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THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW [Paperback]

Clive Barker
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's no secret.... April 16 2009
By Jamieson Villeneuve TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
the dead letter room in the middle of Omaha, Randolph Jaffe has stumbled upon a secret. At first, the secret isn't clear, just vague references to something called the Art. The Art begins to consume Jaffe, taking over his life. Its secrets continue to elude Jaffe until he cracks part of the code.

The Art are laws governing an alternate reality called Quididdty. Quididdty is the dream see, the dreamscape, the magic that runs through all our fantasies. Jaffe can think of nothing else except the Art and becoming a master of it. Quididdty is his for the taking.

Taking a scientist named Fletcher under his wing to further his growing evil, Jaffe hopes to get one step closer to mastering the Art. Fletcher creates a transforming drug they call Nuncio, which uses the principals of the Art. What they don't realize is that it will become their undoing.

Fletcher realizes that Jaffe is evil and attempts to stop his plans by destroying the Nuncio. He knows that the drug is capable of transforming anyone into what ever they are most on the inside. Good becomes great. Evil becomes more so. Except, the Nuncio has other plans. It transforms Fletcher and then Jaffe into Demigods. Not content to let the other live, (after all, good must always triumph over evil) Fletcher and Jaffe engage in a battle that brings them to Palamo Grove, a small town and an ideal place to hide and rest in the earth while regaining the energy to continue fighting.

Years pass. Then something unthinkable happens. Four girls, dubbed The League of Virgins, become pregnant after swimming in a river that appeared on the edge of town. When the girls start talking of being raped in the river, gossip in the small town grows to an all time high.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In the Middle Nov. 11 2003
Format:Paperback
This is the third book I've read by Barker. The last one, Damanation game I really did not care for, But the Thief of Always I loved. This falls somewhwere in the middle. The imagery and fable like quality of storytelling work well here. Just like almost every other Barker book, it has a healthy dose of sexuality mixed in with gore. Barker fans know what I'm talking about. First timers may find it a bit much.
Creating your own mythology is hard to pull off. Barker manages better than most who have attempted it. He slowly explains his concepts letting the reader digest what he is trying to get across one small portion at a time.
However, the characterization is hit and miss. Jaffe, the antagonist is fully developed and Barker really makes the ambiguity of the character tangible and you feel for him. But you don't realize the "true" protagonist until a good third into the book because they do not show up until then. When it does happen, the revelation seems whimsical and I found it difficult to accept. Especially when he does such a great job with Jaffe.
There is a Shakespearian element to this book that works very well and should have been the dominating element to this story. I think readers would have been satisfied with that. The love triangle and the events that led up to it are fully realized. He had enough to propel his grand scheme with just that. But the additional characters, such as the reporter and his friend were gratuitous. Maybe they play a bigger part in the sequel called "Everville."
I can see why people love this book and I can see why people hate it. Some great stuff but it's unbalanced.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sci Fi not horror makes this worth reading June 17 2014
By lorie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interesting sci fi book easy to get through with believable characters, I enjoyed it and recommend it. Not a horror book per se, definitely sci fi fans will enjoy the most.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unpredictable & Different Jan. 27 2004
By BigRig
Format:Paperback
This is the first Clive Barker book I have ever read & I can say it won't be the last. This is a excellent & different story with great character & plot development. This book is unpredictable and moves smoothly making it difficult to put down. This is a must read book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Oct. 22 2003
Format:Paperback
I consider myself a fairly slow reader, but I finished this book in about a week. It was not at all hard to read or understand. I could not put it down!! I almost called off work just to be able to finish the last chapter! It's a huge mix of everything possible (love, war - not your typical war either!, murder, sex, insanity, imagination, monsters, fears, dreams) and you never know what to expect! I really enjoyed this book. "Everville" is on my bookshelf waiting it's turn to be read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking Man's (or Woman's) Horror May 2 2003
By Steve M
Format:Paperback
GSS is a compelling mixture of stories that only a master like Clive Barker could pull together.
Among the many stories a lucky ready will find in this book are star-crossed lovers (ala Romeo&Juliet), clashing forces of magic vs. technology, believeable characters with everyday concerns overcome by extraordinary events, "sins of the fathers", self-immolation, visits from ethereal porn stars and just to finish things off in style, a minor apocalypse that destroys the sunny California suburb of Palomo Grove. (By the way, this brief synopsis doesn't begin to cover a fraction of the characters and events in this book!)
GSS is a challenging, thought-provoking book that will definitely appeal to people who love horror stories with substance.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The Good and secret Show
This is the fourth book I've read by barker and I think I've figured out why I haven't turned into a fan. Read more
Published on March 31 2003 by Ja'Maul Redmond
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read of a fantastic landscape of the mind
This is definitely an interesting book but, then again, that probably depends on what interests you. Read more
Published on March 19 2003 by Jeff Nyman
5.0 out of 5 stars The past, the future, and the dreaming moment between
When Randolph Jaffe applies for a job in the "Dead Letter Office" in Omaha, Nebraska he has no clue of what kind of world he is about to enter. Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2003 by Geert Daelemans
1.0 out of 5 stars Not A Fan
This was the first Clive Barker book I've read. I was not impressed by anything - characters, plot, or writing style. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars, of course, but...
Considering I love Barkers style, imagination, ability... (hmmm, obsessed fan I am not, I promise) and The Great and Secret Show definately showcased his talents (and fairly early... Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2002 by A. Ball
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Dark Fantasy
"The Great and Secret Show" is one of the best books I have ever read. I've read many Barker books and while all of them are fantastic, this one is unbelievable. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2002 by Caris O'Malley
5.0 out of 5 stars mesmerization
a powerful, eloquent work that coalesces mysterious events in the lives of strange, alluring characters. Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2002 by Brian Wallace (Co-author of It's Not Your Hair)
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