Saturday, 25 October 2014

Book Review - Weaveworld by Clive Barker

I'm a big fan of Clive Barker and for me Weaveworld exemplifies what he does well. It's been a few years since I last read this, so I was a little worried that it might not stand up to a re-read, but I was proved wrong - and that makes me happy :-)

There a three pillars that make this book stand tall. The first is the imagination. In places the tale touches upon the familiar and weaves them into something new. Even though I'd read the book before I found the book to be full of wonders and dark delights.

The second is the scale of the story. It works on two levels, the most obvious being the overarching threat to an entire world. Yet the story is a very personal one. As with the first pillar the blend between the grandiose and the intimate works well.

Some may disagree with me on the third aspect. I love Clive Barker's style of writing. It's flamboyant and ignores certain conventions for brevity and efficiency (and so contributing to this being a rather long read), but I love it. All too easily I lost myself in the prose and the world he conjured.

So while my favourite Barker story will remain The Thief of Always this is the book that I would use as an example of what I enjoy about him as a writer. To paraphrase one of his other creations - "He has such sights to show you..."

Click on image to buy from Amazon

Here is storytelling on a grand scale — the stuff of which a classic is made. Weaveworld begins with a rug — a wondrous, magnificent rug — into which a world has been woven. It is the world of the Seerkind, a people more ancient than man, who possesses raptures — the power to make magic. In the last century they were hunted down by an unspeakable horror known as the Scourge, and, threatened with annihilation, they worked their strongest raptures to weave themselves and their culture into a rug for safekeeping. Since then, the rug has been guarded by human caretakers.

The last of the caretakers has just died.

Vying for possession of the rug is a spectrum of unforgettable characters: Suzanna, granddaughter of the last caretaker, who feels the pull of the Weaveworld long before she knows the extent of her own powers; Calhoun Mooney, a pigeon-raising clerk who finds the world he's always dreamed of in a fleeting glimpse of the rug; Immacolata, an exiled Seerkind witch intent on destroying her race even if it means calling back the Scourge; and her sidekick, Shadwell, the Salesman, who will sell the Weaveworld to the highest bidder.

In the course of the novel the rug is unwoven, and we travel deep into the glorious raptures of the Weaveworld before we witness the final, cataclysmic struggle for its possession.

Barker takes us to places where we have seldom been in fiction--places terrifying and miraculous, humorous, and profound. With keen psychological insight and prodigious invention, his trademark graphic vision balanced by a spirit of transcendent promise, Barker explores the darkness and the light, the magical and the monstrous, and celebrates the triumph of the imagination.

Click here to buy Weaveworld from Amazon US / Amazon UK

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