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The Thief of Always
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The Thief of Always

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  18,843 ratings  ·  962 reviews
Mr. Hood's Holiday House has stood for a thousand years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles, a blissful rounds of treats and seasons, where every childhood whim may be satisfied...

There is a price to be paid, of course, but young Harvey Swick, bored with his life and beguiled by Mr. Hood's wonders, does not stop to consider the consequ
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Mass Market Paperback, 267 pages
Published October 1993 by Harper Paperbacks (first published 1992)
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Andre Stackhouse Well I'm not sure of anything specific, but I'd say it qualifies as a modern fairy tale. Hansel and Gretel comes to mind. It's also sometimes compared…moreWell I'm not sure of anything specific, but I'd say it qualifies as a modern fairy tale. Hansel and Gretel comes to mind. It's also sometimes compared to Coraline by Neil Gaimen, though that was a decade later. Coraline was influenced by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, so I'd say it's fair to say there's a bit of that in there too. Anyway, this is all speculation about one of my favorite authors and books!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Delee

Sooooooooo, I mentioned that I had sworn off Mr. Clive Barker yeeeeeeeears ago- due to squeamishness- Ms. Stepheny called me on it- and said, "PLEASE... PLEASE...PLEASE- read THE THIEF OF ALWAYS before making your final judgement on allllllllll of his work".

Okay, Stepheny, I stand corrected- not all of his work is GROSS. In fact I quite enjoyed this blood-less tale.

 photo 78224d42-6794-4cca-83e8-42cb2654c099_zpsq0yc1hvm.jpg

10-year-old Harvey Swick is bored...bored, bored with school. Bored with the dreary weather, and bored with his day-to-day life. B
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Laurel
Edit 4: My love for this book knows no bounds because I managed to get this hard copy of the graphic novel. Signed and hand-numbered (there were only 500 of these going out).

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Edit 3: Did I just buy the ebook of this? Yes I did. Gotta be safe in case I lose the paperback copy. <3333

The great gray beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive.

The most fabulous opening line I’ve ever read. In all seriousness. It shows that there will be beautiful writing in future pages. It is inevitable.

I’ve pra
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Stepheny
Oh, you’re a horror fan? Read Clive Barker.

Steph, check out Clive Barker. You’ll love him.

Have you read any Barker? He’s brilliant!

These are all things that were being said to me for the last few years. I took note. Then I saw Stephen King saying that Clive Barker is the future of the horror genre. Well, if I am going to listen to anyone I am going to listen to Stephen King.

Everyone knows this.

I took the encouragement of some of my goodreads friends and went with it. I decided to go with the Th
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Zoeytron
Harvey Swick is ten years old and bored out of his skull. It's that dreary month of February, Christmas is over and summer is too far in the future for a small boy to contemplate. He just wants to have some fun. Through an open window flies a man in black by the name of Rictus. His smile is all sharp teeth and is as wide as his face, but he has a glib tongue and promises Harvey all kinds of fun. Plenty of playmates, the coolest treehouse ever, and a house that is almost too good to be true await ...more
Chris
So, when I reviewed Coraline, I mentioned that, in terms of "Young-person-casts-off-illusions-and-outwits-a-vastly-more-powerful-otherworldly-entity-and-comes-to-appreciate-the-realities-of-life" stories, I thought this book was vastly superior. So I jumped onto Bookmooch to see if anyone had a copy. Lo and behold, a nice person in Israel was giving his copy away, so I snagged it. And I stand by my judgment.

Plus, this book has one of the best opening lines I have ever read:

"The great, gray beas
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Mario
Great book to read on a rainy day.

What I liked the most (apart from story) are the illustrations. They were really creepy, and reminded me of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, which is one of my favorite books. The story is also similar to Coraline, but it does have its twists.

Really fun and fast read, and looking forward to reading more books from this author. The guy knows how to tell a good story.
Lisa
Creepy!

Harvey is 10 and bored...

Soooooo bored...

So when he is offered the chance of visiting a holiday house with unlimited food and presents, where it is spring, summer, autumn and winter all in one day how can he resist!

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Buuutttt...

All is not what it seems and soon things take a turn for the sinister.

This is a dark and fantastical tale that is ultimately about what it is to be human.
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Robert Bickers
Read Synopsis
Wow! This is a book that stays with you, if you let it. Harvey Swick, as normal a kid as you'll find, is trapped in paradise. The holiday House is a place where dreams come true - so long as you're willing to play by it's rules. Try to break free, and swim with the fishes.

Clive Barker's prose is brilliant; I can think of no other word that clearly conveys my thoughts on The Thief of Always. From the first line-one of the best ever written, rivaled only by the opening to Gibson's Neu
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Lazy Seagull
Alright, well, here I go!

So, I was going along my merry way reading this book, and I found myself being drawn almost completely in. A seemingly childish story, The Thief of Always managed to be both chilling and unbearably cute.

Now people were asking me when they saw me with the book in hand: "Do you like it? Why?"



The characters were well fleshed out and well-thought out. I loved Harvey. Wendell could be irritating, but, hey, that was him.

I loved the House. Hood House. That motherfucking monste
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Nate
Pitch perfect in every way, Barker really shines on this one. I could see kids reading this at age 9 without issue. Would recommend to any fans of the interstice betwen horror and fantasy or anyone looking for a good yarn.
Jake Hartnett
5 glorious stars!!!

This one, I feel, will be one of those books that stays with me throughout my unending pilgrimage of reading, and will always hold a place inside me, along with some other special reads.

The story is wonderfully told, involving dark magic and illusion that's able to blanket reality; to create a place where children will never be bored, or shall never be left wanting for anything. Whatever they wish they may have. But this eternal happiness comes at a price, one that unknowingly
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Fun story! Ten-year-old Harvey Swick is bored with life until he is lured by a stranger to the Holiday House. There, you can have all of your desires fulfilled. Every season happens every day, and you get to celebrate Halloween and Christmas every day. You get to eat all of your most favorite foods and just have fun all day. But there's a trade-off, and you don't find out about it until it's too late. Evil lurks in the Holiday House in the form of an unseen "vampire" thief. He's a different sort ...more
Erin (Series Addict)
Clive Barker brings readers this delightful fairy tale, surrounding the main character of young Harvey, a bright adventurous young boy with a stubborn streak. I advise not being put off by its seemingly childlike innocence; this one features monstrous beings, cruel twists of fate, and genuinely frightening outcomes. All ages can enjoy Thief of Always, for it stirs up the imagination and brings back that child in all of us.

Starting off with the basics (Harvey is bored), we are quickly whirled int
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Amber
This is a great book by clive barker. It's about this boy who goes to this house of seasons. It's a story worth checking out and one of the first Clive Barker books I checked out that got me started on his books. I hope one day that thief of always becomes a film because it is a pretty good story.
Qt
A good, interesting, spooky book--just right for October, although it certainly could be read at any time of the year. There are plenty of scary and creepy scenes, but also some thought-provoking bits; it made me feel more appreciative of what I have when I'd finished it.

Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer)
I highly recommend this book! I is such a compelling story, written so well. It has a clever plot and keeps you interested till the very end!
Matthew Hunter
The great gray beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive. Here he was, buried in the belly of that smothering month, wondering if he would ever find his way out through the cold coils that lay between here and Easter.

That's an awesome opening to a story on ennui, and the desire to live only for holidays and good times. What would happen if we fast-forwarded through all the ordinary times and lived for holidays, birthdays, and vacations? Life would be very short. And we'd miss out on those qui
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Brandon
A friend recommended this to me, and the very next day ANOTHER friend recommended Barker's Abarat, so it seemed like too big of a coincidence to put off reading him any longer. This was a very quick read, and you know a book is good when you lose all sense of time. I read straight through without stopping. The opening sentence, which is, perhaps, the most crucial part of any book, is definitely one of the best I've ever read, and I enjoyed how Barker kept referencing it throughout. I've said it ...more
Krbo
Inače prilično volim Barkera, onaj njegov dio koji piše više fantasy, a manje horror (koji inače baš i ne volim)

Jako zgodno djelce gdje mi se Barker najviše približio Gaimanu.
Jedna lijepa pričica o dječjim željama, o tome kako ništa nije dobro previše željeti :), malo neobičnih čudovišta i ugodno provedeno vrijeme.

Posebna draž su Barkerove originalne grafike.

Preporučujem.

Radwa
أتذكر قراءة هذا الكتاب منذ فترة وقرأته مجددًا وتذكرت مدى حبي له ولأدب الأطفال!

قصة هارفي، البطل الصغير، في معركته ضد السيد هود وأعوانه وبيت الأبد، الذي يختطف الأطفال ويحبسهم في عالم مواز للعالم الحقيقي. علاقة هارفي ولولو من ألطف ما قرأت وبطولة هارفي في النهاية كانت شيقة وممتعة.

الكتاب لم يعد مرعبًا ولكنه صار شيقًا.
Emeraldia Ayakashi
I was surprised.
It’s weird to call a Clive Barker book cute, right? But that’s what The Thief of Always is. Even with demons and soul-stealing and a cat falling into a pot of boiling water and dying, it’s a really cute and deep , like the " soul of Me " who recommmand me this book .
The way that Clive Barkerweave a story that incorporates adventure and horror within a tale suitable for a child is amazing.
This book while being fun and horrific also has a great meaning behind it, one that every c
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Alexis
I read this for the first time when I was 12 and I remember my mother being disturbed by some of the scenes I described to her, so much that she decided to read it as well. Ultimately she had to admit that it was a good book. Since then I think I've read it over again two or three times. I adore the story. There are so many intricacies that have fed my imagination that I can still see the images that this book made me conjure up 16 years ago!
Lissett  S Ordosgoitti
2015 Reading Challenge #30: Un libro publicado el año que naciste

3.5/5

El ladrón de dias es un cuento lleno de magia e imaginación, con diálogos ingeniosos y reflexiones acerca de la vida. La historia se desarrolla en la casa de las ilusiones en donde todos los deseos se hacen realidad pero por cada día que pasaban allí, transcurría un año en la vida real y era un tiempo que no podían recuperar. Las ilustraciones realizadas por el mismo autor (bastante darks) son lo mejor del libro al igual que
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Brian Steele
Now that Young Adult+Fantasy+Horror = sales, everyone needs to go back and pick up this slim novel. I'm not a huge fan of Barker's "Abarat" stuff, but this book is the real deal. It's the perfect balance of dread and magic, terror and wonder.
M.G. Mason
If somebody would have asked me which contemporary horror writer I would choose to write a dark fantasy largely aimed at children, I must admit that Clive Barker would not be top of the list. Most of his work is sexual often with themes of homosexuality and usually BDSM. Not that I have a problem with this but for those reasons Clive Barker would never jump out at me as being the ideal writer for a children’s dark fantasy. Therefore I was surprised when I opened The Thief of Always and not only ...more
Karen
::: SPOILER ALERT :::

"Time would be precious from now on. It would tick by, of course, as it always had, Harvey was determined he wouldn't waste it with sighs and complaints. He'd fill every moment with the seasons Jed found in his heart: hopes like birds on a spring branch; happiness like a warm summer sun; magic like the rising mists of autumn. And best of all, love; love enough for a thousand Christmases."

Another reminder from my late son, Ryan, my firstborn. Gone nearly 2 1/2 years now. He w
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Ceecee
I remember browsing through Booksale, sorting through a lot of books, then looking down at what I'm holding (which were books I was considering to buy), and wondering how on earth "The Thief of Always" got there. Seriously, I felt this book had magical powers or something, and I still suspect that, after almost 5 years. Funny how I only remembered this book just now, since I think it's one of the most amazingly written and illustrated books I've read (and that was just by chance).

I'll have to po
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Joel Hunter Gun
I just finished reading this with my daughter, and we would both like to read it again and again. What more could you want in a book? From the beginning the story was exciting, cleverly written, and it gripped our attention, and that was how it went throughout the entire book. It is not a gory or horrifying Clive Barker read, but like Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, it will satisfy the imagination of your inner child. Books like this are why I grew up to love the horror genre as ...more
Laura
I loved everything about this book. From the first line; "The great grey beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive" to the crazy/creepy illustrations (which were also done by Clive Barker).Just scary enough for most 10 and older readers but with a story that anyone can enjoy. If you already love Clive Barker keep in mind that this not one of his gory stories. It is an adventure/mystery/fantasy and is perfect for a rainy afternoon with or without the kids.
Karen
Oh me oh my. I don't know how on earth I'm going to review this... but I WILL.

Clive Barker, I LOVE YOU!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Clive Barker's The Thief of Always
  • Santa's Twin
  • The Complete Clive Barker's The Great And Secret Show
  • The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
  • Clive Barker's Night Breed: Genesis
  • Clive Barker's A - Z of Horror
  • Usher's Passing
  • Dark Dance (Blood Opera Sequence, #1)
  • Drawing Blood
  • Fountain Society
  • Ghoul  (Special X, #2)
  • Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic: The Authorized Biography
  • Houses without Doors
  • Artificial Things
  • Lovedeath
  • Bubba Ho-Tep
  • Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best, Vol. 1
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Clive Barker was born in Liverpool, England, the son of Joan Rubie (née Revill), a painter and school welfare officer, and Leonard Barker, a personnel director for an industrial relations firm. Educated at Dovedale Primary School and Quarry Bank High School, he studied English and Philosophy at Liverpool University and his picture now hangs in the entrance hallway to the Philosophy Department. It ...more
More about Clive Barker...
The Great and Secret Show (Book of the Art #1) The Hellbound Heart Books of Blood, Volumes One to Three Abarat (Abarat, #1) Weaveworld

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“Wherever I go, I will speak of you with love.” 95 likes
“The great grey beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive.” 33 likes
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