This Volume includes: “The Book of Blood” • “The Midnight Meat Train” • “The Yattering and Jack” • “Pig Blood Blues” • “Sex, Death and Starshine” • “In the Hills, the Cities”This review covers the third short story titled The Yattering and Jack in Books of Blood Vol. 1 by Clive Barker.
This is a fast paced, knock your socks off hilarity of a story where the lines get definitively blurred of who plays the roles protagonist and antagonist, and this story successfully justifies that as a quality of style. While this factor, until my brain discovered it as such, proved confusing at times and the level of complexity this brings to story demands attention and deserved a re-read. Entertaining it is and we have the Yattering which is a demon enslaved to hand down some terror to a spiritually indebted person named Jack. It is the characterization of a demon and this Yattering certainly has character. It’s unpredictable, fun and electrically terrifying.
“In the bathroom, the Yattering would have squeezed toothpaste around the toilet seat and have plugged up the shower-head with soggy toilet paper. It would even share the shower with Jack, hanging unseen from the rail that held up the shower curtain and mummering obscene suggestions in his ear. That was always successful, the demons were taught at the academy. The obscenities in the ear routine never failed to distress clients, making them think they were conceiving of these pernicious acts themselves, and driving them to self-disgust, then to self-rejection and finally to madness.”© 1984, Clive Barker
I cannot deny that if what happened in this book happened to me, I would be scared lifeless. The writing here is great. It varies in complexity, but flows in and out of that complexity very well. Dysfunctionality in character and setting is everywhere in this book, in every corner. Saying anymore, I’m afraid would spoil this gem of a read.
The Yattering and Jack teams blurring distinctions of roles for characters in books, yet provides definitive character traits that makes this a story that sticks in our mind. Careful attention to details rushes by at times on the pages with the quickness of lighting and the depth of detail is just right. I give this short story by Clive Barker ★★★★★ five stars out of five.
Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley