eBook - 2010
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Grove Press : Distributed by Publishers Group West, [2010]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780802198938
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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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.

Jan 22, 2011

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Butler presents Hell in such wit and graceful storytelling with plenty of cultural and historical references to keep the reader grinning.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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