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Great & Secret Show

Narrated by: Chet Williamson
Series: Book of the Art, Book 1
Length: 22 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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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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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

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  • Michael
  • 05-09-2016

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.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Jon B
  • 02-02-2018

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Diane
  • 09-08-2015

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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Victoria
  • 26-01-2019

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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  • Zexion101
  • 30-07-2017

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 people found this helpful

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  • Jabroni744
  • 30-03-2017

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!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Doll Girl
  • 16-07-2019

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 10-07-2019

How Weird Do You Like It?

If you love Barker, or you love outlandish horror fantasy, get this book. It delivers his unique Horror Fantasy, complete with lore, other dimensions, strange monsters, a large cast and epic stage. It's imaginative, surreal, and well written. However, I didn't find myself engaged because the characters, especially the romantic pair, didn't seem to have much of lives or personalities, and I found the premise so bizarre that I couldn't relate to it or feel concern over the outcome. Also, it's really long with lots of subplots and side character backgrounds that dragged things out. It's very subjective because the book did everything it should, but I just prefer things a little more down to earth.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Vicky A Monk
  • 26-04-2019

A book that's hard to put down.

I loved this book, the story held my attention all the way through. I'm already starting the second book in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Signorino
  • 24-04-2019

Great & Secret Show

I very rarely struggle w a CB novel. He has the ability to capture me w his words & feel like you have a connection with his characters. Highly reccomend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jay
  • 03-09-2016

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
  • 21-01-2019

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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  • Michael
  • 29-10-2015

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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  • Steve Dillon (Things In The Well)
  • 09-08-2020

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
  • 22-03-2020

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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  • Karina F.
  • 27-12-2018

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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  • Mr Anthony Juniper-Nine
  • 31-10-2018

amazing story read beautifully.

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mina coltart
  • 01-08-2018

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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  • Ward
  • 09-08-2016

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 people found this helpful