Where? To the Abarat: a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day, from The Great Head that sits in the mysterious twilight waters of Eight in the Evening, to the sunlit wonders of Three in the Afternoon, where dragons roam, to the dark terrors of Gorgossium, the island of Midnight, ruled over by the Prince of Midnight himself, Christopher Carrion.
Candy has a place in this extraordinary world: she is 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.
Don't miss any of the magic in the world of Abarat.
©2002 Clive Barker; (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"Skilled at fantasy, Barker throws plenty of thrills and chills at readers." (Publishers Weekly)
"This is a story well worth hearing." (AudioFile)
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.
"Weird for the sake of weirdity..."
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.
"Dark Fairy Tale"
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.
"Abarat = Very Entertaining Listen"
When I first downloaded and listened to Abarat, I was expecting a very dark and scary tale since I associate Barker with both of these traits (based on movies I've seen based on some of his works), but the book was not at all scary or dark. Abarat has the feel of an unusual fairy tale written for an adult audience. I found Abarat very entertaining and I highly recommend it to everyone- horror fan or not.
"What a World!"
The first time I read this book, I thought, "Now, why didn't I think of that??" I love the idea of a world in which each island represents a different hour of the day. This book is Clive Barker at the top of his game. It's incredibly well written, and I think that there's a piece of Candy Quackenbush in all of us. Although Barker wrote this as a young-adult story, I believe that it can easily hold the interest of an adult, too. There are countless stories that could be told about the Abarat, and I look forward to many other sequels in this series.
"Bedtime Story for adults"
Halfway between Anthony's Xanth and Gaimon's Coraline, Abarat is too mature for kids; it's just right to rediscover the elusive feeling that only a well-told fairy tale used to provide. Cozy, hypnotic fantasy- enjoy this one on a long car trip, or on the couch with a glass of wine.
I enjoyed this audiobook. It does have a fairy-tale feel, and you should be aware that it has a sequel, so expect a sudden ending with no conclusion. Unlike the other reviewers, I feel it is definitely similar to the author's other works, just not his most popular or commonly known ones. The unusual characters reminded me of "Cabal" and the overall feeling of unreality and the matter-of-fact transitions to & from the various islands and the "real world" felt like "Great and Secret Show."
This book wasn't fantastic, not the best book I've ever read, not even Clive Barker's best, but it was enjoyable and passed the time quite pleasantly. The book has a way of skimming over darker issues so that it seems like a light tale suitable for children, but in the tradition of all fairy tales, certain scenes still leave you with a feeling of unease, as if something more terrible actually happened but the author wanted to spare you the details.
The narration was the same, good not great, and nothing to complain about.
"If you like comedy and fantasy....."
This was amusing and funny. I somewhat liked the idea of the story
but didn't feel it measured up to Barkers other books.
"This book is awesome"
The world of Abarat is detailed and charming, both good and evil characters are alive and weird in many ways (I especially love it in Barker books). Also, the narrator is divine. I mean it! I did hear those different voices and felt those emotions Richard Ferrone was performing. This book is not as epic as, say, Holy Bible. But the world this book speaks of is fascinating, unusual and passionate. I can't wait for the Absolute Midnight to come!
"Wonderful & Fun!"
This certainly isn't the "usual" Clive Barker stuff, but it's a wonderful story full of twists and turns, magical characters a nd wondrous new worlds. Great characters, I found it hard to stop listening!
I enjoyed listening to this audio book as much as I enjoyed reading Abarat the first time.
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