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The Thief of Always Paperback – 16 Aug 1993


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (16 Aug 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006473113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006473114
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Chris Hall TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
Mr. Hood's Holiday House has stood for a thousand years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles, a blissful round of treats and seasons, where every childhood whim may be satisfied.
There is a price to be paid, of course, but young Harvey Swick, bored with his life and beguiled by Mr. Hood's wonders, does not stop to consider the consequences. It is only when the House shows its darker face - when Harvey discovers pitiful creatures that dwell in its shadows - that he comes to doubt Mr. Hood's philanthropy. The House and its mysterious architect are not about to release their captive without a battle, however. Mr. Hood has ambitions for his new guest, for Harvey's soul burns brighter than any soul he has encountered in a thousand years.
First published back in 1992, 'The Thief Of Always' was Barker’s first novel aimed predominantly at the children's fiction market. The vocabulary of the novel is simple and the structure of the sentences is of a plainer style than usual Barker work, due to the main market being targeted at 8 yrs old and onwards. Barker also wanted to appeal to 40-year-olds in the same way that C.S. Lewis does to so many. For the 8-year-olds, 'The Thief of Always' is an adventure about a kid who goes to a house that seems to promise everything but has a dark, terrible secret. And to an adult, it's a story about the problems of time and childhood, and what you give away in the moments of your youth that you can never get back again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sir Furboy on 21 May 2009
Format: Paperback
I don't read a lot of horror and am not often impressed by the genre, but this book is wonderful. It is beautifully written - and even now, a good many years since I read this book - "The great grey beast of february" sticks in my mind. This book is not so much written as crafted.

The story is not terribly complex, the cast of characters not terribly long - but that is not what makes this book great. What makes it great is the quality of the writing, and the way the author transports you into the world he has created, making you care about the characters.

This book is highly recommended.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Feb 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was about 12. I am now 20 and recently re-read "Thief of Always" and enjoyed it just as much. The idea of escapism becomming a trap, your possesions turning into dust and your future being withheld are all sinister concepts. This is simply a brilliant, well-crafted book.
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By Janet on 31 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Be careful of the darkness of this story: children are being led from good lives into death and despair and the story relies on one boy to put right the extreme wickedness of adults. Of course he succeeds, although his heroics only succeed in returning his world to normal. Be careful about exposing vulnerable children to the potential nightmare scenario of them being expected to correct adult evils
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By Mr. C. Milner on 24 Nov 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
love this book , first read this 10 years ago , stands up to time, one off his best books
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Format: Kindle Edition
The thief of always is amazing! Harvey is bored then he goes to the holiday house and does not realize what is going on in the real world. He is a clever character and he has the same name as my brother!:). I love this book and reccomend it to children aged 10+. This book is the best book i have ever read!!!!!
He goes to the holiday house but every day at the house is a year in the real world and he spends 35 days there and wen he escaped, he got home and his parents are 35 years older!
He goes back to earn back the years he lost with the people he loved, and gets rid of everyone in his way. All the children captured there are freed and go back to their parents.
It is a adventure book for boys and girls to enjoy.
Make sure you read this book everybody. You'll thank me really, you will.
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By Amazon Customer on 22 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I borrowed this book from a friend many years ago, i couldn't put it down ! i have bought a number of copies since, as i have read it many many times ! Clive Barker is a genius, his own artwork in this book is a fantastic touch, his drawings of Harvey, Rictus, Jive, Carna and Marr just to name a few, drew me into the story even more. I actually met the original cast of one of his movies "Hellraiser" in a horror convention a while ago, Clive himself was too ill to attend, but he wanted to let his fans know that he is making this book into a movie. I have been looking out for this book in the Kindle version for a long time, purchased it as soon as i saw it! Buy this book, you wont be disappointed. Enjoy!
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By John on 9 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really good little story that doesn't seem to have been widely read. Highly recommended. . . . . .
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