Read eBook The Great and Secret ShowAuthor Clive Barker –

In an exercise to get in touch with my deceased teenage self, I decided to read one of the books that really got me into reading and, incidentally, writing Having noted already that as the palate of age matures, the enjoyment of things past lessens, I wanted the familiar nostalgia of a book from my shelf that had my old, perhaps slightly smaller, fingerprints.The first of an incomplete trilogy, The Great and Secret Show is a novel of fantasy, horror, and sex I must say that part of me was pleasantly surprised when rereading this book, to the extent that Barker does have a great command of language, imagination, and descriptive prowess Following in the vein of much of his work, Barker creates new worlds, new creatures, and a mythology that is as confusing as it is intriguing Unlike a lot of modern day mystery genres LOST immediately comes to mind where writers and producers have a certain grasp of the overall story, it seems here that Barker allows his imagination to run in a sort of stream of consciousness way, not really knowing where the stream s flowing I know I know, Barker fans don t jump down my throat I know he meticulously outlines his novels and has infinite folders of notes for such, but this book really doesn t seem to know the answers to it s own questions I don t find this to be a particularly deal breaking problem, but I hastily suggest to anyone who doesn t want to be frustrated with covert plots, be warned.What works is the interesting plot, the beginning, and the end.What doesn t work is about 400 pages in the middle Barker is a great example of what modern day editors invest in red pens for There are so many unnecessary characters and scenes in the book that would work well to be omitted Moreover, the characters all seem redundant, each speaking with the same dialogue inflections and are generally indistinct.Still, I m nothing if not nostalgic, so Barker s world, adopted the second time, was just as thrilling as the first. Stories had a way of doing that, in Grillo s experience It was his belief that nothing, but nothing, could stay secret, however powerful the forces with interests vested in silence Conspirators might conspire and thugs attempt to gag but the truth, or an approximation of same, would show itself sooner or later, very often in the unlikeliest form It was seldom hard facts that revealed the life behind the life It was rumour, graffiti, strip cartoons and love songs. Jaffe has a tedious job in a work office its main task is to sort through all the unopened letters that for different reasons haven t been delivered Every day, he has to go though hundreds of envelopes love letters, postcards, the occasional dollar bill until one day, in one of them, he catches a glimpse of something a fragment of information which becomes to connect with other fragments, until, after a few months, Jaffe starts to realize that someone, out there, knows a truth which could change every idea we have about ourselves and out reality, and he s ready to do everything in his power to gain full access to it I ve never read any Clive Barker before, so I decided to go for this one because of all the positive reviews and because of my interest in the occult The idea behind it it s absolutely captivating a common man accidentally discovers something he was never supposed to know, a Truth so big and terrible that no one can know it and remain unchanged For the first 100 pages or so I couldn t lift my eyes from this book Unfortunately, for me at least, not all the promises made in those 100 pages were met in the rest of the book this has been one of those cases in which the idea behind a novel is great, the execution it very good, but still leaves an idea on unfinished business I guess this is the problem with tales of the occult and with horror in general sometimes the idea of something, the picture we have in our head, is ten times horrible than any concrete realization of the same concept could be I m not saying I didn t enjoy this book, on the contrary I think I found a new horror author to explore and I m very exited about that On the other hand, my interest throughout the book varied greatly I m not sure I want to go on with the series, but I m glad I read this one Clive Barker S Bestseller Weaveworld Astonished Readers With His Visionary Range, Establishing Him As A Master Of Fabulist Literature Now, With The Great And Secret Show He Rises To New Heights In This Unforgettable Epic He Wields The Full Power And Sweep Of His Talents Succinctly Put, Says Barker, It S About Hollywood, Sex And Armageddon Memory, Prophecy And Fantasy The Past, The Future, And The Dreaming Moment Between Are All One Country Living One Immortal Day To Know That Is Wisdom To Use It Is The Art Armageddon Begins With A Murder In The Dead Letter Office In Omaha A Lake That Has Never Existed Falls From The Clouds Over Palomo Grove, CA Young Passion Blossoms, As The World Withers With War The Great And Secret Show Has Begun On The Stage Of The World Soon The Final Curtain Must Fall In This, The First Book Of The Art, Barker Has Created A Masterpiece Of The Imagination That Explores The Uncharted Territory Within Our Secret Lives And Most Private Hearts Sprawling, Ambitious, Triumphantly Magical And Satisfying, The Great And Secret Showis What The Rest Of Life Is All About It s easy to measure the reader s enthusiasm with novels such as this one Eager, excited, the pages go by fast on the other hand, when it lags it is extremely languid The switching of character s allegiances is a cool trick which Barker has undoubtedly mastered for no one is entirely good nor entirely evilas always, its just a matter of selfishness also his mythology making abilities are outstanding This however, is overdone I mean, several key characters are spirited away for the last and overly long act and they are soon replaced by less interesting doppelgangers But I keep thinking Barker got pretty tired with his original cast indicative of messy story planning This one grows steadily into tediousness Also, and perhaps the gravest crime of all the nifty nightmare creatures are ill used in a sorry way My advice Put this one and Sacrament in a Never Read pile, but still, please, keep Barker in pop culture consciousness by sticking with Books of Blood, Vol 1 3 The Thief of Always. This book is a trip and a half It is weird and visceral yet I couldn t put it down The imagery in it is sometimes graphic and downright nasty there is a scene where one of the main characters is fascinated with a back room sex show in a bar in Mexico where a woman is having sex with a dog and it describes it in intimate detail but it keeps your curiosity peaked and keeps you wondering what is going to happenWell I finished it last night and I gotta say wow This Clive Barker guy has a hell of an imagination The whole last 30 pages simply led you into a follow on book implying that this one only scratched the surface of this idea of Quiddity and the iad It isn t very often that I get all the way through a book this fat but I did this one and I am going to get the follow up, Everville, this weekend It is equally fat but I am looking forward to delving deeper into the world of the Shoal, Iad, Quiddity and the dream world that exists between this plane and the next Even better the second time around If I could rate it higher, I would Of course, I believe this is essential reading for horror dark fantasy fans I will be revisiting the sequel, Everville, next. Flashes of brilliance followed with periods of mild boredom coming around with a few flashes topped with moments of wtf and ending with a Damn, I m exhausted Barker sure likes his epic tales, however his shorts seem to resonate a bit for me Good, but inconsistent.And about 150 to 200 pages too long Mind was in matter, always That was the revelation of Quiddity The sea was the crossroads, and from it all possibilities sprang Before everything, Quiddity Before life, the dream of life Before the thing solid, the solid thing dreamt And mind, dreaming or awake, knew justice, which was therefore as natural as matter, its absence in any exchange deserving of than a fatalistic shrug Behind everything all of life and non life is Quiddity a metaphysical dream sea, a sort of collective consciousness that is accessible only thrice in life Those moments are just after birth, while lying after sex for the first time with one s true love, and, finally, after death To access it is nearly impossible, divine it is the Art If that sounds heady and ber philosophical, especially a dark fantasy horror novel, it is And in a lesser author s hands it would fall apart this is Clive Barker, however, so 1989 s The Great and Secret Show is a masterwork At the heart of this novel is a war between two former acquaintances turned enemies one wants to access the Quiddity, to swim that water and know its secrets the other wants to protect it at all costs From there spins out a tale of demonic possession and romance incest and the apocalypse the shallow face of West Hollywood cracking while a hole is ripped in the universe, exposing what lies beyond the only thing the human mind can comprehend the carefully balanced fa ade of modern living This is a weird novel, and I loved every moment I picked it up last night and couldn t put it down That s almost seven hundred pages read in forty eight hours Barker is an author whose prose I love to nibble on, suckle at, mull over But I couldn t put this book down By combining the grotesque and fantastical, this novel is a titillating mashup of genres and ideas, all tied together with the confidence of a legendary myth maker. To label The Great and Secret Show a horror novel would be to do it a disservice Arty horror would be closer to the mark but that sounds silly and would still be inadequate Dark fantasy sounds good to me though it deemphasizes the horror aspect of it a little too much, may be it is phantasm than fantasy Not that labels really matter, a good book is a good book regardless of whatever label you slap on it I am only going on about it just to have some kind of intro To tell you what this book is about is a fairly complicated undertaking best left to undertakers perhaps It starts with one Randolph Jaffe s quest for mastery of The Art , not just any old art but a craft or power that has the capability to tear a hole in the fabric of reality and create an opening to another dimension called Quiddity Quiddity is a mystical dream sea, a sea of the mind that most people visit twice in their livesOnce the first night you slept out of the womb The second occasion the night you lay beside the person you lovedThat does not make much sense out of the context of the book so just imagine the weirdest goddamn sea you can and then pile on extra weirdness on top The Quiddity sea changes you and is generally extremely bad for your complexion Credit Gabriel Rodr guez P rez from graphic novel adaptation Jaffe s pursuit of the Art leads to his eventually becoming something other than human and triggers a possible supernatural apocalypse that threatens all human lives What starts out as a man s quest for power becomes a titanic struggle between good and evil where the battles often takes surreal forms.Randolph Jaffe AKA The Jaff Again credit Gabriel Rodr guez P rez.That little synopsis barely scratches the surface of the novel s plot The Great and Secret Show is a dark fantasy of epic proportions though epic fantasy has an entire different connotation, usually associated with Tolkien s or George R.R Martin s kind of fantasy With this book is Clive Barker is at the peak of his creativity, here he has created a brand new mythos about the nature of dreams and reality that is mind blowing The storyline is quite complex but clearly narrated so there is never any problem following it Fans of bizarre critters should have a field day with this book which is populated by some very bizarre and often disgusting creatures For example you know how low budget horror movies from the 80s often feature shitty monsters This book literally has shitty monsters made from actual fecal matter There are also various other bizarre creatures made from fear and others made from dreams that I can not even begin to describe The book is full of horrific moments, surreal dream like moments and even comical moments and romantic bits I would not recommend it to anyone who is easily offended though If you avert your eyes at Game of Thrones most outrageous scenes then leave The Great and Secret Show on the shelf Barker s prose style is hard to pin down, sometime he takes flight into lyricism, other times he dives into the language of the gutter he certainly seems to use the C word a lot The multiple protagonists are all well drawn The most memorable one being the evil Randolph Jaffe AKA The Jaff and the kickass heroine Tesla I am quite impressed by how quickly Barker can introduce and develop characters that are vivid and believable, in a few pages within a single chapter mostly through dialog.At the end of the day I can whole heartedly recommend The Great and Secret Show to anyone looking for a fantastical or perhaps phantasmagorical read You won t be disappointed if you are, you shouldn t be. This book bordered on a religious revelation to me I absolutely adore the style it is written in and the subject matter tears at the fabric of your understanding of reality I questioned what I know in a way that harkens back to Plato s The Cave Is reality real or is it just shadows on the wall inside something bigger than I can understand Clive Barker has a way of making dark and sinister characters intriguing and not nightmare inducing.