VJ Books Blog

An original Clive Barker book, “The Adventures of Mr. Maxmillian Bacchus and His Traveling Circus” is composed of four interwoven stories penned by Clive 40 years ago that have never seen print in any form! Here for the first time in a beautiful edition, lavishly illustrated by the amazing Richard Kirk with an introduction by Clive. This fantastic tale will be a volume to cherish and read for generations to come!

Maximillian Bacchus is the ringmaster, ruler, guide and owner of what he considers the greatest show in the world. Traveling with a Crocodile named Malachi, a trapeze girl named Ophelia, a strong man they call Hero, which is short for Hieronymus, a clown named Domingo de Ybarrondo who paints in a wagon pulled by a giant “Ibis bird”. The troupe wanders from adventure to adventure with mythic aplomb.

From the first story, in which Indigo Murphy, the best bird handler in the world leaves the show to join in matrimony with the Duke Lorenzo de Medici, to the fabled court of Kubla Khan, the magic never stops. You will meet a young apple thief named Angelo with magic eyes, and an orang-outang named Bathsheba, and a host of other amazing characters with names and personas cut like a patchwork quilt from the mythologies and dreams of the world.

Though written forty years ago, these pages are littered with the same magical side steps that have always been woven into Clive Barker’s fiction. Worlds not quit our own, and yet so real they ring with truth and leave you wishing you could step from your mundane life into that other place – into those caves of ice – if only long enough to catch Maximillian’s show.

“The Adventures of Mr. Maxmillian Bacchus and His Traveling Circus is a story very close to my heart, rooted as it is in the magical, colorful world of circus performers and their fantastic powers to enchant. Of course Bacchus’ troupe travels through a world saturated with elements of folklore and fairytale, touched now and then with something a little darker. I think of this book as being the first of many journeys I have taken into Magic Countries where my characters face bizarre beauties, wicked wonders and hallucinatory horrors.” – Clive Barker

(Click to view some of the featured illustrations by Richard Kirk)