Weaveworld

weaveworld Meet Calhoun Mooney.  Cal is having an okay life – his father hasn’t been the same since Cal’s mother died, Cal’s girlfriend is pressing that whole “marriage” thing, and all of the homing pigeons in the back yard are completely freaking out.  He doesn’t know it, but he’d better enjoy it, because he’s about to fall into a magic carpet and find out that his current life isn’t the one that he dreams of at all.

Welcome to the Fugue, a hidden world where the magic still lives and the countryside is beautiful.  It’s been hidden in the carpet to keep the Scourge and its agents from completely destroying the land, but people are hot on its trail and when they find it the fight for the salvation of the Fugue begins.

*****

Clive Barker tends to be known for his horror works, but this is actually MOSTLY a work of fantasy.  I say mostly because there are some definite “Barker-like” parts of this story.   Not enough that I’d classify it as horror, per se, but I can’t really recommend it to people who are squeamish at all.  So, Cole, you can’t read this one.

For everyone else, this is a pretty good story.  The idea that the remnants of an entire world and its people are hidden in a carpet is pretty cool.  And Barker has (as is to be expected) written some pretty interesting characters.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a Barker story if they didn’t have some sort of powers – magic coat, some force that a few chosen can shoot from their mouths, etc ( note, these are not the same things.  😉 ) -but they all work pretty well within the definition of the character.  It’s a long story with plenty of people in it, but never really feels like you can’t keep track of them.

I also think it has a pretty neat ending – but I try not to give those away.  So, check it out if you like mostly fantasy with some overshades of horror.  This is early Clive Barker, so if you’re a fan of his later work and haven’t checked this one out, you should.  A bit of a warning though – this isn’t the longest book I’ve read recently, but it sure felt like it sometimes.  He can be a bit long winded, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying a classic from a contemporary master.

A note:  It looks like there are some versions of this that don’t have the whole story (maybe it was in 2 books, way back when?)  Anyway, look for the longer one if you have a choice, that way you get everything you’re supposed to.

Weaveworld by Clive Barker, 704 pages

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Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 6:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Let The Right One In

right_oneTwelve year old Oskar is obsessed by the murder that’s taken place in his neighborhood.  Then he meets the new girl from next door.  She’s a bit weird though.  And she only comes out at night…

– From the back of the book

I’m not giving you much more than that, other to add that this is a darkly expressive coming of age tale of a couple of 12 year olds in Sweden during the height of the cold war.  Everything else, you have to find out on your own.

*****

I know that’s a little light on plot.  It’s meant to be.  I don’t want to spoil this book for you if you decide to read it.  And you should, but not right before bed and not with the lights out.

Lindqvist, a Swedish author, has captured a very gritty set of characters in his first novel.  In some ways, you find it hard to like them – but in almost every one there is a spark of hope or honesty or realism and you find yourself caring about them in spite of their brokenness.  And when the stagnant dynamic changes, the story is compelling and hard to put down.

It’s funny… I told someone the other day that the book was almost boring, but I still was up late reading to see what happened next.  It’s not a case of non-stop action and page turning suspense.  It’s something that I find myself having a hard time describing – all I can say is that I found myself picking up the book when I should have been doing something else.

I completely recommend this book, but have to warn you that it’s harsh in some areas and the author doesn’t shy away from social taboos.  This really serves to make you understand the characters but can be slightly disturbing at times.   You’ve been warned.  It also puts him on my “foreign authors to watch” list to see when his novel comes into English translation.  Hopefully the literary success, and the success of the film adaptation, help move that process along.  I’m interested to see his other works.

But for now, I’m on to something light and happy.

Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, 472 pages

Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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