BOOK REVIEW: MISTER B. GONE BY CLIVE BARKER

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GENERAL INFORMATION

TITLE: MISTER B. GONE

AUTHOR: CLIVE BARKER

PAGES: 248

PUBLISHER: HARPER VOYAGER

YEAR: 2007

GENRE: HORROR FICTION

COVER TYPE: PAPER BACK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mister_B._Gone

www.clivebarker.info

Mister B Gone is the second of three horror novels I borrowed from the library recently. I needed my faith in one of my favourite fiction genres restored after it was seriously dented recently by Simons Clarks’ awful London Under Midnight. Barker is a great writer so if anyone can restore my faith he can.

BLURB FROM THE COVER

MISTER B GONE marks the long-awaited return of Clive Barker, the great master of the macabre, to the classic horror story. This bone-chilling novel, in which a medieval demon speaks directly to the reader – his tone murderous one moment, seductive the next – is a never-before-published memoir allegedly penned in the year 1438. The demon has embedded himself in the very words of this tale of terror, turning the book itself into a dangerous object, laced with menace only too ready to break free and exert its power.

EXTRACT

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.

 

OVERALL IMPRESSION

 

I thought Mister B Gone was great. I couldn’t take it seriously as a horror novel because I found so much of it funny. The demon’s voice made me laugh especially when he berated the reader and begged them to burn the book. I just found this funny. Even some of the demon’s stories about his past were funny. Maybe that means I’m cruel because I found amusement in the demon’s tragedy? Mister B Gone is very well written and had me hooked from the first page. I loved Barker’s portrayal of the battle between good and evil. Mister B Gone is a sort of demon-memoir and Barker offers something very unique. Simon Clark should take a leaf out of Barker’s book and he might right something decent and not that awful London Under Midnight I recently read.

REVIEW 

I thought title was great. Mister B Gone fits the novel perfectly. You need to read it to find out why.

The characterisation was brilliant in Mister B Gone. The demon is the main character and he narrates the novel. Barker gives the reader 240+ pages to get to know the demon. Mister B is brilliantly drawn and one of the most original characters I’ve read in a while. It was almost as good as death narrating The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Barker introduces some other very interesting characters in Mister B Gone including the demon’s nasty, abusive father and Quitoon, the powerful demon that becomes his ally. These characters are also well written. Barker even does a good job with the minor characters including various humans the demon meets when he’s dragged out of hell and up to earth.

I love the way Mister B Gone is written. Barker writes in the first person and the narrator is a demon trapped within the pages of the book. I thought this was a very original concept and Barker executes this very well. Mister B Gone is a sort of demon memoir and I thought this was very original. Mister B Gone isn’t split into chapters. Barker uses space breaks to give the reader space to breathe. I liked this. The narrative moves effortlessly between the demon berating the reader and begging them to burn the book to sharing memories and events from his past.

There are so many things I enjoyed about Mister B Gone. I liked the demon discussing his past. His father was a brutal bastard and his mother was a whore. He was born a runt without any supernatural powers. His father was abusive. The demon and his father were captured by a group of humans in a huge net. The demon kills his father by cutting the rope that holds his net up and causing him to plunge to his death. I loved the demon’s recollection of what happened on earth when he was befriended by a powerful demon posing as a soldier. The story of how he ended up bound in a book when his mentor betrayed him was equally fascinating. I loved the battle between demons and angels at the end.

Barker is a very skilled writer. Mister B Gone is very well written. Barker doesn’t waste a single word. Every syllable moves the plot relentlessly forward. His dialogue is great. His descriptions are spot on. Barker is a writer who knows how to tell a great story but doesn’t bog his reader’s down with unnecessary detail.

FINAL THOUGHTS 

Mister B Gone ticks all of the boxes. Barker offers us a great, original story. The characters are unique and very well written. Barker is a great writer. I loved Mister B Gone. It reminded me of a videogame I loved called Darksiders about the four horsemen of the apocalypse and a huge battle between good and evil.

RATING

5 STAR RATING

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