SURREAL, BREATH-TAKING, AND EUPHORIC!!!
As an avid reader of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, I have never had a book get me "high" to the point where I felt I could leap from a mountain and soar forever. Mr. Barker attains a level of imagination King wishes he had; fleshing out rich, complex characters that remain with you long after you read the last sentence. The story, at its core deals with love, war, lost identities, and a quest for harmony. Tolkien and Donaldson readers would be missing the reading experience of their life were they not to enter Barker's world
Excellent storytelling, fantasy, imagery, characterizations.
This book reminded me, in mood and character, of Tad William's "Tailchaser's Song" and of Richard Adam's "Watership Down" -- no, nothing to do with animals, but to do with otherworldiness. 'Imajica' is populated with a variety of interesting people, all of whom are lovingly rendered with a level of detail and attention to history that makes them uniquely motivated and easy to relate to... and they move through episodes, evolutions, and worlds in ways which are vivid, captivating, suspenseful, and satisfying. I believe near the end the book loses some degree of focus and some of the characters I felt I knew intimately started behaving in ways I didn't find believable, and there was the unfortunate 'and then they disappeared' type ending... but, ending aside, the journey was fabulous. I couldn't put the book down. I read it voraciously. I highly suggest it, if you're in the mood for involving, highly detailed fantasy and world-building.
This is the book that solidified Clive Barker as one of my favorite authors. I have given away probably 10 copied (after rereading!) and the story never gets old. One of the few books I recommend with no hesitation.
Clive Barker is brilliant.
Barker has a way--- and this is no exception. Interesting read.
I received this book from PBS on 5/17/07. I couldn't put it down! Brilliant! Nine days and 850 pages later, I'm passing it along. Great summer beach book!
The story meandered so much that by the time I was halfway through the book I didn't care anymore - I just wanted to be done. Maybe this could be attributed to the fact that I don't generally like picaresque novels since the plot is usually either secondary to some point the author is trying to make or is simply nonexistent. The story picked up in earnest in the second half, but not enough to redeem it completely; there's only so much world-building that I can put up with before I need to see characters I care about running around in the built worlds! I love fantasy, but this book was a major disappointment for me.
This book is obviously the work of an immensely creative person, but is over-laden. It was too much; too dense with language and universes and doppelgangers and Christian metaphor for me. It may benefit from rereading, but at 845 pages I'm not going to.