Abarat Paperback – Aug 30 2011
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In Abarat, accomplished novelist and artist Clive Barker turns his considerable talents to creating a rich fantasy world for young adults.
Candy Quackenbush is growing up in Chickentown, Minnesota, yearning for more--which she finds, quite unexpectedly, when a man with eight heads appears from nowhere in the middle of the prairie, being chased by something really monstrous. And so begins Candy's epic adventure to the islands of the Abarat. Peopled by all manner of creatures, cultures, and customs, the islands should prove a fertile setting for the series that Barker is calling The Books of Abarat. Candy is an intelligent and likable heroine, and the many supporting characters are deftly drawn, both in words and in the full-color interior art that Barker has produced to give the story an extra dimension.
Abarat delivers the rich and imaginative storytelling that Barker is known for, with less overt horror or violence than one of his adult novels might include. However, Candy's path isn't an easy one, and young adult readers should appreciate the hard choices she must make along the way. --Roz Genessee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Like The Thief of Always, Barker's first book for children, this tale finds a bored protagonist venturing into a fantastical world. The novel begins with a rather cryptic scene of three women on a "perilous voyage... [emerging] from the shelter of the islands." The action then shifts to Candy Quackenbush of Chickentown, Minn., who hates her life as the daughter of an alcoholic father and a depressed mother. One day, humiliated by her teacher, Candy skips out of school and heads for the prairie, where she stumbles on a derelict lighthouse and a creature with eight heads, John Mischief. The opening scene and the thrust of the novel gradually connect, as Candy begins an adventure to a mysterious archipelago called Abarat. Skilled at fantasy, Barker throws plenty of thrills and chills at readers. Candy becomes a pawn between Mischief and the man (Christopher Carrion, "Lord of Midnight") from whom Mischief has stolen something of great value. However, by the middle of the novel, readers may feel that Barker pulls out too many stops; he floods the pages with scores of intriguing characters and a surfeit of subplots (some of which dead-end, perhaps to be picked up in one of the three planned sequels). The author's imagination runs wild as he conjures some striking imagery ("Dark threads of energy moved through her veins and leaped from her fingertips" says one of the three women in the opening scene) and cooks up a surreal stew of character portraits (rendered in bold colors and brushwork, they resemble some of Van Gogh's later work). But much of the novel feels like a wind-up for the books to follow and, after this rather unwieldy 400-page ride, readers my be disappointed by so many unresolved strands of the plot. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I read "Coldheart Canyon" around this time last year, it seemed lacking, as if Barker's attention had been distracted by something. It's clear now that he was putting his energy into "Abarat."
This book is the beginning of a great adventure. I didn't want it to end. I put down the book and said, "Oh, it's over?," only to find that I'd gone thru 400 pages.
Can't wait till the next one.
The ending seemed unsatisfying until I realized Abarat is part of a series. An ending that gives away none of the secrets that are hinted throughout the book is an excellent ending for a series. I can't wait until next year for the second book to appear... and I am so frustrated by the lack of information on these books! The whole world should have the heads ducked behind the delightful purple cover and silky pages of this book ASAP!
Abarat is about a girl named Candy quakenbush who lives in Chickentown. (The Prolgue is important, read it before and after the story) She wants to do something more with her life than work at a hotel or the chicken factory. One day she gets fed up and just walks out of school and past Where the Street Ends. She sees a building in the distance, and decides to make that her turnaround point. on the way she meets an eight headed person named John Mischeif. They are running from the evil Mendelson Shape. Will Candy help them? Will she live? If she does live, will she return home or go to the Abarat with the Johns?
This is the best book I have ever read and don't worry. There will be a sequel. Just read the very 1st page to the very last page including the pages after the book is finished.
A magical archipelago of 25 islands, the Abarat is home to a staggering array of unique characters and landscapes. 24 of the islands exist exclusively in a specific hour of the day or night and one mysterious island exists outside of time.
Even though Candy only visits a few of the islands of the Abarat, the story maintains a whirlwind pace throughout. The worlds Candy visits are detailed and intriguing. This reader could easily imagine entire books written specifically about each island.
Abarat is well done and is sure to please the reader regardless of age. However, be aware that Abarat is book 1 of a series. The book fails to mention this fact anywhere on the cover and is the main reason why I didn't give it a 4 star rating. The unresolved plot in book 1 leaves you hanging, but not so badly that it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. I'll definitely be reading book 2. You will too.
Most recent customer reviews
I love this book and the whole Abarat series, however I'd forgotten to get this particular one in the large edition with the paintings inside. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ghost_x_J
I've read this book with 8 classes. It has never failed to consume their imaginations and capture their hearts. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Adam Hinton
"..Once upon a world, where time is place, a journey beyond imagination is about to unfold..."
Enter a world filled with darkness. Read more
No one will ever accuse Clive Barker of having no imagination. As wild as it is, it is just as vivid - and that is what makes Clive Barker such a remarkable writer and illustrator. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2006 by Daniel Jolley
This book is sooo amazing! I love to read great adventure stories in fantastic worlds...and this is one of the best! Read morePublished on Dec 19 2005
Once you start reading this book you cant turn it down, literally!
It has gone where no book has gone before, and Clive Barkers imagination must be amazing for him to write a... Read more