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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.
When Galilee, prodigal prince of the Barbarossa clan, meets Rachel, the young bride of the Gearys' own scion Mitchell, they fall in love, consumed by a passion that unleashes long-simmering hatred. Old insanities arise, old adulteries are uncovered, and a seemingly invincible family will begin to wither, exposing its unholy roots...

637 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 19, 1998

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About the author

Clive Barker

679 books13k followers
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 was in Liverpool in 1975 that he met his first partner, John Gregson, with whom he lived until 1986. Barker's second long-term relationship, with photographer David Armstrong, ended in 2009.

In 2003, Clive Barker received The Davidson/Valentini Award at the 15th GLAAD Media Awards. This award is presented "to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individual who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for any of those communities". While Barker is critical of organized religion, he has stated that he is a believer in both God and the afterlife, and that the Bible influences his work.

Fans have noticed of late that Barker's voice has become gravelly and coarse. He says in a December 2008 online interview that this is due to polyps in his throat which were so severe that a doctor told him he was taking in ten percent of the air he was supposed to have been getting. He has had two surgeries to remove them and believes his resultant voice is an improvement over how it was prior to the surgeries. He said he did not have cancer and has given up cigars. On August 27, 2010, Barker underwent surgery yet again to remove new polyp growths from his throat. In early February 2012 Barker fell into a coma after a dentist visit led to blood poisoning. Barker remained in a coma for eleven days but eventually came out of it. Fans were notified on his Twitter page about some of the experience and that Barker was recovering after the ordeal, but left with many strange visions.

Barker is one of the leading authors of contemporary horror/fantasy, writing in the horror genre early in his career, mostly in the form of short stories (collected in Books of Blood 1 – 6), and the Faustian novel The Damnation Game (1985). Later he moved towards modern-day fantasy and urban fantasy with horror elements in Weaveworld (1987), The Great and Secret Show (1989), the world-spanning Imajica (1991) and Sacrament (1996), bringing in the deeper, richer concepts of reality, the nature of the mind and dreams, and the power of words and memories.

Barker has a keen interest in movie production, although his films have received mixed receptions. He wrote the screenplays for Underworld (aka Transmutations – 1985) and Rawhead Rex (1986), both directed by George Pavlou. Displeased by how his material was handled, he moved to directing with Hellraiser (1987), based on his novella The Hellbound Heart. His early movies, the shorts The Forbidden and Salome, are experimental art movies with surrealist elements, which have been re-released together to moderate critical acclaim. After his film Nightbreed (Cabal), which was widely considered to be a flop, Barker returned to write and direct Lord of Illusions. Barker was an executive producer of the film Gods and Monsters, which received major critical acclaim.

Barker is a prolific visual artist working in a variety of media, often illustrating his own books. His paintings have been seen first on the covers of his official fan club magazine, Dread, published by Fantaco in the early Nineties, as well on the covers of the collections of his plays, Incarnations (1995) and Forms of Heaven (1996), as well as on the second printing of the original UK publications of his Books of Blood series.

A longtime comics fan, Barker achieved his dream of publishing his own superhero books when Marvel Comics launched the Razorline imprint in 1993. Based on detailed premises, titles and lead characters he created specifically for this, the four interrelated titles — set outside the Marvel universe — were Ectokid,

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 260 reviews
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,644 reviews5,099 followers
August 25, 2016
so it took over 400 pages before I finally gave up. should I congratulate myself for making such a colossal effort or should I be ashamed at the colossal waste of time? I think shame is the appropriate emotion. it feels like I've watched Clive Barker jacking off for over 400 minutes, finding myself occasionally interested but mainly bored and annoyed, and then just walked away before Clive climaxed. for shame, mark, for shame! shame on you for wasting so much time and shame on you again for writing such a disagreeable analogy. now I have an image of Barker jerking away, on and on and on, and that image will probably haunt my dreams tonight. thanks a lot, Clive Barker mark!

imagine someone telling you about an amazing mansion in Louisiana, in the middle of a swamp, populated by supernatural presences and immortal aristocrats and hyenas on the lawn and porcupines up the stairs. now imagine eagerly going into that mansion, only to find that it's actually some shitty apartment building that is completely empty of both atmosphere and mystery. ugh!

imagine hearing about a fascinating celebrity couple, or a mysterious matriarch, or this compelling person or that intriguing personality. imagine meeting them and realizing they are completely flat and boring - and that they have nothing of interest to say. not only do they have no depth whatsoever, whenever they open their mouths all that comes out are the most banal and crass comments imaginable. ugh!

several scenes take place in a Trump Tower penthouse. after some careful reflection (about 2 minutes worth plus a couple swigs of my whiskey & ginger ale), I've realized that is a perfect location for this book. much like Trump himself, the book is a hollow, bloated monstrosity that wants to have something to say but can only speak in crass banalities. ugh!

the book is about the history of two families, one immortal and supernatural, the other a lot like the Kennedys (I suppose). it did have potential, I will give it that.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,966 followers
December 3, 2015
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 more accomplished in the realm of practicing magick. I always guessed as much back in the day, but now I can point to a hell of a lot of interesting factoids. I won't do that here. I'm sure it would bore most anyone to death. Suffice to say, I *still* think this book is one hell of a meandering ride.

Do you like to read about two great families, with a lot of interesting history between them? Check. Do you love magical realism? Check.

Do you love novels that sincerely try to give you a bit of everything, trying to bring the novel truly alive with all the foibles of gods and humans? I don't say this lightly. I'm really saying that it tries to bring together love and hate, ennui and passion, romance and intellect, immortality and guttering flames, and even potence and impotence. The pieces are everywhere, and Barker consistently brings them all self-consciously to the fore through his narrator, rising from self-satisfied indolence to an interest and a restored passion for exploring life.

Even the narrator has a hard time pulling all the pieces together, and honestly, I think Barker was speaking to us all, directly. It was a truly huge novel in all it tried to accomplish. It had such a huge cast even while ostensibly remaining a revenge tale couched within an epic romance.

I knew what to expect, so I didn't expect a polished flow or even a real thread of a plot until late. It's just not what this novel was designed for.

It IS designed to throw you into such a deep and exploratory life among living gods, half-gods, and the Kennedy clan... oh wait.. I didn't mean that... that you as a reader aren't *meant* to do much else besides ride the boat of the novel and enjoy the lives and the scenery.

And that's fine. There's a lot to enjoy.

It's really hard to put my finger on exactly what I like most about it. I know I like it. I think it's mostly the whole cloth, the tapestry and the weave, that I most appreciate. The hundreds of smaller aspects only serve to bolster the feel of the whole, while never striking me over the head with it's importance, save for a few endgame plot-worthy scenes, of course.

I really do love a happy ending, though, and I had been noticing that Barker's concurrent works were all inching toward the same conclusions. A true departure from the horror I knew and love, in other words.

I do recall that I pointed myself back to this and another of Barker's works as an obvious precursor to American Gods. If it wasn't for things like this novel, I wouldn't have been so well primed to enjoy Gaiman's novel. (And it was only later than that when I finally picked up The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes, so the whole cause/effect thing is hairy, anyway. I'm just spouting my impressions. Good impressions, I might add.)

Meandering can sometimes be a boon, and in my final estimate, this one pulled it off.
Profile Image for Brandon Rucker.
Author 11 books10 followers
June 28, 2011
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 not a horror novel, at least nowhere in the singular sense (though it has parts that may certainly exist on the periphery of that description). It's a bit of a wonderful, odd beast. It's my favorite kind of tome, running the gamut of several flavors from epic saga, historical suspense, myth-making, inter-familial drama, forbidden romance, light metaphysics, a teasing amount of the supernatural (almost maddeningly understated) and, being a Barker story, a touch of the dark fantastic, naturally.

It's truly the hardest novel to nail down with a description that I've ever encountered, and I am honestly and thoroughly bummed that I have yet to encounter something of its ilk since. That's over a decade of let down. Thankfully it's so invitingly re-readable and continuously rewarding when you do so.

I love all the extraordinary elements . . . everything about the Barbarossa family, whom I did not ever think of as fantastical creations, but more supernatural. However, Barker wrote that Cesaria, the matriarch, was essentially a goddess-like being, more or less a demigoddess (in other words, she’s a direct descendant of, well, God) than a typical fantastical invention Barker is typically known for creating. Certainly a more metaphysical approach than his norm at the time. Like urban fantasy it’s a great merging of the mundane with the extraordinary.

As a writer, this book was such a defining, eye opening read for me. It was an “Ah, so THAT’S how you do it!” revelation. Part of that is due to the character-driven literary device he uses (kind of as a cheat) that allows him to tell a birds-eye view kind of sprawling epic story without sacrificing an ounce of the first-person intimacy since it comes from the MC's near-omniscient point of view. Yeah, it's a bit of a cheat, but damned effective. But I won't get more into that because it's a real treat of reading the novel and I’ve probably teased enough details.

After the book came out Barker mentioned a sequel one day that would essentially focus more on the Barbarossas instead of the Gearys, who get the bulk of the focus in this book. I so hope he gets around to it before he retires.

Note: I'm giving this book 5 stars because there is no option for 4 & 1/2 stars.
Profile Image for Mary.
83 reviews43 followers
October 30, 2007
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, neurotic, and selfish. Still, the other characters more than make up for it, and there are plenty of other good, strong female characters to make up for Rachel. Which sort of begs the question, why was she so irritating, but that's hardly the point.

Barker has a wonderful way with words and an interesting method of storytelling, and this is by far my favorite of his books. It's not horror like his other novels - although it does have its moments - and the relative lack of disturbing imagery lets the story itself hold center stage.

Definitely one that's worth the read.
Profile Image for F.R..
Author 30 books201 followers
July 23, 2012
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 genuinely jaw dropping in scope of ambition and imagination. In short, it’s a grand soap opera for genre fiction fans.

The Gearys and the Barbarosas are two legendary families who are interconnected in some strange and mysterious way. For years they have co-existed, but the ties that bind them are drawing closer, exposing old enmities and risking the likelihood of mutual destruction for both.

Apart from ‘The Hellbound Heart’ I’ve never really read anything by Barker. For whatever reason, the scale and scope of his tomes led me to believe they were closer to fantasy than horror (and fantasy is not a genre I am particularly fond of). But ‘Galilee’ really did blow my hardened and cynical – yet still white and cotton – socks off, proving a compulsive page turner that made me wish trains were late and tubes were cancelled so I’d have extra time to cram in even more of it in. Okay, the ending may have been a bit more abrupt than I’d have liked (although I am somewhat mollified to find that a sequel has been promised), but this epic and far dreaming storytelling at its best.
Profile Image for Sarah.
731 reviews73 followers
March 22, 2016
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 hundred pages on these two clans.

This is one case where the narration didn't add to the book, although it was not actually bad.
Profile Image for Linda.
464 reviews1 follower
December 19, 2015
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 felt a bit of a let down at the ending, after the buildup and expectation of a huge confrontation between the two families. So, I waffled between 3 and 4 stars, but ultimately settled on 3 stars.
Profile Image for Barbara ★.
3,460 reviews228 followers
September 10, 2010
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 never been on to read the papers and magazines featuring the overly rich and aimless. This book is like following John Kennedy around and noting his every move and breath. Just too boring for words.

I know I'm not the only one who quit where I did, since I was forced to rewind tape three in order to listen to it so someone else gave up in the same spot. I kept going hoping it was eventually going to get exciting or something (anything) was going to happen. Finally I just could't listen to that monotonous narrator for even one more word.
Profile Image for John.
104 reviews
December 16, 2015
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 book, in spite of Barker's talent at writing The Sexy Bits. The many side characters are what brought this tale to life.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Coldwell.
Author 380 books70 followers
January 20, 2012
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 of the sons having a penchant for necrophiliac fantasy in his sex games, the Barbaraossas are debauched but spoiled and petty, and what should be an all-encompassing love story at the novel's
heart fails because Galilee and Rachel just aren't that interesting as characters. Barker explores this clash of modern America and the supernatural to much better effect in 'Coldheart Canyon' - this books lacks the imaginatively gruesome power his prose achieves at his best.
Profile Image for Carmilla Voiez.
Author 42 books214 followers
January 23, 2016
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 and the other by something more primal and less human. I have no plan to include any spoilers here. The narrative is divine and to pull action from it would be pointless. Best to follow my recommendation and devour it yourself.
Profile Image for Jacqueline Taylor .
165 reviews29 followers
December 7, 2013
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 why I love this book so much. I'm not sure that there is really anything that I can say about this book to do it real justice.
Profile Image for Robert.
96 reviews6 followers
September 16, 2008
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... :)
Profile Image for Dreadlocksmile.
191 reviews56 followers
April 13, 2009
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 his lover David Armstrong, Barker has crafted a deeply emotional and poetic tale that delves the deepest Barker ever has to date, into the sheer importance of love, revenge, power and lust. Deliberately throwing added weight towards the emotional states of each character within the story, Barker brings out such full-bodied and life like characters that form the main crux of the tale.

Written by way of the hand of one of the books almost secondary characters, the story follows the lives of two powerful families, whose paths have intertwined throughout history. One of these families (the Barbarossa’s) is more godlike than they are human. The other family (the Geary’s) are extremely wealthy and powerful business men whose unsympathetic lives mirror that of many of the more dramatic circumstances that surround the storyline. One interlocking individual for the two families is the outcast by the name of Galilee. This character, to which the writer shows immense love for, was obviously based on Barker’s lover David Armstrong.

The flow of the storyline, the intertwining subplots, the poetic use of words throughout, and the magnificent characterization, all form the main thrust to the novel. The developing storyline, with its carefully constructed delivery (by way of a historical account of the two families), is mere mortar to the stonework that is the passion of each character within the tale.

Barker clearly took great joy in creating and developing on each one of the characters, setting down detailed histories for each, setting their individual places within the families and indeed the tale itself.

For imagination alone, ‘Galilee’ is a joyous novel to read, but with the carefully crafted and beautifully delivered love for each character, the novel as a whole is breathtaking. Indeed, this is not like any other piece of work by Barker, yet it still holds strange elements of many pieces of his work. Almost a contradiction in itself, but after reading the novel, I am sure that many of you will agree with that very statement.

The novel’s ending is extremely open, paving the way for the sequel which has a preliminary publication date of December 2009. Having just read the novel for the second time after a good ten years, I have once again fallen in love with each one of the characters that draw you deep into this magical story of romance and revenge.

The novel runs for a total of 804 pages and was released back in 1998.
Profile Image for Jay Lamm.
41 reviews
February 28, 2015
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 woman gets between two men from both clans. The whole thing is tied together as one member from the demi-god family decides to write a book on the history of both families--past and present--focusing on the illusive and sea-faring, Galilee.

As with all Clive Barker books, the thing is very well written and has his distinct voice. But if you were expecting horror with this book you'll need to go back to his other stories. There's the traditional element of fantastique that he employees in all of his books but there are none of the Barker monsters that he has become none for. Sure there are some spirits and oddball otherworldly passages but, for the most part, it's a Hetfeild/McCoy type of read with an odd twist thrown in.

I just really wasn't that into the book. I'm not really into that type of story. It held my interest but I never really felt the need to keep picking it up to find out what happens. The characters were interesting and the story was well plotted. I really don't have any gripes about it besides the fact that the story just wasn't up my alley.
Profile Image for Katie Jo.
60 reviews1 follower
May 30, 2018
I love Clive Barker but he really couldn’t care less about character development. You could definitely say he compensates for this with his ability to craft other worlds, but being a person that really enjoys characters and needs to be invested in them to enjoy something, I found this hard to read. Rachel was extremely vapid and her becoming more gutsy over time wasn’t really enough to endear her to me. Had this book been cut in half, I think I would’ve enjoyed it more. There was a LOT of buildup to a very abrupt and unrewarding conclusion. Again, I typically enjoy Clive Barker very much, and while the lack of character depth in his books is not news to me, the story just didn’t make up for it this time because in the end, nothing really happened. It was largely a family history that could’ve been entertaining had the characters been interesting, but they were not. His writing is better suited for short stories and novellas that are less character driven, I think. An exception to that would be Coldheart Canyon, where the story is compelling enough that the more shallow characters can coast on it.
Profile Image for Matthew Tait.
Author 25 books43 followers
January 26, 2011
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 himself – the scholastic reader will still see the same transformations and darker tones everywhere … they’re just hidden behind the glaze of a more literary cover and an arc of story more mature in its pronouncements. Musicians evolve, as do writers … and I think it would underscore Barker as an artist if he had kept treading the same visions rooted in a tale like Weaveworld.

And it’s another epic, of course, worthy of eliciting a few tears from me within the final pages.
Profile Image for Alice.
37 reviews
October 29, 2011
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 blah...it's been done) but indicative of a powerful drive to belong to something ancient and greater than ourselves and therefore quite moving.

Bottom line: This book does best when Mr. Barker digresses into fairy-tale type narratives and weaves stories. It has been quite a while since I read this book and certain scenes are still unbelievably vivid in my memory and that alone makes it a remarkable read.
Profile Image for TamaraLeila .
155 reviews4 followers
October 12, 2016
Un talent comme celui de Clive Barker est indéniablement rare. Le pouvoir évocateur de sa plume est puissant ! Ses personnages sont humains et je me suis beaucoup attachée à eux pendant ma lecture. Rachel, en particulier, était un personnage féminin bien construit et par ses actes, ses pensées - vivante. En bref, ce roman est génial. je suis très contente de connaître cet auteur car à mon avis, ce n'est pas le dernier roman de lui que je pourrais avoir entre les mains. Stephen King disait : " Le talent de Clive Barker me laisse sans voix. Il donne l'impression que le reste d'entre nous n'a fait que dormir ces dix dernières années. Il a entièrement raison. Cet auteur a réussi à dessiner un monde grâce à son style... J'aurais pu encore rester auprès de Galilee et de Rachel un millier de pages, garder les images que Clive Barker projetait dans mon esprit. Magnifique !
Profile Image for JR Ortega.
100 reviews1 follower
October 4, 2020
My first Clive Barker novel. What a journey! I love how Barker has a way of creating characters with deep backstories. Somehow, this has been a bad year of reading. Not sure why. I've started three or four books only to put all of those down. I went out and bought some other Barker novels, so I'm going to make October all about him.
Profile Image for Baal Of.
1,213 reviews40 followers
June 5, 2018
This is a colossal, meandering, multi-threaded book, and it could have been tedious, but within about 50 pages I was pretty much hooked. The magic/weird that would be found in something like Weaveworld is present but to a much lesser degree, making it cut more closely to magical realism, a genre I don't tend to favor, however the complexity of the characters and tangling of the various stories kept me intrigued. I tend to like Barker's writing style, and he has a way of making seemingly mundane events and settings pleasurable to read.
Profile Image for Tara.
135 reviews71 followers
March 28, 2007
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 would mend what was broken in the same moment; and you would be twice what you’d been before.

The question that lay before me, and I had so far failed to answer, was the way these connections might best be expressed. My mind was filled with possibilities but I had no real sense of how all that I knew was arrayed and dispersed; no sense of the pattern.

Well, it was most likely too late; there would not be time for me to flagellate myself for every dishonorable deed in that list, nor any chance to make good the harms I’d done. Minor harms, to be sure, in the scheme of things; but large enough to regret.

Nothing happens carelessly. We’re not brought into the world without reason, even though we may never understand the reason. An infant that lives an hour, that dies before it can lay eyes on those who made it, even that soul did not live without purpose: this is my sudden certainty.

We have great cities to visit: New York and Washington, Paris and London; and further east, and older than any of these, the legendary city of Samarkand, whose crumbling palaces and mosques still welcome travelers on the Silk road. Weary of cities? Then we’ll take to the wilds. To the islands of Hawaii and the mountains of Japan, to forests where Civil War dead still lie, and stretches of sea no mariner ever crossed. They all have their poetry: the glittering cities and the ruined, the watery wastes and the dusty; I want to show you them all. I want to show you everything.

There must still be room for the falling note, of course. Even in an undying world there are times when beauty passes from sight, or love passes from the heart, and we feel the sorrow of partition.

Of course it’s the apparently tranquil periods that deceive us. Though our instruments or our senses or our wits may not be able to see the processes that are leading toward these clusters of events, they’re happening. The star, the wheel, the butterfly—all are in a subtle state of unrest, waiting for the moment when some invisible mechanism signals that the time has come. Then the star explodes; the wheel makes poor men rich; the butterfly mates and dies.

In this sense love is of a different order to any other phenomenon, for it may be both an event and a sign of that invisible mechanism I spoke of before; perhaps the finest sign, the most certain. In it’s throes we need neither luck nor science. We are the wheel, and the man who profits by it. We are the star, and the darkness it pierces. We are the butterfly, brief and beautiful.

…there’s nothing in the world more fun than doing something you’re good at.
Profile Image for Jason Bergman.
705 reviews29 followers
April 12, 2013
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's quite lengthy, and it never really gets boring - nothing Clive Barker has ever written can be considered boring, there's just too much crazy for that. But I simply didn't care about the Barbarossa family and the tales of their home L'Enfant (built, apparently by Thomas Jefferson).

There are also quite a few threads that are completely left dangling at the end, which was unexpected. Maddox (also known as Eddie) who tells the story, constantly hints at terrible things in his life that are never explained. And the whole novel leads up to a final confrontation between the families that, oddly enough, never actually happens. So that was weird.

But despite all of its problems, Galilee is very good, and absolutely worth reading if you're a fan of the author. You get a lot of Clive Barker staples here - sex of all configurations, an original mythology, and so on. Even if it could use a bit of trimming, I recommend it. Not one of Clive Barker's best, but certainly entertaining.
Profile Image for John.
1,458 reviews36 followers
January 13, 2010
Even though it's not really my kind of story, Galilee fascinated me with its brilliant writing style and imaginative plot. Like Quentin Tarrantino, Barker has the ability to borrow from an assortment of unheralded genres (soap opera, trashy romance, alternate history) and transcend them into something both literary and unique. This is story-telling on an epic scale, composed back before Barker started spreading himself too thinly to devote so much time and attention to his writing--his last few novels contain only shadows of the creative ability found here. Which is not to say that this book is perfect, because it isn't. The ending is a bit weak, there are a few scenes too many, and it isn't nearly as romantic as it tries to be. However, all in all, it's an impressive achievement.
Profile Image for Vít.
638 reviews50 followers
August 3, 2019
Tak tohle nebylo úplně pro mě. Žádný mrazivý horror od autora Knih krve nebo Hellraisera nečekejte, tohle je spíš trochu peprnější rodinná sága. Nebo možná román pro ženy a dívky, okořeněný trochou fantasy a větší než malou dávkou erotiky (převážně z ženského pohledu).
Jak říkám, pro mě to bylo trochu zklamání. Zdlouhavé, natahované, namísto nějakého děje se řeší hlavně vztahy a sex. Barker psát umí, to je bez debaty, první Knihy krve a další sbírky povídek jsou výborné, z jeho románů se mi ale opravdu líbila jen dvoudílná Imagika I a Imagika II.
Profile Image for Sylvester.
1,317 reviews26 followers
August 16, 2017
It's not a book for everyone and definitely not one of Barker's best, but it's still got enough twisted elements and gratuitous sex to satisfy the fans. It's a rather complex family saga in the form of a first person narration, though the narrative changes from time to time. It's a little bit too long for one to truly sit down and enjoy, I am not even sure what kind of drug Barker was on when he wrote this but it's a hard book to like.
Profile Image for Андрій Гулкевич.
Author 4 books41 followers
February 16, 2018
На мою думку, це доволі химерний та інтригуючий роман з елементами містики. Сюжет зведений навколо двох могутніх сімей Барбароси та Гірі, долі котрих переплетені. Перші є свого роду божествами з надзвичайними силами, а другі багачі з власними амбіціями та прихованими гріхами. Напевно, я ніколи не читав чогось такого дивного та вражаючого, хоча цей роман Баркера доволі сильно критикують. Хай там як, мені він сподобалося, хоча і не все у ньому.
Profile Image for Yesh.
39 reviews14 followers
October 30, 2018
Another Barker novel savoured in my own time.
Galilee is a feverish tale perfect for the vacations. Exquisite prose, dreamy sub plots, and a touch of supernatural made this book great for me.
It's been months since I read this book, but its seductive storytelling keeps coming back to me. This book is so unlike any other book I've read, and on my top 5 delightful reads.
Profile Image for Jeb.
109 reviews1 follower
June 13, 2011
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.
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