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Fuzzy on some details,
This review is from: Supernatural: Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting (Paperback)It just is what it says it is, hence it implements the first rule of hunting according to Bobby Singer: "It is what it looks like." But that is maybe slightly superficial. But that may be satisfactory for people who are only trying to get lists and in front of each name the method to kill it. No other explanation except the fifth and last rule (a beautiful diabolic or satanic, and what's more double, pentacle): "It ain't dead till it's in five pieces."
In other words it is in no way a tool for the curious minds who would like to understand the appeal of this series, particularly to the gay or gay-friendly community. Especially since there is no index, which makes the use of the book difficult.
The second characteristic of the book is that it is in the first person, as if Bobby Singer himself was telling us the story, was speaking to us. That makes it intimate and that makes Bobby Singer appear as what he is, the surrogate father of the two brothers. Bobby-Sam-Dean, BSD, or is it Bobby-Dean-Sam, BDS? On one side the Berkeley Software Distribution, free software, free weapons, free hunting, or on the other side the British Deer Society and this time hunting again but under control. Poor dear deer, you will never survive this BDS band of hunters.
It is easy reading but it will not explain why Bobby is playing father to the two brothers, and why this fatherly situation is appealing to the audience, and why the original father was eliminated twice in the series, once symbolically and a second time really by killing and dying. Why wouldn't a real father be appealing in such a situation? Because a real father is real authority and real limitations, whereas a surrogate father is a source of information, great help when needed, but no authority except practical. There is no real intimacy between the surrogate father and the brothers, at least not beyond the business at hand. No love wasted on either side. And look at the grandfather Samuel how treacherous he is and how he has to be dealt with in the most violent and expedient way.
But once again you will not understand why that situation is appealing to the audience whereas the real father situation would not be. What makes a real father sacred and untouchable? What makes a surrogate father nothing but a prop on the road and not a sentimental character, a character you could and should not love more than just friendly love, and what's more a character you can betray or you can refuse to follow. A surrogate father is good enough when you need him. A real father is always there, good or bad, love or hate, always there.
The archetype of a father and two sons or brothers is that of Steinbeck's "East of Eden", but here it is carefully avoided. And it is not explained at all why. So you will not understand the widower position of Bobby and his subsequent celibacy and the failure of all occasional opportunities to get out of it. Too bad. Use your mind and try to understand yourself. There is so much to be said about this series.
There is also another element which is irritating. Rufus is quoted three times. As a hunting comrade in a first chapter entitled "Rufus", as the father whose daughter is killed in Omaha because Bobby had more or less invited her to witness a kill and she witnessed it slightly too close, and finally in the last meeting of theirs in a hunt in which Bobby kills Rufus (which by the way is not said that blundtly), and the book forgets to tell us how Rufus was buried which is all the more important since he was not incinerated like all hunters are but buried following the Jewish rite because he was Jewish. And that is pushed under the carpet. Too bad for those who do not remember some details.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU