Wednesday, September 14, 2011

REVIEW: Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker

book cover of Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker
Title: Mister B. Gone
Author: Clive Barker
Date Published: October 2007
Genre: Horror
Page Count: 248 pages
Challenge: None
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Burn This Book.
These are the opening words to this book, one that the narrator repeats over and over again.

Jakabok Botch is a demon from the 9th gate of hell.  One who has been entrapped in the book that you're reading.  He begs you to put him out of his misery and burn the book or you will regret the consequences.  Of course you don't, and you go on reading, and in the process, you learn a lot about Jakabok, also called Mister B.  The book is a memoir of sorts that was supposedly penned in the year 1438.

We learn how Mister B. came to walk in our world, how he escaped the 9th gate.  He confesses all sort of things to us that he swears he's never told another living soul.  At intervals he stops and begs us to burn the book again, which of course, we don't.  So he tells us more about his dealings with humans and how he met another demon along the way.  And we get to know Mister B, who really isn't that bad of a demon based on many of his actions.

There are a lot of gruesome scenes throughout this book, starting from the beginning, really.  Nothing do bad as The Hellbound Heart (my review), but still gruesome.  Typical Barker I would assume.  But there are also more poignant passages speckled throughout that really talk about human nature.  That was one of the things that I loved about this.  One of my favorites was from page 79 in my copy:
     "... I've told you enough.  Nor do you need to hear about the Archbishop and the bonfires on Joshua's Field.  Believe me, it wouldn't please you.  Why not?  Because it's a very unflattering picture of your kind.
     " On the other hand...maybe that's exactly why I should tell you.  Yes, why not?  You've obliged me to uncover the flaws in
my soul.  Maybe you should hear the naked truth about your own people.  And before you protest and tell me that I'm talking about distant days, when your species was far cruder and crueler that it is now, think.
     "Consider how many genocides are under way as you sit reading this, how many villages, tribes, even nations, are being erased.  Good.  So listen and I'll tell you about the glorious horrors of Joshua's Field.  This one's on me."
There are a lot of passages like that, which was one of the things that I liked.  There are no chapters, just stopping points between stories and Mister B's ceaseless begging.  If you have a hard copy of the book, the pages are an old coffee color, lending to the idea that the book was made in the 15th century, which I thought was pretty neat.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  I had read several bad reviews on Goodreads and various other places, but that just goes to show you that every person differs in their opinions!  If you're a horror fan, I would definitely recommend this book!  I'm actually passing it off to a friend in a few days.  I give this book a 3.5 out of 5!

Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from  Mister B. Gone


Smash Attack said...

I am loving the perspective this book is written in, and that Mister B constantly asks us to put him out of his misery. Sounds really cool!

LeighannesLit said...

It was really interesting, especially since I had never read anything like this before.
Just a word of caution though, if you were thinking of picking it up, there are some pretty gruesome things that even made my stomach turn, so if that's not something that you're into, you might want to bypass this!

Smash Attack said...

I knew it would be gruesome the minute I saw Clive Barker. I love horror/gore!

LeighannesLit said...

You seriously just get more and more awesome :]

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