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The Thief of Always Paperback – August 27, 1993
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The horror story your students have been asking you for! The only children’s story by the master of horror.
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From the Back Cover
Mr Hood’s Holiday House has stood for a thousand years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles, a blissful round of treats and seasons, where every childish whim may be satisfied.
There is a price to be paid, of course, but young Harvey Swick, bored with his life and beguiled by Mr Hood’s wonders, does not stop to discover the consequences. It is only when the House shows its darker face – when Harvey discovers the pitiful creatures that dwell in its shadow – that he comes to doubt Mr Hood’s philanthropy.
The house and its mysterious architect are not about to release their captive without a battle, however. Mr Hood has ambitions for his new guest, for Harvey’s soul burns brighter than any soul he has encountered for a thousand years…
“A dashingly produced fantasy with powerful drawings by the author”
“Barker’s book puts the grim back into fairy tales and continues a noble tradition of scaring kids witless. Neatly nasty drawings too”
“Barker puts the dark side back into childhood fantasy…A welcome modern-day return to a classic form, this fable lives up to the publishers’ billing as a tale for all ages”
“Bradbury with razored edges”
About the Author
Clive Barker was born in Liverpool in 1952. His earlier books include ‘The Books of Blood’, ‘Cabal’, and ‘The Hellbound Heart’. In addition to his work as a novelist and playwright, he also iilustrates, writes, directs and produces for stage and screen. His films include ‘Hellraiser’, ‘Hellbound’, ‘Nightbreed’ and ‘Candyman’. Clive lives in Beverly Hills, California.
- Publisher : HarperCollins; Revised ed. edition (August 27, 1993)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0006473113
- ISBN-13 : 978-0006473114
- Reading age : 10+ years, from customers
- Lexile measure : 740L
- Item Weight : 4.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.37 x 0.55 x 7.01 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #378,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2020
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At its core, though, this book is about love and connection; what makes The Thief of Always stay with you is not its spooks or its chills, but its heart. The most effective weapons in Harvey’s battle with the evil vampiric forces in the story are his loyalty, empathy, and selflessness. When I put the book down, I felt that bittersweet wave wash over me that bibliophiles of all ages will recognize: the joy of having finished a beautiful story and the sorrow of having no more of it to read.
Kids will relate to the unbearable boredom Harvey feels at the beginning of the book – adults will too, for that matter – and they will delight in Barker’s imaginative characters. (My personal favorite is Jive, Rictus’s sibling who is a perpetual-motion mass of constant “tics, jigs and jitterings.”) The scares are well-crafted and age-appropriate, and the love and friendship at the heart of the story will resonate with readers long after they’ve finished the last chapter.
By Betsy McGowan on March 12, 2020
Top reviews from other countries
Harvey Swick was a 10 year old boy who was board all the time & wanted some fun in his life, that's when Rictus appears at the window & offers his just that, the promise of fun at Mr.hoods holiday house, Harvey jumped at the opportunity
At first everything seems perfect, Harvey meets 2 new friends Wendell & lulu, Every season happened every day & Harvey is enjoying the magic but after a few days he soon realises that something strange is going on when he plays a prank on Wendell, Wendell is so scared from the prank he tries to go home but everytime he enters the fog he looses direction and ends up back at the holiday house everytime,
Harvey comes up with a plan for them to escape, the manage to escape but nothing is as they remember it on the outside, Harvey was only at the holiday house for 31 days but in the real world 31 years had passed, he needs to go back to try & steal back the years he has lost, he is faced with many battles but hes so angry he has no fear he defeats 1 obstacle at a time & discovers that Mr.hood is in fact the house itself, Harvey discovers that the only way to defeat Mr.hood is to make his use up all his magic which makes him weaker & more venerable,
My favourite part is when marr turns Harvey into a vampire to get his revenge on Wendell for all the pranks he has played on Harvey, I love the mystery behind the book, how the house was hidden in the fog & the end where Lulus husband came over to speak to Harvey, he was a hero to all the souls he saved if he had never been board who knows how many more souls Mr.Hood would trap in his lake,
A great short read, the illustrations through out the book are fantastic, I plan on reading more from Baker in the near future