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Coldheart Canyon: A Hollywood Ghost Story Kindle Edition
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B000FC117E
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (March 17, 2009)
- Publication date : March 17, 2009
- Language: : English
- File size : 1095 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 704 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 006103018X
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #379,287 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Perhaps it is the combination of my interests: old Hollywood and the occult, that intrigued me so much, but, regardless, I found this story something I was unable to part with, until completed.
First, the plot of Barker's story is original to the extent that you will not be plodding into context that was predictable. The storyline harkens Richard Matheson's Hell House with the basis of occult activity permeated with overt and wild sexual activity. Unlike Hell House, ColdHeart doesn't just suggest the activity, but revels in the detailed activity, throughout. While the details sometime seem excessive, it rather fits the legends (or rumours) of Hollywood social "interaction" and, thus, works. However, it could have worked as easily with less.
The story is well written. This is my first Barker read and I am impressed. The detail... the originality... the imagination: it far exceeds that of other modern, "horror" authors. The character development is truly fantastic, to the extent that the ending feels a let down.
While I have read other reviews, critiquing the length; yes, if you are the typical, quick S. King-type reader, this book will overwhelm you, leading you to abandon it. Otherwise, stand by for an adventure from current Hollywood, back to old Hollywood, and back, again... It is worth the long trek.
The characters are still with me. I actually am writing this having just finished the book, and I already miss the people, good and bad.
Incredible addition to the Clive Barker canon of imagination...I know I’m late to the game on this one. I’ve only read a few other Barker books, but now I’m motivated to read the rest! I’m excited because I have them to look forward to.
I absolutely loved Coldheart Canyon, and I recommend it heartily.
One of the things the story is about is a '20s era silent-movie actress. Her 'friend" has a room installed in her house made entirely of tile taken from a monestary in Romania. This tile, some 30,000 pieces, is supposed to have been built by Lilith, the wife of Satan, and it seems to have...ahem...remarkable qualities. The '20s era movie star, Katya, and all her friends and fellow stars are transfixed and transformed by the power of this room, known as "The Devil's Country." Everyone connected to the house and Katya seemed to be hedonists at heart - and "anything" goes in their search for pleasure.
At this point the story skips forward to present day Hollywood, where star Todd Pickett makes the mistake of getting plastic surgery and suffers severe damage. He takes refuge from the press at the long abandoned "pleasure palace" of, Katya, an actress that he has never heard of. No one seems to live in the house, but then things change and we learn that there are many "someones" in the house - both dead and alive. Katya, being the evil person that she is, has many perverted people around her - it is very sexually explicit involving creatures you've probably never dreamed of.
Add to this mix a fanatical fan of Todd Pickett. Tammy, who wants to discover "why" Todd is in hiding - she wants to save him from whatever is wrong - and you begin to see all kinds of layers to the story.
First this book is not the average thrill and kill book that people expect from a horror writer. For me this book is more about how fame, obsession and vanity are just as destructive as the sadistic pastimes of torture and murder. The writing is superb, the descriptions and imagery are vivid and evocative. Just as we have all come to expect from Mr. Barker.
While the premise of Hollywood was not very appealing to me in the beginning, I did love the mentions of old Hollywood and the new twist on those stars who were taken too soon. Anyone who has watched any amount of reality TV in recent years knows that if Coldheart Canyon did exist it would be teeming with the plastic fame monsters who right now roam the streets of California looking for their next fix of stardom, drugs, sex or surgery.
Also the Devil's Country/the Hunt for me was marvelous, if you have any imagination you can close your eyes and see the images for yourself. That is the one portion of the book that really sticks with me. Maybe that is also the most unnerving part of the novel. The idea that we are all trapped in a prison of our making constantly striving after that which will ultimately undo us.
Top reviews from other countries
What Barker does in this book is pretty extraordinary. He juxtaposes the fictional world of Hollywood (which people believe is real) with the nightmarish reality of Coldheart Canyon (which people believe is fiction). He describes vacuous stars and entitled movie producers with a mischievous venom that suggests he has met many of these people.
There is a huge amount of dropping of famous names, although Todd Pickett the main male character is perhaps by necessity a fiction, as I imagine is the boarish movie producer who meets a violent but poetic end.
I almost never close a book without finishing it, but I gave up about half-way through. In addition to the above, I found the characters unrealistic and inconsistent in their ... characteristics, and generally unsympathetic--pretty much all of them. Except Brewster--and he died really early on.
I don't think I've ever rated a book as low as this, and I suspect that lowness (?) is partly a function of my disappointment in the fact that I'd expected more, way more, from Barker.