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The Thief of Always

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4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  22,744 Ratings  ·  1,193 Reviews
Master of horror Clive Barker's Thief of Always is a fable appealing to horror and fantasy fans young and old. Now IDW brings you its own lavishly illustrated adaptation of the thrilling tale. 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 round of treats and seasons, where every ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published November 22nd 2005 by IDW Publishing (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
...more
Laurel
Edit 5: I now have a first edition thanks to a bookstore selling old books and it is in perfect condition thank you world.

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).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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’
...more
Γκέλλυ
Είναι γνωστή η αγάπη μου για τα σκοτεινά και ζοφερά παραμύθια. Άρα, ο Κλέφτης του πάντοτε μου φάνηκε σκοτεινό και ζοφερό; Όχι.

Δεν ξέρω αν έφταιγε οτι ηταν σε μορφή graphic novel και ίσως να μην υπήρχε η μαγεία του βιβλίου, μπορεί να έφταιγε το οτι ξεστραβώθηκα να διαβάσω τα γράμματα (φορώντας και γυαλιά), ίσως με χάλασε το οτι απευθύνεται και σε ενήλικες, προσπαθεί να περάσει ενα μήνυμα και δεν θέλω μηνύματα στα παραμύθια. Δεν κατάφερε να μιλήσει στο παιδί μέσα μου, να μου ξυπνήσει παιδικούς φό
...more
Becky
Sep 18, 2015 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ten year olds who aren't afraid of monsters
I remember being a kid and being bored, and it is THE WORST. It wasn't just the boredom, it was the feeling of needing something but having no idea what. Awful. It will ruin your life.

And that is how you become me.

I don't really have much to say about this book. It's my second Barker, and vastly different than the first of his that I'd read (The Hellbound Heart). I liked this one well enough, and it's a quick read (or would have been if I didn't have this need to make new levels in Mario Maker
...more
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
...more
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
Feb 09, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-shelf, fantasy
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
...more
Mario
Mar 29, 2015 Mario rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, own-read
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
Mar 03, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!

[image error]

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.
Elgalla
Ομολογώ ότι, μετά απ' αυτό, οι ελπίδες μου ότι μπορεί να διαβάσω κάποτε κάτι αξιόλογο του Barker αναπτερώθηκαν. Ξέρω, είμαι ιερόσυλη ή κάτι αντίστοιχο, αλλά το πρώτο και μοναδικό βιβλίο του που είχα διαβάσει, μέχρι και σήμερα, ήταν το πρώτο Abarat, το οποίο ήταν ένα όμορφα γραμμένο κουλούρι: πασπαλισμένο γύρω-γύρω με ωραίο σουσαμάκι, αλλά στη μέση εντελώς κενό. Χτες, λοιπόν, βρήκα τον Κλέφτη του Πάντοτε στο παζάρι βιβλίου, ήταν φτηνό, οπότε το πήρα και το διάβασα. Και ήταν καλό. Βασικά, ήταν πολ ...more
Robert Bickers
Oct 12, 2011 Robert Bickers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: taught
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
...more
Oscar
Harvey es un niño de diez años que odia los días grises, en especial el mes de febrero. Un buen día es invitado por un estrambótico personaje a visitar una casa de vacaciones, donde siempre hace buen tiempo y se puede jugar todo el día. Pero no todo es perfecto, ya que pronto descubrirá que no puede salir de este lugar.

‘El ladrón de días’ (The Thief of Always, 1992), del escritor británico Clive Baker, se aleja de las historias de terror y morbo que tanto le caracterizan. En este caso nos encont
...more
Amber
Dec 30, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nikoleta
Jul 16, 2015 Nikoleta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ο Clive Barker έχει μια εκπληκτική ικανότητα να μπαίνει στο μυαλό ενός μικρού παιδιού, να βλέπει τα όνειρα κ τους εφιάλτες του και να τους παρουσιάζει σε εμάς ατόφιους κάνοντας το με πολλή χάρη. Είναι ευκολοδιάβαστο και κρατάει συνεχώς το ενδιαφέρον.
Anastasia Ts.
Jan 21, 2016 Anastasia Ts. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Όταν ξεκίνησα το βιβλίο δεν περιμένα ότι θα μου άρεσε τόσο. Ο λόγος που με κέρδισε είναι γιατί με κάποιο τρόπο ένιωσα να είμαι ο ήρωας εγώ...ωστόσο μπορώ να πω ότι οι μάγισσες του Ρόαντ Νταλ με έχουν κερδίσει μολονότι ειναι καθαρά παιδικό βιβλίο.
Nate
Mar 05, 2015 Nate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
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
Dec 26, 2014 Jake Hartnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
Mar 29, 2015 Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star, reviewed
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
...more
Li 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
...more
Krbo
Mar 19, 2015 Krbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

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
Addy
Jan 27, 2016 Addy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this when I was a kid and waited for the movie it promised on the front cover. Never came to fruition I guess. Def needs to be reread because i don't remember much of it.
Qt
Oct 06, 2008 Qt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Aleksandar Obradović
Bajka strave i užasa. :) Izuzetno dopadljiva, lako se čita i neobično nalikuje na Knjigu o groblju, Nila Gejmena.
Joshua Jorgensen
Up until this point in time, CORALINE has been my favorite dark fantasy novel for young adults. THE THIEF OF ALWAYS has taken that spot. Such a stunning piece of writing--I literally gobbled the whole thing up in an hour and a half of time.
Thank you, CLIVE BARKER, for being a literary genius. This book is a must read for people of all ages. At any time. Why this hasn't been made into a movie yet is beyond me.
I am absolutely BLOWN away. Clive Barker for kids. Wow.
Even further convinced that hi
...more
Kostas Papadatos
Η προηγούμενη επαφή που είχα με βιβλίο του Clive Barker ήταν ο υφαντόκοσμος το οποίο τολμώ να πω πως δε με συγκίνησε καθόλου (ε ναί λοιπόν το είπα).Καθώς κοιτούσα τη βιβλιοθήκη μου ξέθαψα τον κλέφτη του πάντοτε,όντας προκατελειμμένος αρνητικά απέναντι στο βιβλίο και τον συγγραφέα(τελείως αδικα όπως αποδείχτηκε) ξεκίνησα να το διαβάζω και ως εκ θαύματος δικαιώθηκα για την επιλογή μου!Μιλάμε για ένα όμορφο με έντονο το σουρεαλιστικό στοιχείο παραμύθι γεμάτο συμβολισμούς που πραγματικά καθηλώνει κά ...more
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
...more
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
Caroline
Oct 12, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE funny thing about me reading this book is that when I bought it, I had no idea it was a graphic novel. I ordered it online and thought it was the original book so I was wicked disappointed when I received it and it was like a comic. I put it on my shelf sulkily and didn't look at it for a long time.

That being said, I really enjoyed (eventually) reading it. The pictures added to my enjoyment of the story a lot because I could see the eeriness of the holiday house. I was honestly quite spooked
...more
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  • Clive Barker's The Great And Secret Show, Volume 2
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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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“Wherever I go, I will speak of you with love.” 125 likes
“Evil, however powerful it seemed, could be undone by its own appetite.” 49 likes
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