Barker's vivid imagination, bolstered by his naturally philosophical bent, leads him into any number of thematic concerns in the course of his fiction.
Two areas of recurring emphasis are apparent, however. The first of these, and the one which the author himself has been most prone to stress in public discussions of his work, involves the concept of fundamental transformation as the result of an intense, revelatory experience, something which in Barker's narratives seems to come close to the notion of epiphany as articulated in the fiction of James Joyce.
People, he says, are given a moment of revelation, which, I think, is just about the most important thing in the world — moments when they see themselves in relation to the imaginative elements which have erupted into their lives.
What separates these moments of revelation and transformation from the epiphanies of Joyce — and those of just...