Weaveworld

ISBN: 0007117140
ISBN 13: 9780007117147
By: Clive Barker

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About this book

Clive Barker has made his mark on modern fiction by exposing all that is surreal and magical in the ordinary world --- and exploring the profound and overwhelming terror that results. With its volatile mix of the fantastical and the contemporary, the everyday and the otherworldly, Weaveworld is an epic work of dark fantasy and horror -- a tour de force from one of today's most forceful and imaginative artists.Barker turns from his usual horror to epic-length fantasy for this account of the Fugue, a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans. The Fugue has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it; the death of its guardian occasions a battle between good and particularly repulsive evil forces for control of the Fugue. Weaveworld is rich with memorable characters, exciting situations, and pockets of Barker's trademark horror.

Reader's Thoughts

Justin Borek

First off, this wasn't what I was expecting, but in a very good way. After reading Barker's short story collections of horror (Books of Blood, Inhuman Condition, etc) and recently the excellent Mister B. Gone, I decided to delve into his fantasy catalog. From the introduction on, his gift for language shines, as it always does. What really struck me in this novel, however, was the tone of his writing. There's a sweetness to the story that really hasn't come through in any of the other works I've read by him. The book could almost be mistaken for a children's story if it weren't for the horror overtones and the eroticism that have become his trademark. While it's not nearly as visceral as some of his other works, there are scenes and characters, in particular Immacolata, the Magdelene and the Hag, that put this well beyond a children's book. However, if you're in the market for a more mature fantasy, you would be hard pressed to find a better take on the genre than Weaveworld. A definate must read. I'll be digging further into his fantasy catalog as soon as possible.

Dreadlocksmile

Barker lets loose his imagination as he takes you on an unforgettable trip to fantastic and incredible worlds of pure fantasy. His writing style engrosses the reader deep within the pages, immersing you into a dark and wonderful land of the unbelievable. He takes you on a trip of the magical and macabre and celebrates the potential of the human imagination.The novel will grip you from the start and keep you desperate to keep reading. It is a book of dark fantasy that leaves you breathless after each page. First published back in 1987, the novel has remained one of the most talked about of Barker's books to date.With so many of Barker's novels, you can't help but wonder at the symbolism within the stories. The characters often reflect and resemble his ideas and views on his life and the society around him. This brings in a whole new level to the book, where one starts to interpret the messages and moral dilemmas within the pages.Weaveworld will leave your head spinning with thoughts and feelings once you finally put the book down, finished. It will teleport you slowly back to reality with a memory of the fantastic and magical. Nothing comes close to the escape of a novel of such talent and imagination. A book to love forever.

aPriL purrs 'n hisses

I got to page 350, and then I skimmed to the end. What a waste of trees. I'm so sorry I started this. It's a fever dream journal written by a Christian. It's 700 pages too long.(view spoiler)[Everything in existence is an idea made manifest in the Gyre, which is guarded by Uriel, a masterless angel. Humans are compost meat who love magic and who have great difficulty seeing different planes of realities clearly. Magic must be saved because it's neat to see. Magical beings are too stupid to live. Heaven is a compost pile. Shadwell is the Devil, a salesman of desire, whose purpose is to scare and chase, in other words, a faithless hound dog. Uriel goes insane from loneliness, but when the lining of a coat creates Uriel's twin, he is sane again and leaves earth to go traveling in the universe. The purpose of people is 1., to be compost for new life creations, and 2., to provide life force power that enables coat linings to create Angels. Earth is saved from magic for magic.(hide spoiler)]The book is shot through with the illogic of circular thinking. Magic must be saved because it's cool, but the earth would not be threatened except for magic, for example. Ick ick. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Jason

Wow this is book to me was quite a disappointment. I found this book to be very long winded while at the same time it did not reveal much and left you wondering many questions. I found Cal to be a likable protagonist but did not care for Suzanne,the other main character. I felt the book should have ended at the three quarter mark where much of the main story lines were resolved. The last quarter of the book was painful to me as I no longer cared. I am giving this two stars even though I will probably look back at this one as less. If found this to be a long, drawn out story, that was not very detailed, and I never really found myself attached to the characters within. I cannot recommend this one, instead read one of Clive Barkers horror novels and be sure to watch all his movies!!!

Thea Guanzon

Utterly enchanting. Sensual and twisted. One of the most complex fantasy novels I've ever read, brimming with socio-political, moral and religious themes ingrained into a thrilling plot. A story where every character is given, not just a name and a face, but life as well. This is perhaps the only book where I've gone from hating someone's guts (in this case, Hobart) to fangirling the hell out of him. Weaveworld has no clear-cut villains, and that is partly what makes it such a powerful work. Villains are people, too. The prose is incandescent, although a bit too verbose for my liking; it strikes me as Tolkien mellowed out by Gaiman. It's a bit daunting to take in, due to the breakneck, unapologetic pace at which Barker introduces new characters and plot points, but it's worth every moment. I love how Barker reconciles random bits of mythology and geography into a truly awesome experience. This book made me remember why I read fantasy.

Susan

I've bailed on this book. I wanted to like it. I read the introduction and the theme appeals to me. But Barker's statement that critics thought his imagination too dark for the genre seems just a little self-aggrandizing. There was plenty of dark fantasy even in 1987, and of course it abounds now. Unfortunately, I couldn't read about the sisters without visualizing something out of a Tim Burton animation. And I think the true problem is that Barker wrote a fantasy novel without being a reader of fantasy. He spends too much time explaining the motivations of his logical, reality-grounded protagonists to an audience that expects to step into another reality (and gets impatient otherwise). And so much of the invention just seemed to be for invention's sake.

Bill

This is about another world that exists in the fibres of a carpet. It's wonderful. I didn't know if I should include this review in horror or with fantasy...let's just call it dark fantasy. Every novel of Barker's I've read has left images in my mind that spring up every time I look at the cover. Images of horror, and beauty...Read this guy, folks.

Neil Taylor

I haven't read this since I was about 14, but the main premise, of there being a whole world and people woven into a rug that survives centuries and is a sanctuary for the pursued inhabitants, still captures my imagination. I should read this again.

Jen

This is one of my very favorite books. I don't usually reread books, but I do with Weaveworld. It is so imaginative and fantastic - imagine the coolest, craziest rug you've ever seen. Then imagine that it's actually a world, whose magical inhabitants wove themselves into the rug to hide themselves from The Scourge, which seeks to destroy them.A rather silly British fellow has a few of these magical people appear from a torn segment of the rug, and he's off on the most intense adventure...

Craig Williams

I got to say, ever since The Great and Secret Show, none of Clive Barker's other books have been very satisfying. I had always heard how good this book was, and Barker's foreword mentions how many consider this is masterpiece, but I disagree. I found the book to be very, very dull, which was odd, considering all the fantasy/horror elements that saturate the story. My problem with the book is two-fold: 1.) the characters are completely 2-dimensional, just flat and uninteresting. 2.) this is a story that could have been told much more succinctly, and has been told many times since, and more effectively, by the likes of Neil Gaiman and other contemporary urban fantasy authors.Back to my first problem, though: the characters. Barker presents a veritable menagerie of characters but doesn't bother developing that much, even the main characters. I never felt a connection with the protagonists, Cal or Suzanna. The motiviation antagonists, Immocolata and Shadwell, are never made very clear, making them very stark, by-the-numbers villains. Who is Shadwell? How did he come to be in cahoots with a sorceress from another world? In The Great and Secret Show, we are introduced to the villain first, even though at that point, we don't realize he *is* the villain (or, at least, one of the villains). By the time this becomes evident, I felt a slight bond with him, and somewhat understood his motivations, making his obsession to cross worlds into the paradise realm of Nirvana comprehensible. It's never explained why Immocolata wants to destroy the Weaveworld, and Shadwell's greedy desire to dominate it seems completely random and forced. Did I mention how utterly boring Cal and Suzanna are?Anyway, my complaints notwithstanding, the book is totally readable, and not so dull that one can't labor through it. It's not as ponderously bad as, say, The Damnation Game, but something I've begun to notice about Barker that I don't like: he is not very good at developing fully fleshed out, likeable characters. It seems he's more concerned with hammering out the main story, and the characters just serve the plot. Whatever - I will probably read more of his work with the hope something will measure up to the feeling I had while reading TGASS, but we'll see.

Chris

Once, there was magic. There were sacred places and secret spots, and beings that held magnificent raptures. They were the Seerkind, and they were the magical children of the world.Then the Scourge came. A being of magnificent power and mad obsession with a singular purpose - to utterly destroy the Seerkind. Its reasons, its motivations were completely unknown and brooked no argument or negotiation. And so, with their numbers being burned down, the Seerkind hid. They used their best magics and their most exquisite raptures to weave their most precious places and people into a haven that no one would ever find, a place that no one would ever look. A carpet.They hoped to wake up once the Scourge had passed, after a few short years.Eighty years later, the final custodian of the Weaveworld dies, leaving her estranged granddaughter, Suzanna to take over her duties. Whether she wanted to or not. Fortunately, she is not alone. Young Calhoun Mooney, the grandson of a poet, stumbled across the enchanted carpet and was ensnared by its intricate beauty. Together, they set off to save the Weaveworld from those who would rule it - or destroy it. Shadwell, an amoral salesman with an enraptured jacket that can produce any item his mark wants with all their heart, leads the hunt. With him, and supporting him is the Incantrantrix Immaculata, who hates the Seerkind with all her cold, dead heart.And somewhere, in a dry, empty place, the Scourge sleeps....I've read this book countless times, and it never gets old. I know Clive Barker is best known for his horror, but, much like Stephen King, he excels at writing fantasy. He has a gift for making his world both magical and believable, describing its magics and its dangers in wonderful detail. What I really enjoy, both in this and his other fantasy masterpiece Imagica, is his ability to name things. Like any true magician, he excels in the art of names, and they're truly exquisite. The Incantantrix Immaculata. Apolline Dubois. Balm DeBono. Lemuel Lo and his Orchard. The names themselves are magical, and it makes it so much more wonderful.I cannot recommend this book enough. Have fun.

Megan

*I decided to edit my review (from 4 stars to 5 stars) because after 2 years, I cannot get this book out of my head. It goes down in my life as one of the most memorable, intriguing, and stimulating books I have ever read. A must-read for Barker fans, or anyone who likes cross-genre books (horror, fantasy, action). Great book. Read below for my original review................The best thing about this book is that it is able to cross genres seamlessly. With elements of fantasy, horror and science fiction, it has become my favorite "non-genre" that I will surely look for in other books. It has the best elements of these genres and seamlessly weaves them in together (see what I did there?). A true mind fuck.With such a strange and unique concept for the book, it had to be well written for the reader to understand and imagine what the hell is going on. Clive Barker did that: Weaveworld has great imagery, character development and is overall an EXCELLENT read. I would have given it 5 stars except...It is just too damn long. The version I bought has 648 pages and about 3/4 of the way through the story things get a little stagnant. Without spoiling anything, what started out as one main story line goes into several, so it takes a chapter for each story to have its moment. The result is a very long, drawn out 150 pages or so that could have better been shrunk down to 50 pages. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a mind fuck.

Myke

After reading 354 pages of this book i finally give in.Clive Barker didn't really deliver with this book, well he started to deliver but then as it went on i found he progressed the plot while then slowing it down.This was disappointing and its length seems unnecessary. Particularly since the story Barker is trying to tell doesn't really seem like it needs to be the length it is. The characters didn't seem to develop much in this book either and while the idea of a world contained within a carpet sounds like an intriguing tale, Barker somehow fails to prove as such.

Tina

I have never done this before. I was at page 669 out of 722, a fairly negligible amount of pages left to read, but I just couldn't continue. This book was SO BORING. The concept was cool and the characters were alright (kind of wooden, really), but the writing was just... it was lacking... FIRE, I guess. I was just so hum-drum. There was nothing that drew me to read it. When I first started it, I was into it enough to keep going. I gave it a good hundred pages and it started getting interesting. But when I hit about 450 I started reading it just to finish it. I figured I only had 200 pages to go and I can read about 100 pages an hour or so, especially given the large title pages and etc in this book, but at night when I would go to read, I'd end up on Reddit instead, or I'd write something or I'd do cross stitch! I figured I was just tired. But then today, I had just finished working my ass off all morning for work, so I decided I was going to do a little reading at lunch. I picked up the book, got through 1 page, and decided I would rather LIFT 25 LB GARDEN STONES in the yard than read this book. Now, that sparked a revelation in me, that I really couldn't give a SHIT if the main characters lived, if the scourge got everyone, or if all the Weaveworld raptures dissipated. I have never done this before, but I skipped ahead and the read the last page, and then chucked the book over my bannister. Seriously, this book sucks. I don't know why I keep TRYING Clive Barker. Mister B. Gone was ok and Galilee focused on the wrong characters, so why did I think I would like this one? I've learned my lesson. No More Clive Barker. UGH.

Dan

Read this first time when I was a late teenager. Been think about it ever since. Re-read it this summer and it was still great. Complex story but a man and a woman finds them self caught in a fight between the good and evil. A world parallell to ours exist. And all it's good and bad sides connects to our world. A more grown upp fantasy book. If they ever make movie about this one I will be the first in line for the theater. Love the conflicts they get caught in and the mix of magic and reality. Way before Harry Potter and with a good healthy dose of horror. psClive Barker is the guy behind the Pinhead-horror movies if you didn't know. And it shows in this book.

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