Mister B. Gone
Author: Clive Barker
Published: October 30, 2007
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The Mister B. of the title is Jakabob Botch, a demon whose ghastly past could make even the most merciless sociopath whimper in sympathy. Born in the deepest regions of hell, the spawn of an abusive drunkard and his whorish wife, Jakabob escapes to the world above after suffering fiendish torture. Once topside, he lands conveniently in 15th-century Mainz, the home of printing inventor Johannes Gutenberg. However, Mister B. isn’t interested in merely observing history; like any other self-respecting diabolical being, he’s just searching for a new demonic angle. A ghoulishly good fright fest.
This is my first Clive Barker book. It seems a little on the obscure side, but I liked it so I plan to read more. The whole “burn this book” tag line really drew me in. I’ve never read a book quite like this where the narrator is so commanding of the reader. I legit wondered if I should set fire to this book when I finished! That kinda says a lot!
I think this was one of those mostly metaphorical reads that I was afraid I wasn’t gonna get beacuse I’m definitely not deep enough, but I’m pretty sure I got the main lesson. Jakabok Botch was definitely interesting. A demon kidnapped from hell and set to wander the earth and learning as he went; I grew to like him and hate him all at the same time. I found his simultaneous optimism and cynicism very fascinating. And Barker seems to have a finger on the pulse of any ruling factions in the world. I may not have liked the religious aspect of the metaphor, but the underlying philosophy is on point!! Overall, I really liked this book! I’d recommend this to those who enjoy random philosophizing and metaphorical meanderings!
Happy & You Know It
Author: Laura Hankin
Narrator: Laura Hankin
Published: May 19, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 24-31, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
A dark, witty page-turner set around a group of wealthy mothers and the young musician who takes a job singing to their babies and finds herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….
After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for overprivileged infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.
There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her perfect life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the cool women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.
Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood—exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women—while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.
Can you imagine you are in a band right on the verge of superstardom and then you are kicked out? This is what happened to Claire. And now she is struggling to make a living and comes across this mommy group that needs a musician for the babies’ enrichment. Do these mommy groups actually exist and do they exist as they do in this novel? Maybe in the rich, upper-class neighborhoods like this novel takes place in. And not just a mommy group, but a paid musician to sing songs to the babies while the mommies gossip and drink?
I came across this one on my Libby app and decided to give it a shot. At about 50% in I was debating on DNF’ng (Did Not Finish) as I am not a mom and was identifying more with Claire the struggling single musician versus the mommy group. I kept going and then at about 65% in the novel went in a direction I was not expecting, which did keep me listening. My ‘favorite’ mom was Amara.
The direction the novel goes in gives a different feel from the beginning of the novel and the moms are far from perfect themselves. Life is not as happy as they make it seem at first to Claire. Now, I feel I can’t say more about the direction it goes in without giving spoilers, but if you pay attention to things going on, you might see what will come.
The author also narrated the novel, and I felt she did a good job with her narration. This might not be for everyone, but I can see some readers enjoying it more than others. I awarded it 3.5 stars, so it was just over a ‘good’ read for me.[Top]