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3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,435 Ratings  ·  175 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, 582 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published May 19th 1998)
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Dec 02, 2015 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read this first when it came out, so this is a reread. My initial impression was of gods walking among us with a serious attempt to make old legends real. I recognized Dumuzi/Tammuz right off the bat and was enchanted. I had been doing a Barker marathon at the time, so I was really into the meandering and directionless text. He always got somewhere in the end, so I my faith was strong.

This second read showed me how much more mythology I now know and reaffirmed my belief that Barker was a bit m
Brandon Rucker
Jun 28, 2011 Brandon Rucker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 23, 2012 F.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah Anne
4.5 stars. I really like this novel. The Barbarossas are beyond fascinating and the Gearys are... quite nauseating, especially towards the end. I like Barker's ability to weave the real and fantastical together so neatly. Although the majority of the book revolves around Rachael and the Gearys, it's really the Barbarossas that provide all of the color when it comes to characters. They just make those super-rich, megalomaniacal Gearys look so damn boring. I could have easily read another couple h ...more
Oct 29, 2007 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 16, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars; for the last hundred pages or so I debated whether I would be rounding up to 5 or down to 4. I think I'm coming down on the side of 5...or...maybe 4. Yeah. I'm a waffler :)

Barker offers some truly wonderful character development and a unique take on the old "gods among us" theme. It's interesting that the two central characters -- Galilee and Rachel -- were by far the least compelling people in the story. The chapters dealing with their relationship were easily the low point of the bo
Dec 19, 2015 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, gr-specfic-brs
I had two reactions while reading this book - I absolutely loved parts of it, the way Clive Barker presented the story as told from the point of view of someone writing a book of the family saga. My favorite bits were these short breaks in Maddox's writing and how we got glimpses of the Barbarossa clan. I also enjoyed the Geary family saga for the most part. Interestingly, though, I did not care for the title character, Galilee, or Rachel, and their story line felt a bit forced to me. I also fel ...more
Matthew Tait
Jan 25, 2011 Matthew Tait rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 15, 2008 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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... :)
Carmilla Voiez
A beautiful book that could only have been written by Clive Barker. I have come to believe that Barker identifies most strongly with his female characters in these epic fantasies. Rachel as she is held by her lover perhaps echoes Barker's yearning to be protected and possessed. Gender seems irrelevant in Barker's world, fluid, and I love letting the concept wash over my imagination like ocean waves as I read. The story untangles the knots between two great American families, one powered by greed ...more
Jason Bergman
Apr 12, 2013 Jason Bergman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 13, 2009 Dreadlocksmile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 28, 2007 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 29, 2011 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
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
Nov 15, 2015 Derek rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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
I often struggle with epic fantasy saga style books as they can go off on so many tangents, but Galilee managed to keep me enthralled with its sheer awesome world building and vivid character descriptions. This a multi-layered story that focuses on the history of two powerful family houses; the Gearys who are seen as American royalty, very much like how the Kennedys were, and the Barbarossas, who are these historically famed African gods from a bygone era.

There's a strong theme of the old class
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
Jun 13, 2011 Jeb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 26, 2014 Shandril rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
May 21, 2013 Celeste Easton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barker is an absolute master of the English language. There are passages from this book that will haunt me until death. Incredible.
Nov 16, 2009 Mitzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one, but it REALLY leaves you hanging at the end, and there is no sequel yet. :(
Lukáš Janáč
I quite liked the book although it was way too long for my taste, in fact even if it were two times shorter it would still have been be too long. It contains too many passages that describe things like somebody waking up and preparing breakfast (etc.) in two or more pages. Also the ending is not very sutisfactory - in ends sort of in media res. Perhaps in hope of another volume. Sometimes the book seemed little bit too graphic in describing sexual scenes - I would even say 'pornographic' or even ...more
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
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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.” 171 likes
“We burn so hard, but we shed so little light; it makes us crazy and sad.” 82 likes
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