Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

Title: The Thief of Always
Author: Clive Barker

ISBN # 0006473113

Publisher: Harper Collins

First Published: 1992

240 pages

Format: Paperback

Rating: 6/10

Mr. Hood's holiday house has stood for a thousand years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles, a blissful round of treats and seasons, where every childish whim may be satisfied. But there is a price to be paid. Harvey Swick finds out about the dark side.

This is a very quick read and one definitely aimed at the younger end of the market (I would guess it would appeal mostly to the 9-12 age-group). It has enough mild scares to keep things going, but even though it was first published as recently as 1992, it still feels slightly dated and I expected a little more oomph from one of Britain's foremost horror writers - yes, I know it is aimed at kids, but it was lacking on the real shivers that many kids love from their scary stories.

I loved the descriptions throughout the book, but kids' "scary" books that are published now seem to be darker and more psychologically creepy, as well as having more "visual" (in the descriptive sense) scares that have the intensity kept up for longer than this one did. I tend to prefer the 12-15+ chillers better, perhaps because they're more involved. I wished that a reason had been given of how Mr. Hood's house came into being in the first place, and also would have liked it to have been made clearer exactly WHEN the other children were from.

The line drawings throughout my copy (drawn by Clive Barker) were gorgeous though – they really added to the atmosphere.

Still, it was an enjoyable enough read and I may be tempted to try more of Barker's work, although I think I'll limit myself to those works he has aimed at the adult market.


Post a Comment

<< Home