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The Great and Secret Show Paperback – 1 Jan 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; 2nd edition edition (1 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006179088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006179085
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Clive Barker:

‘An invocation of both magic and the imagination… A majestic maze of mythmaking’
WASHINGTON TIMES

‘Passionate and ingenious… A ride with remarkable views’
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

‘A fabulous, engrossing war of the worlds’
PEOPLE MAGAZINE

‘Barker dislocates your mind’
MAIL ON SUNDAY

From the Back Cover

Armageddon begins quietly

In the small Californian town of Palomo Grove several children are born, the offspring of the Jaff, a man-spirit obsessed with darkness and depravity, and of the Fletcher, a force for light, who has fought the Jaff across America.

Their prize is the Art, the greatest power known to mankind, a doorway to the dream-life of the species. To possess it, the two men intend to fight through their children. Until their children fall in love. Then all hell breaks loose.

This time, they will fight to the death, gathering their armies from the souls of Palomo Grove. Nightmares will walk the streets. Dreams will be made real. At last, the Grove will see the Great and Secret Show.

'One of the few writers who has altered an entire field: more than anyone since Lovecraft' China Miéville


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
To someone not familiar with Clive Barkers written works would think of him as a horror film writer;but this book and his many others shows that he has many more strings to his bow...
This is a brilliant Clive Barker fantasy novel, which like his other books,shows an almost Kafkan feel to it...that of an extraordinary situation happening to an ordinary surrounding.
It starts off as it means to go on,leaving the reader begging for more.The book itself makes you question your surroundings,and think about what is real and what isn't.
Anyone picking up this book not knowing Clive Barkers horror background,would see this as a visionary fantasy drama;tinged with both horrific and euphoric visions.It focuses on a place called "Quiddity";a place where humans go but three times in their lives;once at birth,once with true love and finally at death.
Quiddity is seen as a paradise,a dreamscape,that is privelliged to few,but craved by many.An evil force tries to unlock it's secrets and wreak havoc;this is opposed by a force for good,which is an ongoing conflict for the duration of the novel...
This is a hard book to describe;it is visionary,and like most visions,it is subject to an individuals imagination.I advise anyone curious enough to try it out,for an amazing read that will provoke the imagination days after putting it down...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris Hall TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
Armageddon begins with a murder in the Dead Letter Office in Omaha, Nebraska. A lake that has never existed falls from the clouds over Palomo Grove, California. Young passion blossoms, as the world withers with war. The Great and Secret Show has begun on the stage of the world. And soon, the final curtain must fall.
First published in 1989, 'The Great And Secret Show' formed the first book of 'The Art' proposed trilogy. The novel is a complex weave of storylines, woven together to form this impressive and compelling tale of fantasy that sends you into a world with seemingly no limits. The novel not only opens up the reader's own imagination but brings forward suggestive images and ideas that remain with you for years to come. Barker manages to capture your attention from the start and keep you gripped throughout the 688 pages that form this beautifully crafted novel. The whole story is absolute genius that I would recommended to absolutely anyone who wishes to be taken into a world of the fantastic.
The mysterious sea of Quiddity is intriguing and inspiring, bringing a majestic and surreal element to this hugely creative novel. The story has a fair sprinkling of the bizarre that hints towards Barker’s earlier horror work. As a series, I would definitely say that these first two books of the art have proven to be my favorite of all Barker’s work.
‘The Great And Secret Show’ was followed by the 1994 sequel 'Everville', which carries on perfectly from the first novel. A third and final volume is planned, but as Clive Barker announced in a past interview, the third installment has proved to be a real struggle and is finding itself to be longer than the first two volumes put together!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "mattthorbes" on 24 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
The Great And Secret Show is one of those novels that everyone wants to write, but when they sit down and try it just runs into a wall. Barker hits that wall with enough force to get through, but is wounded in the process.
It is a great premise. The awe inspiring power of the Art, the confirmation that not all is what it seems in this world, the early days of Fletcher and the Jaffe's conflict and the coming to Palomo Grove are all works of genius. But once thing start to get going, Barker hits his wall. The story becomes heavy and slow and fails to live up to its promise.
Then, from the jaws of defeat, Barker turns it around. He seems to realise that he is not going to be able to deliver down one line of storytelling and radically changes course, saving the story and setting himself up for at least three or four sequels (whether or not he chooses to drag it out Lumley-style is his call). The wound is healed and he hits a climax like a freight-train on a mission, leaving you literally breathless.
I can't tell you how each of these sections are framed, because to do so would be to give away too much story, but you will see what I mean when it takes you a day to read the first half of the book, three weeks to get through the 3rd quarter and only a matter of hours to get through the final act.
This is Barker at his best, and simultaneously, his worst. Imagine the Hell-Bound Heart on speed with one hell of a comedown in the middle, and you're on your way to the Grove...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
From page one you will be unable to put the book down.
Ever wanted an explaination of all that makes us human, the origin of all the religions of this world and how they are interconnected?
A brilliant story combining dreams, reality, alternative dimensions, drug related experiences and horror into a believable and compelling whole.
This is only the second book by Clive Barker that I have read. As an avid Stephen King, Dean R Koontz and Anne Rice reader I will definitely be purchasing a lot more of this authors books.
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