I truly love Clive Barker's work, but this is BY FAR his worst, most indulgent novel. It's confused, confusing, pompous, silly, boring, lumbering and just bad. The characters act in seemingly random fashion, the pacing is long stretches of nothing followed by some infodump and then an act of violence. It's just an incoherent mess with neither plot, character or language to keep it interesting. Barker relies too heavily on his world-building to sell the novel, but quite frankly, Imajica is much less interesting than he thinks it is. The author wrote that he came up with this story from dreams he was having and it shows. It's a hodgepodge of vague ideas and images that no one but the person who dreamt it would find interesting. Avoid at all costs and pick up any other Barker book.Lexie
As I have the paperback of imajica and I have around 100 pages left I want to make it last as long as possible, I have been reading this book for a few weeks and would have read it non stop all the way through if it were not for school and such getting in the way. I really enjoyed the start of the book and it continuously surprised me throughout with all the things I just wouldn't have ever imagined happen. I also believe Clive Barker is a genius to be able to create all of this, not only whole worlds but dimensions, with his head is amazing. I truly cannot believe the amount of people saying they either got lost throughout the storyline or got bored. His brain capacity seems to cease to stop, his work is startlingly good. If I could chose one thing to improve, I would so far say some more character developments. It would have been nice to have seen gentle and Pie in some more depth, because although the middle segment of the book revolved around their relationship I think it was focused too much on the surrounding and not enough on the characters. I am a sucker for characters and I indulge in deep developments and strong, intertwined relationships that don't have to be romantic or sexual. I also believe the sexual scenes were a bit obscene but I also think they were definitely crucial to the plot line and the character developments. In conclusion, I can't wait and don't want to finish the book at the same time. I suspect a month worth of no reading to let it all settle in when I'm done as I do when I finish great books that just leave me startled at their brilliance. I will probably be reading the entire collection of Clive Barker when I recover (:~LexieU.L. Harper
It's an epic. There are so many characters that one might think that Mr. Barker didn't come up with them but someone or something whispered who they were into his ear and he merely...channeled these characters.After I read it I couldn't read anything for about a month. Barker isn't a word smith as much as he is a story-teller. His grammar sometimes makes you wonder if anyone proofread the story, but still, after you read it, it leaves you wondering if these places exist...but you know they do. And you get to meet God. You get to meet the people kicked out of the bible. You know why pieces of your life seem missing. Then right when you think, well, this journey better be worth it, it suddenly is.I know people who have tried to read this novel but simply couldn't get through it. They are wimps. This is a 860 page triumph. A great read.Marsha
It's an epic. There are so many characters that one might think that Mr. Barker didn't come up with them but someone or something whispered who they were into his ear and he merely...channeled these characters. After I read it I couldn't read anything for about a month. Barker isn't a word smith as much as he is a story-teller. His grammar sometimes makes you wonder if anyone proofread the story, but still, after you read it, it leaves you wondering if these places exist...but you know they do. And you get to meet God. You get to meet the people kicked out of the bible. You know why pieces of your life seem missing. Then right when you think, well, this journey better be worth it, it suddenly is. [image error]I know people who have tried to read this novel but simply couldn't get through it. They are wimps. This is a 860 page triumph. A great read.Aneel
Spectacularly good. A fresh fantasy with a well thought out cosmology and a very interesting set of worlds. Barker creates a setting that's at once enticing and foreboding and populates it with a variety of heroes and powers, humans and monstrosities, each with their own very believable drives and failings.There are worlds beyond Earth—four of them, in fact—separated from Earth by a magical void full of ravenous monsters. Three of them are under the control of a cruel Autarch, who rules from his huge city of Yzordderrex. God seems to have walled himself away in the last of them. Two centuries ago, the greatest magicians of all of these worlds tried to join Earth to them, and caused a catastrophe when they failed. Now an opportunity to try again has come, but what's worse: failure, or success?Brandon
I have to admit, I had tried Clive Barker's work once before this, and didn't like it. Then, I checked out The Great and Secret Show, and fell in love with it. I ended up getting Imajica from my public library, thinking it was a fifty-fifty chance that I could like it. When I first started reading it, I got bored in the first hundred pages and dropped it for a few weeks. Then, I didn't have anything else to read, and ended up picking it back up. I didn't put it back down. Imajica is a very beautiful book. Barker has a wide scope of imagination, and is very good at what he does. He's very good at creating weird and interesting scenes, and throw in spectacular plot twists that you'd never expect. I fell in love with the characters, felt the pain when some of them died, and burned with anticipation as the secrets were revealed and the Reconciliation was getting closer to happening. I highly recommend this book to anyone who's looking for inspiration as far as writing broad fantasies like this, or who are looking for a good read.Adam
** spoiler alert ** This book absolutely kicks ass. A journey to discover the self, and why his previous self had chosen to erase his memory and jeopardize the balance of the metaphysical. A journey to rediscover his love for someone, to answer unanswerable questions, and a rebellion against a tyrannous god.Imajica is the name of a system of five dominions. the world we know is the fifth dominion and is the only one of them that is unreconciled. The other four know of one another and travel and trade, meanwhile, earth-like reality is some legend, a place that no one can get to and figure out why it hasn't been reconciled yet.the story is about the reconciliation, not so much one man's destiny in it, but his recovery of his role and reconciliation with himself and his failures.Chris
The world is not quite what we always thought it was. But this is a Clive Barker book, so that goes without saying.The Imajica is the whole of creation, the true world, four-fifths of which we've never seen. Earth, the Fifth Dominion, has long been separate from the other four. How it got split away, held back from the other Reconciled Dominions by the horrible netherworld of the In Ovo, no one knows. But throughout history there have been Maestros, men of great and terrible power, who have tried to unite the Fifth with the other Dominions, finally making the Imajica whole. The last of these was the Maestro Sartori, a raconteur and man of power in 18th century London. With his acolytes and his apostles he tried to Reconcile the dominions, and his efforts ended in disaster.Two hundred years later, the time has come again to try the great work of bringing the Imajica together. But there are no more Maestros - the Tabula Rasa, descendants of the former Maestro's surviving followers, have done their best to wipe Britain clean of all things magical.Some things, however, are too great to be stopped. The Imajica longs to be whole, and its long road to reconciliation begins again....Between this and Weaveworld, Barker has proven himself to be the master of what can be called, for lack of a better term, the multiple climax. Characters and events are drawn to a head with all the tension and excitement that you would expect from the climactic finale. People live, people die, others barely escape with their lives. But the story isn't over, oh no....This is a hell of a read, too. Barker's playing with some heavy themes - men versus women, parents versus children, acceptance of the numinous versus the reflexive rejection of that which we don't understand.... There's something for everyone, in other words.This is a big 'un. Some paperback editions split the book into two volumes, which was probably a good idea. The single volume paperback that I have is damn near falling apart. I don't know what the practical page limit is on paperbacks, but I think 1,136 is stretching it. Still, it's an enjoyable 1,136 pages, so I recommend it....Mark R.
When someone asks me what "Imajica" is about, I always find it difficult to explain. It's a complicated book, but very readable, and it's got a plot, but one that isn't terribly easy to describe. I suppose, in short, it's the story of a man who discovers four worlds linked to, but separated from, Earth, and how he goes about traveling through these worlds in order to discover the secrets of his own past, a past mysterious even to himself.And that's really not a very good summary. It's hard to describe. This book, more than any other, causes me to sit back and really think upon it, throughout the duration of the reading (and it usually takes me about three weeks to finish), and at the end, when I've had a chance to digest the weight of the material in this, Clive Barker's best novel, and in my opinion, crowning achievement. I love his recent, and also epic, "Abarat" series, but it doesn't move me the way this story does.After my recent fourth reading of this book, my opinion of it is the same as when I first picked it up, years ago. There are moments of extreme horror and violence which contrast with pages of wonder and genuine, non-terrifying excitement. The sex is graphic, but with nothing quite so twisted as the woman-dog coupling in "The Great and Secret Show," and is genuinely erotic. The characters, from the protagonist, John Furie Zacharias (also known as Gentle), to his longtime lover, Judith, and his new companion, Pie, are fully developed, conflicted, imperfect beings. The villains, including one of Barker's best, a creature called Dowd, are top of the line, and there are moments of real dread in this book. I can't recommend this book enough, particularly for fans of fantasy and the supernatural, who don't mind a bit of extreme bloodshed here and there.Bill
If you've read his Books of Blood, the Damnation Game, the Great and Secret Show, and Weaveworld but haven't gotten around to Imajica yet, turn off your computer right now and get out there and get it. This is Clive Barker's masterpiece. Earth is part of a dominion of five other worlds, and the only one unaware of the others. This novel is about the reuniting of Earth to the other four worlds. Again, this is horrific, beautiful, mind-expanding.An incredible feat of the imagination...this is one of the few novels I will read over again. Am I gushing over this? You bet.Geert Daelemans
Enter Clive's DominionsJohn Furie Zacharias, also known as Gentle, is a master forger. His life is nothing but a series of lies that go far beyond the paintings that he forges. But behind all the lies, Gentle unknowingly carries with him a secret of universal proportions. Once every two hundred years the universe, which some call the Imajica, enters a mystical moment at which it can be reconciled. Exactly at this moment the five Dominions can be reunited. Earth, being the fifth Dominion, is at the center of this process and Gentle is one of the few who can start the reconciliation. When Gentle learns that in a few weeks that unique moment will start again, he has to race against time to find out which role he has to play. But that is not all: also his friends get sucked into a spiral of magical events that bring all of them to worlds they could have never imagined.That Clive Barker has an amazing imagination is maybe best proven by the magic of his early novel Imajica. More than eight hundred pages of wonderfully strange and outlandish images are bestowed upon the reader. It is not always easy to make any sense of the story itself, but after the exciting and utterly dark opening, many people will be forgiving about this shortcoming . True, Imajica is anything but a light read, but it succeeds where many fantasy novels fail: it sucks the reader into a completely new universe and really grows on you. Maybe this is mostly due to the strangely erotic suspense that seeps through the pages. The character of Pieï¿½ohï¿½pah is the best example of this tension. Not surprising if you know that Pie is an androgynous creature that shows itself to people as the object of lust they crave the most.Although this book will not be everyoneï¿½s cup of tea, it will be unforgettable for those who dare to take the jump into Cliveï¿½s other Dominions.Nilanjan Guin
Clive Barker has etched out a universe in my mind that, I think, will be hard to erase, for a long long time. Any summary of this book is insufficient to portray even in a miniscule manner, the vastness, depth and intricacy of the universe, human feeling and spirituality that this book lays out in front of the reader. I had read Books of Blood, Vols. 1-3 earlier and was ready for unconventional portrayals of society, morals and creatures, but this book goes many steps beyond.The book beautifully portrays the irrelevance of conventional religious beliefs (or for that matter, conventional rationality) and holds it in contrast to the everlasting nature of a few simple beliefs and passions - which is eventually what frees the soul from the various shackles we ourselves tie it to.I can safely add this book, along with The Dark Tower series to my most loved collection. After all both of them took me along with the protagonists to journeys I could not even imagine and left me to ponder on the meaning of life, death and love.Nicole
Another breathtaking masterpiece by Clive Barker. This novel is all that you could want in a fantasy, plus more. The emotion in this novel is just so gripping and heartbreaking. The relationships are complex, three-dimensional, and weave into the plot rather than working on the side of it and interfering occasionally. This book has some of the greatest sex scenes I've ever read. Barker is not afraid to put his horror touches in his stories, and this is not an exception; he grabs the fantasy genre by the throat and shakes it up, creating something as frightening as it is whimsical.Lee Thompson
Damn, I've gotta get Book 2 ASAP.Hannah
This book is awesome. And, like many others who have reviewed it, I didn't read it all the way through the first time I tried to read it. This book is LONG. And it DRAGS. I don't know why, but Clive Barker loves to drag. I think I finished it my third time or so and that's only because I really wanted to see what happened.I have to admit, I hated it at first. It was so slow and boring and skipped around so much that I just didn't want to deal with it, I wanted to read something easier. I'd retain random tidbits and even when I did finally read it all the way through I'm sure I missed lots of details because it's just so long and wordy.It's a wonderful story and concept and I'm always in awe of what Clive Barker's imagination has to offer. That guy is weird, but I love him, I'd love to meet him. The only reason this book got 4 stars instead of 5 is because it is so slow-paced. Clive Barker is an AMAZING writer but this story would've been better suited for a trilogy or something.One day I'm going to re-read this book! I highly recommend it to anyone who's a fan of weird things and fantasy novels as well as flowery prose and abnormal sex. If you can't handle any of the above, don't read it!