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Hellfire & Damnation II Paperback – August 1, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review


In "H&D II" you  see and hear the world through the mind of a dead guy buried in a frozen pit for 132 years...another who's been locked in a bitter marriage for 30. The motives are real, the emotions ring true. Connie's greatest strength is her dialogue. You won't go wrong anywhere in this collection.


This book works well because of the stories' structure. The book follows the format of Dante's nine circles of hell (limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery). Each story is unique and depicts one of these nine circles of hell. You want to read on to see what the next circle might bring.

"Connie Wilson's new short story collection 'Hellfire & Damnation II' sends the reader spiraling down Dante's 9 Circles of Hell with devilish twists and turns of time and place, across 11 superb short stories."

"This collecion of short stories is fabulous.  The writing is wonderful; the word selection, the pacing, the structure, everything just works.  Her writing draws you in emotionally and you feel as if you are a part of it all.  The characters are first rate in all of the stories.  The author mixes humor with the horror in just the right dosage." (Bev from "The Wormhole" blog, wormyhole.blogspot.com)

"I loved this book!  Seriously, I have never ever read anything like it before; I doubt I'll ever read anything like it again, except for when I read the first collection...I think the writing is what really got me hooked.  While the stories were all different, they showcased her unique voice as an author; I could tell how much work she put into each and every one of the 11 short stories...I thoroughly enjoyed each story & can't wait to read the first Hellfire & Damnation volume by this author." (Kylie from "Little Black Marks," 10/12/2012, kyliesreads.blogspot.com/

From the Author

There is a complete section appended to the book that explains the inspiration for each of the 11 short stories contained within "Hellfire & Damnation II."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Merry Blacksmith Press (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615677819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615677811
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,370,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The idea of Limbo always frightened me though. The what if's I pondered at the young age of 13. "What if I kiss Shaun" "What if I kiss Cindy..." "What if I drink Dad's wine?" What if? It as never the idea of hell that scared me because I did not believe hell, it was the idea of limbo and purgatory, being left with the what if and never having resolution. The question we still have at the end of this tale... what if they left never went down, and he never came back up... what if?

What makes it interesting is if you take the quote I gave you from Canto IV, it is about darkness and seeing nothing... the story is reversed in that the protagonist, our narrator, is seeing everything. A true and easily understood idea of LIMBO, "Cold Corpse Carnival" is more than just a "flipped" retelling, this flip and reversal, well... here is the thing, Ms. Cindy is tricksy, she is! Is it really flipping what Dante said? Is it a reversal? Let's look at another, the second in the book, and it is from LUST.

"The Shell". Those of you who know me, know my history and are going to say, WTF Kriss? Well I will tell you WTF my people, it is all Connies fault!! It was a tale about a particular man who is part of a particular group of carnivorous monsters. About the drive of insanity and the unquenchable thirst which no one in their right mind could attribute to the idea of lust. Innocence lost, no wait...ripped and shredded, torn and bled almost dry. Ot is also about crossing the road that has always been in front of you, right smack dab in front of your face. These are just the first two tales!! Keep going it goes up, down, sideways south and east and around and around...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A collection of stories based on the 9 level's of Dante's Hell. I wasn't terribly impressed with this collection. I love Dante's version of Hell and had been expecting more; perhaps more horror or terror. The stories were mediocre. Some were real duds and the majority were just ok. The last few stories were better than the earlier stories making the average rating come out to a close 3/5.

1. Cold Corpse Carnival - A man died by falling into an ice pit and is kept there frozen, eventually becoming the small town's main (only) attraction. But the 130-odd-year-old corpse is in a state of Limbo. His body may be dead, or more like in suspended animation, but his brain has been completely functional all these years and he's vowed to exact vengeance on people in general who represent the decades of people who have dishonoured his corpse all these years, Just ok. Predictable with an unsatisfying ending. Interesting premise though and I remember reading an article once about a true-life miner's body on display somewhere. (3/5)

2. The Shell - A harsh story of an old Mayan religious fanatic who kidnaps a 12yo girl for Quetzalcoatl. She's there for a few days being raped and the story is a bit hard to read but the focus turns onto the girls courage, intelligence and bravery in concentrating on how to escape. This story gives me better expectations of Wilson's writing than the previous story. (4/5)

3. Tempus Fugit: Resurrection Cemetary - Lady in a white dress ... hitchhiker ... ghost story. meh. (2/5)

4. The Champagne Chandelier - A well-written narrative of an only child who upon getting ready for her mother's funeral looks back upon her flamboyant life with five husbands.
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Format: Paperback
Upfront, I'll say that I don't enjoy short story collections. I find that many short stories leave me unsatisfied; the stories in some collections just don't hang together or have a forced relationship.

But, with this book, I make an exception. Ms. Corcoran Wilson's stories DO hang together.

Perhaps this book works so well because of the stories' structure. The book follows the format of Dante's nine circles of hell (limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery). Each story is unique (from contemporary to historical to western and paranormal), and depicts one of these nine circles of hell. You want to read on to see what the next circle might bring. Each story feels complete within itself and says something about the human condition. Rather than leaving the reader reeling from the horror, Wilson is at the same time able to show hope.

Most remarkable are the illustrations. The paperback version is enhanced even further with more pictures than her ebook version..

Since my writing field is autism or romance, I was skeptical that I'd enjoy noirish stories. I began reading this book dubiously and was won over, needing to finish "just one more" each time I tried to stop reading. Nice going Ms. Wilson!
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Format: Paperback
Can I just say the minute I downloaded my ecopy of Hellfire & Damnation II onto my computer and began reading, I got the heeby jeebies? I think it was the images that are peppered throughout the book that did it. The cover on this one is scary, something about that nasty hand.

This creepy collection of short stories is based on the 9 Circles of Hell in Dante's Inferno. I'll highlight a few in my review. As happens with most short story collections, I enjoyed some of the tales more than others.

Cold Corpse Carnival is about a man who fell into an icy pit 132 years ago and died was left there for eternity because it was too complicated to retrieve his corpse and ship him home. He is encased in a glass coffin in Colorado and people can pay to climb in and look at this cold corpse during what is now known as the Cold Corpse Carnival. All the while the dead man is still aware behind those dead eyes. He swears he will come back and get revenge on those who made him into a freak show. Four drunken Frat brothers decide to go down into the pit for a peek at the Cold Corpse after hours and drag him out as a prank.
Although this was my favorite of the bunch, I found the ending be somewhat anti climatic. It turns out the author was inspired to write this one after she read an article about an actual celebration in Nederland, Colorado revolving around a frozen corpse.
"My eyes are open in a perpetual stare. No one had the common decency to close my eyes in death. I have stared sightlessly for one hundred and thirty-two years. Or so the locals think."
-p. 19

Resurrection Cemetery is based on a famous ghost story set in Chicago.
It is about a reporter who goes to a bar called Chet's Melody Lounge which is located across the street from Resurrection Cemetery.
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