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Chiliad: A Meditation

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  333 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A two-part novella, with stories that are interrelated and share themes which cross over a thousand years (a chiliad).
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published January 31st 2014 by Subterranean Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  333 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I find it incredible just how much true affection I have for Clive Barker. He's a delight and true pioneer. In this instance I am disappointed but its all good... The fact remains that sometimes publishing houses "must bring" to light even the most minute sketches/observations of novelists found in sketchbooks and personal notebooks. Paper napkins with ink and coffee stains. This is a clear attempt to capitalize on a legend. Quite D-grade drivel that an auteur should be at least minimally ashame ...more
Gregor Xane
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Sadly, this isn't a new piece by Barker, but it's one many might not have read before, myself included. It was originally published in Douglas E. Winter's Millennium anthology in 1997 (Revelations in the US).

This is written in a more dense literary--almost poetical--style than much of Barker's work. It also has meta-fictional elements that worked here, more or less. I usually strongly dislike works of meta-fiction. They always strike me as cutesy and too clever by half.

One of the 'surprises
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Eerie, sick and beautiful.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
a sombre affair from a writer more known for his brutally gory, sexualized imagery and horror-themed storytelling... though there is ugliness aplenty in these few pages, this is more of a thoughtful piece than a shock-driven one... a bit maudlin, a bit sad, a lot of awful, but in between those elements is ample evidence of Barker's writing skills... short, and definitely not sweet, but surely worthy of reading... a departure of sorts for Barker, but one that is done well... ...more
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Delighted to see this new publication of the two Chiliad stories in a single volume. Previously published as the bookend entries to Douglas E. Winter's Millennium anthology in 1997 (Revelations in the US), this is a strikingly personal piece of work by Clive that we'd wholeheartedly recommend.
As Clive has commented, "it was an immense challenge to write, and is easily one of the darkest pieces of fiction I've ever written."
Jason Bergman
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chiliad: A Meditation is a quick, but absolutely worthwhile read. I won't ruin the plot, except to say that it involves two symmetrical incidents a thousand years apart. It's all brought together by some excellent prose by Barker. If you like Barker's work (and I do!) then be sure to read this one. ...more
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting and strange, just like all the rest of his works.
Bon Tom
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful esthetics of ugliness, that's what it is. Somehow reminded me of Jerzy Kosinski: Steps. ...more
Jay Lamm
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reason why I read Clive Barker is because he has an imagination like no one else. "Chiliad" was originally written in two parts to bookend a collection of stories that centered around the turn of the Millennium.

The story, like I said, is in two parts: the first part takes place a thousand years in the past; the second takes place a thousand years ahead of that. It centers on a river that flows backwards and forwards through time. Along this river two murders occur and we find two men trying
Raeden Zen
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
(I actually listened to the Audiobook.)
Leo Becker
Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
5 out of 5 stars
Chiliad: A meditation by Clive Barker.
"I think the truest evidence of the divine in our dealings is the fact that our imaginations are indulged at all, that we are not simply breeding machines, programmed to procreate. The queer in his sterile heat, the anchorite in her sealed cell, the scientist measuring the distance between unreachable galaxies, and the poet agonizing for want of a syllable, are all living lives that serve no evolutionary purpose. Is the div
Joshua Dodd
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed this little meditation. Barker can make anything come to life with the way he paints it with words. I felt apart of this man's experience, from the murder of the hermaphrodite in the first story, to the more philosophical musings of the second.

He did a very good job with the world around the conflict, I truly felt one with the wild, perilous setting. I love his short novellas and stories cause they have a way of bringing me into another world better then most can do.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Extremely depressing... accurate depiction of a fear based mentality and how it only makes for more fear and more fear, etc etc.
Augustus Jasmin
Barker was one of my favorite authors around 19, 20, shortly after I'd discovered horror. My tastes have changed a lot since then; but also, this is no "Imajika" or "Damnation Game." ...more
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another good read by the master of horror. Mr. Barker has done it again.
Lucas McGee
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A literary genius! To fit that story into such a short amount of pages is genius. Captivated from start to finish!
Daniel Hale
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Humble as a relic, no grand scheme but a satisfactory one all the same.
Alex Telander
Dec 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Bestselling author Clive Barker has an innate ability to find an unusual and compelling word, story or book that grabs a reader’s interest; and he does just this with Chiliad. A chiliad is a measurement of a length of time, exactly one thousand years; this book features two novellas that stretch across the span of a millennium.

“Men and Sin” takes place in the year 1000 AD about a strong relationship between an ugly man and ugly woman, and when this man has his love taken from him, her life ended
Bob James
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book surprised me. I have read and enjoyed many of Clive Barker's other works, but this one is of a very different stripe. The thread, travelling within a tale woven (or indeed, is it?) by a writer who in perpetuity, observes a river that flows backwards and forwards in time. The interconnection of violence, of violent acts begetting other violence, other violent acts, passed forward and backward, consequences seemingly unstoppable. I won't spoil anything with specifics here, but the multip ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-books
Easily, I've discovered, this to be among my favorite Clive Barker stories. If you delve into his style of fiction this book should well please. It covers new ground, brandishes a usual form, and is still unique. It could be labeled as Sci/Fi or Fantasy, but I think of it as a philosophical murder mystery.

Story contains a lot of rich emotion, and becomes for me an intense journey. Soul searching; this story reaches, and has lots of depth. Thought provoking, and very beautiful as well.

I've read
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, novella
CHILIAD is a novella consisting of two short stories that dovetail together at the end. PART 1 of the book is literary perfection: Barker's prose is pure poetry, and the story itself is gripping and unsettling. Unfortunately, PART 2 isn't quite as strong. The identity of the murderer is both predictable and unconvincing, and, personally speaking, I found the story's themes a touch too fatalistic. ...more
Apr 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Several interconnected stories, anchored by the tales of two men in similar situations at either end of a chiliad (a thousand years). It's very philosophical. I'm not sure that the storyteller's part really worked for me, but it was an interesting read. ...more
Pete Mesling
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you want to read Barker at his most literary, you’ll find him in CHILIAD. It is a deep and beautiful book that has an epic feel to it, despite its 100-page length. To say much more would ruin the fun of discovery.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! It is more poetic than most of his stories, and also quite philosophical.
Sean O'Hara
An astonishingly good first part, with Barker's prose at its most finely crafted, gives way to an utterly pedestrian conclusion that negates what came before.

Matthew Biddle
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Felt like Mark Twain and Clive Barker combined.
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A dreamlike little tale with a cool ending. You can polish it off in an afternoon.

Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Two distinct stories are very good however when the intertwine it doesn't work. ...more
Kevin Adams
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Typical Barker. Fun an intersting read.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Much more moody and atmospheric than his more recent work.
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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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