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Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic: The Authorized Biography

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Clive Barker: a modern myth-maker, explorer of our darkest instincts and ultimate fears, the writer who -- more than any other contemporary figure -- has shaped our nightmares through diverse media. Novelist, playwright, scriptwriter, artist and director, he is a master at twisting the mundane to make it fantastic, frightening and ultimately meaningful.

Douglas E. Winter's
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Hardcover, 688 pages
Published July 23rd 2002 by Harper (first published 2001)
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Val I have two: "The Thief of Always", partly because of the illustrations by Mr. Barker; and "Coldheart Canyon" because the heroine isn't the cliche drop…moreI have two: "The Thief of Always", partly because of the illustrations by Mr. Barker; and "Coldheart Canyon" because the heroine isn't the cliche drop-dead-gorgeous bombshell, but an ordinary frumpy but feisty girl.(less)

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Jo Bennie
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: b, w
It took me I think three goes to read this weighty book but it was very much worth it. This is not the usual lightweight biography of an author focusing on his or her life and the expression of themes from it in their work, this is academic in style and prose, a deep introspection into the life and literary and artistic work of an extremely complex individual, Clive Barker, perhaps most famously the creator of Hellraiser, the Books of Blood and Candyman. Barker's work defies categorisation, stra ...more
Tobin Elliott
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very pro-biased look at Clive Barker and his work, but that's okay with me. While not a fan of everything Barker has put out, I absolutely recognize him as one of the singular talents of the writing profession.

The book goes above and beyond most biographies and their "he was born, then this happened, then this, then this, then this..." style and Winter delves into the deeper meanings and connections along the way.

I think the only thing I could have done without were the multi-page summ
...more
Eva
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is pretty much THE authoritative Barker text, the first half going into his early life and his genesis into an artist and a writer, and then the second half focuses more on a critical literary analysis of his works, containing some insights into the production and adaptation processes of the films made based on Clive Barker's work. Any die hard Barker fan must have this on their bookshelf. It's a doorstopper, but it's jam-packed with the awesomeness that is this author. Very well-written, v ...more
Stephen Lord
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A superb and exhaustive insight into the life, heart, mind and work of one of my favourite creators. I return to it often to read about the stories behind Barker's stories, and find fresh inspiration for my own.
Ard
While it was interesting to read a bit more about this great author, the writing started to get on my nerves after about fifty pages and the long, winding descriptions about his plays while in school I found just uninteresting. Even the chapters about his books were mostly outlines of the stories, and for me the book just didn't deliver. Had the feeling I would much rather read some of his books again than plough through this dull work. A man with a mind like Barker's deserves a better biography ...more
Trilby O'Farrell
May 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
I found myself skipping over the lengthy descriptions of his work to get to the tidbits about his personal life. This is so long and detailed, but the actual biography part could fill a pamphlet.
Kris
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great biography. It covered his life, loves and work.
Sarah
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This oft-delayed Barker critical analysis / biography has finally made it to UK shops just in time for Christmas 2001, with the US edition out in July 2002. With one or two reservations, we'd say it's been well worth the wait.
Winter appears to have undertaken extensive interviews with just about anyone who's anyone in Barker's past and present; time-consuming research which has enabled him to pepper the biography with asides and footnotes which enhance the overall collection. The Dark Fantastic
...more
John J Questore
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Let me preface this review with this: I LOVE Clive Barker. If he published a book of his grocery lists from the last 20 years, I would buy it.

So naturally I thought this would be an awesome book. Not really. 80% was nothing more than a rehash of his novels - which I already read! If I wanted to reread them, I would.

On top of that, the writing was so dry I found myself falling asleep as I was reading it.

This book could have easily been half the size had the author just stuck more to Clive's life
...more
Beth Miller
Sep 11, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm still in the middle of it, and it's slow going. The author describes, at lenght, each of Barker's plays and stories. He tells us of the plot, themes, 'and then this happened's, and he quotes the stories as well. I could read the stories myself and get a better understanding. What I want with this book is the story of Barker, not the stories of Barker. I need to develop my skimming skills.....
Olivera
Started reading this as research for my dissertation. Haven't actually read it all, but I love it. Clive Barker is so cool, and Douglas Winter incorporates the literary analysis with the personal really well. Don't necessarily expect a full biography, but it's a good introduction to a lot of his work.
Mark
Oct 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exhaustively complete, this is about as good a resource of Clive Barker and his work (the biography takes him from birth right up to publication) that you're likely to ever get. Taking in his early films, the Dog Company and his theatre work, his Hollywood experiences and on, this is a terrific read. Very highly recommended.
Martyn
Sep 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
this has got to be one of the worst biographies I've ever read. As much as I like Clive Barker's work, this is nothing but gush.
Alan Toner
A very good book on Clive Barker.
Melanie
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
An interesting subject but the writing got bogged down in recounting every detail of every play Barker and his Dog Group every put on... over decades! So I gave up.
Erika Jones
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Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic 1 1 Aug 23, 2016 08:10PM  

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Douglas E. Winter is an American writer, critic and lawyer. A life-long interest in horror has led him to develop a parallel career as horror writer and horror critic. Winter edited horror anthologies Prime Evil (1988), and Revelations (1997) as well as the interviews collection Faces of Fear (1985, revised 1990). He has also written biographies of Stephen King and Clive Barker. He is a member of ...more

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