Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Books: The Ignored • Bentley Little

Genre: Thriller, but he's generally considered horror.
Published: 1997


Browsing Amazon for an interesting read, I noticed the books of Bentley Little and, in particular, his novel The Ignored. Had someone written a book about me, I wondered, without my knowledge? With titles like The Mailman and The Store, the books appeared to be very idea-driven in a Twilight Zone kind of way. In The Ignored, for instance, the protagonist, Bob Jones, feels ordinary and unnoticed, as if people tend to look right through him, and this starts to become literally true. Coworkers stop speaking; he can take a three-hour lunch, and no one's the wiser. Sweet deal, eh? But it's not a ticket to an easy life: Jones' parents die and no one bothers to tell him, and his sweetheart moves out in the middle of his freak-out over what he is. Jones eventually learns he is not alone and becomes involved in a group performing terrorist acts for "The Ignored," as they call themselves. The invisible-man concept leads to some funny moments, such as when Jones reports to work with a Mohawk and wearing outrageous clothes but goes completely unnoticed, and when he and his friends go to a court session and shout obscenities at the judge. Though I wouldn't call this a horror novel, Little does have a tendency to go for the occasional visceral shock, and there's a significant body count. It takes a little too long to really get rolling, and, in the latter half of the book, Little introduces several twists that are surprising but not necessarily satisfying. At its best, The Ignored is a sort of metaphysical meditation on the nature of existence – how thoroughly empty and hopeless life can be and anyone who ever felt like an outsider is apt to cheer on the ignored as they try to find their place in the world.

// Next books //
13 Steps Down • Ruth Rendell

Darkly Dreaming Dexter • Jeff Lindsay

1 comment:

c said...

Perfect book.