Imajica

ISBN: 0060937262
ISBN 13: 9780060937263
By: Clive Barker Richard A. Kirk

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About this book

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.

Reader's Thoughts

Anabela Costa

Existem livros inesquecíveis e que nos marcam. Imajica faz parte dessas obras primas. Uma das coisas que me agradou particularmente neste livro as mulheres nesta obra são fortes, inteligentes enquanto os homens são bastante mais fracos e cedem facilmente aos desejos. Mas isto é a minha veia feminista em acção ;)"...everything you learn is already part of you, even to the Godhead Itself. Study nothing except in the knowledge that you already knew it. Worship nothing except in adoration of your true self. And fear nothing except in the certainty that you are your enemy's begetter and its only hope of healing. For everything that does evil is in pain."

Coni Warren

Epic novel (over 800 pages in hardback) about four dominions that are all interconnected with each other but disconnected with the fifth dominion, Earth. There are forces out there that try to reconcile all the dominions every two hundred years but there are others out there that try to keep this and any other type of magic from happening.Clive Barker is known for horror, but this is pure fantasy. I love his fantasy books more. I became so involved with the characters and everything they were doing, I didn’t want it to end. It did have a natural resolution at the end, so there was no need for it to continue. I still wanted more.

Lee Thompson

Damn, I've gotta get Book 2 ASAP.

Rob

(10/10) Imajica is like a massive Rube Goldberg machine of a story, involving countless characters, some of which are sort of the same people but different, four and a half other dimensions, two different time periods, divine machinations, family secrets, Jesus figures, and gender-bending romances. What is shocking is that this all works -- instead of a story that goes off the rails or indulges in tangents, everything is neatly tied together into one epic storyline, so the whole massive jumble makes sense as a whole. This would be worth five stars for degree of difficulty alone, but Barker also manages to touch on deeper issues like gender, religion, the city and the role of the individual. All of this is overlaid with a dark, seedy atmosphere created by Barker's prose. An absolute doorstop of a book, but one that justifies its length, and a must-read for any fantasy fan.

John

I can't say Imajica was a book I particularly enjoyed reading, but I nonetheless admire and respect the hell out of it. The breadth of Barker's imagination is extrodinary, and his writing style is sublime. And he has a lot to say; it's just that his concepts are a little too flighty and mystical for my taste. This book is Barker's attempt to write the Great American Fantasy Novel, and he pulls out all the stops. The fundamental problem with it for me is that I don't really care for the characters. I can't really buy into their romances in a meaningful way like I'm supposed to (I also could do without all the odd, frequent sex scenes, but then it would cease to be a Clive Barker novel), and they spend the majority of the book in a confused state without any clue as to their purpose or history. As with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I simply don't care for stories where people just aimlessly wander around a lot. This book is like an unresponsive engine on a cold day--it takes an aggrevatingly long time to kick into gear, and by the time it does, the journey doesn't seem nearly as appealing. Luckily (?), the book is longer than the LA Yellow Pages, and even after it meanders for the first four-hundred pages it still has another four-hundred fifty pages to make up for it. Don't even think about starting it unless you have a solid week of nothing to do but read. If you do make it all the way through, I think you will find it a rewarding--if somewhat forgettable--experience.

Lisa

Earth as we know it is only one of five parallel worlds, or Dominions, and is the only one that remains unaware of the others’ existence. Attempts made in the past to Reconcile these Dominions have been disastrous, leading to a secret society being founded to keep the traces of magic from our world. But the time has come for the Reconciliation to be attempted once more…With some books, timing can be everything. Imajica, a huge book full of extraordinary worlds and beings, an epic plot, and sensuous prose with a leaning towards the philosophical and mystical, should have been read in long stretches where there was little else demanding my time. Instead I read it in 10 minute snatches wherever I could grab them, usually with constant interruptions, over the course of a fortnight. Due to this, each time I picked it up it would then take me a while to get back into it again, only to find my attention wandering as I waded through the detailed writing and heavy themes (and I wasn’t always helped by the vague confusion and instinct that most of the characters seemed to operate under).Now that I’ve finished the book I can look back and admire the scope of what I’ve read, but the benefit of hindsight hasn’t quite managed to cancel out my actual reading experience. This, and a smidge too much mysticism for my tastes, has dragged its score down from a potential 4 to a distracted 2.**Also posted at Randomly Reading and Ranting**

Joann Lagomarsino

This is by far my favorite Barker book, and probably because it wasn't my first. I frequently recommend this book with a disclaimer - If you've never read Clive Barker before.... Don't start here. - start with something older and shorter. While his older books are bloodier and newer books are more fantasy, this book falls right in the middle. I remember getting to a point half way through the book where I thought - what more could possibly happen to this poor guy? (turns out they have now split it into 2 volumes at almost exactly that point.) All that aside, this book really made me think long and hard about my religious beliefs.

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!

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.

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....

Jared

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.

Nicholas Armstrong

So I have read something else of Clive Barker's. Good to know. Umm, this book is really goddamn weird. I've read and watched some odd things, but this is reaaaaally out there. I normally like original things... not so sure here. I remember talking to another person about weird books and they told me about a book where the main character had a bug head, a wasp I want to say, and I remember thinking 'That sounds really stupid.' and I think I feel the same way with most of Imajica.It's true, the book is very unique and very inventive. If that is up someones alley then go right ahead and read this book. However, the characters, being the thing I love most in a book, sucked. They were just bad. They were bland (personality, not appearance by any means) and they didn't have much of a personality. Their actions seemed kind of lethargic and without feeling - unless sex was involved. If sex was involved they got right on board! Apparent female lead being brain-washed by repulsive fat man and then falling in love with him and having scene, after scene, after scene, of repulsive sex? Sign me up! Then there was the protagonists lover... which was a shape-changer. This was a little weird, but I was kind of on board. The personality reminded me of an effeminate cat and (maybe I'm crazy for thinking this) I imagined it as a black man with dreadlocks most of the time. Despite my aversion to reading things that generally make me shiver, like fat people having sex, or two men having sex, I continued to read this. I was pleasantly surprised when an entire chapter became dedicated to the repeated rape (rape? he/she sort of wanted to do it...) of the shape-changer by repulsive creatures - which was my cue to go.Don't get me wrong, the story was also kind of meandering and stale. If a story is dynamic and really hooks me then I can follow it for a long time, this one didn't so much.Not very good story coupled with numerous incredibly uncomfortable and detailed sex scenes ultimately led to my knowing this just isn't my type of book. I vaguely recall my brother saying the Anne Rice books had a lot of bizarre vampire sex at a certain point; maybe if you like that you will like this. Just don't talk about it to anyone. Ever.

Dreadlocksmile

Following the release of the awesome novel "Everville", Clive Barker published the Dark Fantasy classic "Imajica" in 1991. This epic adventure into the fantastic world of Barker's endless imagination runs for a very impressive and gripping 1136 pages in total. The storyline is complex, weaving multiple plots together to create the rich tapestry that has made Imajica such a loved and respected novel.The characterization is detailed and superb, as you are taken through a whole fantasy world that will set your imagination alight. Barker's descriptions are vivid and darkly fantastic, with a deep atmosphere that immerses the reader into the story he has to tell.Altogether, this is one of Barker's greatest achievements, bringing us a novel that will be cherished by all. It's a novel you will miss once finished and find yourself re-reading again and again as the years go by.

SterlingSpider

I was actually pretty hesitant to give this book a numeric rating based on the fact that its taken me several years to read it. I love Barker, but it seems to take me at least two tries to get through anything of his longer then 200 pages. This one actually took three tries which in my mind has to count as a pretty heavy strike against it, especially considering how immersive a reader I am. I've slammed through longer books in a couple of days. There was a whole lot about the plot of this book that seemed a little too obvious to me very early on, but well... I'm a woman so maybe that makes some sense (and that will make considerably more sense if you read it). The lines between good and bad are considerably more subtle then the typical Barker story but that's sort of part of the whole thing.It was good, and it was worth reading, but be forewarned that if you decide to read this it is a definite undertaking.

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.

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