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Publisher's Summary

In the little town of Palomo Grove, two great armies are amassing; forces shaped from the hearts and souls of America. In this New York Times best-seller, Barker unveils one of the most ambitious imaginative landscapes in modern fiction, creating a new vocabulary for the age-old battle between good and evil. Carrying its readers from the first stirring of consciousness to a vision of the end of the world, The Great and Secret Show is a breathtaking journey in the company of a master storyteller.

©1999 Clive Barker Ink, Inc (P)2015 David N. WIlson

What listeners say about Great & Secret Show

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Horrific Dark Fantasy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The story is great, the narrator is superb.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the frame story best, the Jaff and his eternal conflict with Fletcher. Of course, the romance is the counterpoint to that, and necessary for the book, but it didn't interest me as much. However, the plot of the book is intricate and extremely complex, and may take multiple readings to get it all.

Which scene was your favorite?

All the scenes that deal with the Art and its background.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, I loved the moment in Trinity when [SPOILER OMITTED]

Any additional comments?

I read this book in print when it first was released in 1989. I became a fan of Clive Barker after reading Weaveworld, which is my favorite, and I enjoyed this book when I read it. The final scene in Trinity is well worth the effort. Chet Williamson does a superb job differentiating the characters so you always know who's speaking. His tone is pleasant and his delivery smooth. I enjoyed this book and recommend it. Clive Barker reminds me of Neil Gaiman in idiom and diction. But he's far darker, less precious, and more interesting. Gaiman has a world-class storytelling talent that Barker can't quite match. Clive Barker's world building talent leaves Gaiman in the dust. I like them both but Barker has the edge. All of Clive Barker's books feature byzantine plots which are constructed of layered subplots and because they're so epic sometimes they aren't as satisfying as other books.

19 people found this helpful

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Hard Book to Rate

This was a hard book for me to rate. This was my first experience with Clive Barker. I found the book, because it was narrated by one of my favorites, Chet Williamson.
I really enjoyed normal interactions between the characters. I loved all the cheeky banter and general air of irreverence. However, then Clive would take the fantasy to whole new level of craziness, that just threw me off, and made the book somewhat hard to listen to; plus, there wasn't a single character that I cared about or rooted for in general.
I'm still not sure if I'll listen the the second book or not, but if I do it'll be for the dark humor and Chet Williamson, and not for the crazy, abstract fantasy.

8 people found this helpful

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Perfect narrator

Chet Williamson, the horror author, carries this story so beautifully, juggling the sounds of so many different voices with ease with his lovely deep voice. He needs to narrate more books.

The story is a true epic, down in the dirt and up the heavens with creation and sex and the nature of the world(s), and I am so looking forward to reading its sequel, Everville, also narrated by Williamson.

4 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

This is my favorite book to read, and is equally as enjoyable to listen to. Clive Barker has an incredible imagination, and his ability to detail both the physical and metaphysical is unparalleled in my opinion.

The narrator did a wonderful job at conveying both mundane occurrences and dramatic events with aptitude.

4 people found this helpful

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Thanks Audible!

I was enchanted a long time ago by this book. It's dark fantasy, suspenseful and unique; written in beautiful prose. Don't forget Everville, it kind of goes along with this one!

16 people found this helpful

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Very ambitious but it worked!

As a fan of Stephen King i found this story to be waaay over sexualized. Honestly, to a fault. that being said the story was very unique and deserves to be read by many! I was surprised I had never heard of it. Enjoy!

13 people found this helpful

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Amazing narration and book!

Fantastic, all around. I could not stop listening and finished the book in only 6 days.

2 people found this helpful

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Honest Review in Exchange for Promotional Copy

Though I read most of this book before getting the audio copy, this was Clive Baker's first full length novel I've listen. I was definitely not disappointed. And though I hadn't read any of his work until now, I've been a big fan of Clive Barker movies like Hellraiser, Candyman and Nightbreed.
This story is EPIC. It has it all. Love, hate, fantasy, horror and a little romance. Its epic in the sense there is an epic battle between Good and Evil. We are not always sure who or what is representing Good or who or what is representing Evil at all times. Some characters are both simple and complex. The ensuing battle spans across the country and across the decades. Couple generations of lives are caught up in this conflict. The survival of humanity and the very existence of reality are at stake. The villian of the story prefers the dark and hates everything the Light represents. But not even he is fully prepared for the evil he's about to unleash. And it all starts in a lonely postal room in the heart of America where lost mail is sorted. A crossroads of fate.
"I received this free promotional review copy audiobook and have voluntarily left this review."

2 people found this helpful

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Marvelous story, dull narration

I have read the book multiple times and loved it! I wanted to share the story with my husband on a road trip so I got the audio version. We almost crashed more than once because the dull delivery put us to sleep. It was a disappointing first experience with an audio book.

2 people found this helpful

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Barker's Epic beautifully read by author Chet Williamson

This has always been my favorite Barker story and one of my top 5 favorite books of all time. It was great to listen and revisit the story, especially with the wonderful narration by author Chet Williamson.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jay
  • 09-03-16

My favourite book

If you like horror , this has everything. The narration starts a little poor but gets better. His girls voice is quite funny. I wish they would make a film of this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • aaron
  • 01-21-19

Great book, well read and a fantastic story

Great story from one of the best dark fantasy/horror writers today! A Dark fantasy love story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Anthony Juniper-Nine
  • 10-31-18

amazing story read beautifully.

Chet Williamson yet again reads Clive Barker magnificently. one of Clive's best story's. long but worth it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 10-29-15

Great story

I read this when it first came out, even got my book signed by Clive Barker so yes I love the story, however I don't like the narrator, should have stuck with Simon Vance who read Weaveworld and Imajica. That said, please release Everville!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-19-22

Showing its ae but still good stuff

Barker's writing here is definitely of its time, and some of the language used seems a little off by modern standards, but the story rattles along and is full of ideas and imagery. The prose is a little florid, and could maybe have used a little trimming here and there but again, the style is of its time. The narration takes some getting used to, with some odd and someetimes overdone pronunciation. So, not perfect, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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  • Keith Talbot
  • 07-14-21

Another dark and epic tale of adventure

I'm late to the party with Clive Barker having only started reading or really listening to him in the last few months. Damnation Game, Imajica and Weaveworld so far all great.
Personally I preferred the narration on those 3 to this one although after a while I got used to the voice and overall it didn't spoil the book in any way.
A huge tale spanning decades and stretching the imagination. A little dark and gross in places but I have come to expect that of Barkers stories now. Overall I enjoyed it and will now be getting book 2

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  • Steve Dillon (Things In The Well)
  • 08-09-20

awesome story... 4th or 5th listen

Clive Barker is undoubtedly the 20th century's master of lyrical horror. A Stirling performance of a ridiculously underrated book of dark fantasy.

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  • Elaine Crichton
  • 03-22-20

A great fantasy book

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book the characterisations, plot and fluidity of the story line kept me entranced

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  • Ina Furie
  • 12-27-18

Very Clive Barker...

Took me a while to get into but I really enjoyed it. Lots of winds and turns, just very much a Clive Barker book and that can't be bad!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mina coltart
  • 08-01-18

Mind-blowing!!!

Holy shit, this book is sooooooo, soooooooooo good!!!
This book is so complex and mind-blowing that you have no choice but to read along with it.
This is definitely going on my favourites list.

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  • Sandy
  • 03-27-18

Wonderfully narrated, a great story.

A great story and narrated beautifully.
If I didn't have the second book (Everville) to start I'd be sorry to be finished listening.

1 person found this helpful