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14 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unbelievable,visionary and a cut above the rest.
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...
Published on 22 Dec 2000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Imajica, but still not great
After re-reading Imajica 18 years after I first read it, I swore off ever reading a Barker again. Then I espied TGASS in a charity shop for a quid and thought I'd give him another chance. This book is much more readable than the aforementioned, however I didn't finish it. It got tedius by the time of the party scene and I was getting tired of the profanities and the...
Published 8 months ago by Mr. N. J. Milton


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unbelievable,visionary and a cut above the rest., 22 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtly transcends reality. For all fantasy & horror fans, 6 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STILL AN AMAZING FANTASY, 17 Oct 2006
By 
Bryan (Knoxville, TN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (Paperback)
Read this brilliant novel in 1990 when it first came out. Just re-read it and the good reviews are the RIGHT reviews. BUY IT!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding novel packed with imagination., 8 Mar 2006
By 
Chris Hall "DLS Reviews" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (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! Hopefully one day the novel will find itself finally being released.
To quote Barker himself on the matter:
“The third Book of the Art takes place in Quiddity, the Dream Sea. I have been planning that for five years, and have 500, maybe 600 pages of notes towards that novel. A week doesn’t go by without my contributing something to that”.
If you haven’t already taken yourself on the voyage into these books, I urge you to take it up now. Enjoy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite Imajica, but on the way., 24 Sep 2002
This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 8 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (Paperback)
Great book, very interesting. I actually preferred this to 'Weaveworld'. Once I started I couldn't put it down, it had me hooked from the start.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Better than Imajica, but still not great, 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (Paperback)
After re-reading Imajica 18 years after I first read it, I swore off ever reading a Barker again. Then I espied TGASS in a charity shop for a quid and thought I'd give him another chance. This book is much more readable than the aforementioned, however I didn't finish it. It got tedius by the time of the party scene and I was getting tired of the profanities and the shear grotesquery of it (particularly the beastiality). I was particularly appalled by the liberal use of the C word. I really shant be reading another. I'm ashamed to say that I used to like these books.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No one beats this guy !!!, 28 Aug 2001
By 
Brian Berg (Soeborg, Copenhagen Denmark) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (Paperback)
After reading Weaveworld, i was afraid to read this one. I was afraid that this would not be as good, as i thought no book could ever be, and that C.B. would disapoint me. HE DID NOT!!! What can i say? Once you start to read a book of his you can simply not put it down. I find myself not wanting to let go of the book, as i fear that the story will mutate and take on a life of its own. The pictures that C.B. puts in to your mind is so powerfull and adictive that once you have tryed it you want it again and again and again..........
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 1st Book of the Art, 8 Aug 2006
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (Paperback)
Clive Barker's 4th novel `The Great and Secret Show' eclipses `Weaveworld' as the author's first real masterpiece, a dazzling blend of fantasy mythology and horror with a sprawling cast of interesting characters. The storyline spins out of a battle between two hyper-evolved humans over access to a magical realm beyond reality, and follows their conflict as it engulfs both their children and eventually the entire town of Palomo Grove and it's inhabitants, with Lovecraftian anti-gods from beyond attempting to invade our reality. This novel is huge in scope with a complex intricate plot involving numerous characters, yet it remains light and readable with plenty of excitement along the way, and an impressive ambiguity concerning the novel's villain. There are a couple of slight quibbles for potential readers: those who haven't read Barker's `Books of Blood' anthologies may wonder who on earth Harry D'Amour is when he appears almost out of nowhere near the novel's end, and also the fact that this is supposedly the first book in a trilogy that - 17 years later - Barker shows no sign of completing (though he did produce one sequel called `Everville'). Be that as it may, `The Great and Secret Show' still works as a standalone novel and is highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twisted, thought-provoking, edge of your seat, runaway brain, 25 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Great and Secret Show (Paperback)
Barker's use of multiple settings and plots is amazing, making everything conglomerate into one wild ride!
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The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker (Paperback - 1 Jan 2009)
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