Friday, January 13, 2017

Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker

Technically, I read this book in 2016, but the holidays got so hectic that it was hard to find time to write the review and then I was reading Hitchhiker's, so this kind of got put on the back burner, especially since I found it completely anti-climatic. My massage therapist actually suggested the book to me, and we have a lot of similar tastes in books, so I figured I'd give it a go. Clive Barker is  relatively well known; it wouldn't be that way if his books weren't at least decent. And the first bit really intrigued me. But about halfway through the second chapter (which aren't really chapters, just sections I've separated in my head as they always focus on a new bit of his life), I was beginning to feel let down. But I was far enough in that I knew I should finish it.

(Source: Kelsey Darling)
You Go to Hell for the Company

This is the tale of Jakabok's life. Jakabok Botch is a demon from the Ninth Circle of Hell who has always appreciated the written word. In fact, it is love for writing, mixed with him being a demon, that leads to the death of his father and him roaming the Earth until he is trapped in a book. All he wants of you now is to burn the book. He is sick and tired of being trapped between the pages, he wants the sweet release of death. But you, the reader, cannot burn the book. We have been told that burning books is wrong, regardless of demon possession or not.

(Source: Giphy)
It doesn't help, either, that the longer we forgo burning the book the more of his life's story he tells us, ending with how he got into the book. Us silly humans, we don't realize how stupid we can be sometimes, letting a demonized book continue just to hear a little story.

Jakabok's life starts in the Ninth Circle until he is captured by clergy, you know, because all clergy members go fishing for demons and use steak as bait. Jakabok escapes his captors, does a little torturing, and then is almost captured again, but luckily, another earth-side demon saves him. This demon is Quitoon, and they travel the world together, looking for the next great invention. But Quitoon is kinda a bad guy, even for a demon. He loses his shit when Jakabok says he doesn't want to travel with him anymore, and he's part of the reason he ends up in the book.

The book ends with a pissed off Jakabok because we did not burn the book.

(Source: Google Image)
Going to Hell in a Hand Basket

  • This book starts off really strong. Really, anytime Jakabok is trying to convince the reader to burn the book, the book is really good. It's really just the story of his life that isn't as interesting. Obviously, he doesn't get that when you tell someone not to do something, you want to do it even more.
"BURN THIS BOOK.
Go on. Quickly, while there's still time. Burn it. Don't look at another word. Did you hear me? Not. One. More. Word." (p. 1)

  • Jakabok really appreciates the written word, and he has some quite nice things to say about it...if you can look past his anger and aggression.
"So I kept myself from becoming a lunatic by writing down all my frustrations on anything that would carry a mark-paper, wood, even bits of linen-which I kept hidden under a loose floorboard in my room. I poured everything into those pages. It was the first time I understood the power of what you're looking at right now. Words. I found over time that if I wrote on my pages all the things I wished I could do to the kids who humiliated me, or to Pappy Gatmuss [I had some fine ideas about how I would make him regret his brutalities], then the anger would not sting so much." (pp. 5-6)

  • His sister, who is only in the first few pages, has a nice sentiment that is quite nice to hold onto.
"I asked her once very quietly why she never made any noise when my father hit her. She looked up at me. She was on her knees at the time trying to get the toilet unclogged and the stink was terrible; the little room full of ecstatic flies. She said: 'I would never give him the satisfaction of knowing he had hurt me.'
Thirteen words. That was all she had to say on the subject. But she poured into those words so much hatred and rage that it was a wonder that the walls didn't crack and bring the house down on our heads." (4-5)

(Source: Giphy)
As you notice, all of those quote are from pages 1-6. That's because after that, the interesting parts or the good parts or even the witty dialogue become less and less. There's his brief love affair, the teenagers having sex, the angry mob, and then it just kind of stalls until the last bit where angels and demons are having the great battle of good vs evil which all revolves around a book press. It is this book press that leads to Jakabok ending up in the book.

I do realize that that is kind of cruel. But this book was such a let down that I almost regret it. It didn't waste my time in a good way, it didn't teach me anything; there was no laughing or crying; it didn't make me ponder the meaning of life...it was just words on pages between a cover. I guess I'm starting off my HPB pile early this year.

(Source: Google Image)
Rating: 2/10
Genres: Horror, Fantasy, Fiction

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