Clive Barker has made his mark on modern fiction by exposing all that is surreal and magical in the ordinary world --- and exploring the profound and overwhelming terror that results. With its volatile mix of the fantastical and the contemporary, the everyday and the otherworldly, Weaveworld is an epic work of dark fantasy and horror -- a tour de force from one of today's most forceful and imaginative artists.
Barker turns from his usual horror to epic-length fantasy for this account of the Fugue, a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans. The Fugue has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it; the death of its guardian occasions a battle between good and particularly repulsive evil forces for control of the Fugue. Weaveworld is rich with memorable characters, exciting situations, and pockets of Barker's trademark horror.
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,
Έζησα ένα όνειρο μέσα σε μαγικές νύχτες. Μπροστά μου ξετυλίχτηκαν απίστευτες ιστορίες,μερη που είχαν χαθεί για πάντα και το έθνος των μάγων που ήρθε να με ταξιδέψει μακριά στις εκστάσεις της Φούγκας.
Μέσα σε αυτό το όνειρο υπήρχε χρόνος για θαύματα,για αγάπη,πίστη,φιλία και φαντασία. Υπήρχε χρόνος για φαντάσματα και μεταμορφώσεις. Για φρικαλέα πλάσματα που τρέφονταν με μίσος και κακία. Για πάθη και ασάφεια. Για μεσημεριάτικα οράματα και βραδινές οπτασίες. Υπήρχε άφθονος χρόνος. Γιατί σε αυτό το όνειρο δεν υπάρχει αρχή. Και αφού η ιστορία δεν έχει αρχή,δεν θα ’χει ούτε τέλος.
Έτσι, έζησα την ιστορία του Υφαντόκοσμου, γραμμένη απο μια μαγική πένα, βίαια και περίτεχνα ιδιοφυή.
Ο Barker ορμάει μέσα στην ψυχή του αναγνώστη με όλη τη δύναμη της ελευθερίας των ανθρωπίνων συναισθημάτων και τα περιπλέκει με την τρομακτική του φαντασία. Διεισδύει στα άδυτα του μυαλού και ενσωματώνει τα πλάσματα κάποιου άλλου κόσμου,ποικιλόμορφου και σαγηνευτικού με τον πραγματικό κόσμο.
Με ιδιαίτερη μαεστρία κάνει την απόλυτη αντιστοίχιση ανάμεσα στον παραδείσου του ιδεατού φανταστικού και στην καθημερινότητα του πεζού ρεαλισμού,αποκαλύπτοντας προβληματισμούς,ανθρώπινες επιθυμίες,πάθη,μοναξιά,αποχωρισμούς,έρωτα, απληστία,αγάπη,προδοσία,φιλία και πόνο.
Χάνεσαι στην τρομερή πλοκή του, βυθίζεσαι σε άβυσσσους και πετάς σε γαλαξίες εκστάσεων. Απολαμβάνεις,αναρωτιέσαι,μαγεύεσαι,συμπάσχεις, αφήνεσαι στη μυστηριακή έλξη και αντέχεις όλα τα δεινά και τα θαύματα.
Πριν με κυριεύσει η λήθη-αγαπημένη μου λέξη- που κυριεύει όσους βγαίνουν απο τον Υφαντόκοσμο θα περιγράψω τα όσα καταπληκτικά έζησα σε αυτήν την αξέχαστη και μαγικά τρομακτική αναγνωστική εμπειρία.
Πρωταγωνιστής της ιστορίας μας είναι ένας δαίμονας παραπλανημένος και ξεχασμένος στα βάθη της ερήμου που φυλάει τις πύλες της πάλαι ποτέ Εδέμ και νομίζει πως τον λένε Ουριήλ. Ούτε άγγελοι,ούτε δαίμονες διεκδικούν την πατρότητα του. Ωστόσο είναι οργισμένος,υπερδύναμος και φρικαλέα παράφρων και αναζητά μόνο εκδίκηση. Είναι η διαβόητη Μάστιγα.
Στο βασίλειο των μουρλών(όπως αποκαλούνται οι άνθρωποι)ζουν οι βασικοί μας ήρωες. Ο Καλ,που γνωρίζει τυχαία τον υπέροχο παραμυθένιο κόσμο και αδυνατεί να τον ξεχάσει. Άλλωστε είχε έναν παππού τρελό ποιητή που συνομιλούσε με τους αγγέλους.
Η Σουζάνα,που κληρονομεί απο την απόκοσμη γιαγιά της ένα τρομερό κειμήλιο και μια μεγάλη δύναμη (μενστρούουμ) κόντρα στους εχθρούς της μαγείας. Η γιαγιά ήταν η τελευταία φύλακας της Φούγκας. Σουζάνα και Καλ ενώνονται μοιραία και ψυχικά για να σώσουν τον Υφαντόκοσμο.
Ο Σάντγουελ,ο πωλητής με το μαγικό σακάκι και η τρομερή και σαγηνευτική Ιμακολάτα που ποθεί και μισεί τον Υφαντόκοσμο. Οι δυο τους αποτελούν ένα παράξενο ζευγάρι που τους ενώνει η μνησικακία και το πάθος για κατοχή και εξουσία.
Και αρχίζει το αριστούργημα των παραισθήσεων.
Το έθνος των μάγων και όλων των χαρισματικών πλασμάτων όταν κάποια εποχή άρχισε να τους αφανίζει η προαναφερθείσα Μάστιγα,αποφάσισε να κρυφτεί. Το έθνος αυτό είναι οι περιβόητοι Διοράτες.
Αποτελείται απο διάφορες φυλές,ταξεις και αξιώματα με πολλές διαφορές και μεγάλες δυνάμεις. Κύρια δύναμη τους οι εκστάσεις. Κάτι ανάμεσα σε τρέλα και μαγεία. Σε παραλήρημα και όνειρο. Σε αλήθεια και φαντασία.
Και κάπου εδώ η παραισθησιογόνα αφήγηση του συγγραφέα αρχίζει να σε τραβάει απο τη μύτη σε απόκοσμες ατραπούς.
Εκτός απο την φρικτή Μάστιγα και τη δεισιδαιμονία των Μουρλών,οι Διοράτες κινδυνεύουν και απο κάποια φρικαλέα και σατανικά πλάσματα που τα έχουν εξοβελίσει απο τον κόσμο τους. Ανάμεσα σε αυτά και η εξωτική μάγισσα Ιμακολάτα. Η οποία μαζί με τις τερατώδεις αδελφές της,την ακόλαστη Μαγδαληνή και την απαίσια Στρίγγλα ορκίζονται εκδίκηση.
Επομένως οι Διοράτες πρέπει να βρουν άμεσα λύση.
Και κάπως έτσι ξεκινάει η βουτιά μας στο υφαντό. Με τη βοήθεια του μαγικού αργαλειού και της εκστατικής μαγείας οι Διοράτες κρύβουν μέσα στον Υφαντόκοσμο τη Φούγκα.
Όλα τα θαύματα,οι σκιές,η αθάνατη ζωή, η εκστατική ομορφιά, τα μυστήρια, τα γλυκόπνοα πνεύματα, ο μυστικισμός,οι γαλάζιες σκιές του σύμπαντος της ευδαιμονίας και της χαράς, οι κήποι των ασύλληπτων φυτών που αναπνέουν,οι πλανητικοί λόφοι της θεάς Αφροδίτης, το Απαράμιλλο-η πόλη τους- το ιερό του Κάπρα-άθρησκου ηγέτη της αγάπης- ουράνιες απολαύσεις,η φωτεινή στενωπός και πάρα πολλές ακόμα ψευδαισθήσεις κρύβονται μέσα στο υφαντό. Στη Φούγκα.
Ορίζουν φύλακες απο τον κόσμο των Μουρλών για να ξεδιπλώσουν το χαλί και να ζωντανέψει το παραμύθι τους όταν θα υπάρχει ασφάλεια.
Και πάλι ο συγγραφέας μας τρελαίνει. Γιατί όλοι περιμένουμε όλη μας τη ζωή και παραπάνω για να ζήσουμε εκεί. Εκεί ακριβώς. Όπως περιγράφεται αυτός ο κόσμος με τους παραμυθένιους πόθους και την αιχμαλωτισμένη μαγεία.
Τώρα αυτή η τρελά δυνατή γραφή αρχίζει να μας βάζει μέσα στον απόλυτο τρόμο. Το αδίστακτο κακό απο υποχθόνια πλάσματα αλλά και πλάσματα του κόσμου των Μουρλών παραμονεύει παντού και ζητάει πόνο και αίμα. Η σκιαγράφηση των δαιμονίων και των αηδιαστικών πλασμάτων που άγονται και φέρονται σύμφωνα με τις επιδιώξεις της μάγισσας, της Μάστιγας και των ανθρώπων πνίγεται στη βία, την κτηνωδία και την καταστροφή. Το παραμύθι μας αιμορραγεί. Κινδυνεύει. Καταστρέφεται. Νεκροί. Ουρλιαχτά. Φωτιές. Δηλητηριώδεις απάτες και απελπισία παντού σε κάνουν να προσπαθείς διακαώς να μπεις στην ιστορία, να βοηθήσεις, να συμπαρασταθείς, να παλέψεις, να σκοτώσεις....
Οι δράσεις, οι αντιδράσεις και οι εκπλήξεις με η χωρίς παρηγοριά κορυφώνονται μετά απο πολλές ανατροπές, περιπέτειες και απίστευτη ένταση,σε μια τελική μονομαχία. Ο Μπάρκερ συνεχίζει να χαμογελά σαδιστικά. Ούτε τώρα μας δίνει την πολυπόθητη ικανοποίηση. Οι αποκαλύψεις με το σταγονόμετρο. Τα μυστήρια εξηγούνται με διάφορους συλλογισμούς. Η ελπίδα έρχεται με νέα μυστήρια και νέα γοητεία.
Απόψε όμως που τελείωσα το βιβλίο,η χώρα των θαυμάτων δεν θα απέχει περισσότερο απο ένα βημα,περισσότερο απο μια σκέψη. Άφθονος χρόνος για όλα. Γιατί σε αυτό το όνειρο δεν υπάρχει αρχή. Επομένως χωρίς αρχή, δεν θα ’χει ούτε και τέλος.
Weaveworld is one of the very few books that I can claim to enjoy from the first page to the last, all 700+ pages of it. Even the introduction is great, normally I skim through lengthy intros to get to the story, but Clive Barker puts his heart and soul into this one, including this beautiful passage about the genre fiction:
“I have been, I think, altogether disparaging about the ‘escapist’ elements of the genre, emphasizing its powers to address social, moral and even philosophical issues at the expense of celebrating its dreamier virtues. I took this position out of a genuine desire to defend a fictional form I love from accusations of triviality and triteness, but my zeal led me astray. Yes, fantastic fiction can be intricately woven into the texture of our daily lives, addressing important issues in fabulist form. But it also serves to release us for a time from the definitions that confine our daily selves; to unplug us from a world that wounds and disappoints us, allowing us to venture into places of magic and transformation.”
As a lifelong devotee of SF/F/H fiction, I sometimes have the same doubts about preferring this type of fiction above all others but the above passage really puts it in perspective for me.
Weaveworld is about another dimension called “The Fugue” which has been transformed into a carpet in order to hide from an unstoppable creature called “The Scourge”. The residents of the Fugue are called the “Seerkind”, a race with magical abilities who view mankind with disdain and refer to humans as “cuckoos”. The Fugue in carpet form works a little like suspended animation or dehydrated food in which places, animals and most of the Seerkind are woven in as patterns on the carpet; to be reconstituted by an appointed guardian when the world is safe. The storyline concerns two human protagonists who become involved with the Fugue and the Seerkind and their struggle against powerful enemies who are trying to destroy both.
I first read Weaveworld around fifteen years ago and certain elements and scenes have stuck with me through all these years. It is a dark fantasy with several horrifying scenes — definitely not for the faint of heart — and scenes of surreal beauty. The most memorable element of the book for me is the magical jacket worn by Shadwell, the main human antagonist of the book, the lining of the jacket is able to enslave anyone who look at it by showing their heart's desire and allowing them to delve into it and obtain that very thing.
The central characters are very well written and believable, the antagonists are suitably warped, formidable and devious. In spite of its considerable length Weaveworld still manages to move at a fair clip. Something bizarre is always happening on almost every page and boredom never sets in. There is also more artistry in his prose than you would find in most genre books. The best thing about this book is that it is wonderful escapism, this book can sweep you away from a dull rainy day, or a slow day at the office. If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods this book is likely to be right up your alley, though it is much more horrific, packed to the gills with horrible slimy, sticky, drippy – not to mention horny – monstrosities.
With an average rating of 4.13 Weaveworld is generally very well liked. However, all books have their share of negative reviews and while I respect opinions contrary to my own, I take exception to one review that says this book “is lacking”. The trouble is the reviewer does not say what it is that the book is lacking. Is “lacking” an adjective now? In any case I don’t think it lacks anything and I heartily recommend it.
Cover art for the 25th anniversary edition of Weaveworld by Richard A. Kirk (click on image for larger size).
Note: I have to admit Clive Barker's books are generally very hard to review, they tend to be densely plotted and the settings and storylines are always so goddam outré. This is particularly true of Weaveworld, I really struggled to write this review. I normally make notes when I read a novel so I will have some material ready to put in my review, but with this book I was so engrossed that I hardly paused to make any notes at all; just a sentence or two.
This book probably deserves a full analysis, going into a full and deep review mode that gives a grand majority of the characters, both good and evil, lots of time to explore ambitions and twists and character growths and failures. I should also go into a twenty-page monologue on how beautiful and strange and wonderful the fantasy elements are, from the sideways-twisted tormenting of christian beliefs, the reimagining of so many mythical elements, the fact that good and evil are never what they seem and they often fly into each other's territories regardless of how the quasi-demons, quasi-fae, quasi-witches, or quasi-humans look or feel on the page.
It's scary. It is a horror. And while so many horrific creatures with truly awesome descriptions grace these pages, we're not allowed to go with all our natural assumptions. We're supposed to go off the deep end and humanize everyone, not that they particularly deserve it or that the exercise is especially rewarding. Non-magical humans are Cuckoos. The magical races are Seers. The magical realm is called the Fugue. Do these descriptions raise a LOT more questions than they answer? Yes? That's because things are really MESSED UP and that's what Clive Barker is really good at. :)
We switch between the real world and the magical one many times during this epic tale. It starts as a firm grounding in the real world with the baddies on the way to unweave the Fugue which happens to be a magic carpet that contains a magical universe, and so we've got adventure... but that's such a small part of the whole book. It goes much farther, into epic battles, ambitious salesmen, ages-old revenge, demons from a glass-darkly garden of eden, angels who are scourges, and cthulhu-like entities everywhere, with heads like wounds and stomachs digesting on the outside. This is Clive Barker, after all.
The world-building is truly amazing, and so is the deep reimagining of all magic. Can you get an idea how disturbing it is when the magic is called the Raptures and the Menstruum? Or that an old necromancer could be brought back as boneless assassins even though it is implied that he was the one who created the Cenobites from Hellraiser? I LOVE these kinds of hints and terrors. Not only does it tie so much else together, it just keeps going on and on being inventive and creative and huge!
And on a side note, I kept thinking about playing one of the Desgaea games again, because I'm SOOO sure that they stole the idea of going into items to level them up from the novel. It would make so much sense! But in this case, it's just a carpet with a WHOLE UNIVERSE inside it. :) :)
Everything in here *is* basically based on christian good and evil, but is so nicely subverted and wrenched out of place that it nicely serves the purpose of real horror. You know, looking at the reflection of a thing and recognize it for what it is, and yet it is so sinisterly *off* that it dredges up a whole slew of emotional reverberations that keep us off balance? Yeah, that's Clive Barker for you.
My only real complaint is that I sometimes got lost in a little boredom between all the awesome bits. I can't honestly say that the book could do without them, tho, because when everything is so intense, I'd also lose the thread of letting it settle and get the implications in. It's a long book, and placing this up against ANY modern dark fantasy epic will probably impress just about anyone if they turn a critical eye upon it. Brilliant is an accurate description. Detailed and far-reaching and extremely-deeply thought-out is another.
I love most of the characters, but I didn't love the null spots. Maybe we needed them for just that extra bit of twisting and fleshing for the characters, but lets face it... there were a LOT of characters to get full-dimensionalized. Hats off. I was immensely fascinated for most of the book and creeped out a great deal of the time, too.
It's my own fault, I think, if I didn't care so much during some of the character's crusades. Fortunately, on the whole, this is a truly magical classic. :)
Another great book! Fantastic fantasy novel. A story of Good versus Evil. Inner-space. Extra dimensional fantasy. A universe embedded in the fabric of a magical carpet. Supremely composed by one of the great horror writers, Clive Barker.🐯👍
”You won’t believe it.”, he warned. “Tell me anyway.” He nodded, and took up the story that he’d come so near to spilling the previous year, after his first visit to Rue Street. “I saw Wonderland...”
There’s a saying about never meeting your idols. That way, your illusions can remain intact. Can the same be said for books you re-visit? I guess that all depends on the book, and how well it stands the test of time.
For me, “Weaveworld” remains a winner, up there on a pedestal. It blew me away the first time I read it, and did the same on my second journey between its pages.
Masterful storytelling at its best. My words alone cannot do it justice. You have to read it yourself, so that you can feel the story, to taste it and smell it. Clive Barker’s imagination was clearly on high octane to have produced such an epic.
I can’t even begin to attempt to explain what this book is about, as there are so many stories interwoven together. Just trust me, one you start, you’ll be utterly lost between its pages like I was.
Cal Mooney is a twenty six year old insurance worker, living an uneventful life. That is until by chance, serendipity or whatever you want to call it, he accidentally stumbles upon “Weaveworld”. A carpet containing an entire world of peoples and wonders woven into its threads. Sleeping, waiting to come to life when the time is right.
There are goodies and baddies. Enchantments, raptures, magic and all manner of incredible and inexplicable events abound.
It was so good to read this again, after first having devoured it back in 1992* (gasp!). It was something I always knew I’d re-visit, I just didn’t think it would take me that long. Did the book have the same effect on me? Yes it did. Snippets of the story were trapped in my memory. The bits I’d forgotten, it was wonderful to discover again. And yes, I had forgotten the ending. But I still wanted to turn around and start reading it again straight away, which is just crazy.
This is a mammoth read. Coming in at around 700 pages, it’s quite the tome. But do it! Once you enter “Weaveworld”, you’ll be utterly engrossed. If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for? If you have, perhaps it’s time to take another trip down memory lane. You’ll be so glad that you did.
✨ ”For nothing ever begins. And this story, having no beginning, will have no ending.” ✨
*** Shout out to Dawn & Ron who buddy read this with me. Quite a task with so many pages, but they rose to the challenge magnificently. Thanks so much for joining me you two! Please make sure your read their reviews to get a more balanced overview of “Weaveworld” (as I’m clearly biased in its favour). ***
*1992 – My first reading of “Weaveworld”. It was so unlike anything I’d read before, and I was so involved with what was happening, that I missed my bus stop (on the way to work). Such fun! After reading “Weaveworld”, I spent the remainder of that year reading other fantasy/sci-fi novels.
Yesterday (quite some time ago now) I noticed that one of my friends here had added this book to her to-read stack. The author’s name hit me like a brick, the title less so. I looked Barker up on Wiki, scanned the list of novels, and decided that yes Weaveworld must be the Barker that I read.
Pretty sure I Liked the post, (ironic really) and left the comment below, that resulted in the rest of the exchange.
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Me: I think I read this many years ago. It horrified and frightened me so much that I resolved to never read another book by Barker. (Don't really remember how or why it made such a strong impression.) I no longer have the book, so I can't pick it up again and browse.
But maybe I should give him another try. An author from Liverpool is not to be scorned, and I see that he has become a very famous artist in different media.
Ch: Ted, I am a stranger to Clive Barker, but your comment which I respect, caused me to read some reviews of this book on GR. They may still appear on my home page. You may not be surprised to see that the opinions are extremely varied...from extraordinary 5 stars to 1 star, abandoned. I'm not sure what to think! I read the author's page and a list of his books which is prolific. I'll be looking for other opinions, as you have gratefully caused me to pause before reading (buying). Thanks, Ted.
Me: Well, I wasn't really trying to warn you away, but as long as you look at several reviews and make a decision ... I don't think I stopped reading the book until I got to the end, but it was harrowing.
Now that I think about it, I believe there are still some vague images and "narrative-like" things that occasionally wander through my head, not nightmares really just discomforting feelings, that originated in this story. I seem to recall some things that happen in a dimly lit street. This is not, by the way, fiction about evil or horrible human beings, the frightening things are completely dark-fantasy creatures (iirc), which for most readers would be protection against getting too involved with the story on a personal level.
Now you've really got me reminiscing about this, I'm curious. And you know what? I'm beginning to feel a little bit uneasy.
Good grief. 8/ I'll tell you what, this would be quite a recommendation of the book for a lot of readers, wouldn't it?
Ch: That's just what I was thinking while reading your comment, Ted. There are so many readers who thrive on fantasy and an equal number who read horror thrillers. Good thinking, I'd say. So glad you felt uncomfortable and wanting to tell me!
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Well that’s not the end of it.
First, why do I no longer have the book? I never get rid of books.
But I did get rid of this one. At some point I saw it sitting on a book shelf and realized that I never wanted to open it again, that I was afraid I would somehow be sucked into Barker’s dual-world masterpiece? … maybe, a fantastic world of evil incarnate, woven with a horrifying skein of darkness and sheer fright into our own world. Am I imagining that this is the structure of the novel? Perhaps, you’d have to check other reviews. This is what it is for me, and I’ll probably not read it again to find out.
One other thing. I didn’t go to bed until about 5 am this morning. Once I did I couldn’t sleep for at least an hour. The vague memories of the book referred to above were slowly washing over me, in slowly emerging detail - as a rising tide slowly submerges a man buried in the sand with only his head sticking out. I finally had to resort to “drastic” measures.
Now the sun is shining, I’m okay, and hoping for a better night tonight.
If you’re a fan of horror fantasy, give it a try. Hope you won’t be disappointed. ;?
Once, there was magic. There were sacred places and secret spots, and beings that held magnificent raptures. They were the Seerkind, and they were the magical children of the world.
Then the Scourge came. A being of magnificent power and mad obsession with a singular purpose - to utterly destroy the Seerkind. Its reasons, its motivations were completely unknown and brooked no argument or negotiation. And so, with their numbers being burned down, the Seerkind hid. They used their best magics and their most exquisite raptures to weave their most precious places and people into a haven that no one would ever find, a place that no one would ever look. A carpet.
They hoped to wake up once the Scourge had passed, after a few short years.
Eighty years later, the final custodian of the Weaveworld dies, leaving her estranged granddaughter, Suzanna to take over her duties. Whether she wanted to or not. Fortunately, she is not alone. Young Calhoun Mooney, the grandson of a poet, stumbled across the enchanted carpet and was ensnared by its intricate beauty. Together, they set off to save the Weaveworld from those who would rule it - or destroy it. Shadwell, an amoral salesman with an enraptured jacket that can produce any item his mark wants with all their heart, leads the hunt. With him, and supporting him is the Incantrantrix Immaculata, who hates the Seerkind with all her cold, dead heart.
And somewhere, in a dry, empty place, the Scourge sleeps....
I've read this book countless times, and it never gets old. I know Clive Barker is best known for his horror, but, much like Stephen King, he excels at writing fantasy. He has a gift for making his world both magical and believable, describing its magics and its dangers in wonderful detail. What I really enjoy, both in this and his other fantasy masterpiece Imagica, is his ability to name things. Like any true magician, he excels in the art of names, and they're truly exquisite. The Incantantrix Immaculata. Apolline Dubois. Balm DeBono. Lemuel Lo and his Orchard. The names themselves are magical, and it makes it so much more wonderful.
Ever since I read it in the late 80s, I have loved this rambling, indefinable book, which may make me a hypocrite. But I’ve learned human beings are nothing if not contrary in taste. I tell people I dislike science fiction and fantasy books, and that I have very little taste for gory horror (as opposed to psychological horror, which I love). Weaveworld wanders around a LOT in its 700+ Odysseus-like pages, but there’s something phantasmal and strange about this mystical world Clive Barker has created that just sucks me in.
That being said, the long and complex Weaveworld isn’t pure science fiction or fantasy. It has moments of horror and moments of pure human drama. The story also has a sense of the mythological about it, borrowing from and twisting old Celtic and Druid stories into an entirely new invention. In the Old World tales, witches and wizards could sew up their corners or portions of the earth, making them invisible to others.
In Weaveworld, a whole magical landscape has been sewn into a rug to guard it from humans and supernatural creatures that would destroy it. Two people find out about this rug just as forces are coming together to unweave and undo it. One is a woman with buried witch-like powers; her grandma has been guarding the rug for decades. Another is a man – the grandson of a poet – who finds in the threads an escape from his dreary, aimless life. Together they wander our own world and the undiscovered world of the rug several times, trying to save the creation from its apocalypse.
Clive Barker (yes, he of Hellraiser and Books of Blood) creates a whole planet with mythical creatures, epic battles, political and social themes, and plenty of the gory horror he’s known for. That being said, each element is held in decent perspective; even the grisly parts seem less cruel and more fascinating and magical than he’s rendered in his other books. In many ways, Weaveworld is a horror writer’s nod to Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, as well as to mythologist Joseph Campbell. Because Barker is such a good writer, his book is an elaborate weaving from many other sources and styles, yet Weaveworld still maintains the author’s signature style.
Weaveworld. A world within our world, but set apart - sewn into a rug by magic. It's a world created by a people called the Seerkind, made to make a place of their own as a refuge, then hidden away because they are different – and hunted.
When Cal stumbles on, and set eyes upon a rug named The Fugue, he was enraptured. Why though? Just a carpet, although it be a beautifully intricate one, is to anyone else in our world an ordinary rug much like many others. The other men here, hired to clean out the old lady's house, where the carpet and many other things reside, don't see it like Cal. So off to storage it goes. And lost to Cal in the process. But that's just the beginning of the story. If he did not meet the rug again, then there wouldn't be a story, so he will. Because it needs him, as it also needs at least one other. Her name is Suzanne, whom Cal may also become enraptured with.
I go into some depth with Cal in the intro there for good reason. It's not because Suzanne isn't as important to this tale as Cal. She is completely necessary, and I appreciate her part. These two are connected by fate. But, Cal is the heart of this tale (I would even hazard a guess that it was the same for Barker). Maybe it's just me, but Weaveworld was far more interesting when told from Cal's point of view, than when is wasn't. There were other sections, like when the Fugue unfolds, that felt unfocused. By the end they were necessary. It just could have been a little tighter. That said, if a big story is to work in the end, you often need the long build-up to create a worthy climax. Well, the climax of Weaveworld is wholly worthy. I wouldn't remove a single word from the final 150 pages. Most of those pages are told from Cal's point of view, but what really sets it apart from the rest was the intensity brought by the chase. In the end, its good versus bad; the weak running from Goliath - just plain good stuff.
Got to add a thank you to friends Dawn and Nat for inviting me into this for a buddy read. Always good experiencing a book with friends.
Σε μια μουντή και μελαγχολική συνοικία του Λίβερπουλ, ανάμεσα σε παλαιές τριώροφες κατοικίες, το σπιτάκι της υπέργηρης κυρίας Λασένσκι φιλοξενούσε τα δικά του, καλά κρυμμένα, μυστικά∙ κι ένα χαλί που, πίσω και πέρα από τα περίτεχνα σχέδιά του, έκρυβε την είσοδο σ’ έναν κόσμο θαυμαστό, όπου κυριαρχούσαν ανέκαθεν το φως κι η μαγεία. Αυτήν την πολύχρωμη Χώρα του Όζ, όμως, αυτόν τον εκστατικό υφαντόκοσμο, είναι αναπόφευκτο να τον εποφθαλμιούν (πολλοί). Κι αναπότρεπτη η μανία τους να τον καταστρέψουν, όταν τελικά αποτύχουν να γίνουν ηγεμόνες του.
Καλοί και κακοί, αλλόκοτα πλάσματα, χθόνιοι δαίμονες, μαγεία κι εκστάσεις. Το σύμπαν της φαντασίας του Clive Barker υπήρξε αναντίρρητα δαιδαλώδες και σκοτεινό. Κι ο Υφαντόκοσμος, επινοημένος κι αποτυπωμένος εξαιρετικά στο χαρτί δυο χρόνια μετά Τα βιβλία του Αίματος κι έναν μόλις χρόνο μετά το The Hellbound Heart, προσφέρει την καλύτερη αφορμή για να αναρωτηθούμε ξανά και ξανά: «τι σκατά συμβαίνει στο μυαλό αυτού του τύπου;». Respect.
You know when you haven’t read a favourite author in a while, and you kinda forget how amazing they are? And then you read 10 pages of a book and very quickly you’re reminded why you fangirl over said author - that was my experience with Weaveworld!
The Fugue is a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans, but it has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it. The death of its guardian leads to a battle between good and evil for control of the Fugue.
This was my first foray into one of Barker’s epic-length fantasy books, as so far I’ve mostly stuck to his horror. But it turns out Barker really can do it all, as he beautifully weaves (pun intended) together dark fantasy and horror. This would be a fab Barker recommendation for fantasy fans!
Weaveworld encompasses a magnificent cast of heroes and villains. Immacolata has now became one of my favourite villains - any time she appeared on the page, I was OBSESSED. This badass bitch is eerily followed around by her ghostly sisters, Magdalene and the Hag, who she strangled in the womb before birth. How mental is that!
I loved that it was mostly set in one of my favourite cities, Liverpool, and I absolutely adored the commentary on imagination and how magical it truly can be. My only minor qualm would be that sometimes the pace would slow down a little and I was just waiting for it pick back up again!
Weaveworld is bizarre, intense, imaginative, magical and messed-up. But I would expect nothing less from Clive Barker. 4 stars.
4.0 stars This is a unique piece of fantasy than is definitely more fantastical than horror. The author is better known as a horror writer but this one is straight up fantasy.
The title fits the novel because it's a rather complex narrative with multiple threads that slowly weave together in this long story. I loved the beginning, but I will admit the the story got a bit long and unwieldy.
This is definitely one I'll need to reread now that I know where the story is going. It was a lot to digest on my first pass.
I have never done this before. I was at page 669 out of 722, a fairly negligible amount of pages left to read, but I just couldn't continue. This book was SO BORING. The concept was cool and the characters were alright (kind of wooden, really), but the writing was just... it was lacking... FIRE, I guess. I was just so hum-drum. There was nothing that drew me to read it. When I first started it, I was into it enough to keep going. I gave it a good hundred pages and it started getting interesting. But when I hit about 450 I started reading it just to finish it. I figured I only had 200 pages to go and I can read about 100 pages an hour or so, especially given the large title pages and etc in this book, but at night when I would go to read, I'd end up on Reddit instead, or I'd write something or I'd do cross stitch! I figured I was just tired. But then today, I had just finished working my ass off all morning for work, so I decided I was going to do a little reading at lunch. I picked up the book, got through 1 page, and decided I would rather LIFT 25 LB GARDEN STONES in the yard than read this book. Now, that sparked a revelation in me, that I really couldn't give a SHIT if the main characters lived, if the scourge got everyone, or if all the Weaveworld raptures dissipated. I have never done this before, but I skipped ahead and the read the last page, and then chucked the book over my bannister. Seriously, this book sucks. I don't know why I keep TRYING Clive Barker. Mister B. Gone was ok and Galilee focused on the wrong characters, so why did I think I would like this one? I've learned my lesson. No More Clive Barker. UGH.
This big, beautiful book just secured itself a spot in my favourite fantasy stand-alones EVER. With this book Barker shows that he can do fantasy just as well as he does horror and it’s just absolutely PHENOMENAL. He blends together such a spectacular mix of dark fantasy with just a dash of horror and the result is just mind blowing. The world Barker has created in this book is just so unique, I’ve never read anything like it and I doubt I ever will again! Not only is the setting unlike anything I’ve ever read before but the characters are a huge part of why I loved this book as well. You have heroes and villains and magical beings and everything else in between and it makes for such a magical experience when added to the amazing world Barker has created!
Fantasy is not my primary genre, but I was told repeatedly I had to read Weaveworld. It's been on my shelves for years. How can someone invent a story like this, seems incredible. Fascinating story but at times not really grasping my attention, at times it did though. not bad for a genre which isn't on my top shelves. Can imagine that people who love fantasy find this book a great book. Between three and four stars is my rating therefore.
In this book Clive Barker shows himself as his typical verbose, descriptive imaginative self.
Which is a good thing. Mostly. His ideas are often very unusual and surprising, his descriptions (especially of landscapes) are extremely convincing and I don’t remember any antagonist in a novel that I found as repulsive right from the start as the antagonists in this book.
On the less positive side I found this book really promising at the beginning and was full of expectation, but around halftime when I was still waiting for the actual story to begin, I realized that this was the actual story already and things started to become tedious.
So for my taste Barker described too few events far too extensively (in an excellent way, but still) and somehow this made me lose interest. Also the protagonists were lacking development and therefore turned out to be a bit of a bore.
I was still hoping for the end to be overwhelming, but after a really short climax the book more or less just ends…
So, even though I really like Clive Barker’s writing a lot, this book is only worth 3 stars for me. Still a good book, but a bit on the draggy side.
I was under the belief of two things before beginning Weaveworld. First, that this was a fantasy horror novel and, second, that Barker was "just" a horror novelist. Turns out this book is very much dark fantasy and Barker is a damn wordsmith. I had no idea his writing style was so incredible! I am not one of those reviewers that fawn over prose but it's impossible to ignore here.
As for the story, I found this tale to be very Stephen King's Dark Tower lite. It isn't quite on that level, but it gave me similar vibes more than once. The villains are all fantastic, while the protagonists are kind of vanilla and don't really inspire the reader to root for them or care about their eventual fates. Still, as an introduction to Mr. Barker, I'm completely floored by his talent as a writer and can't wait to see how he writes actual horror soon.
Weaveworld by Clive Barker, is a very good story. It’s very well written, with interesting characters, a very complex plot, but, I didn’t like it very much. I usually like this type of literature, but something was missing, in this story, for me, to enjoy it fully. However, I highly recommend it to fantasy’s fans.
I have a couple of close friends who absolutely rave over Clive Barker…and especially over Weaveworld. I really hoped I would love it as much as they did. After the disaster that was Imajica, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to continue with Barker at all. I felt like he lost me completely with that book. But then I remembered how much I loved the Thief of Always….and can we talk about the greatness that is the HellBound Heart?
Imajica was so far over my head I thought that part of the book wasn��t in mine. I was hoping that Weaveworld would rekindle my affection for Barker. Unfortunately that was not the case.
I felt like this one was a less confusing version Imajica. But still confusing.
Barker has created a world here- and it is contained in a carpet.
Now, let me be clear. I’m into some shit. But a world within a carpet? PLEASE- please sell me on this, Clive. I tried so hard to buy into this. I really did. But no.
This just didn’t work for me. I think I need to read a physical copy because there were aspects of this that I think were lost in translation as I listened to it. I’ll eventually go back and give it a second chance.
As for now, I am kind of burnt out on Clive Barker. Anyone have some suggestions??
I first read WEAVEWORLD back in the late '80s just after it came out, and did so while on a boat trip around the Chester area on the Shropshire Union canal, so it was an episodic reading experience, punctuated by working locks, taking in scenery, and visiting a huge number of pubs. It's a surprise any of it stuck with me at all really, but I found on rereading this weekend that large chunks of it were there in my memory, flickering lights, raptures as Barker describes them, seductions and visions of elsewhere to make your heart break.
I got more out of it this time round, reading it in a solid chunk over two days. It's a masterful piece of work, full of Barker's vision, parts of it poetic, other parts showing off his visual imagination to the full, and all of it grounded in the character of Cal Mooney, lost in the lights of a vision of something he doesn't understand, but knows that he needs.
The central conceit of a magic carpet, and the wonders it contains is a great one to hang a fantasy on, and this is indeed fantasy, albeit one with a grotesque edge of horror, particularly in the villains, who are among the nastiest in fiction.
It's a big slab of a book, but I didn't notice, as I was lost and away with Cal in Wonderland most of the time, and I was almost sad to finish it.
It reminded me of something I'd forgotten, a need for wonder, something my own recent writings has lacked, and something I'll be trying to rectify. But I can't hope to reach Barker's flickering, glorious, raptures of body horror; that vision is his and his alone.
I was sorely disappointed with Barker's SCARLET GOSPELS, but reading WEAVEWORLD again reminded me that, on his game, he's up there with the best.
This book is not for the faint of heart. If you like weird, wonderful and grotesque imagery in your books, feel free to join us.
One of my absolute favoritest-est-est (yes I make up words) books ever. I love a good dark fantasy/horror novel and this one is one of the best... I'd give it 10 stars if I could. It's filled with grotesque, bizzare, intense, unique, weird, titillating and magical imagery and I love everything about it. It's not for the faint of heart or the easily grossed out, but it's also got some fleeting moments of sweetness and light.
I first read Weaveworld in my teens (it's been many years since then). Since I tend to read it every few years the copy I own is pretty tattered and the pages brown, even though I've had to buy it a few times (letting people "borrow" books can be hazardous). I always manage to glean something new from it at each sitting because it's just. that. good. All the feels, my friends... All the feels.
I'm not going to tell you anything about this book. In fact, you shouldn't even read other people's descriptions. There's nothing better than the sense of discovery you'll experience as you delve into the strange beauty in Clive Barker's world.
I think it's past time for me to crack this one open one more time; maybe you should too.
No, seriously. I really don't know what I've read and have no clue how to describe it in a coherent manner.
Weaveworld is a story of a world within a world. A world that to save itself from destruction, wove itself into a magic carpet, if you will. It's the story of a world within a world within a world (yep, another one) that are all on a road to collision.
“Nothing ever begins. There is no first moment; no single word or place from which this or any other story springs.”
The book is long, and brain consuming. It's not easy to read and at times may seem long winded. The elements that make the book so good redeem it in the end.
Plus, it has creepy monster baby hybrids in it.
This book is one of those that comprises of a journey which may take some time to traverse, but it's worth it. Bunneh promise.
“For nothing ever begins. And this story, having no beginning, will have no end."
*I decided to edit my review (from 4 stars to 5 stars) because after 2 years, I cannot get this book out of my head. It goes down in my life as one of the most memorable, intriguing, and stimulating books I have ever read. A must-read for Barker fans, or anyone who likes cross-genre books (horror, fantasy, action). Great book. Read below for my original review................
The best thing about this book is that it is able to cross genres seamlessly. With elements of fantasy, horror and science fiction, it has become my favorite "non-genre" that I will surely look for in other books. It has the best elements of these genres and seamlessly weaves them in together (see what I did there?). A true mind fuck.
With such a strange and unique concept for the book, it had to be well written for the reader to understand and imagine what the hell is going on. Clive Barker did that: Weaveworld has great imagery, character development and is overall an EXCELLENT read. I would have given it 5 stars except...
It is just too damn long. The version I bought has 648 pages and about 3/4 of the way through the story things get a little stagnant. Without spoiling anything, what started out as one main story line goes into several, so it takes a chapter for each story to have its moment. The result is a very long, drawn out 150 pages or so that could have better been shrunk down to 50 pages.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a mind fuck.
The edition I picked up is a hefty tome of a thing, 500+ thick, too-white (almost glossy) pages with bold red numbers, loosely scattered illustrations and loud chapter announcements. Gorgeous, really, firmly and without question a book (sometimes they are so quiet and uncertain it's hard to tell). The contents are rather less determined but all the more intriguing for it.
The story twists and loops and (for coincidental lack of a better word) weaves about, mesmerising even when it is unclear, disturbing, nonsensical - which is often. There is a lot of show-not-tell but for once it feels right. The plot is... hard to describe. There is a world, a magic woven up in a carpet, many people seek to own it, to claim it, to destroy it - to love it. Things happen. Silence falls. Things happen again. There isn't an ending (there isn't, apparantly, a beginning) and the characters feel archetypal even without a definite archetype. There is a little too much discussion of odd sensations in various characters' "pricks and balls" - I'm not sure what the fixation was, really - but other than that Weaveworld a strangely enjoyable, even captivating read.
I don't remember how I came across the idea of reading this. I don't think it was recommended, I think it was just there, one day, as a concept and then years later I remembered the idea and ordered the book. I think it's that kind of story, or would like to be - the kind that finds you.
Wow this is book to me was quite a disappointment. I found this book to be very long winded while at the same time it did not reveal much and left you wondering many questions. I found Cal to be a likable protagonist but did not care for Suzanne,the other main character. I felt the book should have ended at the three quarter mark where much of the main story lines were resolved. The last quarter of the book was painful to me as I no longer cared. I am giving this two stars even though I will probably look back at this one as less. If found this to be a long, drawn out story, that was not very detailed, and I never really found myself attached to the characters within. I cannot recommend this one, instead read one of Clive Barkers horror novels and be sure to watch all his movies!!!
Read once in the Cretaceous Period (well, the late 80's, but close enough). I still have that original hardback, and it still engenders feelings of the warm and fuzzy kind - though these days I don't remember a great deal about the actual story. I do remember it being inventive, fascinating, and a thoroughly enjoyable read.