By Robert Olen Butler
The hot novel from one among American literature's brightest stars, writer of the Pulitzer Prize-winning a great odor from a wierd Mountain, Robert Olen Butler's uproarious new novel is determined within the underworld. Its major personality, Hatcher McCord, is a night information presenter who has came upon himself in Hell and is suffering to provide an explanation for his undesirable fortune. he isn't the one one to endure this fate--in truth, he is surrounded via an outrageous solid of characters, together with Humphrey Bogart, William Shakespeare, and just about all of the popes and lots of the U.S. presidents. The query could be no longer who's in Hell yet who is not. McCord resides with Anne Boleyn within the afterlife yet their happiness is, after all, continuously derailed by means of her obsession with Henry VIII (and the removing of her head at really inopportune moments). Butler's Hell is not as a lot a boiling lake of fire--although there's that--as it's a Sisyphean trial adapted to every inhabitant, no matter if it is the usual Joes who die and are reconstituted again and again an afternoon to do all of it back, or the mythical newspaperman William Randolph Hearst, doomed to obscurity as a blogger mocked through his fellows simply because he cannot determine Caps Lock. someday McCord meets Dante's Beatrice, who believes there's a manner out of Hell, and the subsequent morning, in the course of an unique on-camera interview with devil, McCord realizes that Satan's omniscience, which he has constantly credited for the perfection of Hell's torments, could be a mirage--and Butler is off on a madcap romp approximately strong, evil, loose will, and the opportunity of get away. Butler's depiction of Hell is unique, clever, and fiercely comedian, a e-book Dante may need celebrated.
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Extra info for Hell: A Novel
It's Henry mendacity vastly on his again, his pants off, his legs naked. Anne is crouched beside him, at the a ways facet. She is stripped all the way down to a handkerchief-linen teddy. yet inspite of Hatcher’s impulse to count on the worst during this realm, it truly is immediately transparent to him that what’s occurring here's now not approximately intercourse. He attracts close to and will see that Henry’s large legs are haphazardly swathed in strips torn from Anne’s tea costume. She is readily, quakingly wrapping the final little bit of it round Henry’s correct calf. The items of the costume are going darkish from a profuse circulate of fluid. Hatcher stops ahead of the 2 of them. He can see among the bandages that Henry’s legs are a patchwork of ulcerous sores pumping out a thick, striated mix of blood and pus. Anne is panting and moaning and wrapping, and her fingers are smeared with Henry’s fluids and she or he can’t sustain, this final little bit of her costume is in position and his suppuration is going on and on and he or she cries out and he or she lifts upright on her knees and he or she strips off the teddy and she or he is bare, totally bare, and he or she starts tearing on the linen, pulling it into strips and bending all the way down to Henry back and wrapping his legs. And Henry’s head is to the facet, and his eyes are closed, and he's making a song, softly yet truly, the music he wrote as a tender guy, the single Anne idea she heard a couple of nights in the past outdoors the window. “Pastime with stable corporation, I . . . ” and he hums around the observe nobody can reflect on in Hell and he sings on “. . . and shall till I die. corporation is nice and in poor health, yet each guy has his unfastened will. ” And Anne is moaning, fumbling with the material, not able to move on. Hatcher hesitates. yet now he circles Henry’s legs to the opposite aspect and is going down on his knees subsequent to Anne. He bends to her ear. “You’ll by no means hold up,” he says, lightly. “It’s Hell, my darling. You’ve performed what you could. ” She seems to be at Hatcher, her eyes large, stressed, uncomprehending. Her fingers are trembling furiously, jam-packed with the strips of her teddy. Hatcher takes the tip of 1 of the strips and pulls at it. Her hand is clenched tight, and he tugs the material firmly and he or she shall we it cross. He turns to Henry and reveals a patch of his ulcerous flesh, oozing profusely, at the facet of his calf. Hatcher lifts the leg and the pus flows over his palms and he lays the strip of material on Henry’s leg and he wraps it round and part round once again and that’s so far as it is going, and he eases the leg backtrack, and Henry sings “Pastime with solid corporation I . . . sway . . . I swoon . . . I swisser my swatter . . . ” and Hatcher turns to Anne, who's observing him, gradually. while his eyes meet hers, she glances at Henry’s legs and again to him. he's taking the tip of one other strip of fabric and pulls lightly at it. Anne holds on tight. “I brought on this,” she says. “No you didn’t,” Hatcher says. “Not in lifestyles. Now, I mean,” she says and her voice is regular. “It’s what all of us do,” he says. “He bring to an end my head,” she says. “Yes,” he says. “Let’s go,” she says. Hatcher’s chest pumps up immediately complete at this and lifts him and he cups her elbow and so they get up jointly.