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The Essential Clive Barker: Selected Fiction Hardcover – November 3, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st U.S. ed edition (November 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060195290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060195298
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This 567-page sampler of Clive Barker's darkly fantastic work has an unusual format. You'd expect a huge collection of his macabre short stories (like the three 1984 Books of Blood that made his name in horror), or perhaps an omnibus of the sinisterly exotic novels in which he moved from Grand Guignol to his own warped brand of epic fantasy. Instead, here's a book of bits: 70-odd passages from novels and plays, plus four complete stories and an introduction in which our author offers glimpses of what makes him tick. The Essential Clive Barker is thematically arranged in 13 sections, each with its own brief prologue: "Doorways," "Journeys," "Visions and Dreams," "Lives," and so on. Some of these fragments are powerful and evocative, some numinous, some horrid; many are teasers to make you wonder what comes next. Reading this is like sitting through a movie-length feature composed entirely of trailers flaunting pyrotechnic effects. It's a volume for dipping into rather than swallowing whole. There are fine things here, especially the complete stories--including "In the Hills, the Cities," an unforgettable mix of surreal horror and Balkan political allegory. But aficionados will already own the books containing these excerpts, while newcomers surely prefer to begin with a complete novel or collection. A perfect present for the Barker fan who has everything else. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

From Library Journal

Barker (Galilee) takes a thoughtful approach in this anthology of excerpts from his short stories, novels, plays, and screenplays. Illustrating 13 themes prominent in his work, including terror, love, art, and memory, the selections cover Barker's evolving career from works of horror to dark fantasy to his latest genre-combining novels. The introduction offers insights into the selected themes, Barker's philosophy of writing, and the events that inspired him to write. Each theme also begins with a short introduction that places the selected works within that theme's context. While many of the novel excerpts are quite short, they do stand on their own. The uninitiated reader will find the selections intriguing, not frustrating, while the reader familiar with Barker will find new perspectives on his complex works. But with no new material included, demand may be low. Recommended for larger public libraries.ADevon Thomas, formerly with Highland Township P.L., MI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Clive Barker was born in Liverpool in 1952. He is the worldwide bestselling author of the Books of Blood, and numerous novels including Imajica, The Great and Secret Show, Sacrament and Galilee. In addition to his work as a novelist and short story writer he also illustrates, writes, directs and produces for the stage and screen. His films include Hellraiser, Hellbound, Nightbreed and Candyman. Clive lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Essential Clive Barker (019529-0) will prove important to any who are avid followers of his various horror and supernatural scenes and writings. For over twenty years Barker has created distinguished and vivid horror scenes: this provides a range of his writings, from early works to recent literary novels. Excerpts from plays and short stories are included within thirteen themes which examine his works.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By B. C. Giles on July 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'll admit, I was pretty dissapointed at this book when I first cracked it open. It's a rather thick hardcover with excepts which mostly come from his novels, which I'd already read. "Why don't I just go read the novels?" I thought.

Clive himself gives us a good reason in his introduction. The idea isn't to read it straight through, it's to open the books and drift around to whatever catches your interest. In effect, it's the sort of book you read when you're not sure what to read.

And, to be honest, Clive Barker's writing lends itself particularly well to this format. His novels often drift off into self-contained vignettes, easily appreciated on their own.

New readers are better off getting either one of the full novels, or an actual short-story collection, but for someone who has read a sizeable chunk of Barker's work and simply wants to relax with some of the best passages from it, this book is perfect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kara Nowacki on October 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Not what I thought it would be. I love Clive Barker but I had already read all of these "excerpts" from various novels. It's my fault, next time I will read the description more closely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on August 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read every Barker book many, many times. I bought this one in hardcover some few years ago, and I don't especially think it's essential to have, but it sure is nice! Mr. Barkers imagination astounds me. There is no one like him. He is his own man, and has made a whole genre unto himself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Sinclair on August 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I already follow Clive Barker on Facebook, so this is in the nature of an expansion of his posts there. It really is a look inside the author's head, bits and pieces of his horror fiction as well as some of his other works, both fantasy and essay. It's like all the "between-the-lines" stuff from his other works, out in the light of day for perhaps the first time.

Fascinating!
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By r.steese on June 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is great to get to know the writings of Clive Barker, An amazing author. Love his work always awesome.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Clive Barker, sometimes a challenge to comprehend, but I have always enjoyed reading/watching his productions; from Way back w/the original Books of Blood.
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