I hate quitting books before they’re finished.  I feel I owe that much to the author.  Which is the only reason I’m finishing Clive Barker’s Mister B. Gone.

This book is stupid.  At least it reads quickly.


Kinda Screwey

So right off the bat, “Mister B. Gone” makes me think it is kind of an antithesis to The Screwtape Letters.  Same vehicle, very different story and purpose.  A demon writing his memoirs.  I’m not sure this is going to be a great book, but what I’m hoping for is that it is at least fun.  I still love the first line and the repeated refrain to “burn this book,” because if you don’t all kinds of evil and horrible things will happen to you.  To me.  I kinda like the slighty weird, queasy feeling that gives me.  The feeling that, what if the book isn’t kidding.  But then I laugh to myself and keep going.  So far, that accomplishes some of the purposes of the horror genre, at least as I see them.

On to ‘Gone’

So, the title of this blog came to me because ever since I was a kid, I would get very excited when  neared the end of a novel.  I was thrilled that I was about to be able to pick the next novel.  I would even steal glances at the bookshelf (yes, steal – I live with a weird set of personal rules and routines) to see what was there that held my interest, even though I already knew in most cases.  Sometimes nothing there would hold my interest and then I’d have to go to the library or the bookstore.  Which never sucked.

I also always try to find the connection between the books I read.  Like what does this next book have in common with the previous one.  It’s a fun little game.  Sometimes it’s easy – they’re both science fiction or they’re both about or contain sailboats.  Sometimes it’s like that.  And sometimes it’s more elusive, elusive but always there.  Like they both contain a character that has a food allergy.  They can be pretty specious like that, but I always find one.  And the finding of them is fun, to me.

I have no idea what’s going to connect “Remainder” to the next book I’ve got, but I look forward to trying.  I’ve never read a novel by this man, but I read a short story by him (very good) and saw a movie he directed and produced (very poor).  This book caught my attention by it’s first sentence and the sort of illicit nature of particulaly me reading it.  It also has a particular kind of paper that makes it look aged (like when we were kids and we had a project for school, we’d stain paper with hot tea and burn the edges to make it look ancient, but somehow the evenly spaced horizontal blue lines of notebook paper never allowed the illusion to be complete).  This is a gimmick.  But I liked it.  It worked for me (well, enough to let me check it out of the library instead of buying it).

The first sentence is: “Burn this book.”

And with that, I’m off to dive into Clive Barker’s “Mister B. Gone.”

Mister B. Gone