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Clive Barker's The Thief Of Always [Paperback]

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Item description for Clive Barker's The Thief Of Always by Clive Barker...

Master of horror Clive Barker's Thief of Always is a fable appealing to horror and fantasy fans young and old. Now IDW brings you its own lavishly illustrated adaptation of the thrilling tale. Mr. Hood's Holiday House has stood for a thousand years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles, a blissful round of treats and seasons, where every childhood whim may be satisfied... for a price.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 6.5" Height: 10.25"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 26, 2005
Publisher   IDW Publishing
ISBN  1933239387  
ISBN13  9781933239385  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Comic Strips > General
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6Books > Subjects > Horror Fiction > United States
7Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Reviews - What do customers think about Clive Barker's The Thief Of Always?

Wow  Mar 26, 2008
I've enjoyed other Clive Barker works. Recently a fellow teacher recommended The Thief of Always as a read aloud. I needed something that would keep the students interested and open them up to new ideas. This book fits that bill.

I just finished reading it myself and I can't wait to read it to them. I was hanging on every chapter; I think the students will be as well.
The Thief of Always  Mar 30, 2007
Once again Clive Barker has taken me on an amazing journey, perfect for adults and children (10+) alike. Definate recommendation.
A Light, Imaginative Thriller  Mar 27, 2007
Ten-year-old Harvey is bored. He is sitting in his bedroom one February afternoon, watching the rain outside, feeling as bored as he's ever felt. He feels like he might die of boredom. Then, to his surprise, a little person flies through his window. This little man promises Harvey a wonderful vacation where he'll have lots and lots of fun--as long as he doesn't ask any questions. Harvey isn't quite sure about going with the man.

However, a week later, the man shows back up and Harvey decides that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to go with him just for a little while. So Harvey walks with him across town through a high wall that isn't really a wall, into a place of magic. Here, at the Holiday House, everyone gives Harvey everything he's ever wanted. Every day holds all of the seasons--in the morning it's like springtime, in the afternoon it's summer, in the early eveing it's fall and time to go trick-or-treating, and in the later evening it's winter and Christmastime. There are two other children there with Harvey--Wendell and Lulu. Lulu, though, has started to go a little bit crazy, so Harvey and Wendell don't spend much time with her.

Harvey intends to only stay at the Holiday House for a few days, but after a couple of reassuring phone calls to his parents when they tell him they want him to stay, he begins to relax. However, he shouldn't relax too much. There are some strange things going on at the Holiday House that aren't fun and exciting. Will Harvey figure out what is going on in time to escape?

I liked the whole idea of the Holiday House--what a perfect vacation spot for little children! I also liked the characters of Rictus, Jive, Marr and Carna. They embodied all characteristics that would be useful for keeping children there. I thought a couple of things weren't believable, though. Harvey seemed to have an undue attachment to Lulu. He barely even knew her, but he was very concerned about her, more so than most ten-year-olds would be. I also didn't buy Harvey's thievery toward the end of the story. It seemed less possible than the rest of the story.
.eraweB  Dec 27, 2006
A ten-year-old boy named Harvey, bored with his life, falls to the wiles of a seductively welcoming being named Rictus, and becomes a guest at a seemingly wondrous place called Holiday House. At Holiday House, each fun-filled day contains four seasons: and seasons at their very best. The springtime which comes each morning ushers in blossoming flowers and explosions of greenery; the summers that fill the afternoons are always those rare perfect kind one experiences but a few times in the school-less, cloud-less summertime of youth; the autumns that ripens as evening sets in sees the trees dyed with bright colors, as the air cools and the breeze smells sweetly of the bounty of unseen fields. And then winter takes over the night, cold, crisp, perfect for sleeping-in or sitting beside a crackling fire. It's all too good to be true---which of course it is.

Clive Barker's dark fantasy, part fairy tale and part horror story, is clearly intended as a vehicle for appreciative adults to rekindle some of the lost themes of childhood, when the world was simultaneously magical and threatening. In this the imaginative Liverpudlian nearly succeeds. The one serious flaw in The Thief of Always is the same one I've found in nearly everything Clive Barker has written, and that best I can describe it...his story lacks a soul. I don't know any other way to put it. This registers in the ease with which Barker's characters can later be put out of mind, and the acceptance one experiences when something terrible happens to someone we've just spent the last however-many pages reading about. I know legions of Barker fans won't agree with me there, but I have always sensed that about Clive Barker's works, be it The Books of Blood, The Damnation Game, Weaveword, Cabal, or even here, in what was mostly a charming, dark little story.

The Thief of Always is good, it's just not THAT good. It's like a trip through a shattered looking glass; it's flat in a few spots, it's neither character nor plot-driven, and it rushes past far too fast in places where I found myself wishing we could linger. Where Bradbury or King might have gotten the dark fantasy elements right in a tale like this and rendered The Thief of Always an everlasting classic, Barker is just not up to the task.
A touching fable for the young at heart  Sep 10, 2006
The Great Grey Beast of February has imprisoned Harvey Swick and the young boy is bored to death. How will he ever survive that dreadfully dull period between New Year and Easter? Contemplating his misery, Harvey discovers that he is not alone in his room. Indeed a somewhat strange and scrawny figure is standing in the corner. The man makes himself known as Mr. Rictus and invites Harvey to the Holiday House. And true, Harvey does not believe his eyes: the house is filled with all the pleasures a boy can want. Delicious food, many friends, tons of toys, every day Christmas. What more do you need? Of course there is a price to be paid, but young Harvey Swick, bored with his life and beguiled by the wonders of the Holiday House, does not stop to consider the consequences. Only when he discovers that he is no longer a guest, but a prisoner does Harvey start to react. But maybe it is already too late...

Clive Barker's first attempt at writing a book for a younger audience does not go by unnoticed. As Clive is known for his very dark and fantastic tales, he indeed uses these talents to draw a magnificent place where many children surely would love to hide. But with the same zeal he deconstructs the dream and craftily let the evil seep into the story. Of course the villains are not as dark and disturbed as in his adult novels, but still he manages to portrait a series of characters that would enjoy taking permanent residence in the dreams of the younger ones.

One critique that might pop up is that the setting of the story is so rich that it begs for more than one episode. After reading the story, so many things are left untold that it leaves you wanting for more. Even the narrative itself is extremely concise with its twenty-six chapters counting on average not more than six pages each. It would probably not have hurt if more details were introduced in order to make the environment even more exciting and colorful. Nevertheless the story is exciting enough to get the stamp of a must-read. And please, do not worry if you think you are too old to read this book. You never are!

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