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John G.
01-23-2009, 08:25 AM
Reading THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW and I'm impressed once again by Clive Barker's seemingly effortless talent for envisioning alternate realities and different worlds (which is a very prominent theme in a lot of his work).

I may be in the minority here, but I actually think he's strongest when he moves away from horror and touches more on the fantastic. His BOOKS OF BLOOD are of course superb, and were my introduction to the man, but I got the sense that he was spinning his wheels when THE DAMNATION GAME, a Faustian tale that was his debut full-length novel. From there, however, he started to move away from outright horror and explore dark fantasy (though still with potent horror imagery). WEAVEWORLD was sort of his protean attempt at crafting a novel that was a marriage between fantasy, horror and metaphysics... he continues the theme with the book I'm reading now, and I think he hit a highwater mark with his astoundingly ambitious, exhilaratingly successful IMAGICA.

Barker recently returned to his horror roots with MISTER B. GONE, and he's got a sequel to THE HELLBOUND HEART in final draft stages. While I'll explore these novels, I would actually love to read more stuff in the vein of THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW (the first part in an as-of-yet unfinished trilogy). In any case, Clive Barker is certainly among the best writers of genre fiction today.

Steve R
01-23-2009, 10:37 AM
Actually I found those elements of the fantastic are what drove his best works from the start. His appetite for imagining outlandish realities and then treating them as real was what separated him from the horror pack early on. He also writes well.

Books of Blood -
had a story about two guys running off together only to discover that amazing fight between two villages that was fought by everyone living in each - climbing on top of each other to create this huge symbiotic beast-man that was literally all of them. Just one example and there are lots as you know.

He was just plain a lot more creative. He put a new spin on the genre, not that he created a new sub genre or anything. He just had an extremely vivid imagination and again he wrote well.
That combination, along with this healthy thirst for blood and twisted sex made a real impact.

I remember when he came out that was what grabbed me and it was such a thrill to turn others onto his stuff. I had the British paperback editions of the book of blood. This was at least a year and a half before the famous Stephen King quote. It also helped that he looked like Paul McCartney's brother.

I've worked with him and found him to be super enthusiastic and endlessly driven by a lurid imagination. He's got a strong work ethic, too. Loves what he does and goes ahead and does it. That's another thing that separates him from the pack. Nightbreed was wonderful. He deserves all the rep he's got.

Brian Lindsey
01-23-2009, 10:48 AM
Barker's Weaveworld is awesome; Imajica (845 small-print pages!) is nothing less than epic.

Nick Schwartz
01-31-2009, 01:29 PM
I want to get involved with Clive Barker's fantasy stuff ever since Marvel put out (and then knocked off) his Razorline line of comics. Should I start with Weaveworld and Imajica or is there something else that's a good primer?

Randy Thomas G
02-01-2009, 05:33 AM
Books of Blood -
had a story about two guys running off together only to discover that amazing fight between two villages that was fought by everyone living in each - climbing on top of each other to create this huge symbiotic beast-man that was literally all of them. Just one example and there are lots as you know.


This is his best short story, it's called 'In the Hills, The Cities.' I honestly found several of the other stories rather clumsy but I think he developed quite a bit since then as a writer (Imagica being his best, imo) but wish he'd return to a real horror novel, can't say I find the fantasy epics to my taste. Mister B Gone seems promising though, anyone else read it and care to comment?

Patrick B.
02-01-2009, 07:27 AM
Cabal and The Hellbound Heart is two of the best books I have ever read. It's does kinda books that you never want to put down. I read these at the dinner table, in class, during sex etc etc.

John Egan
02-05-2009, 08:17 AM
It was too bad Clive got involed with Marvel and they Marvelize everything they get their hands on. The Nightbreed series was just X-Men with a little piss and shit thrown in. He once told me at a signing that Marvel were the only comics readily available to him as a kid in England.

I think Imajica is his wildest novel and it is the kind of thing that could never be reduced to a pictorial adaptation.

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 05:20 PM
I have been wanting to check out Clive Barker's "Books of Blood" for a while now. I really like the first 2 Hellraiser films, especially the first one. Reading that Burrough's is one of his main influences really fueled to my curiosity. Im somewhat of a snob when it comes to litterature though. I rarely read. So I really demand quality once I get around to it. Stephen King is an example of the kind of pulp litterature I really don't want to waste my time with. I can totally respect people who dig him. But it's really not my kind of thing. So my questions are as following:

So what is Barker's early stuff like anyone you could compare him to?

What is the general level of his writing?

Is there better horror writers I should check out first?

I hear people say how amazing his "imagination" is. But that doesn't say much for someone who hasn't read any of his books.

Barry M.
06-04-2010, 06:31 PM
I expect you'd survive reading some even if it doesn't meet your expectations. Go for it.

This whole "don't wanna waste my time" thing is mindboggling. What the hell are we here for, then?

We're not here for a long time, just a wasted time.

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 06:41 PM
I expect you'd survive reading some even if it doesn't meet your expectations. Go for it.

This whole "don't wanna waste my time" thing is mindboggling. What the hell are we here for, then?

We're not here for a long time, just a wasted time.

I guess it's just a matter of what you're looking for. Doing some thorough research has helped skip alot of stuff I would have hated. Plus I rarely watch a movie I don't feel is an 8 out of 10.

Kristian R
06-04-2010, 06:52 PM
So you spend a lot of your free time trying to figure out how to optimize your free time?

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 07:04 PM
So you spend a lot of your free time trying to figure out how to optimize your free time?

No im just being selective. If I wanted to get into Science Fiction I would obviously also watch 2001 and Solaris before wasting time on shit films like Book of Eli. Making any sense for you? Maybe not. But that's not the point.

Kristian R
06-04-2010, 07:11 PM
I was making a joke. Make any sense for you? Har. :D

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 07:18 PM
I was making a joke. Make any sense for you? Har. :D

Not really. :o

Kristian R
06-04-2010, 07:21 PM
And if I have to explain it it wasn't funny. We both lose. :(

Shawn Francis
06-04-2010, 07:59 PM
See, guys, this where the forgetting to put in an emoticon can change the tone of a post into something God awful. :D

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 08:06 PM
See, guys, this where the forgetting to put in an emoticon can change the tone of a post into something God awful. :D

Teh Intarnet.

Anyway since everyone seems too retarded to answer a simple and "open" question. Ill just download the damn thing. :D

Shawn Francis
06-04-2010, 08:13 PM
I was referring to Kristian's absent emoticon when he had to mention he was joking. No retardation aimed at you Adam, nor at Kristian. I like the both of you.

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 08:17 PM
I was referring to Kristian's absent emoticon when he had to mention he was joking. No retardation aimed at you Adam, nor at Kristian. I like the both of you.

I like you too Shawn. :p

Shawn Francis
06-04-2010, 08:19 PM
As for Barker, in general, I have always considered him a major inspiration in my writing. He's very poetic and I have tried to emulate that, more so in my two unpublished novels. But I learned if you're not innately poetic it doesn't quite come off. His fiction is one of a kind. I'm more of a fan of his early work, his BOOKS OF BLOOD. His novels are excellent to, and he delves more into dark, bloody fantasy in some of them. Can't compare him to anyone because his works aren't like any other author.

You should also try H.P. Lovecraft. He's a hell of a writer, too.

Barry M.
06-04-2010, 08:20 PM
You're right, it's definitely what you're looking for, Adam.

I feel your pain -- I used to Cheech & Chong dogshit-routine around things, trying to make sure that the world was worthy of my attention, and then one day I figured it out. In almost any book/movie/art/music experience, the weak link was almost always me -- even the most halfassed hackwork had more honest effort and thought put into the making of it than I'd ever put into the reading/viewing/listening/sniffing of it. Not that I'm not a good, generous, giving viewer, you understand, just that it doesn't compare to the effort it took to make even a bad movie/write a bad book/etc. It's entirely possible for people making stuff to waste their time, and sometimes they know it and it's all too apparent -- but for me, the timewasting's sort of the goal. (Feeding brain fetish hungers for stuff I didn't know existed would still count as timewasting, I think.)

The amount of wonderful beautiful crap I've sucked up since I stopped worrying about stepping in it is a revelation to me.

Number of times I've felt shortchanged since I realized that: zero.

All I'm saying is, live a little. Stretch yourself a little with maybe a personal 2/10 or something.

As Frances' mom says, "How do you know what you like if you haven't even tried it?"

Barry M.
06-04-2010, 08:24 PM
Frances' mom, I imagine, had lived a pretty full life for a badger. BILF.

Sean B
06-04-2010, 08:37 PM
My favourite writer. Period. Nobody comes close. Cabal perverted my young mind when I read it as a kid. I think I was in grade 7 or 8. I had no idea where that book was going to take me.

Having said that, I am REALLY, REALLY behind in his books...and still, to this day, have not read all of the Books Of Blood. I know, I know. GASP!!!!

I need to pick up at Sacrament, and go from there. I made it halfway through, put it down, and then my stuff went into storage. Now I have everything back.
I also read the first book of Abarat....and have the second waiting.

Ideally, I would love to just pick them all up and reread them......The books of The Art.....Imajica....so many great books....this man BLOWS King out of the water....imo.


Gotta kick my arse into gear....

Shawn Francis
06-04-2010, 08:41 PM
this man BLOWS King out of the water

Amen, man. Amen.

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 08:43 PM
Barry M, I use this forum to ask informed people for advice. You use it to annoy people with pseudo-philosophical rants. Im not saying you're a total inbreed redneck. But you sure ain't the reason I post here and I am yet to be introduced to anything worthwhile by you.





Thank you and goodnight. :D

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 08:48 PM
Amen, man. Amen.

That ain't saying much though. Take the concept of McDonalds and put it in the oven and Stephen King is what you've got.

I do love Kubrick's The Shining and The Dead Zone though. But they don't have much to do with the original source material anyway.

Barry M.
06-04-2010, 08:51 PM
Barry M, I use this forum to ask informed people for advice. You use it to annoy people with pseudo-philosophical rants. Im not saying you're a total inbreed redneck. But you sure ain't the reason I post here and I am yet to be introduced to anything worthwhile by you.





Thank you and goodnight. :D

Wait, you're not saying I'm a total inbreed redneck? Now I'm confused.

Barry M: 2/10

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 08:57 PM
Wait, you're not saying I'm a total inbreed redneck? Now I'm confused.

Barry M: 2/10

Don't go there Barry boy. Don't go there. :o

Barry M.
06-04-2010, 09:05 PM
... I am yet to be introduced to anything worthwhile by you...

Found one:


Me too. :)

Shawn Francis
06-04-2010, 09:12 PM
That ain't saying much though. Take the concept of McDonalds and put it in the oven and Stephen King is what you've got.

I do love Kubrick's The Shining and The Dead Zone though. But they don't have much to do with the original source material anyway.

You're right. I jumped the gun on that remark. Didn't think it through or account for all the King novels I have on my book shelf. But, for me, Barker has always been more of an inspiration than King. That's not to say I haven't learned a thing or two from him. Loved his ON WRITING book. Invaluable.

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 09:14 PM
Just got my new Buffy box in the mail guys. Time to live life.

Sorry you can't stay with us Barry. But I suppose there's a life to be lived. :D

AdamAskov
06-04-2010, 09:18 PM
You're right. I jumped the gun on that remark. Didn't think it through or account for all the King novels I have on my book shelf. But, for me, Barker has always been more of an inspiration than King. That's not to say I haven't learned a thing or two from him. Loved his ON WRITING book. Invaluable.

One part of me wants to respect King for doing what he wants to do. It's his luck that people have had bad enough taste to turn him into a star. But on the other hand... His remake of The Shining makes it hard to like the guy. :o

Shawn Francis
06-04-2010, 09:29 PM
I actually liked his remake, but I also liked Kubrik's version. If I want to be creeped out, I put on the original, if I'm in the mood to see a character piece, and something a bit more closer to the novel, I put on the mini-series. Okay, not it's about time I retire for another showing of THE WOLF MAN, the remake.

Barry M.
06-05-2010, 12:57 AM
Sorry you can't stay with us Barry. But I suppose there's a life to be lived. :D

http://yahoofreak.com/emoticons/Love%20Emoticons/hearts%20together.gif Ah, Buffy! Buffy's great. But off-topic for this thread.http://yahoofreak.com/emoticons/Love%20Emoticons/hearts%20together.gif

Ob. Barker: I don't know if I'd recommend him to you, Adam, honestly.

It's been a long time, and I never really did get the bug -- so I'm not qualified to testify for Clive, anyway. I recall the short stories as Barker's strong points (starting with the Books of Blood'd be a good idea, as I think Shawn suggested); Weaveworld was okayish for me (though even at the time it was pretty clearly atypical, or at least a departure) -- but I dunno. Tastes vary, and genre expectations can make it hard to predict personal reactions, but my guess is that you might actually be disappointed by Barker. You won't care what I think, but I thought I should say why I was suggesting that you just try him and see for yourself. Influential, maybe even definitive of his period and style -- certainly you ought to check him out.

Sorry if the comments on cream-skimming, risk-averse selectiveness offended you -- you're gonna pick what you like, I'm just encouraging you to wing it. It's an efficient strategy, you've got, I guess, but it does miss stuff (like buying greatest hits albums or never getting off the freeway on a roadtrip). And you getter a better sense of the context, of the landscape when you wander some.

I think I'm up to five bears now on the forbearance scale, if you're keeping score, AdamAskov. You seem to be: what's up with the unpleasantness? Is it your style, or are you actually trying to work up to maybe being offensive one day? PM me if you need to. Or block me, that'd work, too.

Wostry Ferenc
06-05-2010, 04:10 AM
Christ Adam, you have no sense of humor... C'man man... Barry's tellin' smart things to you, ya know. Believe it or not. :) Or propagating an attitude, if you like. And it's not a bad attitude, overall.

AdamAskov
06-05-2010, 07:10 AM
http://yahoofreak.com/emoticons/Love%20Emoticons/hearts%20together.gif Ah, Buffy! Buffy's great. But off-topic for this thread.http://yahoofreak.com/emoticons/Love%20Emoticons/hearts%20together.gif

Ob. Barker: I don't know if I'd recommend him to you, Adam, honestly.

It's been a long time, and I never really did get the bug -- so I'm not qualified to testify for Clive, anyway. I recall the short stories as Barker's strong points (starting with the Books of Blood'd be a good idea, as I think Shawn suggested); Weaveworld was okayish for me (though even at the time it was pretty clearly atypical, or at least a departure) -- but I dunno. Tastes vary, and genre expectations can make it hard to predict personal reactions, but my guess is that you might actually be disappointed by Barker. You won't care what I think, but I thought I should say why I was suggesting that you just try him and see for yourself. Influential, maybe even definitive of his period and style -- certainly you ought to check him out.

Sorry if the comments on cream-skimming, risk-averse selectiveness offended you -- you're gonna pick what you like, I'm just encouraging you to wing it. It's an efficient strategy, you've got, I guess, but it does miss stuff (like buying greatest hits albums or never getting off the freeway on a roadtrip). And you getter a better sense of the context, of the landscape when you wander some.

I think I'm up to five bears now on the forbearance scale, if you're keeping score, AdamAskov. You seem to be: what's up with the unpleasantness? Is it your style, or are you actually trying to work up to maybe being offensive one day? PM me if you need to. Or block me, that'd work, too.

I didn't realize you where this emotional about the topic Barry. Im not even going to argue why im not a "safe" player. I have been to places in my life that most people never dream of. Does that make me a better person? No. Not neccicarily. But im in situation where I have limited funds. I simply don't have the money or time to blind buy everything. I don't download. So what I see or read is what I pay for. It's fucking rediculous that im even writing this. You're talking about roadtrips. Try to drop 1200 mix LSD, overdose on heroin, survive a stabbing, spend a week in isolation jail or 6 months in the mental ward. Why don't you do it? Are you that snobbish?

You could just have written the first part of your post instead og playing wise guy in the first place. I think I made it clear that I respected people's taste no matter what and had a little fun with you when you didn't get it. So what? Your feelings hurt now? Bwah... :p

AdamAskov
06-05-2010, 07:18 AM
BACK TO TOPIC

I just read the beginning of Books of Blood and his style most definitely has it's charm. The thing with people being "books of blood" is kinda cheesy. But I can live with that. Lovecraft had his cheesy moments as well. I guess it comes with the genre. :)

Adam A
06-05-2010, 07:25 AM
BBBBBBBbbbbuuuuuuuUUuRrrrrrRRRRRpp!! excuse me

Barry M.
06-05-2010, 10:27 AM
Your feelings hurt now? Bwah... :p

Nope.

Glad to hear you're enjoying Barker. Your approval means so much. :D

Paul Casey
06-05-2010, 12:48 PM
Anyway since everyone seems too retarded to answer a simple and "open" question. Ill just download the damn thing. :D


I don't download.

This thread is confusing.

Wostry Ferenc
06-05-2010, 01:52 PM
Back to Barker for a minute: HELLRAISER is a very good book and an AMAZING film. WEAVEWORLD is an interesting, imaginative book which always held me at arm's lenght, couldnt love it. DAMNATION GAME is a somewhat formulaic but good book. CABAL is also good. His best written work is still BOOKS OF BLOOD imho.

Steve R
06-05-2010, 02:44 PM
Without a doubt I dug those first six Books of Bloods the best of all Clive's stuff. There was a nice creative surge there, a freshness in the field. Going back to them, what 25 years? Maybe not as fresh and some won't hold up as hot, but I bet you'll dig a good lot of them.

Barker's long, and I do mean l o n g, form books did not grab me, either.

AdamAskov
06-05-2010, 03:41 PM
This thread is confusing.

"Download". I read the first pages on Amazon.


How do you guys feel about Thomas Ligotti? People usually mention him as a writer in a league of it's own.

Adam L
06-07-2010, 12:15 AM
"Download". I read the first pages on Amazon.


Libraries are free too, you know.

Ryan Emberg
06-15-2010, 02:33 PM
God the omnibus versions (1-3, 4-6 collected) of the books of blood at the tender age of ten. read the midnight meat train at two in the morning. blew my fucking mind. kept reading until daylight. i got through the first volume and to this day pig blood blues, meat train, and in the hills... are some of the greatest horror fiction i ve read. i still have those tattered omnibus versions on my shelf 18 years later, they've survived cross country moves, house fires, and several pyschotic girlfriends. treasures.

have a lot of the comic adaptations of the short stories as well, a lot of them are fantastic.

i did continue to read my way through all his work, everything, up until sacrament and galilee. i found myself moving a little further away, a little further away, each time. sacrament and galilee- i totally did not care for at all. i was young, but nothing makes me want to revisit them. and from there, i tuned out, ocassionally re reading books of blood, cabal, hellbound, and the like. not so much the sprawling fantasy epics. i just have a personal preference for lean, tight, discrete literature.

re read the great and secret show. not really my thing, but thinking about doing the same with everville.

what i really wish is he'd get the scarlet gospels out so i can read THAT, and then i wish he'd wrap up the 'Art' trilogy so it can be assessed as a whole. argento got his done, clive now its your turn.

specific opinions of coldheart canyon?

opinions on galilee and sacrament?

how about his plays- have them collected in two very sexy hardcover editions- forms of heaven, etc. comments on those?

he's an artist of immense talent in multiple mediums, and i love his films and painting style, i think i need to revisit the neglected novels now. mister b. gone- is it a throwback piece?