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Book review: Mister B. Gone 
6th-Dec-2009 07:37 pm
JonasAvatar
I loved Clive Barker's early books, especially when I was in my teens, but went off his later ones when they started turning into bloated soap operas. His 2007 novella Mister B. Gone is pretty short so doesn't succumb to that particular problem, but it's still not a return to form. Mr B, a demon, isn't just a narrator, he's actually been imprisoned in the very words of the book. Right from the start he tries to beg, threaten or manipulate the reader into burning the book thus ending his imprisonment, a device which at first is pretty funny, but when it keeps resurfacing for several pages at a time starts to feel like padding in an already slight story. The story itself starts well enough, with Mr B recalling his childhood in a suburb of the Ninth Circle of Hell, and then how he was captured and brought to Earth. But it gets bogged down in the story of his love affair with another demon (like pretty much every Clive Barker character, Mr B is bisexual) and builds up to the revelation of a big secret. Since this turns out to be a pretty common idea in lots of supernatural fiction, the whole thing definitely ends as a damp squib.
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