The Ignored * Bentley Little

This is probably one of the first Bentley Little books that does not take place in Arizona.
This is the story of an average man, Bob Jones, with a useless degree which can probably equate to literature – which doesn’t allow him to find any prospective jobs in the market. He eventually applies for a technical writer position in a software company and is surprised that despite his obvious lack of qualifications (he has no idea what DBASE is or SQL) he gets the job.
The problem is, he probably gets the job in favour of a more talented prospect and his future boss feels like he’s stuck with a schmuck. And hates Bob from the onset.

His job isn’t clear, his immediate boss hates him, and his colleagues seem not to notice he’s there. His tasks are vague – like when he receives a stack of keyboard manuals that the company didn’t even use and he is asked to “Revise”. When he’s trying to get clarification, he is shouted out of the office for having the audacity of interrupting a conversation about movies.

That’s when Bob begins to suspect something.

His favorite songs are all top-5 hits. His favorite movies are box-office smashes. He likes prime-time TV, enjoys fast-food chains and hotel-esque decorating. Bob Jones is average. But he’s not alone.

He is being watched, being prepared, by a man named Philipe, a man who possesses a knowledge that Bob wants to have.

Philipe proclaims himself as a Terrorist for the Common Man…and he, and his followers, are also Ignored. At first, life as an Ignored is interesting. Bob is finally among people like him, people who are Ignored. But then the glamour wears off.
Philipe wants to do something, something big, something that will get the world to notice them. But they are being followed…and there is yet another threat, one Bob must face if he is to survive, one burning question that needs an answer:

Can you be Ignored by the Ignored?

Bentley Little throws aside his blood-n-guts horror to bring you a disturbing novel about a man who is so average, he goes unseen by most people. I have praised Little for moving around the “thinking-man’s horror” novel, but after reading this, I must say that he’s good at it.

Back to my first question: Am I Ignored?
Little has tapped into our psyche here. He takes an ordinary concept and turns it into a brilliant piece of literature. He tones it down here and does a masterful job of write a “genre-less story.” Not horror, not drama, most probably described best as black humor.

“The Ignored” starts fresh, slows down its pace considerably in the middle, but perks up in the final chapters to really dish out some fresh ideas and terrifying alternate realities. By the time Bob finds an entire city of Ignored, the pace of the novel is off to another fresh start and will lead you to a wonderfully fiendish ending.

I found myself cheering for characters that were completely (at least by modern society’s standards) psychotic. I was able to forget acts of atrocity and see a vision for the people in the story that they saw for themselves. Once this book got rolling with a full head of steam (which did take some patience for this to begin) it didn’t stop until the end. A full five stars.

PS: It really reminded me a little of The Room by Jonas Karlsson * Book Review

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