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Imajica: Featuring New Illustrations and an Appendix Paperback – August 6, 2002
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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.
Imajica is an example of this author's incredible imagination. Reading other reader reviews, they often mention sex as a drawback. It hasn't been that long since I read it, and I know my short-term memory has been weak lately, but I honestly don't recall much sex. He does put an element of erotica in sometimes and being gay he somehow always finds a way to put some type of phallic reference in many of his books. I just wish he would take a break from all the painting and write another great book. Painting is cool, I paint myself but the man really shines in his literary ability.
It's definitely a good book with some great ideas but I gave it 4 stars because to me a 5 star book has to be really exceptional. Judging by the huge amount of 5 star reviews, I presume many readers have their own standards, but "...greatest book I ever read" and "...it changed my life" is too much for me. Bottom line: it's definitely a worthwhile read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Honestly, the book amused and irritated me by turns. The premise was interesting, the world well built, and the characters dynamic - though they were the main source of... Read morePublished 19 hours ago by Ashley Wolfe
Imajica is in my humble opinion is a great book. I have read it four times already. When Imajica was released originally, It was heavily advertised on television. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Corey Beverly
Truly it was. I just reread it for the first time in more than 15 years and it is still wonderful.Published 6 days ago by Tutorialsmith
I love Clive Barker's mind and his skill with words. This is probably my favorite of his books.Published 16 days ago by Eric Dale Eubanks
This is the second time I've read this book, and it didn't lose any impact. I am always blown away by how original and realistic Clive Barker's novels are (no matter how fantastic... Read morePublished 16 days ago by trudimc
One of my favorite books. The new illustrations and appendix are a nice bonus.Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Loved many of his other books, but not this one. First 350 pages and still waiting for an actual plot, booting!Published 17 days ago by Kenneth John Windfelder
Interesting fantasy novel, very unique story characters, somewhat hard to follow at times because it is so bizarre.Published 1 month ago by Adam Portier