Geek Pick of the Week – Clive Barker’s Dark Worlds

On our latest Geek Pick of the Week, we’ve got a pick for horror fans with Abrams Books’ impressive tome, Clive Barker’s Dark Worlds.

As the Holiday season approaches, we’re bringing back our Geek Pick of the Week. Each week leading up to Christmas, we’ll be highlighting a cool product we’ve found that we feel would be the perfect gift for geeks of all kinds. Use these to help fill in your own wish list or find the perfect gift for the nerds in your life. Click HERE to read more about previous Picks of the Week!

Even though we’re talking about ideal Christmas gifts for Geek Pick of the Week, considering today is, in fact, Halloween we thought we’d highlight something a bit different. Today, I’m featuring Clive Barker’s Dark Worlds.

The iconic horror master’s life/career gets the spotlight in this new book from Abrams Books and comes from authors Phil and Sarah Stokes. These two are personal friends of Barker and have long been his official archivists. Together, they manage his official website, the  fan club, and even Barker’s personal collection. In short, there are few people who know the man better than them, giving this book a strong sense of being “definitive.”

It also helps that they write incredibly well. The book itself, coming in at a hefty 352 pages and being an oversized 8 1/2 x 11 1/4 hardcover, is pretty massive.As such, it seems a bit daunting to get started, but the overall format/layout of the book, combined with the personal (almost conversational at times) writing style implemented, makes for a quicker read than expect.

What’s inside is a treasure trove for horror fans (and casuals) to dive into. The book lays out Barker’s life/career year-by-year, with chapter focusing on a specific work/works. So you get a comprehensive timeline of pretty much everything Barker has created (from books, comics, movies, and more). By presenting it this way, the authors allow readers the chance to not only learn more about the individual works from the man, but also allow insight into his personal life at the times he created them. From the early days of his career, to suddenly finding fame, and even covering Barker’s near-fatal case of toxic shock…Dark Worlds covers it all.

It’s not a biography, however, and keeps the focus largely on his works/art. This isn’t a bad thing, and still manages to feel quite personal (being littered with quotes from the man, who also pens the afterword), but if that’s what you’re looking for…this ain’t that.

Beyond the words, however, Dark Worlds is a very visual book. It features tons of high quality images of Barker’s personal art pieces, scans of pages from his handwritten manuscripts, and oodles of rarely seen behind the scenes images from various sets. In this way, the book also works incredibly well as something you can just sit and flip through casually without having to read anything. So if you’re looking for something more of the “coffee table book” variety, this still fits the bill.

Diehard Clive Barker fans, who’ve been following his career over the decades may not find a whole lot of “new” stuff in Dark Worlds, I still think the insight presented from the authors on his various works are worth checking out. They give a new perspective on certain things, while highlighting the significance of them at the time. Not to mention having all this swanky artwork/photos together in one place.

Whether you’re a long-time horror fan, a casual spooky viewer, or just interested in filmmaking/art, Clive Barker’s Dark Worlds offers a deluge of great information. Abrams Books always brings the goods with the quality of their books and this is no different. If you’re shopping for a horror fan this Christmas season, this would be a pretty great gift idea.

Clive Barker’s Dark Worlds is available now for $50 from Abrams directly, as well as other major retailers.

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