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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • ARCADIA, CA, United States
  • 09-05-16

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.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • OA
  • 04-29-18

Masterful story - subpar narration

What made the experience of listening to Great & Secret Show the most enjoyable?

The story is still great after all these years. I read the book when it was first published and re-read it a few years later. It's hands down of of my favourites of all time.

What did you like best about this story?

The world created by Clive Barker is simply wonderful. His imagination seems to know no bounds and The Great and Secret Show is one of his absolute best books.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I'm still listening to the book and because of the pretentious and sermon like narration, I'm having trouble finishing it. It really just doesn't work for me and unfortunately it distracts from the story and makes me enjoy it less.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I'm just in awe of the greatness of Clive Barker.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jon B
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 02-02-18

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing novel

This is one of the most imaginative novels I've ever encountered. Truly a great piece of dark fantasy, or fantasy period.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love the narrator!

I've loved Clive Barker for decades so I was hesitant listening to someone reading his amazing story. It doesn't disappoint!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great beginning and a genuine sense of mystery

sadly the rest isn't quite so good, no weaveworld at any rate, but I still enjoyed it a lot

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring. Terrible treatment of women.

I bought the book based on literary reviews, but this book is terrible. The characters are worthless. The simpering voice of the women was the end of it. I could no longer listen.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ward
  • 08-09-16

Couldn't keep me focussed on the story

Would you try another book written by Clive Barker or narrated by Chet Williamson?

Well, no...
I listened to a couple, narrated by some British narrators and they pulled me right in. This one didn't, be it the story or the American drawl; I just zoomed out and whole passages passed me by.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Pfff, glad to be through it...

Did Chet Williamson do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

I never listen to books, narrated by American speakers, but I'll conceed that a story like this, wholy based in the US, needs a native US narrator, rather than a Brit.
Having said that, Chet Williamson has a rather monotone and sonore voice and does not differentiate much betwwn characters. He did not succeed in drawing me in.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Nope!

Any additional comments?

I really liked Imajica, Weaveworld and The Damnation game, but this story got way out of hand to my taste.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 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.