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A Short Stay in Hell Audible – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 2 hours and 42 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Strange Violin Editions
  • Audible.com Release Date: June 6, 2012
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089G9YN6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Waters on August 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have never been so moved by a view of hell. Peck's hell is no brimstone, fire, and burnings - a view that has never been meaningful to me nor one that has instilled any fear in me. In contrast, Peck's hell does both of those things. This view of hell appears, at first blush, as an almost pleasant place where the inhabitant has a well-defined and seemingly manageable task after which she is allowed to move on - hence the title, "A Short Stay in Hell." And yet, this hell produced in me a frozen hopelessness that I could not shake even weeks after finishing the book. I fear this hell. I fear it with my whole being. Maybe it was because of the initial sense of the task's manageability that I ultimately felt such a deep sense of despair. This is story telling at its finest. This is fiction that penetrates to the core.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading several far too tedious (yet inexplicably bestseller) novels for my book discussion group, I was getting burned out on reading period. I purchased this book on a whim, with hope that it would be so different and intriguing that it would restore my faith in modern writers.

I am not disappointed. A Short Stay in Hell is a mind-game. You may begin it with the thought that you're getting a wry, darkly amusing anecdote about how things seldom turn out the way we expect, but then the story takes a turn toward looking at human nature, society, religion, love, cruelty...all while the narrator keeps a streak of dark, dry humor and a touch of carefully cultivated detachment and jadedness that don't quite sit as comfortably on the narrator as he'd like us to believe. The guy's in Hell, both literally and figuratively, and it's not just that he didn't think HE would ever be there, but it's not anything like WHAT he had ever imagined. And hell lingers. In this case, it lingers in your own mind as you find yourself pondering the story days and weeks later.

It's the most engaging -- and bizarre -- story I've read lately, and I look forward to more work from this author. That it was only $2.99 for the e-book factored in my decision to buy it, but the author is underselling himself. It's well worth the regular Kindle edition price.

If you're a fan of Night Gallery, Hitchcock, or The Twilight Zone, you probably will enjoy this novella.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Want a short afternoon read that stays with you forever? This book is it. You'll find yourself ruminating on Peck's version of hell for days and even weeks later, and how that might apply to your life. I really hope a studio options this book- I'd love to see it done in the style and care of, perhaps, "Inception".
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Format: Paperback
This is a book that definitely stays with you after you finish reading it. I closed it last night and this morning it was still haunting me, poking me in the side for me to think about it just a bit more.
It's not an easy one to classify. It's fiction, sure, but there's a bit of satire, a bit of philosophy, a bit of horror, a bit of everything, really. The writing is sparse and careful, setting the mood as well as the descriptions do. For me, it was a pretty claustrophobic read. Since the book takes place only in this version of hell that the author has created for us, with unending stacks of books and almost infinite corridors and floors, there is an oppressive atmosphere to the story. The reader begins to feel trapped. Quite scary and therefore, effectively done.
The book will provoke you to ask yourself questions about life, about theology and what it means to believe in our heavens and hells, so this is not a light read, although it is a short novel. I can recommend this easily, since I enjoyed it very much. Once you start it, it's a tough one to put down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novella will stay with me for a long time. As much an allegory for mortal experience as a vision of one man's Hell, Peck's spare style is a perfect fit for the subject matter. He is a darkly humorous, deeply poignant, and relentlessly honest storyteller. The Hell he creates echoes Eliot's description: Hell is oneself, Hell is alone, the other people there merely projections.

How much of what we do here is selfish? How much time do we waste, searching for meaning in gibberish? Why do we treat loved ones so casually? And what is time, anyway? (Symborska's line - "Life, however long, is short/Too short for anything to be added" - ran through my head as I considered the academicians in Hell, pouring over meaningless texts, holding convocations and giving one another awards, for centuries and centuries and centuries.)

Brilliant book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow, what a book. After just a few pages in, you get hooked. It's a great thriller, especially for a faithful Mormon working from a set of very fixed beliefs. This book is short enough to want to read again soon, but long enough to provide a great descriptive novella. Well written!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was dissappointed not to learn more about Zoroastrianism in it, but who can blame the author as in the Libray there's only one copy per floor. The book didn't linger with me like other reviewers suggested. But I shared it with a co-worker who was disturbed by it. But this same co-worker was dissappointed by the lack of message from the book. What message did I draw from it? That there may not be a discernable difference between the finite and the infinate.

It was curious to zing the reader with the Idea that- since they are likely an avid reader- this would be the hell chosen for them.
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