Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Supernatural: John Winchester's Journal

I was looking for a book to read as I wait for my order from Barnes and Noble, something light that I could finish in a day maybe, that would help me clear my palate so to speak before picking up my next book club read. Well, I had been putting this one off for a while now since I am not a big fan of John Winchester, but it did the trick, got me thinking about Supernatural which I think about all the time anyway, and I was done in a day and can move on to the next book tomorrow. After I watch this week's episode of Supernatural that is.

So, if you are unfamiliar with the show, as you live under a rock, let me give you the highlights: John Winchester was just your average father of two boys, Dean (4) and Sam (6 months), loving husband of Mary, and a small town mechanic. Until November 2nd, 1983 when John stepped into his youngest son's nursery to find his wife pinned to the ceiling and catching fire. After getting his sons out of the house and discovering that he was not crazy, he had seen something unexplained, John became what is known as a hunter. This book follows John over the course of the next twenty-two years as he tries to find out what killed his wife, raise two boys, and kill the monsters that go bump in the night. The journal ends right as episode one of the show begins.

This book did a great job of reminding why I don't particularly like John Winchester. And it does that by being well written with the approval of the show's creator, meaning that fans get to see a little more of what happened in those absent years, learn a little more about the man that taught the two greatest hunters in North America, and even find out some more about the monsters the show is prided on bringing to life.

If you choose to read this one keep in mind that it is a journal, written by a man that never talked about his feelings and was slowly working his way further into the world of the supernatural to find out what killed his wife so that he could finally avenge it. That all means that the narrative is disjointed, the time line is full of gaps, and increasingly the story if more focused on the information gathered on monsters than thoughts or reflections of the boys John is raising to be soldiers. There are four dates every year John consistently marks: Dean's birthdays, Sam's birthdays, John and Mary's wedding anniversary, and the date of Mary's death. And with each year that passes the notes about the first two get smaller while the pain of the last two never diminishes. This book did an excellent job of showing the slow progression from the smiling, proud father to the obsessed, hardened hunter. It does an excellent job at complementing the series.

I recommend all fans of the show give this book a read, as it helps pull a little more from the backstory to explain a bit more about why the boys are the way they are, why they were so driven to find the demon that killed their mother, even Sam who had tried to take a step back from the hunting life. Just keep in mind, maybe John Winchester was not the best dad.

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