This is a pure blast of creativeness from Clive Barker. Depictions of power beyond reckoning are blended with normal everyday life. The novel defies description but in some senses is less than the sum of its parts – the pace in the fantastic narratives does not always fit well to the mundane parts. I was left with the feeling of creative but disparate excursions and as a result not always a smooth flowing read. Although much attention went on the Fugue, it felt incidental – set up just to be destroyed – a great deal of invention wasted. It deserved a separate treatment and on reflection it might have been strong enough for a stand alone novel.
Weaveworld’s cosmogony lacked an overall cohesiveness that would have given it a more plausible edge. Normally, an indication of the overall hierarchical structure can be elicited by the activities of supranormal entities. I looked for signs of an overall pattern but was unsuccessful. The great nemesis, the Scourge, begged a larger setting but this wasn’t forthcoming.
I would call this 2½ novels
• The Fugue,
• The Scourge
(both separately interesting) plus
random linking narrative (½ a novel of the mundane)
Despite these criticisms, Clive Barker gets a thumbs up for the vision.