Arabat: Absolute Midnight. Book ReviewComments Off
Harper Voyager, p/b, £8.99
Reviewed by Stewart Horn
There is a world parallel to this but accessible by magic. It is the Abarat, an archipelago in which there is one island for each hour of the day, and one spare. It’s a typically Barkeresque idea – original, intriguing and a little bit nuts. His characters are huge archetypes: gods and heroes and tragic villains whose names reflect their personalities and their roles within the action. If I tell you that the main protagonist is a farm girl called Candy Quackenbush, and her nemesis is Christopher Carrion, Lord of Midnight, you’ll get the idea – nothing is small here.
It’s all kind of an excuse for Barker to spend some time on every island, imagining what noon really means, or how it would feel to live in a place where the sun is always just about to rise and never does, and what people and creatures each of these hours would bring into being in a land where magic makes everything possible.
If it sounds absurd, it is, and in the hands of a lesser writer this could be the dullest of self-indulgent drivel. But Barker is a prose stylist of the highest order who can make you believe anything. Even in a children’s book, in which he can only use part of his usual toolbox, he engages and mesmerizes and keeps you turning the pages, desperate for the next wonder, the next monstrosity.
This is the third volume the Abarat series, and the darkest so far, with seriously grisly goings on, lots of nasty deaths and scary monsters and a plan to destroy the Abarat completely and make it permanently midnight everywhere. The plotting is so audacious, the story so grand, that we forget all about logic and reality and go along for the ride.
Sometimes we get a little sidetracked by Barker’s imagination – there is a lot more stuff here than is really necessary to the story, but that fecundity of invention part of the joy of reading Barker. If you want a fast-paced all action story go and buy an Alex Rider novel. That’s not what Barker is aiming at. This is an experience: a beautiful, sensual multi-media thrill-ride – not a roller-coaster so much as a thousand mile train journey through the imagination of one of the world’s greatest living fantasists.
If you want something more special you should pay the extra for the hardback, which has all Barker’s illustrations. It will take you twice as long to read but you’ll get a whole different perspective on the story.
Annotated edition of Clive Barker’s Cabal plannedComments Off
The small press Fiddleblack report that they are “working with Simon & Schuster to redevelop Clive Barker’s legendary novella, Cabal, with full endorsement and participation from Barker himself. This edition features new non-fiction content from a cast of contributors whom all share our deep admiration for the book’s legacy.”
Contributing to the project are: High Priest of the Church of Satan, Peter H. Gilmore; former Marvel Comics editor and writer D.G. Chichester; philosopher Eugene Thacker (In the Dust of This Planet, Zero Books 2011); Hellraiser comic book author Mark Miller; official Barker archivists, Phil and Sarah Stokes (The Painter, the Creature, and the Father of Lies, Earthling Publications 2011); and award-winning fiction writer John McManus (Bitter Milk, Picador 2005).
Cabal & Other Annotations is planned for release in 2013.
Keep an eye on the website HERE for further updates
Abarat companion book revised to include updated materialComments Off
A revised edition of Beneath The Surface of Clive Barker’s Abarat has been released, compiled and published by Phil and Sarah Stokes. It has been updated with material from Absolute Midnight, the third volume in Barker’s Abarat series.
The book is a full-colour illustrated 132 page companion volume which features Barker’s work-in-progress illustrations for all three volumes, an updated glossary and hints of what is yet to come in the final books of Abarat. It features unprecedented access to the author’s creative working methods, including his paintings, work-in-progress sketches and early drafts, an extended interview conducted by a super-smart classroom of Abarat readers and their teacher, the previously unpublished original opening for the Abarat books and much more…
Available on the iBookstore from 1 March 2012 at £5.99 / $8.99
Clive Barker recovering well after health scareComments Off
Dread Central have reported that Clive Barker has recently had a very serious health scare from which he is now recovering. Apparently, he suffered a severe infection following dental treatment and was in intensive care for several days. Thankfully, he is now out of hospital and making very good progress.
Read the full report – including Clive’s own comments on what happened – HERE
Zombies from Corvus BooksComments Off
“Horrifying ghouls, decaying corpses, body snatchers, grave robbers and flesh-eating monsters. In this gruesome anthology of the living dead, all these and more will try to catch your eye and devour your brain.
From the macabre pens of the world’s most spine-tingling horror and fantasy writers, the grisliest, goriest, ghastliest stories from the last two centuries have been plucked from the shadows by legendary editor Otto Penzler, to form the most monstrous volume in zombie history.”
Authors include: H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, R. Chetwynd-Hayes, Clive Barker, Richard Christian Matheson, Edgar Allan Poe, Joe R. Lansdale, Lisa Tuttle, Graham Masterton, Robert Bloch, Charles Birkin, Mort Castle, Kevin J. Anderson, W.B. Seabrook, Steve Rasnic Tem, F. Marion Crawford, Michael Marshall Smith, Karen Haber, David A. Riley, Guy De Maupassant, Richard Laymon, Thomas Burke, Anthony Boucher, John Knox, Theodore Sturgeon and Seabury Quinn, among others.
Details and ordering information HERE
Coming soon from Clive BarkerComments Off
On 27 September, HarperCollins publishes Clive Barker‘s long-awaited Abarat: Absolute Midnight.
‘ “I know that many of you here have waited years for this Hour,” Mater Motley said, using that voice that, though it was barely conversational in volume, was somehow heard everywhere. “The waiting is over. Tomorrow there will be no dawn. Only midnight, absolute and eternal.”
And so begins a new chapter in the epic story of sixteen-year-old Candy Quackenbush and her journeys through the world of the Abarat, where every hour is an island in one eternal day, and nothing is as it seems.
Candy travels through the Abarat from island to island and across the sea with an unlikely band of friends: the escaped prisoner Malingo the Geshrat, the quarrelsome John Brothers, who all share the same body but never the same opinion, and the many other colorful characters they meet along the way.
The problem is that trouble finds Candy wherever she goes. And soon she discovers a secret plot, masterminded by the diabolical Mater Motley, who is obsessed with becoming Empress of the Islands. Her method is simple. She will darken the skies, putting out the suns, moons, and stars. She will bring absolute midnight. ‘
Now watch the video: Arabat – Absolute Midnight.
|A Hellraising Evening at WaterstonesComments Off|