Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review Tuesday: The Great And Secret Show by Clive Barker

By Clive Barker

A friend highly recommended this series of books. Since I never read Barker previously, I thought I'd give it a shot.
When a man discovers a secret power known as The Art, he makes it his life's ambition to claim it as his own. 
Released in 1989, Barker tells us the tale of the life of Randolph Jaffe, AKA The Jaff. We start off in 1969 at the central Post Office in Omaha, Nebraska. Jaffe is dumped in the dead letters office checking the envelopes for valuables. He hits pay-dirt when he pieces together clues in the various letters that send him on his quest for something referred to as The Art. The rest of the book is dedicated to that quest and what consequences it brings. 

This is referred to as book one of THE ART trilogy. It lays out a basic premise for this whole other world that is beyond ours, something like a dream world or some other dimension, however sketchy.

I know this book has a huge following, but I had trouble getting into it. Jaffe comes off as a jerk from the very beginning and it's tough to hang in there for a hundred pages with a character you don't even like. The first ray of light is when Fletcher is introduced as the disgraced drug-addicted scientist who invents the nuncio for The Jaff, then immediately regrets it. The nuncio was a concoction that causes the recipient to evolve to the point that they can use The Art. This starts an epic battle that rages across the land and spans DECADES until it re-emerges in "modern day" Palomo Grove, CA. 

The story take a while to kick in, but the ending gets really exciting and really has you turning those pages. But it takes a lot of patience to get there. I consider the book OKAY. Not great, not bad. Just okay.