Mister B Gone by Clive Barker (audiobook)

Mister B. Gone - Clive Barker

Mister B Gone starts out with a dire warning (though not dire enough to scare me away unfortunately).

 

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.

 

I wish I’d listened. Not that I advocate burning books but I do savor my free time and I really wasted it here.

 

I had high hopes for this when it began. It’s read by none other than Doug Bradley of Pinhead fame and he has such a lovely accent and manner of speaking that I figured I’d fall in love with this story. It didn't happen. I haven’t read a recent Clive Barker novel in ages but I have recently reread his Books of Blood (both 1 and 2) as well The Hellbound Heart and was expecting, I suppose, something remotely similar. But again, it didn't happen. There were no lush descriptions, no interesting story-line or characters, no wild imaginative fantasy worlds. Really there was nothing at all that made me want to keep going.

 

But I did anyway.

 

So here’s the gist. Jakabok Botch is a demon born and raised in the 9th ring of hell (which is hardly described, I might add). Jakabok starts off things by sharing his tale of childhood woe. His parents, both lower level demons, weren't very nice to him and as a child he fell face first into flames and burned himself to an ugly crisp before dad bothered to pull him out. Later, through a strange series of events, he finds himself removed from hell and making his way among humans. He then shares his recollections of life among them in first person but surprisingly, though he does some nasty things and meets some nasty beings, it’s all rather uneventful and ho-hum in the telling. I didn't find it clever, or darkly funny or even disgustingly gory. It was just “meh” and I never felt a part of the action. In between his recollections he threatens to skin me and crap because I'm so brazen as to keep reading. This silliness got very tiresome, very quickly and really fell flat in audio format.

 

It is with much sadness that I can only give Mister B Gone a 2.5 (and that’s being a wee bit generous). I had to force myself to listen and had to rewind several times because I kept drifting away and could not stay focused. Doug Bradley does a great job with the narration but even he and his musical accent couldn’t save this lackluster story for me.