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Top customer reviews
What a roller coaster of feeling.
By the end I was so glad I carried on through the bits I had struggled with - ‘the hell of far too many ways of describing the same thing that you don't want to visualise anyway’, and ‘the hell of wondering if this story is actually going anywhere’ among them.
The best part - by a quarter way through I’d thought I’d sussed out the big end reveal, but I’d only guessed a part of it and when it came I was surprised in the best possible way.
This is not a great book. But it almost is, and it ought to be. I would love to see it taken down, tweaked and rereleased. The author is clever, he knows lots of things about lots of things, he writes well and yet ... the book has not been edited (I deleted an expletive from my original review here)!!! Why? Why, especially, are there so many mistakes in the very first chapter? The first rule of publishing is make sure chapter one is as clean as possible. There are mistakes all through, words missed out, words left in that were obviously parts of phrases that had been (almost) removed, backwards speechmarks, errant gaps, etc., etc. etc.. All things that should and could easily have been picked up with just the tiniest effort, or by trusting the manuscript to a semi-competent editor. The saddest part is that a lot of effort appears to have gone into the writing, so why not into the actual book?
One other thing, it very risky to ‘invite’ the reader to skim read, or skip. Perhaps it’s clever, but I’m really not sure. There is one section, perhaps a 1000 words long, where every hell we’ve already heard of (and I admit to speed reading some of those descriptions the first time through) is mentioned again. I got why the author did it, but once you say ‘you don't really need to read each word’ you are potentially devaluing every other word in the whole book. That’s just an observation though.
And yet, it has so much going for it, that now, having finished and got over my frustration, even thinking about it brings a smile to my face. Would I read it again? Yes, I would; I shall, in fact.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! It was fun, irreverent (in the best possible way), deep (at times), intelligent (throughout), thought provoking, and a damned good read.
As Pilgrim makes his way through region after region of hell, all bearing multi-word descriptive titles to tickle your funny bone, he makes a mess of hell by organizing, cleaning, and winning the souls there to his cockeyed optimism. The literary references dazzle, Lucifer's insults amuse and amaze, and the whole thing just makes you feel sorry for the poor Devil, who can't get a grip on things. A transgender Mephistopheles, a desk named Byron, a legion of female Storm Troopers, and a hapless manservant named Snuggles provide endless entertainment as Lucifer's temper tantrums destroy them over and over, only to have them reconstitute in one form or another to endure another round.
The ultimate reveal of Pilgrim's identity is the best joke the author has to play on us, so make sure you read every page. Don't miss the footnotes - they are some of the funniest witticisms in the book.
There is one group who seems to avoid the devastation of eternal damnation, unless you count Barack Obama's choice in music. Liberals and democrats of any stripe seemed to have been called to an eternal bliss for some reason. If not for this one omission I would give Mr. Stephens otherwise enjoyable trope 5 stars. A humorist cannot, in my opinion, overlook his/her own farces and still lambast those of whom he finds fault and therefore lets down a wider audience.
All-in-all a fun read with highly creative writing from the author. Well done.
Do yourself a favor ... pick a time when you can sit back and have more fun than you've had with a book in a long time, and laugh out loud at the antics of a hell that almost sounds like fun. Poor Lucifer ... wanna' be evil undone by unpretentious good trying to do the bad needed to fit in ... and failing gloriously.
Every time I think there can't be that many five star Indy books, I find another. I was going to make a list of the one liners and political zingers for use later ... but to do that I would have had to copy the entire book. VERY well done.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is unique it's like nothing I've ever read before.
Phillip T.Read more
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