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Mack Dunstan's Inferno Paperback – June 27, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Publishers Weekly included this title in their PW Select for the Fall of 2011 in the Fiction Genre.

About the Author

Paul Collins was born in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Collins is a freelance commercial director. In 2002, he directed a documentary about youth violence called Just Talk. Its world premiere was at the Final Cut Short Film Screenings DJ & VJ Sets in the city of Brighton in the fall of 2003. Collins has written Prescience Rendezvous (out of print), King without an Empire, and Mystery of Everyman's Way. Mack Dunstan's Inferno is his next paperback. He has also written several short stories for www.angiesdiary.com. Check out www.myspace.com/authorpaulcollins.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (June 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462032761
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462032761
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,347,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
In MACK DUNSTAN'S INFERNO, Mack "Max" Dunstan (actually Charlton Heston, but for some odd reason, he's the only character in the book whose real name isn't used) tells a doctor while lying on a hospital bed that he's going to take a nap. Then he dies. He watches his life fly before his eyes. He sees his wake and funeral. Then he goes to Hell. The Hell in the book isn't like any other Hell you've ever heard about or read. There are parts of it that resemble the description of Hell in Dante's The Inferno, but that's about it. Mack finds himself in Hell and he doesn't understand why. Virgil, the poet and guide in Dante's The Inferno, is sent to guide Mack through Hell, Purgatory, and beyond. He's told in a very cryptic way, that in order for him to reach Nirvana he has to be purged for all of his sins of being President of the NRA. Virgil and Mack's journey is a long one and even though they are spirits, the entire adventure seems to be a very long camping trip for the two. For instance, they sleep in tents at the end of a day. That doesn't really make sense, but nothing does in this strange world. Billy Graham is in Hell, but Hitler is in Purgatory. Anyway, Mack's journey doesn't end when he reaches the "end" of Purgatory. He's taken away in an alien spaceship and travels to several different worlds. He also picks up another guide, Heidi Fleiss.

MACK'S DUNSTAN INFERNO is supposed to be a satire. Having read and studied Dante's The Inferno, I get the allusions to that classic work and how this novel satirizes it. I also can see how the book parodies the Christian worldview (one that Heston claimed to believe in) and Christian beliefs about the afterlife. There's also some sort of reverse hierarchy going on that seems to be parodying the entertainment world in general. I get that.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Fashioned after Dante's Inferno, Paul Collins' novel Mack Dunstan's Inferno is similar in style and fashion to its progenitor. Collins' novel follows Mack Dunstan through his descent through Hell after passing away due to complications stemming from Alzheimer's disease. For Mack Dunstan, based on famed actor Charlton Heston, death is not the end of the story: it is the beginning. As he navigates through the path of the afterlife, Mack Dunstan finds himself trapped by his ego, unable to smoothly transition to the final stage of peace. Terrorized by the inequities of his guilts and attachments to the physical world, Mack Dunstan finds himself in a precarious position and not resting in peace.

As Virgil and Mack Dunstan get closer to their destination, they see celebrities like The Bowery Boys and their leader Leo Gorcey, as well as Buster Keaton, Fanny Rice and Jack Benny while trudging through the terrifying terrain, edging towards the light. There are even appearances from the likes of Woody Allen, Michael Jackson, Hugh Hefner and Heidi Fleiss.

The Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, is the prominent issue within Mack Dunstan's Inferno. Mack Dunstan's position on gun ownership is challenged by the various ghosts who tell their tales of death by weapons. As the novel progressed, Mack Dunstan's encounters with gun ownership opponents felt overdone. It became repetitive: Dunstan would travel with Virgil for a stretch, up pops a dead soul, the dead soul talks about how his/her death was related to guns, Dunstan would cringe, Dunstan and Virgil would travel again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Mack Dunstan's Inferno could have been a more powerful effort had the book been better edited.
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Format: Paperback
It was Mack Dunstan's time to pass over to the other side, but he struggled with his memories as his life passed before his eyes. He could hear his wife, Lydia, crying as he remembered Hal Wallis, a man who brought him his fame during WWII. Mack was a legend, invincible, and he could not leave the Earth, but it was his time. Those who attended him simply faded away and Mack knew that "When one embarked on the land of the dead, one must be at peace with oneself and others," but his soul was tormented and his journey was just beginning. Mack would never hear anyone proclaim him a screen legend for his work was done on Earth. He now was thrust into a spectral world where it was proclaimed, "We sentence you to be among the damned! You will never leave this world unless you have redeemed yourself." His journey had begun, but where would these beings lead him?

Mack realized that he was truly gone when he rose from the ground to peer at his tombstone. Horror swept through his soul as a man approached him. When he was Col. George Taylor in the Planet of the Apes he shouted, "Take your stinking paws off me, you dirty ape!" This man, Virgil, would not be so easy to shake off for they were heading to the underworld of Hades. Virgil had come to take Mack Dunstan, a lost soul through his journey of realization, a journey of redemption. Cerberus howled as Virgil exclaimed, "Welcome to the First Circle of Hell!" Mack spotted loan sharks, and kids who shot each other on the streets. Someone recognized him and said, "You're the head of the NRA." Mack looked back into over his life and paled.

Mack began to dread what lay ahead as this was only the first stop. Where would it end? People had the right to bear arms, but he could not defend himself here.
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