Read Abarat by Clive Barker Online


Candy lives in Chickentown USA: the most boring place in the world, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future may hold. She is soon to find out: swept out of our world by a giant wave, she finds herself in another place entirely...The Abarat: a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day, from the sunlit wonders of Three in the AfternoonCandy lives in Chickentown USA: the most boring place in the world, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future may hold. She is soon to find out: swept out of our world by a giant wave, she finds herself in another place entirely...The Abarat: a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day, from the sunlit wonders of Three in the Afternoon, where dragons roam, to the dark terrors of the island of Midnight, ruled by Christopher Carrion.Candy has a place in this extraordinary world: she has been brought here to help save the Abarat from the dark forces that are stirring at its heart. Forces older than time itself, and more evil than anything Candy has ever encountered....

Title : Abarat
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780064407335
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 393 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Abarat Reviews

  • Rhea
    2018-11-22 23:44

    This review is weird to write, because I liked this book. Really, I did! In fact, I shelved it with my "semi-favorites" - I enjoyed it that much. But then I thought about it, and realized that it's glittery, trippy exterior had masked its faults, and that Abarat is worse than it seems.Here's why I liked Abarat: Abarat is not a book. It's an experience.The whole thing is exquisitely bizarre and beautifully grotesque; populated by an odd cast of characters ranging from John Mischief (whose 7 brothers grow from horns on his head) to Rojo Pixler, entrepreneur and owner of the industrialized island of Pyon, to Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight, who wears a water-filled collar swimming with nightmares.It takes place in the Abarat; an archipelago of 24 islands, where on each island is a different, unchanging time of day. (And there's one mysterious 25th island.) Each island contains its own wonders; the Nonce (three o'clock in the afternoon) is the home of dragons; Pyon (3 o'clock in the morning) was recently industrialized and is the location of Commexo City; the Gorgossium, Isle of Midnight, is perpetually shrouded in red mist and home to the evil Carrion family.[image error]Click here for a bigger picture.And that's what this book is about. Supported by more than 100 vivid, colorful illustrations, Abarat is a book about, well, the Abarat. It's fascinating, lavishly produced, and interesting in it's minutae. It's full of delicious details and designs; for example, look at the next picture upside-down.But it's about not much else, which leads me to the problems.(As a side note: I'd also like to mention that I love names and the ones here delighted me. Here are some: Mespa, Gorgossium, the Nonce, Mater Motley, Deuxdeux, The Yebba Dim Day, Soma Plume, Hoobarokus, Speckle Frew, Qualm Hah, the Requiax, and many more.)Here's why Abarat is a bad book:Abarat's plot is an excuse for a tour through the islands. This would be fine if the book was still interesting minus the setting; alas, it is not. In fact:Here is basic plot of Abarat: Candy goes to the Abarat, Carion/Other villains try to catch her, Candy escapes, meets new friends, is attacked by more baddies, escapes, rinse, repeat.Of course, it's not bad as it sounds - there's multiple villains, each with his or her own agenda, so there's always some tension over what each villain wants with Candy, and how Candy will get away this time. Besides, there are other subplots, such as the one where John Mischief helps a crew search for a guy named Finnegan Hobb. But in the end, nothing really happens. The plot is very muddy - Candy's goal is to... escape the baddies? Return home? Defeat Carrion? And as for John Mischief: we never really understand where and how he'll look for Hobb. It's all very boring, especially with the lack of character.Ah, the lack of character. There's not much to say about it other than two things:1. They're flat, and their colorful exterior makes them seem flatter.2. Candy is given too much time. Developing special abilities? Don't care. Sure, she has my sympathy, and I'm (kind of) rooting for her, but the only way to make a powerful action scene is for us to understand all/most parties and to care for some of them; thus, the scene makes our hearts pound with excitement and concern. The action scenes here bogged down the story.As for the prose: it's serviceable, and at times elegant, at times awkward. The thing that bothered me most was that capital letters were used to indicate shouting.And for this last criticism... it's hard to explain, so I quote my friend Kirkus Reviews:"Yet there is a peculiar lifelessness to all this imaginative fecundity; fascinating in its minutiae, the world fails to cohere about a compelling narrative or charismatic central character. Like the dozens of illustrations by the author, it dazzles with color and detail, but on closer inspection proves curiously flat, all surface and no depth. Still, with three promised sequels on the way, many readers will, like Candy, want to “trust [the sea] Mama Izabella” to take them somewhere worth the trip."...and that's all I have to say about Abarat. So will you trust Mama Izabella to take you on a ride?(larger image)(larger image)Recommendations: If you love the bizarre and are looking for a book that explodes with color and otherworldlyness, (presumably to combat boredom), and wouldn't mind the flat characters and meandering plot, you might enjoy the Abarat.If not, here are some stellar fantasy titles I recommend:- Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Lips Touch Three Times. Like Abarat, these are "sensation books" - books which introduce you to otherworlds, which burst with sensations, books which might be short on depth but are abundant with beauty. In these two cases, the prose is also lush and gorgeous, characters have some depth, and the world rings true. (MY REVIEW of Smoke&Bone)- Possibly Keturah and Lord Death; it's another "sensation book," this time presented as a quiet fairy tale. Once again, it has an exciting plot and delicious prose, but lacks depth and the world has holes. (MY REVIEW)- Sophisticated fantasy for Middle Grade: The Well Between the Worlds and The Folk Keeper - Sophisticated fantasy for Young Adult: Seraphina, Seven Realms (MY REVIEW), and Gifts

  • Mariel
    2018-11-22 01:34

    I think you have to want it to happen to you to open your mouth wide enough to swallow another land of magic, the best friends you'll ever have in your life, maybe you're more special than you realized and the funny feeling there's a movie of you going on is real (um, other people do do that, right?). All the eyes are on you and it's the nightmare that you're naked on the first day of... Oops. It's delicious fear feeling. You're naked and it's the first day of class! Open wiiiiiiiide. But you WANT it to happen. It doesn't make sense if you don't. Magic and great beyonds? Peace, love and understanding? It's in THIS world. There is no plot description on the book jacket of the paperback copy of Abarat in my possession. The back cover is half rock star image of Clive Barker (he does pretty much everything in entertainment, I think. You get an earring for art and another earring for films. The goatee is for novels!). It's royal purple too! The rest is one word quotes from critics about qualities it possesses ("Clever" and "Whimsical", among others. Hey, they've got a thesaurus and a dictionary. I don't have one!). It doesn't tell you anything if you are like me and look over the already mega famous Clive Barkers of the publishing world. They'll always be there and didn't he do those Hellraiser films? They should tell you something, shouldn't they? Is this the fantasy book about a young girl who finds she is special in the land of adventure that you've always dreamed of reading again? There are more critics quoted at length inside in the flap. One said stuff about how it turns Alice on its head, like a horror version of Alice and she meets dangerous people instead of friends. Um, no. Alice was the book where a girl didn't want what she wished for and met a whole lot of confusing assholes. Like a foriegner who dreams their whole life of the US of A (yay!) and gets there and Chinatown has the better food so they stay there and never talk to anyone else. I like that Candy Quackenbrush of Chickentown, USA (Minnesota) wants to be in the land of Abarat. She'd get off the tour bus if she were to travel to far off lands. That's the best thing Abarat has going for it. Chickentown is pretty bleak. The chickens have large talons. There are jobs related to chickens and not much else. I'm a vegetarian so I was feeling (and kinda loving) the hell. I bet those heads run around without bodies and the bodies without heads! Clive Barker did a good job of Abarat, the alternative, too. The islands of the time of the day was a good way to do time travel (time is made up anyway and it can be a different hour if you hop a plane, right?). The people had their own lives and weren't there until the heroine showed up to save the day. That was the other best thing going for it. Like the real world has problems not in a deliberate mock-up of this world in that world problem (yay no world war II analogies!). It's just if you gotta live anywhere chances are pretty good it'll not be that great for everybody. The difference is living in color and living in chicken heads and feet colors. I've lived in nothing towns like that. It sucked!The problem is not that it is Candytown. I was ready to destar this a notch, and the second book, when my suspicions of reincarnation/soul-body sharing turned out to be true. Of course it was true! That's why so much was a convenient coincidence. I can forgive time travel if there are rules in place. But this is like cheating on character development and that's like the worst thing ever in my book. Barker, you couldn't have come up with anything better than this is because it was what Princess Boa would have done? The there already to explain away because it had already happened before the story takes place? Nuh uh. Write about Candy if you want to write about Candy and write about this Mary Sue Princess Boa chick if you want to write about her. I know who I'd pick. There are too many chase scenes. The whole book is a series of chase scenes. I didn't mind so much until I got to the second book and there were more chase scenes. Boring.Have you seen the film Labyrinth with David Bowie? This is very much one of those you gotta want it to happen movies. David Bowie in tights. If you don't want that then you won't like Labyrinth. So Bowie plays this questionable bird-like dude who reigns over pitiable monster like creatures and chases after the girl who will be his captive love and he can moon over and still be totally evil with, all the while claiming it'll be some great big change because he looooves her. That's Carrion of Abarat all the way. I liked the pitiable creatures. Shape, Carrion's deformed right hand (his left hand never trusts the right hand. Shape has a bad deal really and truly), was my favorite. It's not a travelogue or about saving the day for him. His life sucks and he hates who he is. I felt that.Okay, so it is pretty obvious to anyone who has ever read one of these that Candy is gonna make friends. If you like this you want to know what's different. I'm grumpy in retrospect 'cause of the spoiler reason. I'm reading it 'cause of the making friends thing. If you can believe it. Is that lame? I was sad as hell when Dorothy has to go home, when Milo of The Phantom Tollbooth has to go home, the Narnia kids (until they become religious tight asses, anyway). I like that so much better than defeating the ass of evil parts. That's the dream, right? You can move somewhere different and you won't eat nothing but fortune cookies until you die.The freaking spoiler reason. Too much foreshadowing and wise old ladies shades of Sleeping Beauty talking about what is gonna happen. No, no, no. I might be lured into love with David Bowie tights but I am not that easy!Also, in book two Candy pisses me off for getting onto another character for stealing food as if she didn't totally steal food in book one. Hypocrite! God, how annoying. I stopped liking her after that, I must admit. It was like she was the resident and not the visitor in a bad way. It depends on what you want, maybe. I want someone to believe in and root for. I've got a wanderlust thing going on and relate to the desire to pick up and run away at a moment's notice. Do they have to really be special for SPECIAL reasons? Can't they be special for some thing that no one would ever think to notice? That'd be pretty cool. I don't know. I kinda liked this but I felt something was missing and not something missing in the special girl goes to special lands and does special things formula. The missing ingredient is loooove. Love of what it started out with until my spoiler suspicion took overwhelming shape and I started to get ticked off. Maybe he'll redeem himself in the rest of the series. If there are more chase scenes I'll be ticked off again. That's a whole lot of redeeming to do. Don't run! Open wide.

  • Miriam
    2018-12-11 23:29

    This is an excellent book. That doesn't mean you should take it as a life model.

  • Sarah Camp
    2018-11-21 01:44

    I was never a fan of Clive Barker's. In fact, I find most of his movies laughably bad. So when my uncle gave me this book for Christmas and I saw Barker's name written across the top, I am sure my uncle received a very strange and questioning glare from me.But then he explained to me why he bought it. We are both artists, and the book is based upon a series of paintings that Barker spent 6 years creating. My uncle had read the book and wanted to share it with me.Boy am I glad he did!While the first bit of the book, while the main character, Candy Quakenbush, is still in Chickentown, is a bit of a haul to get through, the rest of the book is completely wonderful. Barker's descriptions of the land and creatures of Abarat are so perfect, you don't even need the paintings to picture something. Although, I recommend reading the version with the paintings since they are so wonderful and do add an element to the book.The first book is more of a setup for the rest of the series. Taking you on a voyage through part of Abarat and establishing the environment.Keep in mind that these books are for young adults, and they are more on the dark side. I wouldn't consider them horror stories at all, they are fantasy, but there may be characters that could be thought of as scary (there are bad guys, of course).I have recommended this book to everyone I know. I instantly fell in love with it, and immediately ordered the second book upon finishing so I could read them consecutively. I can't wait for the third to come out later this year. This is a great young adult series that will surely be a classic story in years to come.

  • Anna
    2018-11-21 19:34

    Τι συμβαίνει όταν είσαι η Κάντι, ετών 15 και ζεις στη μικρή επαρχιακή σου πόλη που το μόνο αξιόλογο που έχει είναι το εργοστάσιο με τα κοτόπουλα και βαριέσαι τη ζωή σου;Πηγαίνεις στο δάσος, όπου ανακαλύπτεις ότι πέρα από την κοτοπουλο-παραγωγή η βαρετή Κοτοπουλόπολη είναι μια πύλη για τα νησιά του αρχιπελάγους του Άμπαρατ, όπου ο χώρος είναι χρόνος (κάθε νησί αντιστοιχεί σε μια ώρα του εικοσιτετραώρου) και έχει κηρυχθεί πόλεμος ανάμεσα στα νησιά της Νύχτας και της Ημέρας. Συνεργάτες και συνοδοιπόροι της Κάντι... χμ... μεγάλο ζήτημα.. Μήπως τελικά καλύτερα θα ήταν να ... καθίσει στ' αυγά της; Μπα... Με υπέροχες ζωγραφιές σχεδιασμένες από το συγγραφέα, αφεθείτε στη μαγεία ενός κλασικού Κλαιβ-μπαρκερικού αναγνώσματος για παιδιά (a.k.a με λίγα εντόσθια και λίγους δαίμονες, αλλά εντάξει, θα κοιμηθείτε το βράδυ!)

  • Chloe
    2018-11-21 03:44

    Weird and wonderful world building accompanied by beautiful art!

  • Angela
    2018-11-14 21:31

    This is one of those books that I adored in a way that I can't really describe. I'm sorry, I just can't. It was amazing in ways that I can't tell you.If you like fantasy or science fiction or horror or anything along that particular slant, read. this. book.If you're going to BUY Abarat, be sure you pay a little extra and get the version with the full color illustrations throughout. It would NOT be the same without them.

  • Epizeuxis
    2018-11-28 22:25

    I had decided, prior to my reading of even the first page, that I was going to give this book an entire star purely for the illustrations, which I briefly skimmed beforehand. As such, my score breaks down as follows:4 stars for the wonderful story, writing, and characters.1 star for the gorgeous and enchanting artwork.Anyway...My very first Barker book! A marvelous novel, one that starts what is assuredly to be a fantastic series.I really liked this book. I almost find it hard to believe that it's categorized as a YA work. It's so unlike most contributions to the genre, both in terms of its story and its presentation. I have only a few small complaints, and these pale when compared to the awesome that is the rest of Abarat.No ridiculously lengthy review for this one. Just a brief summary of my thoughts. Hopefully, that will be enough to convince you that you need to read this book. Like, right now.Are you reading it yet? No? Fine. You'd better be by the time we reach this review's final sentence. You do not want to know what happens if you aren't. Ready?...GO!What's AmazingThe WorldbuildingThe worldbuilding in this book is just bizarre, and I mean that in a good way. Barker has a very potent imagination, and this story just bleeds creativity from every page. It's beautiful and head-scratching and confusing and unique. I absolutely loved it.The WritingThe writing is practically flawless. It has such a poetic and dreamy quality to it that you feel as though you're reading a fairy tale. All I had known about Barker up until this point was that he writes surreal horror. Finding out that he has such a way with words was a wonderful surprise.The ArtworkThe artwork just sells this book. Crafted by Barker himself, the bountiful illustrations may not have the most detailed or realistic of styles, but are gorgeous nonetheless. Having some new surreal splash of color every few pages was a real treat, and helped me envision the author's world in a unique (and gorgeous) way.What Isn't So Amazing (But Still Works)The PlotThe plot is fun and moves along briskly, but is problematic in that it feels too much like a setup for the sequels. This is a relatively lengthy book, and yet nothing much actually happens. Candy is unwillingly whisked away to one new situation after another at a rather dizzying pace, which makes the flow of events feel a bit forced. In the end, no real progress has been made in the great scheme of things, and this is frustrating. Because it is the first installment in the series, I can accept the fact that Abarat almost amounts to one big, complex prologue to the "real" story, with the expectation that we get some real progress in the sequel.Another issue is that certain parts of the story feel a bit too clichéd. We've got Evil Villain who wishes to destroy the world and remake it in his own image (the most dastardly of all nefarious schemes), and is (partially, at least) the way he is now because (view spoiler)[he was scorned by a lover (hide spoiler)]. This revelation presented an almost silly version of the character, as he was portrayed as being so different in the past that it was hard to accept his extreme transformation into his current incarnation. On the other end of the spectrum, we've got the Naive Heroine who does not know of the prophesies that have foretold her actions, and refuses to believe that she is the one of legend, as she is simply a normal, everyday girl who is nothing special. Barker, however, manages to employ these worn ideas to maximum effect through his sheer creativity and flair for entertainment.The DescriptionThe writing is wonderful for the most part, but suffers at times from being too vague. I oftentimes found myself confused by the layout of the scenes, as Barker would not provide enough information for me to adequately picture the proceedings. The artwork occasionally didn't help with this problem, as Barker's portrayal of the setup would differ from his description of it within the actual story.So...It has a few problems, but Clive Barker's Abarat is still a wonderful book that just works. I absolutely loved it, and cannot recommend it highly enough to those who are growing tired of the endless shelves of mediocre/terrible YA works that fill our libraries and book stores these days.We're almost to the last sentence of this review. Have you gotten your hands on this book yet? No? You'd better fix that. Now. Because we're just about there....We're here.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Laurel
    2018-11-16 00:20


  • Nikoleta
    2018-11-25 00:19

    Ένα όμορφο παραμύθι του οποίου οι τόποι, τα πλάσματα... τα πάντα ειναι φτιαγμένα απο έναν υπερρεαλιστικό κόσμο που μόνο στα όνειρα γίνεται να υπάρξει. Αμα δεν διαβάσει κανείς το Άμπαρατ δεν γίνεται να καταλάβει. Η απόλυτη μαγεία.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-13 00:20

    I read this book some time ago, so my memory of it is fading, but the thing I remember the most about it is that it failed to ever develop a plot that drew me in and held me there. I love the illustrations, and some other details about Abarat, but the admittedly whimsical descriptions of this foreign land were not enough to fill 500 pages. I even read the second book but I was so unimpressed that I don't remember anything about it. Still, three stars for the awesome illustrations and imaginative characters.

  • Lisa
    2018-12-07 20:40

    I always tell my students that if Clive Barker weren't so talented, he would be eating people for a living. Though this is a young adult novel, it still has elements of the macabre. Occasionally Barker becomes enthralled by his own imagery, but overall, the plot moves quickly, and you really care about what happens to Candy and what will become of our world once the fate of the Abarat has been decided. I was eager to start book two and have not been disappointed with what I've read so far-about two-thirds.

  • Amanda
    2018-12-02 01:20

    Upon rereading this teenaged favorite, present me enjoyed this less. A lot of the mystery in this first book is revealed in the third, so knowing the secrets made this read less exciting. Remembering correctly, teenager-me loved guessing at who Candy would fall in love with, which has never been the point of this book, really, but that's where a lot of my past excitement came from. I have loved the sequel to this book more than this one in the past, so I'm interested to see if that is still so!

  • Christina
    2018-11-20 00:32

    At the time I am writing this review, I am in the 1% of those who have given Abarat a 1 out of 5. So, yes, it is safe to say that I am in the minority on this one. This book so wanted to be Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, and the Chronicles of Narnia all in one amazing package. Maybe throw in a little Harry Potter for good measure. Unfortunately, I believe the author became so engrossed in creating his world (which is "meh" at best) that he forgot the necessity of plot and characterization. For a book that received so many glowing reviews, I expected so much more. This book is a classic example of “telling” rather than “showing”. I’m told Candy is a strange heroine. I’m told Candy is a complex individual. I’m told Candy is misunderstood. I’m not really shown any of these things. The same goes with the world of Abarat. Barker spends so much time describing his strange world in order to create depth it loses it in the process. But this book did succeed at showing me one thing: there is a limit to how odd you should make your characters, particularly your main line characters. The Johns, a man with antlers on his head from where seven extra heads have sprouted (all named John Mischief, John Serpent, etc.), is nasty. The idea that soft, fleshy heads are growing from hard antlers is just disgusting to me. I just wanted him to disappear. I don’t mean that all characters need to be cutesy or attractive (although a “cute” character would have been nice). Far from it. But as a reader I need to not find utterly repulsive the characters I’m supposed to be rooting for. And perhaps if there had been better characterization, I could look past their horrendous appearance.I could not find any character within this book that I could identify with or at least root for. Candy is a fairly flat character. She has no concrete goal or desire. She is not like Alice who simply wants to find her way out of Wonderland and get home. Candy is perfectly happy not to go home because EVERYONE in Candy’s life is mean, mean, mean!At one point, Candy actually expresses happiness at being in Abarat. And even when she is in mortal danger, she still exhibits no desire to escape or do anything besides staying in Abarat. She’s HAPPY!Happy is for endings and nowhere else!And, sadly, Abarat is a fairly action packed book. Something happens in nearly every chapter but I cared so little for the characters that the action held no meaning or threat for me. I actually wanted Christopher Carrion to catch Candy so we might actually find out what the plot is! What is the point of reading a book if the author is going to hold back the plot? Why would I read a 500 page “teaser” for book #2 instead of jumping right into the second installment? Surely something is going to happen right? Candy literally isn't going to just float from situation to situation until we reach the end. Something is going to-Better luck next time.I have no issue with authors writing series, but each book should be able to stand on its own. That’s it. This is non-negotiable. The writing isn’t necessarily “bad” though it’s nothing remarkable. And despite being nearly 500 pages long, the book is a quick read. I read it in a couple of short sittings. This is one of the few reasons I actually finished this book.And to be fair, Barker’s book was originally meant to be read with the illustrations he composed. I read a paperback without these things. But at the same time, if the publisher is going to print a version without the pictures, they better well make sure that it is worth reading in that manner. While it may not be quite as much fun, I’m pretty sure I could still enjoy Dr. Seuss without the pictures. That being said, I have better things to do.

  • Karmologyclinic
    2018-11-28 19:28

    Epic fail for Mr. Barker. Here is a review I wrote in 2006:"And now, let's hop alltogether to our third heroine of the day, Candy Quackenbush. If we should hop on top of the book she enacts in, I wouldn't care less.This might come as a surprise, at least to me it was, but the new Clive Barker book was not good. What a big dissapointment from my favourite fairy-teller. Abarat by Clive Barker adds up many weaknesses of a bad written book and I will put them here in a few words.*Few things happen in so many pages. This is not a weakness by itself in writing so maybe I should rewrite my comment. Too many non-significant events need an abundance of pages to be described. If you ask me that's bad writing for books intended to kids, except if you are Pynchon or Joyce or some existentialist writer and you can fill your pages creatively.*The imagery of Clive Barker's work is fading in the Californian sun. One of his great assets was the dreamlike quality of images he could induce in your brain while reading. He still moves in the same context of creatures and places, but what he makes is not open to your imagination (like the Tsunami creature in the Weaveworld for example), it's drawn, finished and prisoned in words. I can put it this way. He used to give you blueprints for creating your own images of the things he wrote, now he just gives you the things, drawn, colored and signatured. I must say that I finished the plain book edition, just words, not his drawings. But still it didn't worked.*Now let me tell you the biggest flaw and the main one too, which is the cause of all the other flaws. Because that's what happens when you write a book having a future contract with Disney Entertainment in mind. It makes a crappy director's guide for filming a crappy childish movie. "For Dummies". It explains the easily understandable. Mr. Barker is so scared that his book might fail to have a good director that he pre-edits the scenes. And he is not good at this if we remember his early attempts in filming. Everything is edited in a bad "action for kids" movie, like 101 dalmatians. You can have a drinking game of how many times in this book and the series to come, the foot of miss Candy Quackenbush will be captured at the last moment by her prosecutors, but she in a "magical" way will free it and run away. Played in all variations.*Which brings us to the subject of the annoyning little heroine, Candy Quackenbush. In the first 100 pages you will wish that that Mendelson Shape will finally kill her, so that she will stop annoying you. But no, she 'ALWAYS' survives and I bet she will make it through the 100 hundred series of books Clive is going to write about her. Other than being an annoying little girl, as a character is empty, purpose-less and poor in fiction quality. And this brings us back to the Disney contract and you can imagine an annoying little girl already selected to play her role. Sets already designed, costumes too. So I finally can put in a sentence what's so annoying with this book. It's not fiction, it's just a detailed description of the movie that will be made from it. That's it.*I will stop being a bitch, because I could say a lot about the timing of this book. Obviously the success of Harry Potter movies and Narnia made Barker jealous and he wants to grab the pie. Not a bad ambition, but approached in the wrong way. I will stop here cause Clive Barker is still my favourite storyteller and I hope that he will finish the Books Of The Art trilogySo here I am again, writing more things about what I disliked than what I liked, but I hope you get the picture. Prefer reading The Thief Of Always, if you haven't already."

  • Димитър Цолов
    2018-11-13 19:30

    Чел съм 4 тома от "Кървави книги" и новелата "Прикован към Ада", с които Клайв Баркър ме впечатли доста, но именно "Абарат" ме "отвя" и затвърди убеждението ми, че това е един брутално добър писател, чието въображение няма граници. "Детска" книжка ли, дрън-дрън, ха-ха, нека всички детски книжки са такива, тогава ще чета само детски книжки!!!

  • Ronyell
    2018-12-11 03:21

    I remembered reading Clive Barker’s classic story, “Abarat” years ago when I was in high school and I remembered really enjoying the story when I first read it. Now, I have taken the time to re-read this book again and lo and behold, I love it just as much now as I did years ago! “Abarat” is clearly a truly creative and exciting for fans of Clive Barker’s novels and exploring surreal fantasy worlds!Candy Quackenbush was just a normal girl who lived in a boring town called Chickentown, where everything revolves around the history of chickens. One day however, when Candy spots a strange man named John Mischief (whose brothers all stay on the horns of his head) being chased by a frightening creature named Mendelson Shape, she realizes that her world will change forever since she is thrown into a completely strange and fantastic world called Abarat. Once Candy stays in Abarat meeting new friends and enemies most notably Christopher Carrion the Prince of Midnight, she starts to realize many unanswered secrets about herself that could decide the fate of Abarat! I will admit that this was quite an unusual book to read! Clive Barker has done an excellent job at both writing and illustrating this book about a young girl traveling to a strange and unknown world while finding out more about herself in the process. Clive Barker’s writing is extremely interesting and beautiful as Clive Barker details everything that has happened in Candy’s journeys in vivid detail. I loved the way that Clive Barker describes Abarat as being a place full of wonder, especially the part about how Abarat is a world that has islands that represent a different hour of the day such as the Great Head that represents eight in the evening and Gorgossium is an island that represents midnight. I also loved the way that Clive Barker unfolds the histories of each character little by little without spoiling too much for the readers until the end of the novel which makes me really want to solve the mysteries of each character as the book goes on. The characters in this book were fantastic, especially Candy Quackenbush and John Mischief as they brought life to the story. Candy Quackenbush was quite an unusual heroine as she just easily gets used to the surreal nature of Abarat, which adds more mystery to her background and I also loved the spunky personality that Candy possesses as she always speak her mind and can be a friendly person if she is not threatened. John Mischief is another character I was quite interested in, especially the fact that on his horns, he has the seven smaller heads of his brothers living on his horns, which I found extremely odd yet fascinating at the same time. I also loved how brave and kind hearted John Mischief is, even though his past history is quite questionable. Clive Barker’s illustrations are extremely colorful and creative and I loved the images of the islands that are in Abarat as they are colorful and gorgeous to look at, especially when the lands are surrounded by water and you cannot help but feel like you are actually experiencing the wonderful world of Abarat. I also loved the images of the strange creatures that live in Abarat such as the image of John Mischief himself as he has red skin and has horns where seven small heads (which are his brothers) occupied his horns and some images of birds with skulls for heads. I also loved the fact that Clive Barker manages to make this story have a perfect blend of “Harry Potter” (the magic elements) and “Alice in Wonderland” (main character travels to a strange land) as it made the story extremely creative to read. Here is how I compare the characters from “Alice in Wonderland” to this book:Alice – Candy QuackenbushThe White Rabbit – John MischiefThe Queen of Hearts – Christopher CarrionWonderland – AbaratThe only problem with this novel is that there are some violent content and disturbing images that some readers might not like. Some of the violent content included are a fight with a dragon that involves stabbing and a few beatings of a character. There are also some images that are a bit frightening to look at such as the image of Christopher Carrion himself as he has a pale face and he has a red box shaped mask that shows green worm like things that are the nightmares he keeps in the red box shaped mask.Overall, “Abarat” is a truly wonderful book that anyone who loves reading fantasy adventure books will enjoy for many years to come! Now, I am off to read the second book in the “Abarat” series,Days of Magic, Nights of War.Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  • Badseedgirl
    2018-12-05 19:38

    I have found that there are certain things one can expect when reading a Clive Barker novel. Mr. Barker is not only an author, but an artist as well and he brings this artistic eye to his writings. His descriptions of scenes and characters are designed to create an artists’ picture in the readers mind. I have found this to be especially true in his Young Adult novel Abarat: The First Book Of Hours. Mr. Barker’s best skill is the visuals his writings create. He is able to breathe life into the creatures of The Abarat with this skill.The heroine of our story is Candy Quackenbush, a young woman growing up in the Minnesota town of Chickentown. After getting in trouble for a project she did for a hated teacher, Candy feels compelled to run away from school. She finds herself in the middle of the prairie. There she meets the amazing John Mischief and his seven brothers, eight brothers on one body, and Mendelson Shape, an evil creature chasing John and his brothers. In the events that follow Candy calls forth the magical “Sea of Izabella” And thus begins Candy’s adventures in Abarat. Abarat is the story of the magical series of Islands found on another plain of existence. These islands are known collectively as “The Abarat”, which is made up of 25 islands each representing one hour in the day, and the 25th island representing the “25th hour”, or time out of time. A magical island in a land of magical islands. When I say the island represents the hour, I mean that on the Island of Yebba Dim Day, the first Island Candy lands on, it is always 8pm.Clive Barker is a master at making monsters that are not always evil, and pushing the boundaries of what is evil. When hearing of Christopher Carrion, the lord of Midnight’s back story of unrequited love for the Princess, it was hard for me, as the reader, not to feel sympathy. I mean who has never loved someone and been rejected by them? This does not negate the fact that he wants to bring perpetual darkness to all of Abarat. And call forth beings called “Requiax” who seem to me to be some sort of super evil beginnings (Think the Titans from Greek mythology) who can only survive in utter darkness. The development of the scenes and visuals are defiantly the stand out in this novel. As is usually the case in Mr. Barker’s novels the non-human creatures that inhabit this novel are the best characters in the novel. But don’t be fooled, Clive Barker just loves to play with the idea of what is monstrous on the outside and a beautiful outside hiding a monster on the inside. This holds true for this novel also. Take for example the character Rojo Pixler, Candy describes him as the most human creature she has met in Abarat, but he is systematically putting a strangle hold of power over the Islands of Light, and is trying to destroy magic in Abarat, to make the citizens dependent on him. I see great and evil things from this character in the future. All and all Abarat: The First Book of Hours was an amazing introductory novel in what appears to be a dark and entertaining young adult series from Clive Barker.

  • Kelcey
    2018-11-21 22:18

    If you look in my copy of Abarat there is a label in the front that reads "This Book is Donated by the Friends of the Burbank Public Library to Kelcey Soderstrom for the Burbank Public Library Middle School Book Club". So doing a teeny bit of math, I have had this book for at least 13 years. It has survived many purges and a move or two (when most of my books from this book club did not) so that should tell you what you need to know, but here's a drabbley review anyway.I love the experience of Abarat. Like many young adult fantasy novels that are dipping into the subgenre "urban", we start in the most boring town ever and get whisked to an amazing place of awesome. I really liked seeing the whisking away process and that the main character has an active hand in it. The Abarat is such a phenomenal world with so much still to see, even though it is based on something we know well- the 24 hours in a day. There are so many colorful (literally and figuratively) characters and a couple different plotlines happening to keep everything moving along at a clip clip rate. I even enjoying reading the "villain" because he has back story and depth and the reader can empathize fairly easily.This book is strongly supported by Barker's artwork and I think reading it without deprives the reader. I hope my teen book club took my advice to look at the art!I love all the bits and pieces that Barker leaves for the reader to find and I am looking forward to the next books (which I never read due to the delay in their release). (view spoiler)[ I am going to say that Princess Boa is reincarnated in Candy or a bit of her soul or something due to things the three ladies of awesomeness said while Candy was in the 25th hour (hide spoiler)] And yes tell me all the things about Finnegan and Geneva Peachtree is a badass lady leader and John Mischief is a polite master thief and just, Mr. Barker, tell me all the stories now please thank you.

  • Kagami Kaba
    2018-12-13 00:45

    I was nine years old. Me and my parents were going to China and mum had bought me two books to read on the plane. The first one, Lord of the Ring, did not capture my interest at all. Therefore, I only had Abarat left.Although I was sceptical about it, I opened it and started reading.The second day in China and I had finished it. I cried because it was over.Almost six years later, this book and its sequel still has a special place in my heart. I don't know if it's my favourite any longer, but it was for a very long time. Nevertheless, it captured me from the first chapter (I remained sceptical during the prologue). I could identify with Candy so well. Her wish to do right, how nothing went her way, and how she seemed so alone. Her longings for another, more interesting place remains in my heart and mind, as I for these six years, always have tried to find the sea Izabella and a good painted-red boat to sail it.

  • Kaila
    2018-12-07 20:46

    It’s been a few days and I’m still unsure what to think of this novel. Clive Barker is not one of my favorite authors, but when I saw the gorgeous hardcover of Abarat on my brother-in-law’s bookshelf, I simply had to pick it up. At first this was only because I couldn’t decipher the damn title on the spine. It’s done in the Illuminati style:I had a hell of a time figuring out what the title was. I finally found it on Amazon and promptly decided that this is one book that shouldn’t be read on the Kindle. Clive Barker spent 6 years painting the series of pictures that appear in the novels, so the pictures are pretty integral to the story. The physical book itself is wonderful to my brain in that unique way that books have. The cover is a delicious shade of royal purple, the pages are shiny and a pleasure to turn, and the crazy pictures have wonderful color and imagery. My brother-in-law knows that I am not a Clive Barker fan and promptly said that if any book could change my mind, it would be this one. Very well then, I’ll give it a try!One of my favorite illustrations, a depiction of the big baddie, Christopher CarrionThe entire novel has this surreal “Alice in Wonderland as brought to you by Guillermo del Toro” feel to it. Girl goes to crazy new country, is immediately seen as special by basically everyone, doesn’t have to bother much with mundane activities like eating, drinking, or sleeping, and makes a host of new friends along the way. Actually, that sounds a lot more cliché than it did while I was reading the book. The adventure is pretty fun, to be honest, although we know that the main character, Candy, is never actually in any danger, as there will always be a crazy coincidence/dues ex machina to save her. That’s how all these young adult fantasy novels seem to go though, and it honestly didn’t bug me very much while I was reading it. It reminded me of today’s other incredibly popular British fantasy writers, Neil Gaiman and Diana Wynne Jones. They straddle the line between “young adult novel” and “high fantasy.” It’s a hard line to span successfully, and although I don’t feel like Clive Barker did it as well Gaiman or Jones, those are truly powerhouses to go up against.The writing was pretty juvenile. I’m no writer, and I freely acknowledge that. But I feel like a very common complaint about writing is when feelings are mentioned in the narration in paragraph form, not by the characters themselves. This happens a ton in this novel. Usually it is coupled with odd memories of Candy’s childhood, like literally in the middle of an action scene she’ll start remembering something, a paragraph will go by, and then we’ll be back in the middle of the action. The timing felt incredibly off for the entire book. The first action scene is one of the best of the book, but it took a bizarrely long time for something that in real life would have taken one or two minutes. The bad guy is constantly right behind her but she has plenty of time to have entire conversations before he ever reaches her. It consistently tore me out of the action because the timing just didn’t work for me.I’m not sure what to make of the weird abusive relationship Candy has with her father. It is mentioned a few times in the beginning as maybe a reason that she got fed up with her current life, but it felt forced and detached. Abusive relationships, whether it’s parental, spousal, whatever, are one thing that always turns on the waterworks for me. I find it so depressing that people have to go through that every day. Candy obviously hates her dad and we’re given a few anecdotes of him slapping her or her mom, but it felt so out of place every time, I would recoil in horror from the book. Now, this may be exactly what was supposed to happen, so that we know that Candy has found a better place in the Abarat, or why she will always fight against Carrion so that he doesn’t subjugate the islands the same way her dad dominated her. I don’t know, but it felt out of place. Here’s a quote from page 282 that had me in open mouthed horror (emphasis mine):…she heard the sound of Wolfswinkel’s stick whistling through the air and landing on Malingo’s back. She winced. A second stroke came quickly after the first, then a third, and a fourth and a fifth. Between the blows she heard the soft sound of Malingo’s sobs. She understood those heart wracking tears; she’d shed them herself, when her father was done with her. Tears of relief that it was all finished, for now. And tears of fear that it would happen again when she least expected it. Her father hadn’t used a stick to strike her, but he’d had his own ways to cause pain.Woah wait WHAT? I may be reading into this but the first and ONLY thought in my head after reading that last sentence was "Holy crap sexual abuse not cool." I simply have no idea what to make of that, and I was just starting to really get into the book at this point too.I’m still pretty curious as to where he is going with the story. Although I didn’t know this when I picked up Abarat, it is planned to be a five book series, with number four slated for 2014. It’s going to be a while before the whole series is finished, but I will definitely be picking up two and three soon.Edit: I just thumbed through a trade paperback edition of this book. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK IN PAPERBACK. It will not have the pictures, and as he wrote and illustrated this book together, it would be criminal not to have both media next to each other.

  • Kyle
    2018-11-30 01:23

    This book reminds the reader (if they are older like me) what it's like to have a childlike imagination again. Very dreamlike and surreal, reading this book is like riding shotgun during the road-trip through a child's night-time dream, instead of listening to the child the next morning trying to tell you about it. "And then there were robot ninjas!" the kid might tell you while you shake your head incredulously and appease him with the occasional 'uh-huh' or 'yeah yeah.' "And then those robot ninjas rode on giant bugs to fight the evil wizard, but the evil wizard attacked them with giant chickens!" Such fantastical things seem mundane compared to Abarat. But it's not just the dreamlike extraordinary things that cause Abarat to reboot that long-dormant part of their mind. It's the innocence of the refreshingly mundane; meeting new people, seeing new things for the first time, and experiencing things for the first time. Do you remember what it was like to meet your first childhood friend? Do you remember what your favorite food tasted like the first time you ate it? I love traveling and seeing new places. But, that very first time I saw something truly strange, truly wondrous... that was the moment that my love of traveling was birthed. Journeying through this book taps into all those mechanisms of what it was like to see or do something for the very first time. In a world where we make the same commute to work every day, eat at the same handful of selected favorite restaurants when we go out, or regularly fill our lives with mundane routine. This book takes us back to the world being a new and overwhelming place. To a world where we feel alone and scared and overwhelmed, but also to a world where we get to discover its joys for the first time, and meet its new inhabitants for the first time (friendly or otherwise).

  • Tobin Elliott
    2018-11-26 00:18

    Wow. This was not a good novel.Have you ever had an author that you loved so intensely, so completely, then, you read something and you felt that intensity just dissolve? I loved Chuck Palahniuk. For a period of time, he was actually my favourite author--above Stephen King, which, for those of you who know me, is really saying something--and I'd rejoice each time a new novel of his came out. I devoured his first ten books, fiction and non-fiction, thinking only two--Invisible Monsters and Haunted--as slightly less than brilliant. Then came Snuff, which seemed like a serious misstep. Then I read Pygmy and realized that Chuck was, at this point, sitting down to write a novel as Chuck Palahniuk, not just letting his voice come out. I read about a flying vibrator and knew that I no longer loved Palahniuk.It also happened with Tom Clancy (never a great writer, but a good storyteller and plotter) and Stephen R. Donaldson.And now, with Abarat, after the disappointment of The Scarlet Gospels, it's happened with Barker. I used to love your stuff, Clive. Love it. Your fourteen-year run of novels, starting with Weaveworld and running all the way through to Coldheart Canyon were, each in their own way, brilliant.Then came this steaming mess. What's so wrong with it? It still has the trademark Barker imagination stamped all over it. The problem is, that's all it has. Candy Quackenbush is your stereotypical keener teen, underappreciated by her teachers and with an abusive parent. There's lots that can be done with this, but Barker only paints Candy in broad strokes of cliche. Then there's the story...or the lack of it. Nothing much happens in the novel, except to lurch the characters from one place to another so Barker can stop and show us his prodigious imagination. Which is great, if it has a place in the story, if it advances the plot or characters in some way. Otherwise, it's closer to a porn movie, where the thinnest of storylines are simply to corral characters together to fuck. In this case, the corralling is so all the characters can either narrate a wonder, or goggle over one.I really wanted this novel to be good, because I love Barker as an artist and as a writer and as a person--he's one of the nicest, most giving guys I've ever met. But this wasn't the book to wash away the taint of The Scarlet Gospels.I won't be reading the rest of the series. But now I'm very much in fear of how he'll complete the Book of the Art series. Because if he fucks that up, I'll never forgive him.

  • Jen
    2018-11-24 02:24

    I needed an imaginative fantasy romp, so I just finished Clive Barker's Abarat. It's sort of The Thief of Always (darkish kid's book) meets Weaveworld (for awesome otherworlds). And the thing that makes this book extraordinarily special: color drawings by Barker interspersed throughout the text. In a fantastical world like Abarat, it's immeasurably cool to see a piece of art depicting, say, a Sea-Skipper, sort of an elegant cross between a human and a sea horse, or a crazy island shaped like a man's pointed head.The heroine, Candy Quakenbush, has an abusive father and an all-around dreary life in Chickentown, MN (guess what the industry is there?). When she's ripped out of her environment and gets swept away on a sea to the magical islands of Abarat, the joy I felt was similar to the relief I felt when Hagrid showed up to take Harry Potter to his first year at Hogwarts. Candy doesn't get a grace period to adjust, though - the bad guys are after her from the start. She's helped by wonderful creatures on various different islands - called The Hours, as each one is locked in a different time of day - and her sense of adventure and loyalty makes her an exciting heroine. About 3/4 of the way through, I realized there was no way this book would conclude in a neat little package: there's a sequel on the way. It turns out that this is the first of five planned books (the 2nd is already out, so I'm off to the library for it soon...) This will be a fun story to follow in the coming years.

  • Brian White
    2018-11-17 20:32

    I wanted to like this book. I really did. I've enjoyed everything else I've read by Barker. Alas, not so here. The story revolves around Candy Quackenbush,an adolescent girl who leaves school one day in a huff at her teacher and shortly finds herself transported into the Abarat - another dimension where there are islands in a great sea and every island represents one hour of the day. Plus a 25th mystery island. Here's the thing. I love nostalgia stories where the protagonist is a child or early teen and he or she faces some great difficulty and overcomes it. Lessons are learned, adults are taught that kids are people too, on-and-on. Abarat started out with that premise, but abandoned it within a few chapters. The plot is loose, just a series of random events befalling our young heroine. The imagery from Abarat is vivid, but also random. There is no sense of anything otherworldly. It reads more like Barker had all these images in his head from various incomplete ideas and decided to just lump them all together. By the time I was half-way through I just wanted it to be over so I wouldn't have to keep reading. I didn't sympathize with Candy, and her conflict with Carrion and his minions stopped interesting me almost as soon as it had begun. I doubt I will move on to the other books in the series. Not recommended.

  • Alice
    2018-11-28 23:24

    This is truly an innovative book. Clive Barker has an imagination unlike anything I've encountered, so if you're looking for a book that throws you head first into the world of your wildest dreams, this is the book you've been looking for. This is my favorite book of the series because it introduces you to Abarat and its wonders. The actual plot line is in it's infant form but it offers up enough questions to keep the reader engaged. A lot of the "answers" given are vague and you don't really know what's happening in this book but are willing to go along on the crazy ride because you cannot wait to see what craziness will happen next. A word of caution though: this series takes on a much darker tone as it continues. Still, this is one of my favorite book series and I love all of the art work in these books. In my opinion this book contains the BEST artwork. All of the vibrant colors that are used help inspire your imagination which the plot further stimulates. I read this book when it came out and a couple of times after that, including each time a new book in the series is released. 5/5 stars because for me it's one of those books I can read multiple times and still be awed time and time again.

  • Rebecca
    2018-11-27 01:31

    I gave this two stars because of my deep-seated belief that is you publish a book, regardless of if it is part of a series or not, it should be an entire story. doesn't matter if the reader can understand everything that is happening if they haven't read the other books, but it should have a beginning, a middle, and some sort of conclusion. Cliffhangers are a cop-out. **spoiler warning**You should not end a book with your heroine being pursued across the sea by a ruthless evil being who can't decide if he wants to have her for supper, or marry her. Seriously. If you reach the maximum length your publisher thinks you should have, but you have another 600 pages to the story, fight for it or edit. You're given enough carte blanche to have your paintings as the illustrations in the book, I don't think they're going to quibble with you over length. That said, this book was typical Barker, toned down for the kiddies. My judgement is withheld until I decide whether or not to jump off the cliff.

  • Erika Griffin
    2018-11-19 01:32

    I've never been particularly good with fantasy novels. Perhaps it's the--in many cases--absurd abundance of characters, creatures, environments, and plot-lines, but I've always found them hard to follow. In the case of ABARAT, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Clive Barker had created a giant, diverse world with an array of colorful characters...and made it easy to follow. Sure, there are one or two snags, but the entirety of it is so consuming and interesting that you ultimately don't care if there's a paragraph or two you don't understand and you just keep going.The characters are standard Barker-fare, with a haunted (yet by no means any less alluring) antagonist, a young girl with more to her than meets the eye and more to who she really is than she could ever have hoped for, and a side-cast that don't fall to the wayside but help to add to an already consuming story. Safe to say, if you should give at least the first three pages a try, you won't put it down any time soon.

  • Xara Niouraki
    2018-11-27 21:22

    First things first: this book is not bad. I liked it, although it took me a lot of time to finish it.Why the low rating? Well, it doesn't really have a plot. We just observe Candy having adventures, getting in different kinds of trouble and getting out again. The world is wonderful, full of bizzare creatures and places, but this is not enough for me. A book has to have a plot or else I get bored. I'm going to finish the series because I bought the books. I hope the next book is better.

  • Laura
    2018-11-13 20:31

    Plain and simple: I love this book. I think because the story is so different, it just pulls me in and I want to keep reading until I'm done. I also love the illustrations. The colors are so vivid and perfectly match the story. I would leave you a warning though, there are some creepy elements in this story, and some disturbing pictures, this book isn't for everyone.