Clive Barker - where do I begin?

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by marzioli on Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:34 pm

Not much to add, so be forewarned. I met Mr. Barker twice at book signings. Nice bloke. When I was a kid I manage to pick up The Thief of Always, which at thirteen I really enjoyed. Since then (about 8 years ago?) I read three of his Abarat books--which were terrible, terrible, one after the other, yet surprisingly addictive in some inexplicable way. I don't imagine I'll ever read the rest of them, now that I quit cold turkey (and because they're terrible). Some day I'll read more of short stories. I was mildly impressed with the first few Books of Blood shorts, and I may end up buying it again if I can find it on the cheap.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by mrkilpatrick on Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:57 pm

I have to say I never got up the courage to read Abarat. "Coldheart Canyon" came very close to being terrible several times but never quite managed it and ended up being decent.

Mark - In the Hills, The Cities was indeed good. Another Books of Blood Gem was "Pig Blood Blues". btw, nice to see a fellow South Carolinian.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Arkadia on Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:49 am

Kenwood 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 guess saying I wasn't a fan was a bit extreme. I like them, but don't find them amazing. Not even close.

This was my experience too. I'd heard for so many years how mindblowingly amazing the books were, and how essential they were for any horror fan, etc, etc, and felt guilty for many years that I hadn't read them. When I finally picked them up I was prepared for the reading experience of my life - and that was unfair. It was a good book with good stories, but I fear my high expectations were unreachable.

I actually read In The Hills, The Cities before I'd read anything else Barker. It was in an anthology of short stories. When I finished the story, I actually put the book down, and just kind of stared. I was so impressed with it. Then - I never did this, at the time - I went back to the beginning of the story and looked to see who wrote it. I never used to take notice, but I loved it so much I HAD to know who wrote the thing. Same thing happened to me with Ray Bradbury's The Next In Line. Somehow I had managed to go through most of my teens never noticing the man. The moment I finished reading that story, I got online and ordered his complete collection of short fiction, and Fahrenheit 451. To this day I'm still a massive, massive fan.

But back to Barker - the man can write, certainly. I've got a couple of his novels saved up but have yet to read them. I've been wanting to read Weaveworld and The Great And Secret Show for a long while now. Gotta get around to that!

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by marzioli on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:20 pm

mrkilpatrick wrote:I have to say I never got up the courage to read Abarat.
Interesting fact: Disney purchased the option to make the series into movies. They let it lapse.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by KrimsonKing on Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:07 am

Didn't Disney also express an interest in filming The Thief Of Always? Barker's vision is too radical for the mainstream and he's not the critic's darling like Tim Burton. Also, he's openly gay. Sadly, these will go against him with big corporations like Disney.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by marzioli on Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:50 pm

He's been openly gay for a long time now, and while that seems to have bled more clearly into his work, I don't think the fans or Disney care that much. Abarat came out long after he decided to share his sexual preference with the world, and they still investigated the idea of making it a movie.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by KrimsonKing on Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:45 am

I wish I had your naivety! Most of his fans probably don't care about his sexuality but when he came out during the promotion of Galilee he told the Liverpool Echo that he'd got a depressing amount of bad feedback from people who were supposed to be fans (I even knew one or two of these idiots myself). And Disney doesn't care he's gay and the moon's made of cream cheese.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by Kenwood on Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:06 pm

KrimsonKing wrote:I wish I had your naivety! Most of his fans probably don't care about his sexuality but when he came out during the promotion of Galilee he told the Liverpool Echo that he'd got a depressing amount of bad feedback from people who were supposed to be fans (I even knew one or two of these idiots myself). And Disney doesn't care he's gay and the moon's made of cream cheese.
That's when he came out officially? I read Sacrament and thought, This dude is totally gay. A straight man couldn't have written that book. I had no idea he was gay before reading that book, thought it was common knowledge and I just didn't know. Hell, I've been reading John Saul since I was a kid and only realized he was gay like two years.

Apparently I don't care about authors' personal lives. Haha.

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by KrimsonKing on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:50 am

I could be wrong then! I know for certain that the interview he gave to the paper was during the tour for Galilee and he addressed the question of peoples' reaction to his coming out. But maybe he did come out earlier and I didn't know about it - like you, I couldn't give two hoots about his sex life; all I know is that he has always written really good sex scenes, be it between a man and a woman, a man and a man or, in the case of Coldheart Canyon, anyone and anything you can imagine!

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Re: Clive Barker - where do I begin?

Post by marzioli on Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:34 pm

According to wiki (a trusted source, right? Rolling Eyes) he's been out since the 1990's.

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