Hilary's Reviews > The Thief of Always

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker
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's review
Dec 10, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009, fantasy, fiction, horror, children-s-book, re-read, 2013
Recommended to Hilary by: Townes v. Z.
Recommended for: Sean, Krissy
Read from October 01 to 02, 2013 , read count: 1

I received this book in the mail in early March and began reading it the day I got it. After having read the first few chapters I put it down and did not pick it up again until today -- this was not for lack of enjoyment or want of reading it, life simply got into the way.

The only other Clive Barker book I had read prior to this was Abarat which I thoroughly enjoyed; due to this fact I was expecting The Thief of Always to be akin to that -- it was not. I was pleasantly surprised.

This book weaves a sad story that defies the traditional concept of Fantasy simply by inhabiting a far darker reality than is commonly expected of a children's book -- in fact, in lieu of that being it's demographic it was profoundly disturbing. The message of the book is not necessarily an incredibly positive one, but one that seemed realistic to me nonetheless.

I'd like to read this book a few more times before forming a solid opinion of it, but for now I can say with some certainty that this is a book that will stick with me for many years, if not the rest of my life.
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Reading Progress

09/30/2013 marked as: currently-reading
09/30/2013 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Luciah (new)

Luciah Ferrell I loved this book, I first read it in my teens. Honestly I believe in worlds of wonders beyond your dreams, and lonely little children do become the prey for creatures....I love horror, thrillers, and real crime shows and books.....

message 2: by Luciah (new)

Luciah Ferrell I too have read it several times... The concept in my oppinion was a lesson learned by the characters. Everything that glitters is not gold....the road to hell is filled with easy pleasures, desires, and life in the fast lane....of which there is a price to pay...

Hilary Then to get out of the Hell, they were forced to make difficult choices? One of the most impressionable moments in the book for me was the death of Clue Cat. It solidified the fact that there was really going to be no holding back in terms of what the book could offer.

The creatures in the book were exotic, strangely enticing while still remaining horrible. I agree with you in regard to the road to Hell being filled with easy pleasures... and I agree with the general message. The book was strangely sad, though. Given - I still have only read it once. I have the book with me now, though. I may have to reread it this weekend and post an updated view of it.

Welcome to GoodReads, Luciah. We have much similar taste, perhaps you could offer me some recommendations?

Sasha My god I loved this book. I agree about the death of Clue-Cat being that exact point where you realize how dark this book was going to get. This is the kind of fantasy I didn't realize I craved until I actually read it

Hilary Exactly. I've been lucky to find several other books along this vein (or even, dare I say, better.) May I recommend The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith as a stunning example of exactly how far YA (or even adult) fantasy can go? That and the Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch are breaths of fresh air in what can often become a stale genre.

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