Review: (3.75 / 5) Once again we get a shot at Clive Barker in his Books of Blood Series. The Yattering and Jack is a short story in Volumes 1 – 3 about a minor demon, The Yattering, and its quest to torment the home owner, Jack Polo. It was payback for Polo’s aunt who deceived Beelzebub (Lord of the Flies) and instead of giving her soul to the devil, received penance for her sins prior to her death. The breech of the agreement sent the aunt to heaven, leaving the devil the only alternative, to have The Yattering terrorize Polo causing him to give his soul in exchange. The Yattering struggles at his mission and violates the orders given to him, leaving his punishment to be eternally attached to the one who instead tormented it by its failures, Jack Polo.
The story reminds me of a couple others. It’s been said that all of the story plots have been written, and all new stories are a copies of others. I bring this up because this past weekend the TV Series Premiere of The Exorcist debuted, and coincidently, the plot was very similar to The Yattering and Jack. In the TV show, the father knew there was a demon in the home, but played dumb, acting as if it did not exist. The Yattering also has shades of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, when the minor demon screwed up and was enslaved to having to bear another on his back for eternity.
Overall I enjoyed the story, and I did score it higher than Rawhead Rex. I still feel the falls short of what I expected in a monster story. While the story was good, I categorize it again as a story for introducing youngsters into horror. The Yattering doesn’t come across as a demon to be frightened by, instead I sympathized for him in his constant failures. Once again, I look forward to reading more of Barker’s stories and hope sometime in the future to experience all the great things I’ve heard about the writer.