Robert Jackson Bennett, Mr Shivers (2010): The Zone review

Now, here’s a book where I’d urge you to look beyond the synopsis – not because it doesn’t necessarily sound like much, but because no plot synopsis can capture what’s great about Robert Jackson Bennett’s Mr Shivers (the subject of my latest review for The Zone). It’s a novel about a man trekking across the 1930s USA in search of the mysterious scarred man who killed his daughter. This would in itself be an interesting twist on the usual fantasy quest, but the subtext turns the novel into something greater. If you’re at all interested in fantastic literature, Mr Shivers should be on your reading list.

Read my review in full at The Zone.


  1. I love the premise for this one, but I am not sure. Have read a couple of bad reviews.

  2. David Hebblethwaite

    27th January 2010 at 11:52 am

    Hi Lenore, and thanks for your comment.

    Have read a couple of bad reviews.

    In which case, I’d recommend clicking on the link in the post (if you’ve not done so already), where you’ll find a good one!

    But I think it all comes down to how you look at the novel. I talk about this more in my review, but what really impressed me was how completely Bennett makes the search for Mr Shivers a metaphor for the times. I think it’s beautifully done. Though, for me, it is more about the subtext than the surface story in this case.

    Personally, I’d say try it and see what you think.

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