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Clive Barker has been one of my favourite authors for more than 15 years. He has written some truly excellent fantasy books, like Imajica, and Weaveworld; so he is no stranger to the genre. In This story he really shows his imagination to be vast, showing us extraordinary scenes on each of the islands Candy lands on (there are 25 In the Abarat).
The problem with the story is the getting from one scene to the next; it feels forced.
Once we're in the action, Barker keeps us in his grasp building the tension nicely. When there's no action and we're just dealing with characters, it all falls down. Candy makes so many crazy decisions, on no more than a whim, that it starts to become ridiculous; even for fantasy. Nor is she the only character to do this. Characters who have spent their lives as slaves, just cast away their lives (no problem there), but are immediately confident people who need no adjusting whatsoever to their new situation, and have no problem pledging themselves to Candy, after knowing her for 10 minutes.
Barker has created a successful series with Abarat and this first instalment has some excellent parts to it, I can only hope the next books improve on the story part and not just deal with the action. This is geared towards children, though the clunky feel to the story should not be excused on the strength of that. It's not a bad listen for kids, and it's written with the intention of keeping the adults reading the story, interested. Abarat does just that, but to be honest; it doesn't have a patch on the Potter series.
Mr. Barker should take a leaf from JK Rowling's book.
I love this book, I've read it, heard it, read and heard together.
I love the strange world that is portrayed, I love the interaction of the characters.
This is worth a listen if you like something different.
Great little book. Far out story line. Great detail. The narrator does an excellent job of telling the story of Candy Quackenbush and her amazingly weird adventure. Most writers borrow from other stories to create their own works... Clive breaks out of the mold every time he puts ink to paper.
Everthing about this book seems to be deliberately original in thought and different than anything I've ever read. He appears to be the type of author that likes to ask the unnusual "what if" questions about reality and then builds the fantastic on that "what if" until he has a story, making him similar to Ray Bradbury in a lot of ways...
In this story, the thought is: "What if there's an unknown and unremarkable town somewhere in the Midwest, we'll call it "Chicken Town", that was actually something completely different and fantastic in it's past. What if it's past is so completely out of sync with reality that nobody believes it or they have forgotten it as just another silly story because it doesn't fit with the mundane-ness of the town as it is now? What if a child is the only person with a mind open enough to truly discover the town's past?
This is the building block upon which rests "Abarat". Great story for adults and kids. It is calisthenics for the imaginations of children and adults alike.
There are some death scenes in the story and some of the characters may be too freaky or scary for the youngest of minds.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Abarat it unlike any of Clive Barker's other works that I have seen. It is a fairytale-like story with adult elements like dark twists and freakish characters who is good and evil undefined leaving you to guess everyone?s true intentions. Abarat is world with endless possibilities and this book a great start for a series.
The closest thing I could compare Abarat is, to American McGee?s Alice In Wonderland the computer game. Very enjoyable, kept me hooked till the end. Like a good videogame that is satisfying and begs a sequel.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful