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Imajica: Featuring New Illustrations and an Appendix Paperback – August 6, 2002
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A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
This isn't a casual read. It represents a considerable investment in time. There are also so many characters, settings, plot lines, specialized vocabulary and underlying principles to keep straight.... Yet, it is worth the investment in time and effort.
The basic framework, like so many of Barker's other novels, is that of a hidden world behind the superficial façade of our mundane world. Barker is such a master at interweaving mundane, and profane, details into the greater fabric of his realities that you find yourself totally drawn in. I found myself totally immersed in this hidden reality. For this is a story of five worlds, or dimensions, or Dominions. These make up the whole of Imajica. That is, they should. Two hundred years ago there was an attempt to reconcile our own fifth Dominion with the other four. This ended in a metaphysical catastrophe so great that that nearly all of the Dominions great theurgists, shamans, and theologians were killed. The result was that almost all magical knowledge passed from our world and for two centuries science and materialism held grim sway.
Now, conditions are once again ripe for an attempt to reconcile the Dominions. The great magus', or Maestros, know that this may very well be the last attempt to heal the rift in creation. To fail this time will undoubtedly mean two more centuries of isolation- plenty of time for the Fifth Dominion to destroy itself in nuclear or ecological suicide.
Yet, to heal the rift will require a Master of such power and confidence that he will try to succeed where all those that have gone before him (even the Christos) have failed....
It's over 1000 pages long, but the story, settings, and characters make you want to keep reading. I found it frustrating at times because when you think you're getting to a climax scene, or a point of intense action, the plot twists again onto a different path. HOWEVER, despite the number of times I put this book down, I always returned. I even found myself driving home from work, after not reading the book for a couple months, and thinking "wonder what ever happened with Gentle and Judith?" That's the greatest endorsement I can give any book, and I've recommended it to many friends for that reason: It haunted me, and I had to finish. I'm so glad that I did, and I will probably read Imajica again someday. There are so many wonderful pieces to this work, I'm sure you could read it 200 times and still pick up new things each time. I would also like to meet Clive Barker someday, just to talk to a person whose mind creates like this.
Then, after a little pondering, I figured out some of my problem: since I didn't have the fantasy background, I'd need a guide through the fantasy world -- a protagonist who was as much a stranger to the area and culture as I was. I requested book titles on a local bbs (boy, oh boy, did *that* spark discussion), and this was one of the titles mentioned. I'd read some Barker before, and gave it a go.
Do not, under any circumstances, let the size of this book intimidate you. Yes, you could use it to fend off an attacker -- consider that a bonus. I was SORRY THAT THE NOVEL HAD ENDED when I finished it. And yes, I read the big "single" edition.
Descriptions of the Imagica made me think of faeries and Dr. Suess and foreign countries all rolled together. I have never wanted to go walking in an enchanted wood before, nor have I ever been quite so fascinated by snails. I think that Barker excells at writing long novels: he's my anti-Steven King. I could picture the weather and the landscape without the images in my head feeling cartoony, as they usually tend to. I was lost in the Imagica and didn't want to come out.
This novel starts in our world, and while that's what I really need to get going with fantasy novels, I initally found that the length of the book and the images of how dreary our world was kept me from picking it back up for long stretches at a time. I'm here to tell you: keep going, it gets better. Much, much better. Oh, baby.
Very few books have since sucked me in like "Imagica" did, and I consider this work a very rare find for doing so. If you want to really escape into a novel, I highly recommend this one.
I take issue with those people who complain about the book being "aimless" or "meandering" - as in any story, there is a time for action and a time for reflection. If you are the type of reader who needs the action to be non-stop and in your face in order to keep your attention, you may be missing many opportunities to discover a truly magical and engaging reading experience. Give it the chance it deserves!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Imajica has echoes of the Dark Materials trilogy. At its heart is the exploration of the masculine tropes of Christianity and its appropriation of mother goddesses across the... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
What a mix of fantasy and horror. Incredible book. I would reccomend this book to anyone who has never read Barker.Published 1 month ago by Jody Freitas
first physical copy i owned i read so much that the binder broke and the pages held together with a ribbon. need i say more?Published 2 months ago by Etrela
Clive Barker spins one of his very best Epic masterpieces,that can only be described as Incredible,Extraordinary and deserves a top spot among the BEST LITERARY Classics. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Brobot
A dreadful, meandering, poorly-structured waste of time. Full of unnecessary rambling and unnecessary activity and action. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Peter Dickson