In which I talk about one of my favorite novels:


About a month ago, Sam van Zweden at Writers’ Bloc approached me about contributing an article for the site. The topic was “The Book That…” in which I had to fill in the blank. So I chose to write about Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show because . . . well, you’ll see. Here’s a snippet:

Some readers don’t care for Secret Show, saying it’s all over the place and hard to pin down, and I think that’s a fair argument. However, I also think the reason it’s hard to pin down is why it succeeds. The story is all over the place, with a cast of bizarre characters both endearing and sinister, jumping from one decade to the next, one locale to the next, always hinting at some unseen evil waiting to cross over into our reality but never quite showing the reader what they look like or explaining what they intend to do—and it works. It’s epic in scope, its characters come alive on the page, it offers something to a wide number of readers regardless of their genre preferences—and it does sowithout compromising its vision.

With one novel, Clive Barker broke all the rules I was taught to follow, and in the process, taught me an important lesson: There are no set rules when it comes to storytelling.

You can read the full article here.