Clive Barker

Synopsis of Abarat

Once upon a world
where time is place
a journey beyond imagination
is about to unfold....

It begins in the most boring place in the world: Chickentown, U.S.A. Candy Quackenbush lives in Chickentown, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future might hold.

When the answer comes, it's not one she expects. Out of nowhere comes a wave, and Candy, led by a man called John Mischief (whose brothers live on the horns on his head), leaps into the surging waters and is carried away.

Where? To the ABARAT: a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day, from the Great Head that sits in the mysterious twilight waters of Eight in the Evening, to the sunlit wonders of Three in the Afternoon, where dragons roam, to the dark terrors of Gorgossium, the island of Midnight, ruled over by the Prince of Midnight himself, Christopher Carrion.

As Candy journeys from one amazing place to another, making fast friends and encountering treacherous foes -- mechanical bugs and giant moths, miraculous cats and men made of mud, a murderous wizard and his terrified slave-she begins to realize something. She has been here before.

Candy has a place in this extraordinary world: she is here to help save the Abarat from the dark forces that are stirring at its heart. Forces older than Time itself, and more evil than anything Candy has ever encountered.

She's a strange heroine, she knows. But this is a strange world.

And in the Abarat, all things are possible.

Reviews of Abarat


All in all Barker has crafted a wonderful, enchanting tale for all ages. -- Joe Gordon, The Alien Online

Barker has succeeded in creating the first significant imaginary world in the 21st century. -- Mark Graham, Rocky Mountain News

As enjoyable as much of the novel is, it might have benefited from Barker not trying so hard. -- Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle

...for those without preconceptions and Barker-related expectations, Abarat is a pleasant diversion, a novel with the unabashed eagerness of a good children's Book and the mythopoeic depth of an adult novel. -- Tasha Robinson, The Onion

From preteens to adults, readers who love fantasy and excitement will lose themselves in Barker's intricate narrative and eagerly await the next installment in the Series. -- Emily Morelli, BookPage

You're eager to love this beautiful, heavy, richly coloured slab of a Book. And, thankfully, it is easy to love. -- China Mi...ville, The Guardian

Most likely the young readers this Book is intended for will not be critical of the occasional sloppiness in the text and most likely their attention will not be lost through the mental and physical obstacle course Candy finds herself in when she journeys to Abarat. -- Sarah Rachel Egelman, BookReporter.com

In the first of a planned four-Book Series, Barker imbues the traditional conventions of fantasy with a whimsical Wonderland quality, providing a host of bizarre characters, a fabulous landscape, and a coherent underlying mythology. -- Sally Estes, Booklist

Abarat has its fair share of problems, places where the language seems to trip over itself for applause rather than servicing the narrative, or stumbles awkwardly during scene transitions. -- Matthew Peckham, SF Site

Enjoy this Book for the nice light ride it provides. -- Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column Book Reviews and Commentary