal, so those were brilliant, and Weaveword was over the top, but still fun... but after that... meh.

But those shorts... what a punch.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Red Dog 344 on Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:32 pm

No one has mentioned "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament." Unforgettable.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Tall Tyrion on Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:15 am

I remember that one! *queue the irony theme*

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by mrkilpatrick on Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:13 pm

I think Barker's best novel is The Great and Secret Show (I wasn't as keen on Everville). The Damnation Game is a close second. I thought the Books of Blood were a mixed bag. There were a few stories that fell flat but just as many were brilliant. "The Yattering and Jack" is probably my all-time favorite.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by markgunnells on Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:01 am

"In the Hills, the Cities" is one of my all time favorite shorts. And I wasn't at all put off by the gay bits. lol

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

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