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Coldheart Canyon Mass Market Paperback – Oct 17 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (Oct. 17 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006103018X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061030185
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 10.8 x 16.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #797,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3.2 out of 5 stars
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By Jamieson Villeneuve TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 28 2009
Format: Hardcover
Meet Todd Pickett. He is a has-been actor at twenty-nine, used up by the very system which turned him overnight from an Ohio farm boy into a superstar. In an attempt to regain his lost beauty Pickett elects to have plastic surgery, never dreaming that this decision would risk his life, and his soul. The procedure goes horribly, grotesquely wrong. Hiding from his fans, and from the press he knows will tear his reputation apart if they find out about his operation, Todd takes refuge where he thinks no one will find him.

He's wrong. His retreat from the glare of publicity takes him to a place that no map of Hollywood has ever described: Coldheart Canyon. Here, nursing his wounds and his desperation, he discovers what the history of the Dream Factory has long concealed: a world somewhere between life and death, reality and illusion, where the great legends of a forgotten Hollywood are waiting to educate him in the bitter business of life after fame.

Somehow, sooner or later, everyone from Tammy, the overweight, obsessive, good president of Todd's fan club, to Micky, a dying former child star with a life full of secrets, ends up in Coldheart Canyon, finding out things they never wanted to know about sex, madness, courage and generosity.

Set in Hollywood, Coldheart Canyon is a portrayal of a city that has a darker underbelly than we usually see. Told with a deft hand and a witty mind, we see Tinsel Town as it really is: that glamorous half-world in which beauty, power and youth are wealth; all can be stripped away in a heartbeat, and nothing is what it seems, even Death itself.

I was held spellbound as Barker spun his tale, weaving story and background seamlessly. Coldheart Canyon is a large book, close to 800 pages in hardcover.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When famous actor Todd Pickett goes missing after blotched plastic surgery, his most fanatical fan, a fat housewife named Tammy Lauper, decides to try to find
her missing heartthrob. She tracks him to Coldheart Canyon, a great mansion haunted by old Hollywood stars and controlled by Katya Lupi, a silent screen star whose youthful ethereal beauty is still strangely preserved despite decades of hard living, and who will do anything to keep Todd by her side.

What worked for me:

Tammy rocks! She starts off as a stereotypical character, a fat housewife obsessed with a famous actor; but she turns out to be a tough, sweet-natured and intelligent woman.
Size-wise, although her weight isn't mentioned, I expected she's a rather big girl.

What didn't work for me:

Not enough Tammy in this book, and she should have been given a love interest.

Overall:

I highly recommend this suspense-filled horror novel. Tammy Lauper is a great heroine; do not judge her right away. She becomes a wonderfully well-defined character as the story progresses.

Warning: There are mentions of the occult in this book, as well as some very violent and sexual scenes, including rape and bestiality.

(...)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Clive Barker is a writer who never takes the subtle way out. It's a cliche that sometimes the scariest things are those things which are only hinted it or suggested (shower scene in PSYCHO is often trotted out as an example). Barker seems to believe that he can induce fear by pounding us with graphic details...not for the faint of heart. And he's such an adept writer, that he often succeeds, mostly because his imagination dares to go where no one has gone before.
COLDHEART CANYON deals with the movie business. A '20s era silent-movie siren has a room installed in her house made entirely of tile taken from a monestery in Romania. This tile, some 30,000 pieces, may actually have been built by Lilith, the wife of Satan, and it seems to have...shall we say...remarkable qualities. The '20s era movie star and all her friends and fellow stars are transfixed and transformed by the power of this room, known as "The Devil's Country." Nothing subtle here. Then we skip forward to present day Hollywood, where star Todd Pickett makes the mistake of getting plastic surgery and suffers severe damage. He takes refuge from the press at the long abandoned "pleasure palace" of the '20s era star, Katya, that he has never heard of. No one seems to live in the house, but we soon find out otherwise.
I've only scratched the surface of this wildy imaginative, almost bloated, novel. It's grand to read a book that takes on, with great humor, the foibles of the movie industry, and turns that satire into a horror novel of massive proportions. The house has one mystery after another, and the fates of the people who cross paths with the house, its grounds, its "residents" and especially The Devil's Country are drawn out in exquisite detail.
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Format: Hardcover
From evidence in the author's introduction, I do wonder if this book was more difficult to produce than his others. I guess it does lack the liquid flow of imagery and energy that some of his other pieces have; but, to be fair, he is puppeteering an immense cast in this work, and some of the clumsiness almost goes hand-in-hand with that effort. Still, it was a page-turner, and had both Barker's shuddering horrors and his dry humour in spades.
The book's format is really interesting. A climax comes early, and then Barker follows the characters well into the aftermath. The climax is so savage it's almost as if he's holding you afterwards, comforting you, soothing you; certainly the characters soothe each other. A reference to human sexuality? Well, maybe. The book does has its fair share of explicit sex. And if you don't know anything about the artist Hieronymus Bosch, you will at the end of this volume.
I definitely recommend this book.
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