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.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY l 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 and is available as a pbk at ISBN 978-1-4620-3276-1 and as an ebk at ISBN 978-1-4620-3280-8. He has also written several short stories which you can find at http://angiesdiary.com/author/authorpaulcollins/. Check out www.myspace.com/authorpaulcollins
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.Read more ›
MACK DUNSTAN played Moses, Marc Anthony, Ben-Hur, President Andrew Jackson, and Long John Silver. He starred in The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, El Cid, 55 Days in Peking, Planet of the Apes, Omega Man, and Soylent Green, to name a few. Today's generation only know him for his hard right point of view and his outspoken nature.
MACK DUNSTAN'S INFERNO was written as a satirical, fantasy. Mr. Dunstan got Alzheimer s, went through the death process, and went down into hell. He met Virgil on his way to HELL and Virgil guided him through Hell, Heaven and eventually Illumination. There he met victims of his pro-gun policy. Many were Hispanic and African-Americans, the poorer classes. Here in the underworld, Mr. Dunstan saw the sadness and tragedy, leaving him to cope with the process of guilt, anger and elimination of ego. On the other hand, however, Mr. Dunstan did meet some celebrities in his underworld journey. Some were from the silent era, golden age of cinema, and classic American TV shows. MACK DUNSTANS'S INFERNO, a satire on those who enjoy the modern era,or update, of THE DIVINE COMEDY. Collins satirized the so-called pillars of the communities and media darlings. Instead of mentioning dead ancient figures of history, Collins sketched in Kelsey Grammar, Sally Struthers, or JK Rowlings.
Mack Dunstan had a fan in Paul Collins. This story was an inspiration from an interview the author had with Michael Moore. Mr. Moore was not supported by the author but only acknowledged for providing the inspiration for MACK DUNSTAN'S INFERNO.
Collins was disgusted to learn that Mr. Moore accepted the academy award. The American Academy awards were about Gucci shoes, who was wearing what, and sleeping with whoever.Read more ›
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.Read more ›