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Mister B. Gone Hardcover – October 30, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This offbeat novel in the form of a minor demon's diary may satisfy devoted Barker fans eager for his return to adult fiction after several years writing the Abarat series, but others, especially first-time readers, are likely to find this fable about good and evil less than rewarding. Jakabok Botch, the child of two demons who has inherited his father's two tails, is rendered even more grotesque after he tumbles into a fire and most of his face is badly burned. A violent dispute with his abusive father, Pappy Gatmuss, leads to the pair being trapped by a net from our world. Jakabok manages to elude capture and eventually finds his way to the home of Johannes Gutenberg, whose wife turns out to be an angel in disguise. The book's format—simultaneously Botch's first-person narrative and his break-the-fourth-wall address to the reader pleading for him or her to burn the book—may puzzle readers unused to Barker's quirks. (Oct. 30)
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Praise for Clive Barker: 'An invocation of both magic and the imagination... A majestic maze of mythmaking' Washington Times 'Passionate and ingenious... A ride with remarkable views' Times Literary Supplement 'A fabulous, engrossing war of the worlds' People Magazine 'Barker's fecundity of invention is beyond praise. In a world of hard-bitten horror and originality, Clive Barker dislocates your mind' Mail on Sunday 'A powerful and fascinating writer with a brilliant imagination... Clive Barker is an outstanding storyteller' J G Ballard --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812968794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060182984
  • ASIN: 0060182989
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Clive Barker was born in Liverpool in 1952. He is the worldwide bestselling author of the Books of Blood, and numerous novels including Imajica, The Great and Secret Show, Sacrament and Galilee. In addition to his work as a novelist and short story writer he also illustrates, writes, directs and produces for the stage and screen. His films include Hellraiser, Hellbound, Nightbreed and Candyman. Clive lives in Beverly Hills, California.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 91 people found the following review helpful By David W. Strauss on November 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having been an avid fan of Clive Barker's fiction for the past twenty or more years, starting with "Books of Blood", I have come to expect so much more from this author. I was very disappointed with Mr. B. Gone. I found myself tiring quickly of the pleading to stop reading, the begging for the fire, etc. And I agree with the reviewer who indicated that the book has been "dreadfully proofread". I agree.....so many typographical errors, extra words, missing words....and again, since the book is ABOUT words and their power, I found myself pulled out of the story several times a chapter.

I found it to be not scary, not suspenseful, and rather slapdash. It pains me to write this review, in a way, since I count myself an ardent fan of Mr. Barker's work, but this one....well.....I think I should have given it a miss. I must say though, for the record, that this is the first book of Mr. Barker's for which I have had a less-than-stellar review. Usually, I find his books to completely capture me. This one, I found rather boring.

To those of you who liked it, I wish I felt the same way. But, alas, I did not.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Wikman VINE VOICE on October 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(Hardcover version)

When you read this review can you hear my voice in your head? How does it sound like? Is it someone you know? Well that is what I thought. You know you shouldn't read this review, but there you go doing it anyway, don't tell me I didn't warn you.

This unique book is both a story about a demon and a conversation with that demon all at once. My first paragraph is my feeble attempt at imitating what goes on in the book. In the book there are several requests to stop reading the book and burn it instead, and some of these requests are threats of torture and threats of eternal damnation if you don't burn the book. This gets a little tired after a while, but I found the concept of a demon both telling his gruesome life story and talking to you and threatening you all at the same time quite innovative and creepy.

The name of the demon is Jakabok Botch. He escaped the ninth circle of Hell in the 14th century. He has been with us ever since and if you buy this book he will be living with you too. He is ugly, severely burned, has two tails, he is hateful, and he likes to take warm baths in the fresh blood of infants.

I admit I did not think the book was very scary, but for me it was still a page turner. I found the book to be interesting and creative. I found the comparisons between the heartless barbarism of people in less enlightened times (as well as today) and that of demons in Hell enlightening. Earth looks a lot like just another circle of Hell in which we are our own demons. However, in this circle of Hell, there is a choice, a choice that the eternally damned demons do not have. Demons and Humans are so similar and yet so different.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Abe Froman on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have been reading a lot of bad reviews of this book and I honestly feel they are unfounded. Mister B Gone has been called Barker's return to the horror story. I do disagree with this statement (I really don't feel that this is horror, but that's subjective), though I don't feel it affects the bottom line. That this is a fun little book that I had a lot of trouble putting down and, yes, was sad to see it come to an end so quickly.
I enjoyed the little asides with Jakabok begging to burn the book and him with it. I thought that was an ingenious way for Barker to tell his tale in a way other than every other book you've ever read. Maybe a couple of them were a bit long winded, but the asides as a whole were, for the most part, clever.
Barker has a power in his writing that provides a vivid picture of the world in which you are reading like no other author that I have read. This is not his best story, but it is what it is. I nice little novella to help our wait for The Scarlet Gospels seem less...well...painful.

I did take away one star from my rating because, yes, the editing was horrible. Misspelled words, unclosed quotation marks, etc. Most books have a few errors here and there, but it got to the point of distraction in Mister B. Gone.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Petersen on December 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
It seems that there are a lot of mixed reviews of this book, and I imagine what a lot of people are missing is that this isn't a horror or suspense book - it's a black comedy.

The narrator is completely unreliable, and at turns lovable and pathetic. He tries so hard to be bad, but we have to come to the conclusion that he's nothing but sad and lonely. The depictions of horrors and tortures are intentionally graphic, but in the silly way that a child might imagine an overly deadly scene in order to attempt to shock an adult.

If one reads the book as a serious tale of an arch demon, it would be disappointing, but read as a character study of a deeply flawed narrator who so badly wants to be evil but simply cannot manage to overcome his desire for love and belonging, it's both sad and amusing.

Barker tantalizes you with details and emotions, he doesn't bash you over the head with them. Read with an eye for the humorous and absurd, this is a fantastic black comedy with both soul and laughter amid the refuse and pain.
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