A glorious adventure for all fans of CS Lewis, Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman Abarat was an international success in hardback, attracting great acclaim from readers and critics alike Clive Barker is an internationally recognised author of fantastic literature and Abarat is his most inventive work to date Text-only edition to reach as broad a readership as possible Abarat is a major Disney property with two animated future films, theme parks and merchandising lines in development
Clive Barker was born in Liverpool in 1952. He is the worldwide bestselling author of the Books of Blood, and numerous novels including Weavenworld, Imajica, The Great and Secret Show, Sacrament and Galilee. In addition to his work as a novelist and short story writer he also illustrates, writes, directs and produces for the stage and screen.
Gr 7-10-Candy Quackenbush is tired of her humdrum existence in boring Chickentown, MN. After skipping out on a particularly frustrating day of school, she wanders into an empty field at the edge of town, and suddenly her life takes a remarkable turn. Through a series of most unusual events, she finds herself transported to the Abarat, a magical realm composed of 25 islands, each representing one hour of the day, with the mysterious Twenty-Fifth designated for Time Outside of Time. As she travels around the islands, Candy becomes involved in a power struggle between two ruthless and bitter rivals, Rojo Pixler of Commexo City and Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight. Each man seeks to control the island chain, and Candy may be the deciding factor in its survival or destruction. Barker is obviously more comfortable in the Abarat than he is in our more mundane world; the chapters that take place in Chickentown don't seem fully developed. Once Candy is safely in the fantastical realm, however, the story takes off. The rendering of the Abarat's locales, cultures, and mythology, combined with the author's own full-color illustrations and well-realized characters, allows readers to become quickly immersed in this beautiful and frightening world. In spite of a less-than-credible, almost preternatural calm in the face of the bizarre, Candy makes a fine protagonist, displaying strength, vulnerability, and a lack of the forced spunkiness displayed by some adventurous heroines. This first book in a series of four sets the stage nicely for what is sure to be a rollicking, epic ride.-Alison Ching, North Garland High School, Garland, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Praise for the illustrated hardback edition: "ABARAT is more than just a new and major contender. It is (like his earlier book, THE THIEF OF ALWAYS) full of a level of beautiful terror that children are still just able to bear" Independent "Always creating and always pushing into the furthest reaches of the human mind, he is an artist in every sense of the word. He is the great imaginer of our time" Quentin Tarantino "You're eager to love this beautiful, heavy, richly coloured slab of a book. And thankfully it's easy to love...Abarat is a sumptuous and lovely thing. With beautiful pictures of monsters." The Guardian "A blend of Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" Entertainment Weekly "Embraces the lands of Oz, Wonderland and Narnia" Booklist
Like The Thief of Always, Barker's first book for children, this tale finds a bored protagonist venturing into a fantastical world. The novel begins with a rather cryptic scene of three women on a "perilous voyage... [emerging] from the shelter of the islands." The action then shifts to Candy Quackenbush of Chickentown, Minn., who hates her life as the daughter of an alcoholic father and a depressed mother. One day, humiliated by her teacher, Candy skips out of school and heads for the prairie, where she stumbles on a derelict lighthouse and a creature with eight heads, John Mischief. The opening scene and the thrust of the novel gradually connect, as Candy begins an adventure to a mysterious archipelago called Abarat. Skilled at fantasy, Barker throws plenty of thrills and chills at readers. Candy becomes a pawn between Mischief and the man (Christopher Carrion, "Lord of Midnight") from whom Mischief has stolen something of great value. However, by the middle of the novel, readers may feel that Barker pulls out too many stops; he floods the pages with scores of intriguing characters and a surfeit of subplots (some of which dead-end, perhaps to be picked up in one of the three planned sequels). The author's imagination runs wild as he conjures some striking imagery ("Dark threads of energy moved through her veins and leaped from her fingertips" says one of the three women in the opening scene) and cooks up a surreal stew of character portraits (rendered in bold colors and brushwork, they resemble some of Van Gogh's later work). But much of the novel feels like a wind-up for the books to follow and, after this rather unwieldy 400-page ride, readers my be disappointed by so many unresolved strands of the plot. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) FYI: A national marketing campaign is planned for the Abarat series, for which movie, theme park and multimedia rights have been purchased by Walt Disney Pictures. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.