Hell

Hell

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Hatcher McCord is an evening newscaster who has found himself in Hell and is struggling to explain his bad fortune. He's far from the only one to suffer this fate--in fact, he's surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters, including William Shakespeare, Humphrey Bogart, Richard M. Nixon, Jezebel, Judas Iscariot, Pope Boniface VIII, J. Edgar Hoover, and a panoply of present-day figures who will soon be in Hell. The question may be not who is in Hell but who isn't. Butler's Hell isn't as much a boiling lake of fire--although there is that--as it is a Sisyphean trial tailored to each inhabitant. One day, Hatcher McCord meets Dante's Beatrice, who believes there is a way out of Hell. Soon thereafter, by a twist of diabolical fate and an interviewer's savvy, he learns a deep, dark secret of the underworld. From there Butler is off on a madcap romp about good, evil, free will, and the possibility of escape.--From publisher's description.

Perseus Publishing
Hatcher McCord is an evening news presenter who has found himself in Hell and is struggling to explain his bad fortune. He’s not the only one to suffer this fate?in fact, he’s surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters, including Humphrey Bogart, William Shakespeare, and almost all of the popes and most of the U.S. presidents. The question may be not who is in Hell but who isn’t. McCord is living with Anne Boleyn in the afterlife but their happiness is, of course, constantly derailed by her obsession with Henry VIII (and the removal of her head at rather inopportune moments). One day McCord meets Dante’s Beatrice, who believes there is a way out of Hell, and the next morning, during an exclusive on-camera interview with Satan, McCord realizes that Satan’s omniscience, which he has always credited for the perfection of Hell’s torments, may be a mirage?and Butler is off on a madcap romp about good, evil, free will, and the possibility of escape. Butler’s depiction of Hell is original, intelligent, and fiercely comic, a book Dante might have celebrated.


Blackwell North Amer
Hatcher McCord is an evening newscaster who has found himself in Hell and is struggling to explain his bad fortune. He's far from the only one to suffer this fate - in fact, he's surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters, including William Shakespeare, Humphrey Bogart, Richard M. Nixon, Jezebel, Judas Iscariot, Pope Boniface VIII, J. Edgar Hoover, and a panoply of present-day figures who will soon be in Hell. The question may be not who is in Hell but who isn't.
McCord is living in the afterlife with Anne Boleyn; but their happiness is, of course, constantly derailed by her obsession with Henry VIII (and the removal of her head at rather inopportune moments). Robert Olen Butler's Hell isn't as much a boiling lake of fire - although, there is that - as it is a Sisyphean trial tailored to each inhabitant, whether it's the average Joes who are struck by moving cars, die, and are reconstituted many times a day to do it all again, or the legendary newspaperman William Randolph Hearst, doomed to obscurity as a blogger mocked by his fellows because he can't figure out CAPS-LOCK.

Baker
& Taylor

Struggling through Sisyphean tortures in Hell where he lives with Anne Boleyn and regularly encounters late popes and presidents, news presenter Hatcher McCord learns of a possible means of escape that involves exposing Satan as a charlatan.
Struggling through Sisyphean tortures in Hell where he lives with Anne Boleyn and regularly encounters late popes and presidents, news presenter Hatcher McCord learns of a possible means of escape that involves exposing Satan as a charlatan. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.

Publisher: New York, NY : Grove Press, [2009]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780802119018
0802119018
Branch Call Number: FICTION BUTLE...R
Characteristics: 232 pages ; 22 cm

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Butler writes a "Dante’s Inferno" for the modern man. His Hell is a reflection of the hundreds of little hells we inflict on ourselves and each other everyday. He is inventive and dryly witty.

b
bowlin182
Jan 22, 2011

WOW.
This is one hell of a book, and I don't intend the pun.
Butler presents Hell in such wit and graceful storytelling with plenty of cultural and historical references to keep the reader grinning.
The ending is perfect (I won't spoil it); it paints a terrific portrait of the human soul.
Fun fact I came across: the author put himself in the book as a nameless character on page 35. The reference text can be faintly seen on the computer screen in the author's photo inside the back cover where Butler carries a knowingly, devilish hint of a smile.

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