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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  11,521 ratings  ·  446 reviews
Originally published in 1991, this strange fantasy novel from the master metaphysician, Clive Barker, has been reissued in two volumes. Previous titles by the author include The Books of Blood, Cabal and The Hellbound Heart.
Paperback, 1136 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by HarperCollins (first published 1991)
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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 trie...more
I have to admit, I had tried Clive Barker's work once before this, and didn't like it. Then, I checked out The Great and Secret Show, and fell in love with it. I ended up getting Imajica from my public library, thinking it was a fifty-fifty chance that I could like it.

When I first started reading it, I got bored in the first hundred pages and dropped it for a few weeks. Then, I didn't have anything else to read, and ended up picking it back up. I didn't put it back down.

Imajica is a very beaut...more
I wish I were a college professor of gender studies. This would be an awesome text about One Artist's Perception of Gender Duality. What, you never got assigned 800-pg novels? Or maybe I could assign my hapless students to read it in opposition to His Dark Materials. At least those come in smaller packets. This is a big, epic book, with big crazy sex, and divinities familiar and alien. I find the central love story a little unconvincing, but the crazy details are richly ornamental. It's like a F...more
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 character...more
It seems to be fashionable for modern horror writers to assume that, in order for a book to be edgy/scary, every detail must be depressing, disgusting, or some combination thereof, even when such detail borders on crass and does nothing for the plot. There is no need, for example, to include a scene where the main character watches television naked and picks the crumbs of his late-night snack out of his nether regions. No need. But "Imajica" is one long extraneous detail, an 800+ page behemoth t...more
Hydra Star
Though one of my all time favorite books, when I set out a little over a month ago to re-read Clive Barker‘s Imajica, for the eight or ninth time in the fifteen years I’ve owned my now slightly battered hardcover edition, I didn’t know if I’d include a write up about it in my blog. It’s not only difficult for me to summaries this book, a very lengthy volume at 824 pages, but extremely difficult to do so without giving way too much. Almost literally every aspect of the storyline is a new discover...more
Another classic Barker at his finest with that perfect blend of horror an fantasy, although with this read the direction is more fantasy with a nice splash of the erotic thrown in. It's not always an easy read as it is over 1000+ long!!!

Plot ***Spoilers***
The Fifth Dominion:
The novel opens with a man, Charlie Estabrook, hiring the mysterious assassin Pie 'Oh' Pah to murder his estranged wife, Judith. Pie heads to New York and makes an attempt on Judith's life, but fails. Estabrook, having come t...more
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 retai...more
Brian Steele
The best proof that Dark Fantasy novels do not have to involve semi-erotic vampires posing as P.I's or bounty hunters. Clive Barker's epic masterpiece might be a massive tome, but you need every page to tell the story. Parallel worlds that are united but lost to Earth, a secret society dedicated to eradicate all magic, mages who seek a reconciliation of the worlds, an ageless love triangle and the hidden history of god.

Yeah, some people might be turned off by a sub-plot that involves a complex...more
Jan 21, 2008 Bill rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: horror, favorites
If you've read his Books of Blood, the Damnation Game, the Great and Secret Show, and Weaveworld but haven't gotten around to Imajica yet, turn off your computer right now and get out there and get it.
This is Clive Barker's masterpiece. Earth is part of a dominion of five other worlds, and the only one unaware of the others. This novel is about the reuniting of Earth to the other four worlds. Again, this is horrific, beautiful, mind-expanding.
An incredible feat of the imagination...this is one...more
Nicholas Armstrong
Jan 21, 2010 Nicholas Armstrong rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: weirdos.
Recommended to Nicholas by: A pretty weird guy.
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 bo...more
It's an epic. There are so many characters that one might think that Mr. Barker didn't come up with them but someone or something whispered who they were into his ear and he merely...channeled these characters.
After I read it I couldn't read anything for about a month. Barker isn't a word smith as much as he is a story-teller. His grammar sometimes makes you wonder if anyone proofread the story, but still, after you read it, it leaves you wondering if these places exist...but you know they do....more
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 l...more
As I have the paperback of imajica and I have around 100 pages left I want to make it last as long as possible, I have been reading this book for a few weeks and would have read it non stop all the way through if it were not for school and such getting in the way. I really enjoyed the start of the book and it continuously surprised me throughout with all the things I just wouldn't have ever imagined happen. I also believe Clive Barker is a genius to be able to create all of this, not only whole...more
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 de...more
Feb 09, 2010 Aneel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aneel by: Eric Nehrlich
Spectacularly good. A fresh fantasy with a well thought out cosmology and a very interesting set of worlds. Barker creates a setting that's at once enticing and foreboding and populates it with a variety of heroes and powers, humans and monstrosities, each with their own very believable drives and failings.

There are worlds beyond Earth—four of them, in fact—separated from Earth by a magical void full of ravenous monsters. Three of them are under the control of a cruel Autarch, who rules from his...more
The Imajica surpasses anything and everything when it comes to scope and sheer power of imagination. This is the book which made me go from somebody who enjoyed Clive Barker’s books to a fan of the man.
It’s a book about forgetting, about remembering, about Gods denying Goddesses their power. A book about what should have been, but couldn’t. About the power of art and imagination.
It is a fantasy book written by an author of horror stories. And as such even more of an achievement. Not since the da...more
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...more
Sep 02, 2012 Shannon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: people with sense of humour and open mind, who like onions, fans of "what-if"
824 pages of fantastic! All the things I love in a book: the sacred and the profane, the sublime and the rediculous. Interesting, multi-layered characters and situations driving a cheeky, heretical, allegorically-crammed epic. Barker wraps it up in a writing style that is all at once entertaining and intelligent, challenging the reader with countless intellectual "what-ifs". Never wanted the book to end. It may not ultimately end up on the critics' lists of high literature but I'm not nearly suc...more
I don't even know what to say about this book.
I read it first when I was 11 years old and I won't say that I understood everything... Also, my dad was pretty shocked when he remembered the sex scenes - AFTER I read the whole thing, so...
I have to be in a specific mood (and have enough time) to read this book but it happens about once every two years. I really, really love it; it made me love Fantasy stories even more than I did before so I'll always be grateful for that :)
After I read the 900 page fantasy epic Imajica, my fingers ached from holding the doorstopper for so long. I normally don’t get to the point where I can’t put down a book because I MUST know how it ends, but Imajica has the rare honor of doing that for me. I tried reading it when I was 16, but the beginning was too slow and I couldn’t get into it. I gave it another chance when I was 20, and the more I read it the more it absorbed me.

If you like reading about sex, art, and fantasy then this is de...more
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...more
Geert Daelemans
Enter Clive's Dominions

John Furie Zacharias, also known as Gentle, is a master forger. His life is nothing but a series of lies that go far beyond the paintings that he forges. But behind all the lies, Gentle unknowingly carries with him a secret of universal proportions. Once every two hundred years the universe, which some call the Imajica, enters a mystical moment at which it can be reconciled. Exactly at this moment the five Dominions can be reunited. Earth, being the fifth Dominion, is at t...more
Clive Barker is to fantasy, real Horror, to splatter-sex and some really profound stories of love the same thing Stephen King is giving to you.But Without Kings simple way of letting us read it in smaller words, so we can understand with out getting a nose bleed tripping over those triple and quadruple syllables. Clive Barker can give you more to hold in your head. Sometimes Like in Imajica Where Magic is real,Good is real assholes of evil are real Where magic is the norm you can meet the most i...more
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 t...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
(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 m...more
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 w...more
U.L. Harper
It's an epic. There are so many characters that one might think that Mr. Barker didn't come up with them but someone or something whispered who they were into his ear and he merely...channeled these characters.

After I read it I couldn't read anything for about a month. Barker isn't a word smith as much as he is a story-teller. His grammar sometimes makes you wonder if anyone proofread the story, but still, after you read it, it leaves you wondering if these places exist...but you know they do.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Contemporary Brit...: Imajica 1 11 Feb 23, 2013 11:19PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Should Imajica really be a series? 5 47 Mar 12, 2012 05:21PM  
  • Clive Barker's The Great And Secret Show Volume 1
  • Clive Barker's Night Breed: Genesis
  • Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best, Vol. 1
  • Drawing Blood
  • Clive Barker's A - Z of Horror
  • Blue World
  • The Wine-Dark Sea
  • Noctuary
  • The Emperor of Dreams
  • Floating Dragon
  • Ancient Images
  • Wraeththu
  • Flight from Nevèrÿon (Return to Nevèrÿon, #3)
  • Strange Wine
  • Necroscope III: The Source (Necroscope, #3)
  • Viriconium
  • The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death
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, Vols. 1-3 The Thief of Always Abarat (Abarat, #1)

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“We’re too much ourselves. Afraid of letting go of what we are, in case we are nothing, and holding on so tight, we lose everything else.” 172 likes
“A man kills the thing he loves, and he must die a little himself.” 63 likes
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