on November 27, 2004
It had taken me a month to read this book and I happen to be a very fast reader. There was so much detail and description that I had to try and take it all in. Reading this is very similar to observing the weave that Barker describes so eloquently in the pages of this book. On my cover, it says "An Epic of the Imagination." And that, indeed, is.
The plot was intricate, matching the idea of a weave. It incorporated so many things that I love, mythology, religion and a complex plot. The language is evocative and poetic but also very stripped and common-place at the same time. The characters were very intriguing and realistic and each one was symbolic.
My favorite character out of the bunch was not a hero but rather a villain. I happened to adore the character of Immacolata. She was so cold and so vicious. She was a complete original and I happen to love it.
So overall, a rather engaging read and a masterpiece. It may even be one of my favorite novels but most definately, the best read I had all year.
on January 15, 2000
...and your imagination will never want to lose the excellence of this book. I have just finished reading Weaveworld for the third time and still find myself at a loss for words to capture its brilliance. Really, it defies explanation. Barker has created what I consider to be one of his greatest novels, heck! it's almost THE greatest novel. Its immensity allows its creator to use every aspect of great story telling to leave you feeling like you've just experienced something divine. It is an epic adventure of monumental proportions into a great secret world called 'The Fugue', that has been hidden away in order to elude its notorious enemies. Following the exploits of the two main characters, Cal and Suzanna, it tells us how they unravel (literally) the secrets behind the Weaveworld. This brings them into contact with some of Barkers most timeless and unforgettable characters, more notably so Immacolata and her side-kick the shifty salesman Shadwell. Mysterious, magical, loveable and terrifying - this book has it all. I particulaly love this book because of 'The Orchard of Lemuel Lo', with its entertaining magic and Jude Pears. A part of the book Clive Barker based on a early personal experience. It's just such a great chapter, magical in its peculiarities and believable by its veracity.
There are moments of exquisite tenderness and poetry in this book and moments that will have you practically tearing the page to turn it and find the answers to the many questions Barker poses throughout. The story will take you beyond reality, beyond fiction, beyond poetry and beyond fantasy to deliver you to an ambience that will intice, elate and overwhealm you. You will truly wish the story to never end, which in a way it never does - you have to experience it to understand. Suffice it to say Weaveworld is Heaven of a different form, only read it if you have plenty of breath to catch, tears to cry and imagination to be inspired, stretched and truly amazed.
on November 12, 2003
And with that line we pick up on this story without a beginning and without an end.
We meet Calhoun Moody and Suzannah Parrish. Two people who come together. Cal, who lives with his depressed dad and pigeons. And Suzannah who travels from England to at the wish of a cryptic note from her Grandmother she barely knew. She finds her on her death bed. These two are brought together during a run in with a human salesman and the incantatrix Immacolata, who is using the salesman for her will. They are after a carpet. A carpet that houses the Seerkind. Immacolata was once one of them, but she escape now she want them destroyed.
And so the story goes from there. Suzannah (who receives part of Immacolata's menstruum, and thus some of her powers), and Mad Mooney must get this carpet back from those two eveil people. They are met by a few stragglers from "The Fugue" who help (and don't help) the two on their journey. This is an epic fantasy novel that could rival classics like The Riftwar Saga and The Lord of the Rings.
Clive Barker uses his masterful writing to paint us a beautifl image of England as well as The Fugue, the two places that most of the story is told in. And the words all weave together to tell this wonderful story. And if reading that last three paragraghs doesn't bring a tear to your face as you finally close this chapter of the adventure, I don't know *what* will.
You owe it to yourself to pick this wonderful book up and give it a read.
on November 20, 2015
This was really an excellent example of what Barker can achieve in an epic-length novel. It combines elements of horror, fantasy and romance in such a powerful and compelling way. The major plot device, a mysterious carpet known as the Fugue, is itself an interesting metaphor, I think, that works on many different levels. An entire, magnificent, hidden world lies trapped away in this seemingly mundane object of craft; a world of fantastic, magical beings known as the Seerkind. The fate of their world, as well as the power that it holds, becomes the motor force for the action that unfolds. Barker generally provides an imaginative bestiary in the majority of his work, but Weaveworld's was exceptionally horrifying and exquisite. Unlike other reviewers, I found the understated ending to be entirely called for: the conflict is over, the Seerkind's world is destroyed, but its trace manifests itself in a final exuberant expression in the human world. The book ends up being something of a parable on the human need for myth, symbol and imagination; though disenchantment seems to drain and devalue these things within our lives, as long as their objects can be imagined, so Barker entreats, they do not need to be lost. I'll add a corollary to that, in praise of Barker's genius here: as long as there are authors and artists with the power to give birth to these sorts of visions, as well as the inclination to create them, human beings need not lose touch with the idea that our lives as individual selves, however complex and individuated they may become, are all born from the murky, rich, beautiful past of symbol, image, and myth.
on February 9, 2000
Weaveworld is a bludgeoning fusion of occult schlock-horror and heroic fantasy and is populated by a motley of vividly depicted characters. Cal and Suzanna's mundane entry on the scene contrasts effectively with the other-worldly horrors than ensue. The intriguing child/man Nimrod provides some humerous tableaux. Immacolata provides us with a deliciously evil villainess, her character made all the more complex by elements of poignancy and reconciliation surrounding her demise, and the chief miscreant - Shadwell is an effective personification of the "all power corrupts..." maxim.
The sheer vileness though of some of the apparitions that Barker conjures forth demands the reader possess a strong stomach and reminds us that, first and foremost, this is a horror novel. What else should we expect from the author who gave us the visceral terrors of Hellraiser? The tale is also frequently punctuated by explicit (and some may say unnecessarily gratuitous) sexual imagery, which some may find tasteless.
One major problem I had with Weaveworld is that I felt it reached its peak about two thirds of the way through. The most satisfying chapters are undoubtedly Cal and Suzanna's adventures in the Fugue and their heart-stopping flight to keep out of Shadwell and Hobart's clutches. Once the Fugue is unwoven though and the Seerkind scattered, the tale seems to lose direction somewhat. In particular the appearance of the entity calling itself Uriel really doesn't seem to fit comfortably with what has gone before and reads more like a novella in its own right. I'm afraid for me, the conclusion of the Uriel episode reminded me of some of Star Trek's more hackneyed finales, and I must confess to feeling slightly cheated by the rather tame conclusion.
Overall though, Weaveworld is undoubtedly a pretty compelling read and reminds one of some of the more macabre paintings of Bosch or Breughal brought to life. Be warned though; it often plumbs the depths of depravity and the aftertaste it leaves may be something less wholesome than the sweet nectar of Jude pears!
on February 10, 2016
This was my second book by Clive Barker after his "Books of Blood." I have always found his works to be vast in scope. Only "Imajica" rivals it in its successful attempt at describing a whole new world of magic and monsters. He frequently hints at or mentions aspects of the mysterious worlds he creates without fully fleshing them out. Leaving tantalizing threads for the reader's imagination to explore is one of his greatest gifts to readers. Is it not always the fantasy unfulfilled which remains richest in our daydreams and nightmares?
on December 26, 2015
I bought this to read for the second time, having read it back when it originally came out. I had forgotten how much I loved it! This book is not the type of dark horror you'd expect from Clive Barker if you only know his films. This is a wonderful story front to back with well developed, fascinating characters and a fascinating, fantastical plot. This is one book I will read again down the road!
on October 25, 2015
Part of the message, especially at the beginning of this book, is that today's world is running down and running out. Decadence, emptiness and drudgery fill the lives of most of the characters. The Weaveworld is offered as an alternative to this world. Within a tapestry, a magical carpet, is a world of magic where the spells themselves are called "raptures", which accentuates the distinction between the drabness of our world and the emotional vibrancy of the magical world within the carpet. Ironically, Clive Barker calls those of us who live in this mundane world "cuckoos", whereas those who live in the magical world within the tapestry are "seers". Is one world more real than the other? Are they both real and is it our insanity which prevents us from seeing the magic in this world? The question of what is real and what is not is a theme that runs throughout the book.
The concept of a world inside a tapestry, mirror, painting or photograph is not new in the fantasy genre. However, the use of a woven carpet has a metaphorical advantage over other types of pictures. A woven carpet reminds us of other metaphors that relate to life and reality: "lives/events are intertwined"; "web of intrigue"; even "the fabric of space/time".
A couple of cliches may stem from Barker's long association with the film industry. In some scenes, the characters are unaccountably paralyzed by surprise, horror or distraction as if they were in a bad movie. In one particular scene, one of the main characters is fleeing for his life from the "big bad", but his car won't start. While reading these sections, one is too easily reminded of low-budget horror films.
While most of the environments are very well described, two settings are overdone: the desert and the snow storm. The emptiness and vastness of the desert, and the way the characters react to them, seem a little overblown. In the snow storm near the end of the book, the physical conditions don't seem to warrant the impediment they pose to the characters. Perhaps this is the result of a disparity between the experiences of Clive Barker, raised in Liverpool, UK, and those of us who were raised in the northern half of North America. I found myself wondering why the characters couldn't handle 18 inches of snow!
The plot is well paced and engaging. The book is divided into sections within sections (Books, Parts, Chapters, scenes), the smallest of which are quite short, sometimes only two or three pages. The construction of the book thus offers convenience to those who want to pick it up at a moment's notice, read a bit, and put it back down. The Kindle edition has a few small flaws, apparently from being scanned into electronic form. In one chapter, "clay" is rendered as "day" several times, which can lead to some confusion on the reader's part. Later in the book, near the climax of the action, this happens with one or two other words. However, the electronic version is generally well done and there are very few flaws in nearly 700 pages.
The characters are likable (or hate-able, as appropriate) and moderately complex, and the action is compelling. While the book is quite long, it is well worth the time it takes to finish it. It is an excellent read.
on February 14, 2013
I first picked up this book when I was 15, a dozen reads and 25 years later it's still the strongest work of it's kind I've ever come across. Clive Barker did not merely write "Weaveworld" so much as he composed it, and it stands in many respects an epic poem stylistically and structurally the equal to Homer or Shakespeare.
In the most basic of terms Weaveworld follows Cal Mooney, a London banker living with his ailing father who one day, while chasing an escaped bird, "falls" into a carpet, a carpet it seems that contains a world. Though he dismisses it as illusion, he can't shake it and becomes obsessed with finding it. He's not alone, of course, a young woman, Susanna the granddaughter of the carpet's owner also becomes entwined in the search. All the while they are pursued by a ruthless salesman with a magic coat that can produce your greatest desire from it's lining and enslave you in the taking. The salesman, Shadwell wants to sell the carpet to the highest bidder, while his companion, an magic creature in her own rite wants to control those within it, or kill them all.
The lore of the story is that all magical beings, to escape the scourge of men, devised a vast loom where the brought themselves and possessions to be woven into the carpet for safe keeping until a place outside the world of men (or safely among them) could be found. Nearly a century later, they are nearly forgotten, but no the power the hold, or that binds them now.
What follows is an epic struggle to possess and save the carpet and it's inhabitants including the inevitable unraveling, a showdown with a millennium old force, a fantastical exploration of a world inside a world.
This 25th anniversary text is bound on heavy paper with stunning illustrations, the sort of experience every book lover longs for, an great, epic tome of never ending mysteries and adventures, horrors and loves, sex and violence, the magical and the firmly rooted. Weaveworld is a must read, though be warned it's graphic and not for the feint of heart. Part of Barker's style is that he holds nothing back, it's graphic, poetic, brilliant and impossible to put down.
on December 9, 2014
i thought I was reading this novel a second time. if so this was a whole new experience for me. like Cal I was transported into another dimension. the Fugue perhaps? this was the shortest 600 page book I ever read. do yourself a favor and buy this book.