Imajica: Featuring New Illustrations and an Appendix

( 70 )

Overview

From master storyteller Clive Barker comes an epic tale of myth, magic, and forbidden passion—complete with new illustrations and a new Appendix.

Imajica is an epic beyond compare: vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. At its heart lies the sensualist and master art forger, Gentle, whose life unravels when he encounters Judith Odell, whose power to influence the destinies of men is vaster ...

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Imajica

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Overview

From master storyteller Clive Barker comes an epic tale of myth, magic, and forbidden passion—complete with new illustrations and a new Appendix.

Imajica is an epic beyond compare: vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. At its heart lies the sensualist and master art forger, Gentle, whose life unravels when he encounters Judith Odell, whose power to influence the destinies of men is vaster than she knows, and Pie 'oh' pah, an alien assassin who comes from a hidden dimension.

That dimension is one of five in the great system called Imajica. They are worlds that are utterly unlike our own, but are ruled, peopled, and haunted by species whose lives are intricately connected with ours. As Gentle, Judith, and Pie 'oh' pah travel the Imajica, they uncover a trail of crimes and intimate betrayals, leading them to a revelation so startling that it changes reality forever.

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Editorial Reviews

USA Today
Exhilarating...[a] masterpiece.
Washington Post Book World
Rich in plot twists, byzantine intrigues and hidden secrets, Imajica is a Chinese puzzle box constructed on a universal scale...Barker has an unparalleled talent for envisioning other worlds.
New York Daily News
Wonderfully entertaining...Clive Barker is a magician of the first order.
Atlanta Journal
Spellbinding.
L.A. Life
Barker's most ambitious work to date...rapturously full of emtions.
USA Today
"Exhilarating...[A] masterpiece."
Atlanta Journal
"Spellbinding."
New York Daily News
"Wonderfully entertaining...Clive Barker is a magician of the first order."
Book World Washington Post
"Rich in plot twists, Byzantine intrigues, and hidden secrets, Imajica is a Chinese Puzzle book constructed on a universal scale...Barker has an unparalleled talent for envisioning other worlds."
Kirkus Reviews
Dazzling metaphysical epic-adventure as Barker surpasses his previous ground-breaking work (The Great and Secret Show, 1989, etc.) to reconfigure the Fall and to imagine a modern-day attempt to reverse it. A complex cosmology underpins the vigorous, at times horrific, action here: "Imajica" is the known universe of five "Dominions," or parallel worlds, four "reconciled" but the fifth, Earth, "unreconciled"—unaware of the other four, of the tyrannical "Autarch" who rules them, and of the "God Hapeximendios," who oversees all five (and who wrested "His" power from the "Goddesses" of old). Periodically, Hapeximendios has sent His "sons"—including Christ—to attempt to unite, by magical rites, the Fifth Dominion to the others. The last attempted "Reconciliation" ended in catastrophe—an invasion of Earth by hellish powers—and today magic has been nearly eradicated from Earth by a "Society" that alone knows of the Imajica and of the catastrophe. The densely woven story here opens with a jealous man venturing into London's dankest slum to hire an assassin to kill his estranged wife, Judith; the assassin turns out to be a "mystif," a fabulous creature from the Second Dominion, capable of appearing as the erotic ideal of any who behold it. As the mystif hunts Judith, it in turn is hunted by Judith's former lover, "Gentle," who in time learns that he is the new "Reconciler"—and the mystif his long-forgotten servant. Undertaking dangerous, splendor-filled journeys through the other Dominions, Gentle and the mystif fall in love, marry, and encounter numerous fantastic creatures and, finally, death; later, Gentle helps dethrone the Autarch, learns the chilling secretof his and Judith's origin, helps free the Goddesses and slay God, and, back on Earth, inspires the destruction of the Society and undertakes Reconciliation—with hell-borne, then heaven-sent, results. An astonishing feat of the imagination, immensely engrossing despite its demanding—at times indulgent—length, running riot with ideas, fantastical inventions, graphic sex and violence, soul- terrors, and emotional and intellectual resonances. Barker's best yet.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060937263
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: Annotated
  • Pages: 896
  • Sales rank: 202,303
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Clive Barker

Clive Barker is the bestselling author of twenty-two books, including the New York Times bestsellers Abarat; Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War; and The Thief of Always. He is also an acclaimed painter, film producer, and director. For twelve years Mr. Barker has been working on a vast array of paintings to illuminate the text of The Books of Abarat, more than one hundred and twenty-five of which can be found within this volume.

Mr. Barker lives in California. He shares his house with seven dogs, three cockatiels, several undomesticated geckoes, an African gray parrot called Smokey, and a yellow-headed Amazon parrot called Malingo.

Biography

Nothing ever begins....Nothing is fixed. In and out the shuttle goes, fact and fiction, mind and matter woven into patterns that may have only this in common: that hidden among them is a filigree that will with time become a world.

It must be arbitrary, then, the place at which we choose to embark.

Somewhere between a past half forgotten and a future as yet only glimpsed."

And here is as good a place as any to begin with Clive Barker, the author of strange and scary stories such as the novel that begins above, Weaveworld. Barker is probably best known as the creator of the Hellraiser franchise -- which began with the novella The Hellbound Heart; later became the 1987 horror classic that Barker directed; and was then a comic from 1989-1994. He accomplished the print-to-film-to-comic trifecta again with Nightbreed, the film version of which was released in 1990.

Barker drew attention with his early '80s story volumes, Books of Blood. His first novel, The Damnation Game, not only put him on a par authors such as Stephen King but earned praise from those same authors. He is widely admired for weaving into his scary stories complex themes about human nature and desires.

In addition to crafting his signature novels, a chilling amalgam of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, Barker is an accomplished artist. (His comic Ectokids is in development as a movie project at Nickelodeon.) He has also written for children -- a fact that surprises readers familiar only with his disturbing adult oeuvre. But, in fact, his children's tales (The Thief of Always, Abarat, etc.) are among his most imaginative.

No matter what his audience or medium, Barker's stories are effective because it's clear that he takes his work, and his genre, very seriously -- and expects the same from his audience. In an interview with Barnes & Noble.com, he told us "[Fantasy and horror] liberate us into a world in which our frustrations and our repressions can take an exoticized form, rendering them more safely and also, if we dare, more approachable."

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    1. Hometown:
      Los Angeles
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 5, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Education:
      Liverpool University
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

From Book I
The Fifth Dominion

It Was The Pivotal Teaching of Pluthero Quexos, the most celebrated dramatist of the Second Dominion, that in any fiction, no matter how ambitious its scope or profound its theme, there was only ever room for three players. Between warring kings, a peacemaker; between adoring spouses, a seducer or a child. Between twins, the spirit of the womb. Between lovers, Death. Greater numbers might drift through the drama, of course — thousands in fact — but they could only ever be phantoms, agents, or, on rare occasions, reflections of the three real and self-willed beings who stood at the center. And even this essential trio would not remain intact; or so he taught. It would steadily diminish as the story unfolded, three becoming two, two becoming one, until the stage was left deserted.

Needless to say, this dogma did not go unchallenged. The writers of fables and comedies were particularly vociferous in their scorn, reminding the worthy Quexos that they invariably ended their own tales with a marriage and a feast. He was unrepentant. He dubbed them cheats and told them they were swindling their audiences out of what he called the last great procession, when, after the wedding songs had been sung and the dances danced, the characters took their melancholy way off into darkness, following each other into oblivion.

It was a hard philosophy, but he claimed it was both immutable and universal, as true in the Fifth Dominion, called Earth, as it was in the Second.

And more significantly, as certain in life as it was inart.


Chapter One

From Book II
The Reconciliation

Like The Theater District Of so many great cities across the Imajica, whether in Reconciled Dominions or in the Fifth, the neighborhood in which the Ipse stood had been a place of some notoriety in earlier times, when actors of both sexes had supplemented their wages with the old five-acter — hiring, retiring, seduction, conjunction, and remittance — all played hourly, night and day. The center of these activities had moved away, however, to the other side of the city, where the burgeoning numbers of middle-class clients felt less exposed to the gaze of their peers out seeking more respectable entertainment. Lickerish Street and its environs had sprung up in a matter of months and quickly became the third richest Kesparate in the city, leaving the theater district to decline into legitimacy.

Perhaps because it was of so little interest to people, it had survived the traumas of the last few hours better than most Kesparates its size. It had seen some action. General Mattalaus' battalions had passed through its streets going south to the causeway, where rebels were attempting to build a makeshift bridge across the delta; and later a party of families from the Caramess had taken refuge in Koppocovi's Rialto. But no barricades had been erected, and none of the buildings burned. The Deliquium would meet the morning intact. Its survival, however, would not be accorded to general disinterest; rather to the presence at its perimeter of Pale Hill, a site which was neither a hill nor pale, but a circle of remembrance in the center of which lay a well, used from time immemorial as a repository for the corpses of executed men, suicides, paupers, and, on occasion, romantics who favored rotting in such company. Tomorrow's rumors would whisper that the ghosts of these forsaken souls had risen to defend their terrain, preventing the vandals and the barricade builders from destroying the Kesparate by haunting the steps of the Ipse and the Rialto and howling in the streets like dogs maddened from chasing the comet's tail.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(50)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2003

    Amazing

    I would read Imajica before bed and end up staying up all night because I couldn't put it down. I was totally caught up in the characters and the worlds that were created, I actually missed it when I was done.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    READ THIS BOOK

    Clive Barker is incredible and Imajica is one of his best. I would try to describe it, but i would not do it the justice it deserves. Trust me when I say you will not regret reading this book, for me it was my second time and it just got better with age.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfectly Gloriously Wonderful

    Clive Barker sure knows how to give his stories life: with breath and pulse, and with each page, he draws you deeper and deeper into their embrace (it's really hard to pull away). Although, I'm happy to say, Imajica is one I'd never pull away from. From beginning to end I was absolutely consumed by Barker's story telling. My unwillingness to put the book down left me a little sleep deprived, but it was well worth it. And I'd be willing to do it again and again and again. Kudos Mr. Barker! I think this book is down right perfection.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Finally on Nook!

    This is one of the most incredible books I have read in my 40 or so years of avid reading. I have never been moved by charecters in any novel as I have in Imajica. Although I have not read this book in many years, I read it multiple times in Hardcover when it was released, and the story and it's charecters have been ingrained in my mind and heart from a young age. I have been wondering when it would get released on the Nook and as I purused for a new book to read there it was and my heart leaped with joy. I am ready to once again enjoy this epic journey I have not taken in far too many years. Thank you Mr. Barker and thank you BN.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2002

    Best Read Ever

    I read this book back in '91 and it is still my favorite over 10 years later. All of Clive Barkers books have been great, but this one is the best. This book ranks number one, right above Stephen King¿s gunslinger series, which is right above Tolkens Lord of the rings. If you like epic adventures this is a great one... that's just my opinion though... see for yourself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2011

    Awesome book...love it!

    I have read this book about three times. I love to re-visit the Imajica and all of the characters and their journey. I've read a lot of Clive Barker books and this is my favorite. Nothing compares to it. Clive Barker has a vivid imagination. He knows how to weave a story. You can go as far as your imagination will take you with this book. It is a long read, but so worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    Barker does an excellent job in creating this world and his writ

    Barker does an excellent job in creating this world and his writing is tremendous, however, it just wasn't up my alley. I put it down after the first book and went on to other books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    Never been fully emmersed in a story? Prepare to be.

    Beautiful prose the likes of which Clive Barker has never reached and will be extremely hard-pressed to surmount. If this is not the greatest work of his life, the work which eventually proves to be such shall doubtlessly win the hearts and minds of every literate being of this Dominion and each previously unknown dominion as well. Truly beatiful work, born of an incredible mind. May Barker never cease in his endeavours to captivate us all, leaving awe-inspired fans in the wake of his divine writings for decades to come (hopefully longer).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Love

    Favorite book ever. Changed my life !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    One of my alltime favorites!

    This is my second time reading this book and I never read a book twice. I read at least a book a week and prefer larger volume stories as opposed to quick reads. Reading is my addiction and it says a lot to me that I actually am reading this again. I love the characters and their world. Their egos, mistakes and regrets make them seem so much more real. Clive Barker is one of the best writers ever. If you enjoy his books then try George R R Martin, Terry Brooks, and Dianna Gabaldon too.

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  • Posted February 4, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Absolutely love this book.  Clive Barker is a fantastic writer a

    Absolutely love this book.  Clive Barker is a fantastic writer and does a wonderful job of painting great pictures in your mind of other worlds.  This book is fantasy/horror/romance all in one.  This book is a great headtrip!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Loved it

    I read this many yrs ago on hardcover. I' d hate to say how long ago, easily more then 10 yrs ago. I am happy to find it on the nook. I might have to buy itagain to experience it again. It was a fun world to become part of. My copy was borrowed & never returned sadly, I had thought of it often. Enjoy reading!

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  • Posted December 19, 2012

    In the proper sense of the word, one of the most fantastic stori

    In the proper sense of the word, one of the most fantastic stories I've ever read -- on par with Dante's Divine Comedy in imagination.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    NEED A NOOK VERSION OF THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!

    NEED A NOOK VERSION OF THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    Awesome book

    One of the best books I have ever read. Great writing! I got totally lost in this one. Loved it.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    P All time favourite

    This is one of my favourite books of all time. A book that that does not fall into any one genre, but has elements from many. Barker weaves a world that feels real. Its not often i wish a book over 1000 pages in length was longer, Imakica is an exception to tht rule

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Not worth it!

    I had high hopes for this book when I started it, but it's about 500 pages too long. The story becomes repetitive after the characters visit the imajica. Although Clive Barker has an excellent sense of prose, his handle on dialogue is lacking. Once they enter the imajica, they become overly dramatic and redundant. At the beginning I enjoyed the religious metaphor, but by about page 400 I felt it was being shoved down my throat. This book needed a good editor to week out the garbage, there are some great moments and some beautiful prose, but it's not worth digging through this massive volume.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2010

    A recent favorite

    I truly wish he would develop a movie from this book. Not unlike a previous reviewer, I too would read before lights out. Funny thing is, one chapter would turn into two, then three...

    Unfortunately, my book did not come with illustrations. I am tempted by curiosity to buy this one so I can see the pretty pictures.

    Clive, if you are reading these reviews, I love you but the Hellraiser movies have really bottomed out. I have even read your graphic novel styled comic books, which were far better than some of the movies.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    great imagination

    I'm real close to finishing this book and I love it. this is my first clive barker book and i was looking for something different from stephen king and dean koontz. I can't wait to get another book from him hopefully I won't gent disappointed.

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  • Posted March 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    BLECK

    Where do I start? It feels like Barker didn't even want to write this thing. It drones on and on, sputtering into a grey mist of lethargic boredom. I felt my self getting older, the life force just leaking away with every turn of the page. There is so much useless descriptions of trivial things it gave me the impression Barker was just trying to fill up space. I couldn't even rightfully say anything happens. By that I mean that the writing is so apathetic all events just fade into one another. The worst about it that when lengthy books, as this one is, is bad it's really bad - such squandered investment of time and energy. It has only one thing in common with a good book and that is it taught me something. I don't need to finish a book simply because I start one.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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