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Imajica

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  22,107 ratings  ·  1,007 reviews
Imajica is an epic beyond compare: vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. At its heart lies the sensualist and master art forger, Gentle, whose life unravels when he encounters Judith Odell, whose power to influence the destinies of men is vaster than she knows, and Pie 'oh' pah, an alien assassin who comes from a hidden d ...more
Paperback, 823 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Eos (first published October 1991)
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Popular Answered Questions
Lisa Murphy Yes and no. Gentle is, well, Gentle, everyone loves him, and wants to sleep with him. He's not prudish, he likes who he likes. There are a gay couple …moreYes and no. Gentle is, well, Gentle, everyone loves him, and wants to sleep with him. He's not prudish, he likes who he likes. There are a gay couple that are a major part of the book. There relationship is awesome and a little heartbreaking. Sexuality is a fluid thing for Gentle, the person he falls in love with is a perfect example of this fluidity. You will love this book. (less)
Shane Duquette I disagree with the previous answer. I'm going to go with yes.

Gentle presumably feels ambivalent about my men because he never mentions them. Moreover…more
I disagree with the previous answer. I'm going to go with yes.

Gentle presumably feels ambivalent about my men because he never mentions them. Moreover, Gentle is equally protagonistic during both the day and night.

(less)

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  22,107 ratings  ·  1,007 reviews


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Michael || TheNeverendingTBR
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely brilliant, it's as complex as they get, very very strange, wonderfully written and just goes to show that Cliver Barker is one of the greatest imaginers of our times.

I'd say it's his best book, if you're into long books that are on a biblical scale and you have patience to see a complex story though - there's a good chance you'll love this book! ✅
...more
Chris
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, top-shelf
The world is not quite what we always thought it was. But this is a Clive Barker book, so that goes without saying.

The Imajica is the whole of creation, the true world, four-fifths of which we've never seen. Earth, the Fifth Dominion, has long been separate from the other four. How it got split away, held back from the other Reconciled Dominions by the horrible netherworld of the In Ovo, no one knows. But throughout history there have been Maestros, men of great and terrible power, who have trie
...more
Kenny
We’re too much ourselves. Afraid of letting go of what we are, in case we are nothing, and holding on so tight, we lose everything else.
Imajica ~~ Clive Barker


1
Selected by Spenky for March 2022 Big Book Read

Back in my youth, I worked at a New Age bookstore. Surprisingly, our biggest seller for nearly six months was Clive Barker’s Imajica ~~ in hardcover no less. I bought a copy and quickly forgot about it while I instead read the Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel ~~ if you read my A Little Boy in
...more
Sarah
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
4.5 Stars, rounded down to 4 for the sheer length of it, not the quality of the writing.

I still stand that this is very well written and enjoyable, it just took me SO long to finish it (it clocks in at over 1,000 pages!). Think I maybe could have benefitted from listening to an Audiobook version of this instead, which I very well might do in the future if I ever decide to revisit it one day.
It helped me to enjoy Imajica even more by splitting it into three parts myself.
I became a fan of Clive Ba
...more
Warrengent
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WOW this book,what ever I say will not do it justice, an amazing story, epic in scale and characters that I will remember forever.
In the late eighties early nineties,I was to busy reading king, Hebert, lumley that I never got around to Clive Barker,what a massive mistake that was.
This was my first novel that I have read of Clive Barker, and I have been totally blown away by his imagination.
At 1136 pages long the imajica is a big book but what a story, it had me gripped from the start, work and
...more
Stepheny
Buddy Read with my brotha from anotha motha.

The only good part about this book was reading it with a friend. I honestly can't write a review because I have no fucking clue what happened, to whom it happened to, nor what dimension I was in when it occurred.

I'm thinking that in about 10 years when my brain has recovered I would like to pick up a physical copy of the book and give it a better try.

I love audiobooks and especially ones that are long- Stephen King's It is over 44 hours and I've li
...more
Brandon
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit, I had tried Clive Barker's work once before this, and didn't like it. Then, I checked out The Great and Secret Show, and fell in love with it. I ended up getting Imajica from my public library, thinking it was a fifty-fifty chance that I could like it.

When I first started reading it, I got bored in the first hundred pages and dropped it for a few weeks. Then, I didn't have anything else to read, and ended up picking it back up. I didn't put it back down.

Imajica is a very beaut
...more
Dustin

“It was the pivotal teaching of Pluthero Quexos, the most celebrated dramatist of the Second Dominion, that in any fiction, no matter how ambitious its scope or profound its theme, there was only ever room for three players. Between warring kings, a peacemaker; between adoring spouses, a seducer or a child. Between twins, the spirit of the womb. Between lovers, Death. Greater numbers might drift through the drama, of course -- thousands in fact -- but they could only ever be phantoms, a
...more
Bill
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, favorites
If you've read his Books of Blood, the Damnation Game, the Great and Secret Show, and Weaveworld but haven't gotten around to Imajica yet, turn off your computer right now and get out there and get it.
This is Clive Barker's masterpiece. Earth is part of a dominion of five other worlds, and the only one unaware of the others. This novel is about the reuniting of Earth to the other four worlds. Again, this is horrific, beautiful, mind-expanding.
An incredible feat of the imagination...this is one
...more
Crystie
I feel like this book kind of ruined my life, in that I know that nothing I ever read from here on out will ever be as good. Like an addict's first hit of their poison of choice, nothing will ever be this good again. That makes me sad, but knowing that now, I'd still read it. It was just. Wow. Thank you so much for ruining my life forever, Clive Barker, you're actually the best.

I've been recommending it to everybody I encounter, from friends to strangers in my literature classes, but I can't exp
...more
Rachel
Mar 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, owned
It seems to be fashionable for modern horror writers to assume that, in order for a book to be edgy/scary, every detail must be depressing, disgusting, or some combination thereof, even when such detail borders on crass and does nothing for the plot. There is no need, for example, to include a scene where the main character watches television naked and picks the crumbs of his late-night snack out of his nether regions. No need. But "Imajica" is one long extraneous detail, an 800+ page behemoth t ...more
Catinmybrain
Jul 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Imajica is the best fantasy story written in the last 40 years.

Any medium. Easily.

When I was younger I considered it Barker's greatest work. Now after reading it again I consider it one of the greatest novels ever written.

Let me explain.

A lot of fantasy worlds are large.

The writers spend enormous amounts of time creating very detailed descriptions of geography or family lineage. They create maps. They invent hundreds or thousands of characters to fill different nations, they create classes an
...more
Steve
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a buddy-read with Dustin.

Impressive in its scope and imagining, Clive Barker has created a marathon epic, with sprawling worlds, dozens of wonderfully strange and outlandish characters straight out of our nightmares, incredibly complex confrontations, deep philosophy, high adventure, and staggering tension, all thrown at the reader from the excellent beginning to the satisfying end.

This is not a light read by any means, but the prose is fully developed. There are many unusual words in h
...more
Anthony Vacca
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written more often than over-written, Clive Barker's Imajica is a picaresque (the blurb from William S. Burroughs adorning the cover of my edition agrees) dark fantasy that seeks to dispel gender binary and then imagine the fluid, and frankly erotic, possibilities for human coexistence. If you are looking for a long read with gender-bending assassins, imprisoned goddesses, magic made out of breath and spit, brutal inter-dimensional ghouls, impossible but consensual sexual contortions, oddly ...more
Hydra M. Star
Though one of my all time favorite books, when I set out a little over a month ago to re-read Clive Barker‘s Imajica, for the eight or ninth time in the fifteen years I’ve owned my now slightly battered hardcover edition, I didn’t know if I’d include a write up about it in my blog. It’s not only difficult for me to sum this book up in a few words, it is a very lengthy volume at 824 pages, but it is extremely difficult to do so without giving way too much. Almost literally every aspect of the sto ...more
heidi
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paper, re-read
I wish I were a college professor of gender studies. This would be an awesome text about One Artist's Perception of Gender Duality. What, you never got assigned 800-pg novels? Or maybe I could assign my hapless students to read it in opposition to His Dark Materials. At least those come in smaller packets. This is a big, epic book, with big crazy sex, and divinities familiar and alien. I find the central love story a little unconvincing, but the crazy details are richly ornamental. It's like a F ...more
Jared
Jul 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
I truly love Clive Barker's work, but this is BY FAR his worst, most indulgent novel. It's confused, confusing, pompous, silly, boring, lumbering and just bad. The characters act in seemingly random fashion, the pacing is long stretches of nothing followed by some infodump and then an act of violence. It's just an incoherent mess with neither plot, character or language to keep it interesting. Barker relies too heavily on his world-building to sell the novel, but quite frankly, Imajica is much l ...more
Amanda
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really more like 2.5. The only reason I finished this is because Simon Vance is a narrator genius. Seriously this guy can do voices like nobody else. There were a million characters and I was never once confused as to who was speaking. The overall story was interesting but it was too long and the main characters were flat. Some of the secondary characters were interesting and what made the book readable to me. Happy to be finished with this one.
Cody | CodysBookshelf
WTF did I just read?

I mean, I think I know . . . I’m pretty sure I know. Barker is good at bringing his full imagination to the page in a way that doesn’t lose his reader. Still, Imajica is a lot. The sort of book that requires multiple rereads.

I know I didn’t catch everything. And that’s okay. I loved it.

I don’t usually do fantasy, but I’m a fan of Barker’s because he mixes in likable (well, relatable anyway) characters and gore and lots of erotica. But this isn’t Books of Blood; don’t go in e
...more
John
Aug 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I can't say Imajica was a book I particularly enjoyed reading, but I nonetheless admire and respect the hell out of it. The breadth of Barker's imagination is extrodinary, and his writing style is sublime. And he has a lot to say; it's just that his concepts are a little too flighty and mystical for my taste. This book is Barker's attempt to write the Great American Fantasy Novel, and he pulls out all the stops. The fundamental problem with it for me is that I don't really care for the character ...more
Brian Steele
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark-fantasy
The best proof that Dark Fantasy novels do not have to involve semi-erotic vampires posing as P.I's or bounty hunters. Clive Barker's epic masterpiece might be a massive tome, but you need every page to tell the story. Parallel worlds that are united but lost to Earth, a secret society dedicated to eradicate all magic, mages who seek a reconciliation of the worlds, an ageless love triangle and the hidden history of god.

Yeah, some people might be turned off by a sub-plot that involves a complex
...more
Donovan
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
Another classic Barker at his finest with that perfect blend of horror an fantasy, although with this read the direction is more fantasy with a nice splash of the erotic thrown in. It's not always an easy read as it is over 1000+ long!!!



Plot ***Spoilers***
The Fifth Dominion:
The novel opens with a man, Charlie Estabrook, hiring the mysterious assassin Pie 'Oh' Pah to murder his estranged wife, Judith. Pie heads to New York and makes an attempt on Judith's life, but fails. Estabrook, having come t
...more
Jim Peterson
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don’t think I would change a word of this story. It was perfect, incredibly entertaining and I’m sad it’s over. It’s now my favorite Clive Barker book and one of my favorite books overall.

While I enjoyed Hellraiser and do intend to read the Books of Blood, I think Clive Barker's move from horror to fantasy resulted in some of the most original stories ever written.

Though I’ve mentioned this in other Barker reviews, I just want to stress how much I love his style of writing. It’s just so elega
...more
Chris Berko
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I've forgotten how good Clive Barker can be. Weaveworld, Cabal, Great and Secret Show, all the Books of Blood, I read and loved these in my teens. Then came Coldheart Canyon which was kinda pointless and not good and then a few years ago I read Mister B Gone and he lost me. Didn't like that one at all. Imajica is now probably my second favorite behind Great and Secret Show, its slow and steady and builds to an incredible ending that very satisfyingly ties it all up. Glad I finally read this ...more
Nicholas Armstrong
Jan 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
So I have read something else of Clive Barker's. Good to know. Umm, this book is really goddamn weird. I've read and watched some odd things, but this is reaaaaally out there. I normally like original things... not so sure here. I remember talking to another person about weird books and they told me about a book where the main character had a bug head, a wasp I want to say, and I remember thinking 'That sounds really stupid.' and I think I feel the same way with most of Imajica.

It's true, the bo
...more
Leo Robertson
Guys I don't know if you know this but, um, this book has SO many pages. Rumour has it no one even knows how many. Imajica, whispers a spirit in one of the Four Dominions that isn't Earth. I could specify which, like Barker does, but it wouldn't matter because I would be unable to describe any of them any further, like Barker didn't.

Interesting intro. Easy enough to follow. More characters were introduced and as I say once they entered these other Dominions that weren't Earth, and none of the Do
...more
Stephen Clynes
Many readers consider Imajica an epic novel from a master storyteller. So after reading a friend’s 5 star review, I thought I would give this book a go.

Imajica is a fantasy novel of make believe worlds, containing magic and societies on planets away from earth. We are not talking about interplanetary travel but that earth exists in the Fifth dimension and the heroes can travel back and forth between the Fifth (ours), the fourth, the third and the second dimension. Part of this novel takes place
...more
Kenneth McKinley
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, own-paperback
What an amazing, epic tale. I’m still reeling, as I try to wrap my head around what I’ve read. Barker’s prose is legendary. The man creates an immense sprawling universe with the ease of walking down the street. His word choices are poetic, jaw-dropping, a human thesaurus.

For those of you that are looking for an 850 page Books of Blood - keep moving. This isn’t it. In fact, Imajica only has hints of horror between it’s many pages. If a dark fantasy is more of your liking, you would be hard pres
...more
David
Imajica is a very 90s epic fantasy; it's got ties to our world, but a pseudo-Victorian aesthetic despite being set more or less in the modern world, but its 800-plus pages span across five "Dominions" (parallel worlds that only mages, called "Maestros," can reach), conspiracies going back centuries, and a bunch of strange creatures like "Nullianacs" and "Mistiffs," a god called Hapexamendios, cities like Yzordderrex, and characters with names like Pie'oh'pah, Quaisoir, and Chicka Jackeen. It's g ...more
Michael Benavidez
Reality: 4.8

This is a book with such a large scope, that it's a surprise that Clive Barker was able to go follow it through to the very end. It does show in places that it is a very hard journey to have maintained throughout.
If there was a flaw in this book, it would be the fact that Clive Barker has such a picturesque vision of the Imajica that he tries to put down every bit of detail that he can. This not only slows down the narrative, but makes the characters seem as though they aren't what'
...more
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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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