Published: October 1987
Publisher: Poseidon Press
Series: Stand Alone
Format Read: Audible
Duration: 21h 12 mins
In a home of an elderly woman in Liverpool lies a carpet.
Barker turns from his usual horror to epic-length fantasy for this account of the Fugue, a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans. The Fugue has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it; the death of its guardian occasions a battle between good and particularly repulsive evil forces for control of the Fugue. Weaveworld is rich with memorable characters, exciting situations, and pockets of Barker’s trademark horror.
Suzanna Parish is called to Liverpool after her grandmother has a stroke. Cal Mooney is on the run from an escaped homing pigeon. Together they find themselves accidentally drawn into the strange world that lies beneath the mysterious rug. Here, a race of magical beings have hidden themselves from the normal world to escape human persecution and an evil known as the Scourge. But two other evils, a ruthless witch and her sidekick, seek the carpet for their own gain and will do whatever it takes to find it. As the intricate weavings of the tapestry come undone, Suzanna and Cal must face their biggest fears to save this discovered land and all its inhabitants.
I have not covered a lot of Clive Barker books on my blog, as I read most of it before I even had one. Clive Barker is one of those authors you either find out about because you like the esoteric read now and then as well as get a kick out of dirty horror, or never hear from him and maybe see a book by him in a shop somewhere that just does not pique your interest. Clive Barker is most certainly not for everyone and for me I find his work acceptable. I use the term dirty horror in the sense that Clive does not hold back from using expletives. He does not call a woman’s nether regions that, no he goes for shock value and will use cunt same as he will use cock instead of whatever the normal decent thing went for what a man has in that department when he wrote this novel. I am sorry, was I supposed to introduce this part with a trigger warning? My bad…
Weave world was a book I have heard many good things about in the years leading up to me actually taking on this book. Being familiar with Barker’s way of telling a story I also just went into this story blind as a bat. I am happy and content with what I got , I might even say I was expecting it to be better, but I cannot say my attention was on this the whole time. A story with a beginning and and end and a lot happening in between that I just cannot bring myself to talking about as it took me nearly 3 months to get through it, even though it was in audio form. Not that I did not enjoy the story, my listening at work scheme has changed quite a lot since I started at my new job. Hence the reason that there are not a lot of book reviews currently happening on this blog.
There a few things Barker does really well. He can write evil people particularly nefarious. He can create fantastical beings and very weird magical systems (just look at the Menstruim in this novel, which only gifted women could use, I believe the name of the magical system says it all…). He can make any place we might know that exists in real life and he can twist it to his own dark ideas of how he sees (saw it at the time of writing this novel). He is a decent storyteller in my eyes, even though most of the things I have read by him had very sinister undertones. He does not scare me as much as he did a few years ago, he does have a way of putting me on edge at certain points at least especially when it comes to his magical and fantasy uses which can be borderline uneasy near on too grotesque for certain people ,in my opinion, who may not like the ideas he had with this novel.
I do not know how to review this book so I am just making it up as I go along. The quickest review I can make for it is that I found it to be a near clone to his Aberat series, with a lot of things removed and more adulty themes added for general shock value. If you have never read Barker, I’d suggest looking into Aberat first as he wrote that for kids and adults alike, but the same themes in there can be found in Weaveworld. Evil people wanting to do evil things being thwarted by people who do not even know that the power the vilians are after is connected to them somehow… Almost Voldemort vs Harry Potter style, but Hermoine takes the lead…
That is as much as I have to say for Weaveworld. I will be giving it another few listens in future just to make up my mind, and I f I do you will read of it again. I gave it a 4 out of 5 on GR and will not be recommending it to any one out there. If you find this review lacking/too vague, well that is exactly what you expect with this book. Nothing is certain or set in stone.