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Everville ~ a Place of Dreams

John loves to read, especially crime, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and sci-fi novels. He also writes poetry and short fiction.

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Is Fact More Shocking Than Fiction?

In a work of fiction, you can create a scenario in which anything can happen, no matter how shocking, or unimaginable. The novel "Everville," contains its share of shocks and fantastic scenes, however little in fiction can outdo the 'factual" account of what is happening in the world in 2020.

I had read a few novels about deadly viruses such as ebola and the like, threatening the world prior to the Covid-19 outbreak but always saw them as, or hoped, they would be science fiction. Little was I to know it would become a reality in my lifetime. And now the rioting and civil unrest to top it all off. I am sure this year will, in turn, spur a plethora of dystopian books and novels.

Anyway, now for a poem.

Everville ~ a Place of Dreams

There is a town called Everville,

a place where dreams come true.

But, beware what lurks within your mind

for nightmares are dreams too!


Townspeople go about their lives,

and quite mundane that seems.

But on a mountain high above the town

Is a portal to their dreams.


On the highest peak a doorway leads

to the shores of a dream-sea.

The dream sea known as Quiddity,

where fantasies run free.


It's a place of deepest yearnings,

for understanding, love, and hope,

and an unbridled sensual wonderland

beyond the realm that most can cope.


Meanwhile, in the sleepy town below

life's not as it appears.

for the skeletons are restless

in the closet of all fears.


And evil lurks in shadows.

There are secrets from the past

that, when revealed, will alter lives

and leave witnesses aghast.


For there are monsters threatening our dreams,

hiding in our mind's dark places,

and the most terrible of them all

are the ones with human faces.


So, if you chance to wander

onto the streets of Everville,

make sure you keep on passing through,

or escape (unchanged) you never will.


Everville, a novel by Clive Barker

Everville, a novel by Clive Barker

Off the Shelf: Everville by Clive Barker

It is difficult to describe this book published by Clive Barker in 1994. I have categorized it as fantasy/psychological thriller. In fact, Amazon lists Everville as "horror/dark fantasy" so let's go with that.

Everville is is a fictional city/town situated in Oregon USA, and is actually the "Second Book of the Art" or continuation of Clive Barker's best-seller 'The Great and Secret Show, which, I have not yet read. It would probably be helpful to have sat down with that first, but I feel this book can also stand on its own quite well.

From the flyleaf of the book: "Step into Everville's streets, and enter a world like no other fiction, created by a man whom the Washington Post called: 'a mapmaker of the mind, charting the furthest reaches of the imagination.'"

My poem above is actually my brief description of the actual book, unlike most of my poems in the 'Off the Shelf' series. As the flyleaf description eludes this really is a world like no other fiction I have ever read, and Barker is a master of creating such settings, another example being his novel 'Weaveworld,’ which I also own a copy of, as well as ‘Cabal.’ I can thoroughly recommend both of these books too.


Considering Buying the Book? Read This First

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 17, 2020:

Thank you Lawrence, that is what I was hoping for. I appreciate your comment.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on August 17, 2020:

John

The poem was very powerful.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 03, 2020:

Yes, hopefully it comes before that . It says due to coronavirus border restrictions and reduced flights there could be a delay. They may just be covering themselves.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on August 03, 2020:

That seems like a long wait for a book. Well, you have a chance to clear your reading calendar. My short, short fiction titled, The Convergence, was inspired by this book.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 03, 2020:

Chris, I just ordered a copy of Coldheart Canyon. Big book (746 pages) as are most of Barker’s. Says it won’t be delivered until September though, so I have to wait patiently.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on August 02, 2020:

This is good. I'll be looking for a copy of one or both of these books. Enjoy "Coldheart Canyon"...if you can.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on August 02, 2020:

Ok Chris, challenge accepted. I will look for a copy of Coldheart Canyon. Ok, your CB book to read is: actually I will give you a choice .. Weaveworld, or Cabal.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on August 02, 2020:

John, This brings to mind Barker's novel, Coldheart Canyon. I need to read a good horror novel. If you haven't read Coldeart Canyon, then I challenge you to do so. In response, I will read any CB novel you suggest. Let the challenge begin. I will write a review of the novel you suggest.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 24, 2020:

Oh Missy, what a pleasant surprise to see your pretty face and a comment by you. I am so glad to hear you stop by my page now and then and enjoy my poetry. I miss yours too. I am so glad you loved this one. Stay safe my friend.

Missy Smith from Florida on July 24, 2020:

Hey! It's been a while since I've stopped in. I rarely visit these days, but I try to at least stop by your page and read one or two poems when I'm here. This one was great - as always! It is so easy to take a journey through your poetry while reading it. Loved it!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 23, 2020:

Hi Monika, it is great to see a new face visiting my articles. Thank you for your very insightful comment. I agree, there is no flawless person in this world but if there was they could enjoy what Everville has to offer.

Monika Kushwaha from India on July 23, 2020:

Who wouldn't like to travel to the town of Everville when one knows that all dreams are going to be true..

But only a flawless person who lacks fear of everything really deserves to go there. Weird but true that no such person exists in this world.

Perfect portrayal of thoughts.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 19, 2020:

Hey Tyler. I am sure you would certainly have an interesting time in Everville. Thanks for adding it to your Amazon wish list, I am sure you won’t be disappointed. Thanks for the positive comment on my poetry.

Kyler J Falk from Corona, CA on July 19, 2020:

Send me onto the streets of "Everville" and I'll make sure it comes out more changed than I do, ha! I've added this book to my wish list on Amazon, and will have to pick it up next time I'm in the mood for books. All the credit, of course, goes to your wonderful poetry for getting me interested!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 18, 2020:

Thank you for reading this Lora. I appreciate your comment on the introduction and the poem, and it is a pleasure to introduce you to Clive Barker and Everville.

Lora Hollings on July 18, 2020:

This poem certainly would make someone think at least twice before going to the town of Everville! I like your poem very much, John. And your introduction was great. Sometimes, fact is much stranger than fiction as we are all experiencing right now. I wish we could escape the present reality and find ourselves in a much better one. Thanks for introducing me to the author, Clive Barker, too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 17, 2020:

Shauna, I am pleased you liked this poem. It would be good if we could banish all the nightmares, monsters and evil to one place, and avoid it at all costs. Have a great weekend.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 17, 2020:

John, your poem is amazing. Yes, nightmares are dreams, too and the most terrible monsters threatening our dreams are those with human faces. Can we lure them all to Everville where they can wallow in their ugliness and leave the rest of us in peace?

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 16, 2020:

MsDora, I hope you don’t have too many bad dreams, but yes, evil usually manifests itself In them using the faces of people we know. Thank you for reading.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 16, 2020:

Jodah, I know that the verse before the last is true. Evil people in my dreams usually correspond with people I know (of course, my mind controls that). I may have passed through Everville. Both your prose introduction and your poem are admirable.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 16, 2020:

Thank you Chitrangada. Well, you have read a poetic book review now haha.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 16, 2020:

Everville, sounds interesting. Thanks for the great review. I don’t think, I have come across any book review in the form of a poem.

Interesting and unique effort, and well presented.

Thank you for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 16, 2020:

Thank you for reading Linda. A nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there haha. My pleasure to introduce you to Clive Barker. Glad you liked the poem.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 15, 2020:

I liked your book review in the form of a poem very much. Everville sounds like an interesting place, though I wouldn't like to visit it in real life! Thanks for sharing the poem and for introducing me to Clive Barker and his work, John.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

It’s good to hear this is the type of book you may enjoy reading, Ruby. Yes, just keep on driving by. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

Peg, I agree it is probably best to avoid the town of Everville. I actually have a poem here titled “In the Good Old Days.” You could check that out, but maybe I can write another.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 15, 2020:

If I am ever driving on the interstate and see a sign exit to Everville, I will pass without looking. It sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Your poem was really good.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2020:

Your poetic description of this book surely makes it a scary read. I think that, like Eric wrote, I would avoid driving through this town.

Have you written a poem about what the "good old days" mean to you?

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

Ann, I appreciate you reading this poem and review of Everville. Yes, you are right, it is the evil hiding in a seemingly peaceful environment that is often the most terrifying.

Ann Carr from SW England on July 15, 2020:

Great poem, John. I was there in Everville. It's always more scary when there's something wrong with an apparently peaceful place - you don't know where the horror is going to come from! Just like Covid really!

Thanks for a great read and a great suggestion for a read.

Ann

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

Hi Paul. I am happy you liked the concept of this poetic book review. I don’t read anywhere near as many books as I used to, but now and then I find one I can’t put down.

Paul Neglia from Poughkeepsie, NY USA on July 15, 2020:

This was really clever John and an excellent poem to boot. I really dont care for reading books so much but ill keep reading your poetic reviews. It will be like my cliff notes, lol. Nice work

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

They say “there is a first time for everything,” Linda. I am glad the poetic book review experiment worked for you. I hope you find the book in the library, but I also understand your reluctance to read anything scary after the horror story the world is already living.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 15, 2020:

John, this is the first time I've ever seen a book review in the form of a poem; you've sold me. If and when our library ever reopens, I will look for this book...or perhaps not. The picture you have painted is frightening. These past 6 months have been so horrific, I don't think I need anything more to scare me.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

His books are certainly multi-layered, unique and worth a read, Bill. Glad you liked the poem.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 15, 2020:

I don't think I've ever read Clive Barker. Thanks for the suggestion. If it's anything like your poem, it's a winner.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

Thank you manatita. Yes, the book is certainly interesting. Peace to you.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

Haha let’s pray you don’t have nightmares then, Eric. I don’t blame you wanting to steer clear of Everville however. Glad you liked the poetic review though...or did you? How far away is Oregon?

manatita44 from london on July 15, 2020:

Lovely poem and interesting book. I feel that some books will surface about current life and its problems for sure. Peace.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 15, 2020:

Well old buddy you ruined it. There is no way that the book is better than the poetic review. I am not going to pass through Everville, I will drive the 100 miles extra to avoid it.

If I have nightmares on this, I am going to look you up!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

Thanks for reading this, Pamela. I appreciate your comment that you found this a good book review. Yes, it is quite a scary story in many ways.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 15, 2020:

I think writing a poem to describe this book is very clever. The poem is a bit scary so imaginie the book is much the same. To answer the question about fact over fiction, I think fact can be scarier or more bizarre. This is a good review of the book, John.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

Hi Lorna. I am glad you found this poem/book review an interesting approach. Thanks for reading.

Lorna Lamon on July 15, 2020:

Fact can indeed be more shocking than fiction and we are living it at this moment. Your poem takes us on a journey of fantasy and intrigue - it would make a good movie. This is a novel way of reviewing a book which I really enjoyed.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 15, 2020:

Thank you for being the first to read this, Rosina. Glad you enjoyed the poem. Take care.

Rosina S Khan on July 15, 2020:

This was a nice poem to read based on the fantasy/psychological thriller, Everville by Clive Barker. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.