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Galilee (Galilee)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  4,159 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Rich and powerful, the Geary dynasty has reigned over American society for decades. But it is a family with dark, terrible secrets. For the Gearys are a family at war. Their adversaries are the Barbarossas, a clan whose timeless origins lie in myth, whose mystical influence is felt in intense, sensual exchanges of flesh and soul. Now their battle is about to escalate.

ebook, 592 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published May 19th 1998)
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Brandon Rucker
Galilee, for me, is Clive Barker at his storytelling best. It may not be as inventive as Cabal (Nightbreed), Imajica & Everville, or as mind-bending as The Hellbound Heart (Hellraiser), nor as imaginative as Weaveworld, but it’s the best written, the best ‘told’ story of all of his with elegant, seductive, magnetic prose that’s as smooth as butter. His prose in this book can make even the most boring, mundane things seem worthy of your attention.

It should be stated right up front Galilee is
It’s a real shame that the likes of Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel are the ones who get the mini-series. As if ever a book deserved to have some big, sprawling six hour epic based on it – it’s Clive Barker’s ‘Galilee’. Following the fortunes of two strangely interconnected families (one oh so mortal; the other oh so immortal), the narrative swoops through history conjuring grand passions, horrific feuds and the nature of fame and power in the United States. This is a magical book, which is ge ...more
Oct 29, 2007 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: fantasy, historical
Galilee is a strange book, and very hard to classify. It's a love story, sort of. It's a family history, sort of. It's a supernatural thriller, sort of. It's kind of all of those things and actually none, but that's what makes it such an interesting read.

The characters are intriguing, although not always likeable. Rachel in particular is deeply annoying; you get the impression that Clive Barker wants to make her compelling and sympathetic, but she just sort of ends up being whiny, spoiled, neuro
Barbara ★
I gave up on this one at page 110 because I just couldn't face another 500 pages of this high class drivel. Had I been actually reading this instead of listening to it in my car, I wouldn't have made it past the first chapter. I expected a sci-fi thriller from Clive Barker not this Kennedy-esque family saga. In the first 100 pages, there was everything from rape, sodomy, gays, lesbians, fights, infidelity, a religious zealot-a fishermen turned prophet. Yet even so, it was boring as hell. I've ne ...more
Matthew Tait
This is the third reading I’ve had of Galilee, and there are always subtle hints of the grander vision you might’ve missed on the first occasion. The prose is as succinct as ever – a svelte voice that changed the genre for the better all those years ago. As we saw the horror tale transferred from Transylvania to the suburbs with King, we then saw the metamorphosis climb even higher into other realms of possibility with Barker.

Called A Romance, and a shying away from the macabre even by Barker hi
Elizabeth Coldwell
Much as I love Clive Barker's epic works of fantasy, 'Galilee' is the one that just doesn't work, as far as I'm concerned. The central premise is intriguing - the rich, powerful Geary family (heavily modelled on the Kennedys and presented as America's modern gods) are at war with the Barbarossas ('real' gods, as old as time), and when Rachel Geary falls in love with Galilee Barbarossa, their relationship threatens to destroy both families. But the Gearys somehow aren't evil enough, despite one o ...more
Much to love. This is the novel I would have my wife read to understand why I enjoy Clive Barker. The other stuff would worry her so... :)
Jason Bergman
Galilee is very good, as pretty much anything Clive Barker writes is bound to be. But it does stumble in a few ways.

Galilee is a history of two families, the Gearys, a Kennedy-esque family of American privilege, and the Barbarossas, a family blessed by divinity and eternal life. That is both a summary of the story and its core problem. Because while the story of the Gearys is quite good, the Barbarossas are, with the exception of the title character, a distraction.

This novel has a lot of fat. It
Once again Clive Barker breaks away from the genre labelling tag of a ‘horror author’ for which he has been undeservingly stamped with since his early work. With Galilee, Barker takes to a new path with a beautifully written story of love that dances with the celestial and magical throughout. Indeed, elements of his past work such as ‘Sacrament’, ‘Imajica’ and dare I say even the ‘Book of The Art’ novels are clearly visible within this epic tale.

With an obvious dedication of passion and love to
Favorite Quotes

Whatever capacity she possesses to supernaturally beguile a human soul—and she possesses many—she liked his clear-sightedness too well, to blind him that way.

Did I say that she was beautiful? I was wrong. Beauty is too tame a notion; it evokes only faces in magazines. A lovely eloquence, a calming symmetry; none of that describes this woman’s face. So perhaps I should assume I cannot do it justice with words. Suffice it to say that it would break your heart to see her; and it woul
Great book, too meandering, bad sex.

Is that enough of a review? Clive Barker is heretofore irrevocably linked with Piers Anthony in my books as an author who adds usually bad and at times quite odd eroticism to keep people turning the pages. Not needed. The ideas behind this book can carry themselves. I really like the idea of taking great families and mingling their history with mythology. It is a timeless concept (Early Greek kings, Caesar, blah, blah and's been done) but indicative
I only read about 50 pages of this book. It is very rare, perhaps unprecedented, for me to leave off reading a book. The writing was juvenile, at best, while giving the pretense of adult subject matter. And yet, I fail to see how any youth could be captured by this book.

Descriptions and explanations abound, where allusion would have sufficed. The reader's imagination was insulted. The reader's brain was considered absent from this transaction.

From the first page, this tripe failed to capture my
Dec 06, 2013 Piggie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys deep thought.
I've read this book numerous times and I have come away from it with differing things each time. This time I found that I wasn't as enchanted with the story itself. Instead, I found that I was thinking more about the Divine and the ideas that the book delved into. And I'm not sure I could even tell you what those ideas are... :P

It's not a story told in a traditional fashion. It weaves between the present and past of the story without clearly demarcating which is which. I think that is part of w
Forse sto diventando troppo severa nel dare i voti ai libri, perché comunque mi è piaciuto leggere questo romanzo, però le parti che non ho apprezzato hanno pesato nel giudizio, e non sono riuscita a dargli neanche 4 stelline.
Galilee è infatti un romanzo avvincente, 700 pagine che si leggono con facilità, ma alcune parti sono molto noiose, il protagonista non è un bel personaggio e la storia d’amore l’ho trovata irritante.
Proverò a leggere altro di questo autore? A questo punto non so. Certo è c
Matteo Pellegrini
Barker's work reads like a cross between Stephen King and South American novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He creates a world where our biggest fears appear to be our own dreams. 'Boston HeraldAs rich as the Rockefellers, as glamorous as the Kennedys, the Geary dynasty has held subtle sway over American life since the end of the Civil War. But they are a family with secrets. Dark, terrible secrets about the roots of their influence, which the Gearys have successfully concealed over the generatio
Sabrina Barnett
It's a testament to Barker's skill as a writer that the skeleton of a good story was visible here, and I found my imagination taken with several of the details he introduced (Thomas Jefferson as architect of a now-mouldering house in the middle of southern swamps, mentions of adventures throughout time and place), but the reality failed to live up to its promise and, sadly, what was left out of the book that proved more interesting than what was included. Intended as a meditation on storytelling ...more
Jay Lamm
I love Clive Barker and I wish I could rate this book higher. That's why I like a nice 10 point rating system. Look, the only reason I give this three stars is because I just didn't really care so much about the story. Basically, the is about two rival families--kinda like the Ewings and the Barnes in "Dallas"--one family is your average rich well-to-do family of eccentrics, the other family is a set of demi-gods. These two families, and their past, is brought back to a boiling point when a woma ...more
I did my best, but, I just couldn't get through this. Barker's attempt to build a complex landscape of relationships (a la Tolstoy), just didn't work and became nothing more than tedious. So, about 20% into the book, I bailed.
"And the gods go on, in spite of themselves; and the human road stretches out before us; and we walk, like wounded children, waiting for the strength to run."
Celeste Easton
Barker is an absolute master of the English language. There are passages from this book that will haunt me until death. Incredible.
I liked this one, but it REALLY leaves you hanging at the end, and there is no sequel yet. :(
Yolanda Sfetsos
I'm a huge Clive Barker fan and have read (and loved) many of his books. I love his writing style, and his twisted imagination. I actually own every single one of his books, but haven't read all of them yet. And this is one that I've been meaning to read for YEARS!

Last week, while shuffling things around in my bookshelves, this book caught my eye and I started it. I was instantly swept away by the sheer enormity of the story. There's something magical about this book. It's majestic, and filled w
Tara Hall
I went into this book hoping it would be an epic like The Great and Secret Show. I was disappointed, but in a good way. This book is more of a romance of sorts, something I did not expect from a writer I consider primarily a horror novelist.

This book is half current story in the real world involving the Geary family, tracing a saga of a modern day rags to riches story of Rachel and Mitch, the latter of which is a famous Geary. These parts of the book were riveting. I admit that the other sectio
Barker takes a Kennedy-esque clan, larger than life American royalty, and traces their unholy alliance with a family of ancient African gods. It's a long, ambitious book, interweaving many characters' stories, and Barker generally pulls it off. I was expecting something a bit more cataclysmic at the end but perhaps it was more realistic not to wrap up too many plot lines at once. As soon as I'm done writing I'll read to find out whether there was a sequel.

There were a couple of great toss-off o
This novel has a reputation of being an oddity of sorts in Barker's body of work. It isn't quite horror and it isn't quite the dark fantasy that Barker is known for. What is it exactly? Well, first and foremost, it is a drama. The novel tells the story of a Kennedy-esque family that seems to have made a deal with a family of African gods, which seems to have secured the family's fortune over the decades. Barker goes into the depths of both families, tells of their members and their often odd beh ...more
To me, this is another case of Barker writing from the heart rather than the imagination. It is well written and captures you but I was left floundering as though the novel was cut off and not completed.
You wont find the a-typical fantasy/horror themes here.

Plot ***Spoilers***
The first dynasty, the Gearys, are a glamorous and rich family, similar to the Kennedys, who have been a power in America since the Reconstruction. The book examines them through the eyes of the young woman who marries Mit
This was my second reading of the book. The price tag in Greek Drachma, still attached, would lead me to believe that the first time was around 1999 while lounging around the Greek Islands for about 6 weeks. This may have influenced my original feelings towards it. Galilee did not read as easily this time, nor did it stir up the same emotions. That being said I would still recommend it to others.

The narrative is written as a novel authored by one of the characters intending to recount the histor
Some of Barkers' books are really hard to follow, as in abstract. This is a refreshing change of pace from books like "The Great and Secret Show" (review for that one coming soon...). I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good love story with a supernatural feel (no, not vampires :P). I found it really interesting how this is written, one of the characters is actually writing the story, Barker successfully made it work. Read this!
Piyush Chourasia
A book that promised a lot, but failed to deliver!

After building grounds for earth shattering suspense about things which mere mortals can't even begin to comprehend, Clive Barker insults the intelligence of the reader by finishing the book without a proper ending.

The book was a lot of effort and drama for nothing. Reading even another Anne Rice book would have been a better utilisation of time!
Mark R.

I read "Galilee" in high school, and picked it up again recently, as it's one of the few Clive Barkers I hadn't looked at more than once.

"Galilee" tells the story of two families whose histories are inevitably, and sometimes tragically, linked. The Gearys are a kind of Kennedy family/empire who find themselves continuously involved with the Barbarossas, a clan of immortals.

The story is told in first person, unusual for a Barker novel, from the perspective of one of the Barbarossas, a hal
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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
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“Did I say that she was beautiful? I was wrong. Beauty is too tame a notion; it evokes only faces in magazines. A lovely eloquence, a calming symmetry; none of that describes this woman’s face. So perhaps I should assume I cannot do it justice with words. Suffice it to say that it would break your heart to see her; and it would mend what was broken in the same moment; and you would be twice what you’d been before.” 161 likes
“We burn so hard, but we shed so little light; it makes us crazy and sad.” 75 likes
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