December 27, 2016

The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker

Title:  The Great and Secret Show
Author:  Clive Barker
Pages:  550
Genre:  Horror / Fantasy
Publisher:  Harper & Row, 1989
Series:  Book of the Art, Book 1

Synopsis: Clive Barker's bestseller Weaveworld astonished worldwide readers with his visionary range, firmly establishing him as the reigning master of fabulist literature. Now, with The Great and Secret Show he rises to awesome new heights.  Fantasy, horror story, love fable -- in this one unforgettable epic, Clive Barker wields the full power and sweep of his extraordinary talents. "Succinctly put," says Barker, "it's about Hollywood, sex, and Armageddon."

Memory, prophecy and fantasy, the past, the future, and the dreaming moment between are all one country living one immortal day To know that is Wisdom. To use it is the Art.

Armageddon begins with a murder in the Dead Letter Office in Omaha, Nebraska.

A lake that has never existed falls from the clouds over Palomo Grove, California.

Young passion blossoms, as the world withers with war.

The Great and Secret Show has begun on the stage of the world.

And soon, the final curtain must fall.

Review:  This was the longest 550 pages of my life.  The story was good and sometimes even great.  It had scares and thrills and dark fantasy.  It should have breezed by.  However, I've sadly discovered that very little by Clive Barker breezes by.  His writing is so convoluted and goes into so much description, that I find myself reading and re-reading (and re-reading) passages over and over to make sure I understand what I just read.  It's frustrating and exhausting.

I have another book from this series, but the second one isn't a sequel to the first from what I understand.  It's just another story about The Art.  I can't take another story like this one, so I'm removing that book from my shelf.

I've also got two other very long novels by this same author.  I'm afraid they are coming off my shelf, too.  I just can't bear another two-week-long book that seems more like a work-out than enjoyment.

I love long books.  I'm an avid reader and I hate when books end.  But, somehow, this author always leaves me relieved that the book is done and the hard work over.  The only exception to this rule was Weaveworld, which I adored.  So, I'm finally giving up on his novels.  They just aren't for me.

Rating:  4.5 / 10

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOVED this book! Clive Barker does a great job with story-telling, and he pulled off the metaphysical concepts in the book flawlessly. I'm really into dark fantasy/horror, and this is one of the best of its kind that I've read. Whenever I picked up the book to read, I didn't want to put it down, and thus finished it in less than a week. If you're considering reading this, I highly recommend it.


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