Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Everville by Clive Barker

(hb; 1994: second Book of the Art; sequel to The Great and Secret Show)

From the inside flap:

"On a mountain peak, high above the city of Everville, a door stands open: a door that lets onto the shores of the dream-sea Quiddity. And there's not a soul below who'll not be changed by the fact. . .

"Phoebe Cobb, once a doctor's receptionist, is about to forget her old life and go looking for her lost lover, Joe Flicker, in the world on the other side of that door, a strange sensual wonderland. . .

"Tesla Bombeck, who knows what horrors lurk on the far side of Quiddity, must solve the mysteries of the city's past if she is to keep those horrors from crossing the threshold.

"Harry D'Amour, who has tracked the ultimate evil across America, will find it conjuring atrocities in the sunlit streets of Everville. . ."


Everville is an excellent follow-up to The Great and Secret Show, progressing Great's character- and theme-focused epicity (love; the Art; cyclic creation, evolution and destruction) while deepening -- in cinematic-fantastic fashion -- the mythology of the first novel's Cosm- and Metacosm-based horrors and beauty.

This sequel's strong connection to Great is further maintained by many of its key characters, returning from the first book: Tesla Bombeck and Raul, the latter a dramatically evolved monkey, who share Tesla's headspace; Harry D'Amour, the supernatural detective, whose world-weary Christian understanding of the Cosm is continually being challenged; Jo-Beth McGuire and Howie Katz, whose war-resistant love has resulted in a daughter, Amy; Tommy "Death-Boy" McGuire, Jo-Beth's psychotic and incestuous brother, who still desires his sibling; Kissoon, whose sick and violent childhood may dramatically alter this second attempt at Iad Uroborous-aided apocalypse; and Grillo, whose database of weirdness, the Reef, may provide some of the previous characters understandings they might not have otherwise had.

Like Great, Everville is a novel waiting to be made into a cable miniseries, and a work worth owning.


In Everville, extensive mention is made about a painting, created by a friend of D'Amour's (Ted Dusseldorf), called D'Amour in Wyckoff Street. Readers curious about the events that inspired this work of art -- as well as the multipersonalitied hellspawn (Lazy Susan/The Nomad/etc.) stalking D'Amour -- should read Barker's story "Lost Souls," which has been extensively published. (It was originally published in Time Out magazine in December 1985. It most recently was republished in the story anthology Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons, edited by Paula Guran.)

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