Title: Mister B. Gone
Author: Clive Barker
Rating: 3.5 of 5
The first words you encounter in these pages are the command to “BURN THIS BOOK.” You quickly discover that you are being spoken to by a demon trapped in the book. Over the next 250 pages or so he threatens, insults, cajoles, bribes, begs and otherwise tries to convince you to do what he wants. And, of course, along the way you find out the story of his life.
His tone reminds me of a combination of other literary demons and devils. He is tragic, self-pitying, and self-deluded like Milton’s Satan, wantonly cruel and petty like C. S. Lewis’s “bent Oyarsa” in Perelandra, and utterly despises humanity like Screwtape (also by Lewis). Along the way he describes horrifying things that he has done, sometimes in disgusting detail and usually with disturbing casualness.
There’s not a whole lot more I can say about the plot without spoilers, but I will say that one of the big end reveals (that seems to be the main point of the book) could definitely be considered blasphemous…but the source is a demon who is admittedly a liar, so take it how you want. Overall, this is a disturbing, well-executed, fourth-wall-breaking book.