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Once again Clive Barker breaks away from the genre labelling tag of a `horror author' for which he has been undeservingly stamped with since his early work. With Galilee, Barker takes to a new path with a beautifully written story of love that dances with the celestial and magical throughout. Indeed, elements of his past work such as `Sacrament', `Imajica' and dare I say even the `Book of The Art' novels are clearly visible within this epic tale.

With an obvious dedication of passion and love to his lover David Armstrong, Barker has crafted a deeply emotional and poetic tale that delves the deepest Barker ever has to date, into the sheer importance of love, revenge, power and lust. Deliberately throwing added weight towards the emotional states of each character within the story, Barker brings out such full-bodied and life like characters that form the main crux of the tale.

Written by way of the hand of one of the books almost secondary characters, the story follows the lives of two powerful families, whose paths have intertwined throughout history. One of these families (the Barbarossa's) is more godlike than they are human. The other family (the Geary's) are extremely wealthy and powerful business men whose unsympathetic lives mirror that of many of the more dramatic circumstances that surround the storyline. One interlocking individual for the two families is the outcast by the name of Galilee. This character, to which the writer shows immense love for, was obviously based on Barker's lover David Armstrong.

The flow of the storyline, the intertwining subplots, the poetic use of words throughout, and the magnificent characterization, all form the main thrust to the novel. The developing storyline, with its carefully constructed delivery (by way of a historical account of the two families), is mere mortar to the stonework that is the passion of each character within the tale.

Barker clearly took great joy in creating and developing on each one of the characters, setting down detailed histories for each, setting their individual places within the families and indeed the tale itself.

For imagination alone, `Galilee' is a joyous novel to read, but with the carefully crafted and beautifully delivered love for each character, the novel as a whole is breathtaking. Indeed, this is not like any other piece of work by Barker, yet it still holds strange elements of many pieces of his work. Almost a contradiction in itself, but after reading the novel, I am sure that many of you will agree with that very statement.

The novel's ending is extremely open, paving the way for the sequel which has a preliminary publication date of December 2009. Having just read the novel for the second time after a good ten years, I have once again fallen in love with each one of the characters that draw you deep into this magical story of romance and revenge.

The novel runs for a total of 804 pages and was released back in 1998.
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on 1 December 1999
Clive Barker once again invites us into his world. A world where nothing is plain and everything has consequences deeper than is at first apparent. Like an onion skin, the pages peel back the plot revealling with each turn a new plot or connection,drawing you deeper into the timeless story of the war between the capitalist Gearys and the spiritual, godlike Barabus family and the Geary women trapped between them. The intrigues that go back over three centuries of both mortal and immortal life will keep you turning the pages and leave you aching for more of the same. I found myself resenting sleep each evening, until the book was finished and I was left to wait disconsolate for the next Clive Barker opus!
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on 11 March 1999
This novel sees Clive Barker doing what he does best: telling a well-plotted story with masterful verve.
The fantasy takes more of a back seat here than in his previous work as we delve into the world of the Geary's and the Barbarossa's. The focus is primarily on the earthly Geary's and their empire of wealth and power. It all starts to go awry when Rachel, a small-town girl, falls in love with the rich Mitchell Geary.
But things aren't so simple. As ever with Barker you never really know what to expect, the same is true here with 'Galilee'. For no sooner has Rachel married Mitchell, she meets and falls in love with Galilee Barbarossa, whose history has been inextricably linked with the Geary's (and especially the Geary women) throughout the decades. This love affair signifies the Geary clan beginning to tear itself apart and the old rivalries between Geary and Barbarossa are drawn into the open once again.
Barker has pulled out all the stops in this the first installment of a two-part series. There is wit, warmth and strangeness in abundance in this wonderous book.
All the familiar Barker characteristics are present in this absorbing book, and some unusual ones too. Barker has broken into newer territory here with the epic family saga, and this is a very good thing. Whereas 'Sacrament' seemed to be treading over all too-familiar ground, Barker here changes his style and content sufficiently to engage the reader (and also to impress this reader enough to write this review!) in what will hopefully be a very successful series. I just hope the wait isn't too long.... because if what is merely hinted at here is carried through to the next volume then it will simply be one of the finest feats of imaginative fiction.
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on 24 September 1999
I liked this novel a great deal. It draws you in slowly but surely and then, before you know it Barker has his meat hooks in you again!! I would say that its not your typical Barker, If your looking for the Damnation game part2 then this book it is not. Galilee is in more the same vein as 'Weaveworld' but then thats a bad comparison because it really is out there on its own when compared to any other of Clives work. I liked the way the story is written (as always) clives creativity shines through and some paragraphs just glow with his style and panash.....okay okay! He is the master. Just buy the book will ya!!!!
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on 16 November 1999
Clive Barker has presented me with something of a dilemma here. I'm not entirely certain which foot to stand on. On the positive side this book is certainly written by a master of the english language. Clive Barker has the ability to express himself very powerfully by skilful and beautiful use of english. The story is intriguing and imaginative in true Barker-esqu style. But I can't make my mind up wether the he's controlling the story or it is controlling him. On the whole, the storyline of Galilee is a bit too haphazard for my liking, intentional or not. I'd still recommend it to any Clive Barker fan and will certainly look forward to a sequel (with an ending like that....sure there just has to be a sequel.)
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on 23 July 2012
It's a real shame that the likes of Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel are the ones who get the mini-series. As if ever a book deserved to have some big, sprawling six hour epic based on it - it's Clive Barker's `Galilee'. Following the fortunes of two strangely interconnected families (one oh so mortal; the other oh so immortal), the narrative swoops through history conjuring grand passions, horrific feuds and the nature of fame and power in the United States. This is a magical book, which is genuinely jaw dropping in scope of ambition and imagination. In short, it's a grand soap opera for genre fiction fans.

The Gearys and the Barbarosas are two legendary families who are interconnected in some strange and mysterious way. For years they have co-existed, but the ties that bind them are drawing closer, exposing old enmities and risking the likelihood of mutual destruction for both.

Apart from `The Hellbound Heart' I've never really read anything by Barker. For whatever reason, the scale and scope of his tomes led me to believe they were closer to fantasy than horror (and fantasy is not a genre I am particularly fond of). But `Galilee' really did blow my hardened and cynical - yet still white and cotton - socks off, proving a compulsive page turner that made me wish trains were late and tubes were cancelled so I'd have extra time to cram in even more of it in. Okay, the ending may have been a bit more abrupt than I'd have liked (although I am somewhat mollified to find that a sequel has been promised), but this epic and far dreaming storytelling at its best.
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on 14 November 1998
Barker has been described as a master of the fantastique. With this latest 580 page opus he re-confirms this claim to a title he richly deserves.
Just as WEAVEWORLD combined elements of the known world and those of the imagination, so GALILEE wraps you up in it's plot and takes you away to a land of wonder.
The Geary family are rich and powerful. An American dynasty with untold wealth and power. They are of our world, ordinary mortals.
The Barbarossas are powerful too, but in a different way. They have been around a long time. Sorry, make that a VERY long time. It could even be they were born from the dust of the stars.
This massive tale is the first of a two part saga detailing the conflict that builds between the two families over decades of American history. Barker unravels their spaghetti-like past with a master craftsman's ease. In it's simplest form our central character, Galilee, has taken a Geary woman to be his lover, and this is the straw that breaks the camel's back. A war is on the way, but Barker gives us great entertainment along the way as the books narrator, Galilee's half brother Eddie, tells us of the fortunes of the Geary's and Barbarossa's down the decades.
I'm not going to go into great plot detail here because that is the fun of reading the book for yourself, but I defy anyone not to be caught like a fish on a hook by Barker's ingenious narrative. He handles dialogue like never before, and his trademark sense of wonder is reflected in the prose too. The book takes us up to the present day and leaves us gasping for more from volume two. The imminent war has not happened, but you'd better believe it's on the way! And Lord help anyone getting in the way when these two families start battling. Volume two looks like it will be a humdinger.
The blurb for this book reads "Epic. Erotic. Fantastic. Classic Barker." Couldn't be any better put. Vintage stuff.
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on 20 November 2006
This book is a big departure for Barker, and not for those who go to his books hoping for another Damnation Game or Books of Blood. This is a much more subtle book, much more lyrical. This poetic element is something that has been present in even the most viceral of Barker's work, but here he gives it much more room. The characters are as complex and interesting as ever. They are always highly intelligent, which only makes the motivations of the corrupt ones all the more fascinating as we explore their flawed logic.
This book tells a strange love story that starts with a young girl's entry into the highly glamorous and powerful world of the Gearys through marriage to the youngest son, a handsome and highly eligible bachelor, and how the events that quickly take place carry her into a very different relationship with a man who belongs to a family whose genes have a touch of the magical in them.
As original as ever with Barker's work, this book is beautifully written, and carries a weight of philosophy and wisdom that only he can deliver. Pure magic, this is well worth your money. Don't expect the gore or action scenes that you got in Imajica or Weaveworld, because you won't get them. Instead enjoy all the things that really gave those books weight: intelligent characters, original storylines, wisdom, philosophy and prose that is pure poetry.
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on 2 February 2000
Possibly the best Barker book yet. Ok...well maybe Imajica is ever so slightly better, but nothing else compares to this. Once I started reading this I just couldn't put it down. The story felt very real...partly due to the almost diary style format and partly due to the fact that none of it seemed remotely inconceivable. I felt that this story could very easily happen...more so that any of Barker's previous books. Although I do like his more 'horror-style' of writing, I wouldn't mind seeing a few more like this.
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on 19 June 1999
This is an excellent novel you really fall in love with some of the charecters and at the end of the book it has you gagging for the sequel.
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