The Thief of Always

Narrated by: Adam Verner
Length: 4 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
4.5 out of 5 stars (462 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Mr. Hood's Holiday House has stood for 1,000 years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles and blissful rounds of treats and seasons, where every childhood whim may be satisfied.…

There is a price to be paid, of course, but young Harvey Swick, bored with his life and beguiled by Mr. Hood's wonders, does not stop to consider the consequences. It is only when the House shows it's darker face - when Harvey discovers the pitiful creatures that dwell in its shadows - that he comes to doubt Mr. Hood's philanthropy.

The House and its mysterious architect are not about to release their captive without a battle, however. Mr. Hood has ambitions for his new guest, for Harvey's soul burns brighter than any soul he has encountered in a thousand years….

©1992 Clive Barker (P)2013 David N. Wilson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I love this book!

I love the story, the narrator was not boring at all. I was able to finish the book in one day! I highly recommend this book for ages 10 years and up!

4 people found this helpful

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Great story

Loved it! My 4 year old daughter also enjoys me reading this to her at bedtime. Great for Adults and kids

3 people found this helpful

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every time!

I have read this book probably 10 times, and I love it more and more every time!

3 people found this helpful

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Good children's story

Would you consider the audio edition of The Thief of Always to be better than the print version?

I read the book first, and heard this years later. The performances weren't the same as I heard in my head, but it's not really fair to assume everyone knows what's in my head. Half of the time I don't even know what's in my head.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mr. Hood is awesome. You can hear the sharp teeth.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

...In a world...

Any additional comments?

Good, short, fun, story. The only thing I didn't like about it, was that I wanted it longer.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

One of my all time favorites. Still great to this day. Read it in 6th grade for the first time and just listened again 10 years later, still in my top 3

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A classic.

The Thief of Always is my absolute favorite story from Clive Barker. I've read it countless times over the years and it never ceases to delight me. It's has all the wonder and magic of a classic fairytale. Adam Verner does a wonderful job with the narration.

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Great story and very entertaining narrator!

I can understand how this book can be enjoyed by children and adults. Very good story. I finished it in one sitting!

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Just Like a Dream

Clive Barker creates a fantastical atmosphere where a child’s wishes comes true at a price, and the otherness of this novel is accentuated by Barker’s black and white illustrations. The novel would be great material for a book talk where students would be invited to share what wishes they would want granted at the Holiday House, and if those wishes would be worth the loss of their friends and family. Young readers would love that a house would magically grant their secret wishes, and would feel pleasantly scared when their wishes could potentially be used against them.

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Absolutely Magical! Highly Recommend!

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily posting this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own.

What a wonderful, magical story! This book was first published in 1992 and I have only just found it. It's perfect for ages 10 through adult. This is certainly a story I will read again and highly recommend.

As a child there is nothing worse than being bored [remember the kids in Cat in the Hat?] and so it is perfectly understandable when Harvey is so willing to go on an adventure - after all he reasons, it will just be for a few hours before he will return home. And during his adventure, he gets his heart's desires, completely without any responsibilities or a care in the world. A magical time. But soon, Harvey learns there is a price to be paid for neverending children's fantasies.

For younger readers, I'm sure, will believe that this book is about Harvey avenging the passage of time lost with his family. But I think, as an adult, at the heart of this book is a very simple idea: Live in the moment and don't just wait for your next big adventure, as while you are waiting, your life [time] is slipping away. I think this is a very significant message, especially as you grow older and suddenly realize how little time each of us actually has on this earth.

The narrator, Adam Verner, was a great compliment to the written word. His warm, baritone voice perfectly captures the tone of this book and evokes the emotion of this story.

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One Of My All-Time Favorites

Prior to reading The Thief of Always, I had heard great things about this book. What I didn't expect was how much I'd wind up enjoying it. The Thief of Always is now not only one of my favorite Clive Barker books, it's one of my all-time favorite books in general, regardless of the author. Why? Because it is a tightly-woven fable with vivid imagery, whimsy, and grandeur. What impressed me most was the writing style. I'm used to Clive Barker's dark, macabre writing style. You won't get any of that here. It's so dramatically different that I thought I was reading another author's book. The Thief of Always has a charming and lovingly presented style that goes down as smoothly as an ice-cold orange cream soda on a sweltering summer day. The characters are splendid, and the story is epic and succinct all at once. While reading this book, I experienced the same joy that I did from watching The Neverending Story as a child. I was filled with awe and happiness because I was fully immersed in a world I didn't want to leave. Even better, the narrator for this Audible Original is perfect. His warm, emotive voice perfectly captures the mood and tone of the book and enhances it tenfold. Everyone should experience The Thief of Always—it's a timeless tale for young and old about the wonders of the world . . . and beyond.

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  • Michelle Shepherd
  • 01-20-19

Loved it.

My husband is a big Clive Barker fan and always expresses his love of this story. Loved it. Not sure if they have done a full cast version but if they did I’d love it.

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  • JD N.
  • 05-01-15

Brings back memories!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Thief of Always to be better than the print version?

No. One of my primary school teachers read this to our class years ago, I must have been 7 years old. The content was just as good, but the voices of the characters, (especally Wendell), were very annoying! I prefer the way my teacher read it!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Thief of Always?

It was all about reminiscing. I loved the Halloween parts, they remind me of Halloween as a child.

What didn’t you like about Adam Verner’s performance?

Annoying voices, Wendell reminded me of Patrick Star from Spongebob

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

Not really.