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Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic: The Authorized Biography [Hardcover]

Douglas E. Winter
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 2002

The long-awaited authorized biography of the man who created The Books of Blood and Weaveworld.

Barker: a contemporary myth-maker, explorer of our darkest instincts and ultimate fears – the writer who, more than any other contemporary figure, has shaped our nightmares through diverse media. Novelist, playwright, scriptwriter and director he is a master at twisting the mundane to make it fantastic and frightening.

In a detailed biography, enabled through unprecedented access to Barker and his closest friends and family, Douglas Winter reveals at last what haunts the man who haunts us all.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0066213924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0066213927
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,464,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

“Absorbing and meticulous, this thorough accounting of Clive Barker as a man of boundless imagination is a work of solid scholarship and a complete portrait of a still-young, still-evolving artist who has accomplished much”
Washington Times

“Weaves literary analysis and biography to paint a compelling portrait of a restless writer, director, producer and actor”
Variety

“Reading and completing The Dark Fantastic, I felt transformed. Don’t hesitate to open this physically and metaphysically huge book and enjoy every word of it. You will emerge liberated and ready to discover new worlds of your own”
Nova Express

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Barker: a contemporary myth-maker, explorer of our darkest instincts and ultimate fears – the writer who, more than any other contemporary figure, has shaped our nightmares through diverse media. Novelist, playwright, scriptwriter and director he is a master at twisting the mundane to make it fantastic and frightening.

In a detailed biography, enabled through unprecedented access to Barker and his closest friends and family, Douglas Winter reveals at last what haunts the man who haunts us all.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Early in the twentieth century, one of our great thinkers, wounded by depression, found healing in a dream. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Walk Through The Life And Works 14 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I eagerly awaited this book, and read it voraciously. Clive Barker, as a man (the times we've met) and an artist (through his varied work and visions) has intrigued and interested me. I expected this book would hook me because of this, and whilst it was passionately well written by Mr Winter, I have to say that it doesn't really do much more than skim the surface of Barker's life. It's heavy number of pages are largely concerned with detailed synopses of Clive's films and books, which most fans will already by overly familiar with. I would have preferred more of the man himself, behind the myths as it were, though whether or not this lack of more intimate substance is because Barker is a private individual (in which case why allow a biography in the first place?) or because his life is consumed by his work (seemingly the more plausible explanation) isn't distinctly clear. With reference to the latter reason, the personal information tellingly starts thinning out as soon as Clive starts making money. Perhaps Mr Barker is after all a man consumed by his work. Despite my comments this is far from being a bad book, and fans will love it. But it holds back from being a great biography because of the above, and doesn't really work as a career criticism either because (as Winter freely admits) he is far too much of a forgiving fan to be a harsh critic. Not what I'd hoped for, but entertaining and valued to me all the same, and - to end on a cliche - well worth a look!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost darkly fantastic! 29 Jun 2002
Format:Hardcover
I've been fascinated by Clive Barker's work for several years now but was concerned that maybe I was more interested in the idea of him rather than his work. This book confirms it. Although very well written and informative about the work that Clive Barker has done its a bit surplus to requirements for anyone who has read any of Clive's work or seen any of his films. Each chapter covers one of either Clive's films or books and contains a large summary of the plot. I was hoping to find out more about the rational of Clive Barker, his thoughts and ideas. Douglas E Winter obviously knows his subject and has a great respect for Barker but a biography, I feel, should go beyond this and be more analytical. By the end of the book I knew nothing more about Clive Barker than when I had started except which books I would not be interested in reading. A shame because this could have been an opportunity to reach the man behind the myth. In the end it merely perpetuates it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing but essential for fans 15 Jan 2002
Format:Hardcover
Like the other reviewers on this page, I have been counting the days until the release of this book. But I have to say on the whole I am disappointed with the lack of personal material. This book could have been written by any Barker fan, most of the material has been borrowed from the earlier Barker critique Shadows in Eden, and the rest in just a collection of synopsis, which any fan will no doubt skip. There are it must be said a few nuggets of information, not to be found anywhere else, but does that really justify this book? I think not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh. so dull! 20 July 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you are undertaking a thesis on the work of Clive Barker then you will find this biography very useful. It is crammed with facts, figures, synopsis and excerpts.
However, if you want to learn something about the writer himself then this is not the book for you. This biography is dull, bland and sterile. Factually accurate it may be, but I struggled to get through this. I wanted to learn about what made the man tick, his writing process and thoughts and anecdotes from the writer himself (it is 'official' so I expected something of interest).
If you are looking for a revealing read about Clive Barker then don't bother with this. However, if you are looking for lots of facts about his work then this will do the job.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! 1 Jan 2002
Format:Hardcover
I am the same as the first reviewer here, inasmuch as I read this book voraciously, but differ as far as my feelings on the balance of personal life and the examination of Mr Barker's works found in the book. I thought that the book does what I really wanted - made me see the links between Barker's growth as a man and creative and the products of his creative endeavours. I am not interested in the "News of the World" details of his life, nor are they mine or anyone else's business. But I was told enough about him to enrich my reading of his texts. Having read the book I feel I have a greater understanding of a man who has given me countless hours of reading pleasure - but more importantly, I have a greater understanding of his work...
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