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When We Join Jesus In Hell

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  260 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
"WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL is as crazy as its tormented protagonist. Hard as nails."

-- Jack Ketchum

Home, he thinks, Where the heart bleeds freely.

A hell of a boxer, he earned the nickname 'Fist' back in the day. But during the past eight years, he's transformed into somebody he no longer knows—a weak, pitiful, and passionless office drone.

Barely hanging onto the last thre
ebook, 47 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Delirium Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Oct 24, 2013 Charlene rated it it was amazing
I won this novella during an online Meet the Author event put on by the publisher Darkfuse.

The story starts off with our protagonist named Fist drunkenly making his way home late at night. During his walk home he is musing about the state of his life and marriage. Fist used to be a boxer, (hence the nickname), but gave it up at the height of his career to become the father he believes his family wanted and needed-a man with a stable job, bringing home a paycheck,and home every night. The idea o
Paul Nelson
May 14, 2015 Paul Nelson rated it it was amazing
Updated after reread.

When We Join Jesus in Hell is an intense, dark and powerful read that will leave a big impression and wrench your emotions all over the place. A novella that will awaken feelings you never thought could exist.

Fist is an ex-boxer who at the height of his career, packed it all in to be the man his family needed him to be and avoided the injuries that were sure to come. He settles into an ordinary if not boring life but that all changes in absolutely stunning fashion when he co
Gregor Xane
Sep 29, 2014 Gregor Xane rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of hardcore noir/crime & horror fiction
Shelves: 2014
The title of this thing is one of the best titles ever conceived of for a work of horror fiction. Frankly, that was 99% of why I bought this book. I didn't read the ad copy for it or any reviews. I just liked the title and knew the author had a good reputation.

All right.

Now, this isn't a long piece, so I can't say much about it without spoiling it for folks. I'll just say four things:

1) It quickly rose to a level of 'holy fuck!' that I wasn't quite ready for (which, of course, in hindsight is a
Nov 21, 2015 Karl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fist, the point of view character in this short novelette, comes home from the bar slightly inebriated. He thinks it best to sleep on the couch, changes his mind and goes to the bedroom he shares with his wife. As he enters the room he first thinks his wife is being unfaithful with another man. He quickly changes his mind when the noises he hears are not the sounds of love, and then sees the knife at her throat. He has worse yet to discover.

Thus begins this grim tale of revenge. The intruder esc
Jon Recluse
Jan 01, 2013 Jon Recluse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, 5-star-horror
It is a rare occurence when words fail me after reading a story....When We Join Jesus in Hell is one of those stories. A visceral exploration of the human heart. Of love, loss and vengence. It reopens old wounds in your soul and creates new ones. You'll need to find a quiet place to regain your composure after this one. I am loathe to admit it, but this book made me cry. Lee Thompson is an author to watch and a very dangerous man. Highest recommendation.
Apr 04, 2013 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Wow--A novella both gut-retching and somehow beautiful at the same time. The thoughts going through the mind of the main character are so poignant--quite in contrast with the devastating circumstances that he finds himself in. This is a story that will haunt me for a long, long time. Lee Thompson creates a setting that you actually FEEL. While the story was truly unsettling, his writing style is one that will keep me coming back for more. Highest recommendation!
Edward Lorn
Dec 29, 2014 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this guy's good. So good in fact that I'm not going to tell you anything about this book. You need to experience this for yourself. I will say this, while both the title story and the additional story are both five-star reads, I may be in the minority when I say the short story at the end is better than the novella before it. But, let me reiterate, they are both phenomenal. Then again, I'm weird like that. Bring your brain, though, because these stories make you think.

Go buy it. It's a dolla
Andrew Smith
I'd previously read a couple of novellas penned by Thompson. I really enjoyed It’s Only Death but I thought With Fury In Hand was only average. As for this one, well frankly I found it disappointing.

It's another quick read as we follow Fist, a former boxer, who returns home to his wife and daughter only to encounter a nasty surprise. By now I know what to expect from this author, it’s going to be intense and violent from here in. And I don't mind that as long as there’s enough plot and substan
Ms. Nikki
Lee Thompson has an obviously fertile imagination. His stories are "thinkers" and have an emotional impact that stay with you long after you've read the book. That's a sign of a good writer connecting with his/her audience.

For me, When We Join Jesus In Hell captured my attention, knocked me over with emotion, but left me out in the cold with realism.

The backstory of Fist and his wife, their happiness, his fighting, their family, well, it worked. What did not work was the fact that Fist came int
Richard Vialet
A ex-boxer comes home from his dead end job to find that his wife is not alone in their bedroom. What happens after that is what you need to read the book to find out.

For such a little novelette, this book has a pretty high body count. And no one is safe: not children, little old ladies, or even small animals. The story is bloody and violent, but the book wears its heart on its sleeve and manages to somehow also be a heartbreaking, tragic, and deeply emotional tale of loss, regret, and whether o
Wayne Barrett
Jul 02, 2016 Wayne Barrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, short-story, 2015


Brutally brilliant.

Hell in reality can be worse than the imagined Hell of Christian belief/mythology.

this is a short read but it grabs you my the short hairs and takes you on a grimacing ride of terror and retribution from the beginning. Even the smaller short story at the end will leave you sighing and thinking, oh, WTF?!

If you can stomach it...this is a great read.
Adam Light
Dec 21, 2014 Adam Light rated it it was amazing
This novella is the first thing I've read from Lee Thompson. It won't be the last.
Such a powerful, gut-wrenching read.
Lee Thompson
Sep 30, 2012 Lee Thompson rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: Fans of Tom Piccirilli, Douglas Clegg, Joe Lansdale, Peter Straub, Lee Thompson, Greg Gifune, etc.
Recommended to Lee by: One dark night in the ghetto
Savage, heartbreaking and brutal.

A hero by the name of Jack Ketchum just read this and sent me a blurb...

"WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL is as crazy as its tormented protagonist. Hard as nails."

-- Jack Ketchum
Jan 14, 2013 Marvin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
When We Join Jesus in Hell may be the most brilliant piece of short fiction I have read in ages. At slightly less than 60 pages it is too long for a short story and not long enough for a novella. In the old days we might have called that a novelette. Yet Lee Thompson's whopper of a modern tragedy is one of those tales that will keep you up at night and inhabit your brain for a very long time. Thompson's protagonist is barely together from page one but an incident happens that sends him into a ve ...more
Feb 21, 2016 Bill rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
The title story just wasn't my bag. Sorry....a lot of people loved it so give it a whirl. If you're really digging the first 20 pages, stick with it. Much more of the same follows to the bitter end.

The short story at the end of this was much better, in my opinion, thus the 3 stars to average things out.
Jan 19, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brian by: Lee Thompson
Don't let the title fool you - this is not a hymn.

But you should still read it.

Now let us pray.
Dec 10, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
There is so much going on in this novella. I read it once for the story. You have to do that because this one is going to rip you apart as you follow Fist from the shattering opening scene through one harrowing pivotal scene after another. I then read it again for all of the rest of the story. The symbolism. The literary references. The structure. The landscape as we progress becomes more surreal, the characters more symbolic and archetypal, as we drop from one level to the next and finally into ...more
Valancourt Books
In this novella, my first read by Lee Thompson, an ex-boxer named Fist comes home to find something that changes his life forever. The story is brutal and heartbreaking. Throughout its pages you will be filled with unease, but Thompson's first-rate storytelling will keep you going.

This review is only for When We Join Jesus in Hell. I haven't read the bonus story yet.
A good many people whose opinions I respect immensely have done nothing but praise this very short novella (novelette?) by Lee Thompson, and after reading the first few pages, I thought I could see why. Opening with a heinous crime that no parent or partner could read without feeling disturbed, When We Join Jesus in Hell never lets up its frenetic pace, as POV character Fist goes on a grief-fueled rampage of revenge, even as his mind unravels and he slides increasingly further into madness.

Jan 02, 2013 Jason rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, read-2012
When We Join Jesus In Hell is an emotional punch to the stomach with a couple of knees to the face for good measure. The word 'Hell' is mentioned in the book's description a few times, and I like to think that that is exactly what this novella is. A sudden decent into grief, rage, vengeance, and then, finally, Hell.

I don't want to go into the plot because it moves quickly and there are a few surprises along the way that will ruin it if I even begin with the set up. One thing I can tell you, howe

This is one of the most gut-wrenching stories I've ever read. The main character is so broken by the events of the beginning of the book that right from the start you get a sense that there will be no happy ending.
As the story progressed I felt as though I was being pulled down into the hellish abyss with Fist, a genuinely distressing experience.
Some of the images and characters in the story have stayed with me long after finishing the book.
To say this book packs an emotional punch is an unders
Sep 02, 2012 Bill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Excellent!! A fast and furious revenge novel that grabs you and will not let go. Once I started reading, I absolutely could not put it down - I had to finish, to see the story to the bitter end. I haven’t rooted for a protagonist like “Fist” that hard in a long time. Lee Thompson kicks ass with this novel and gets straight to the heart of the reader, albeit a dark and vengeful heart.
Sep 25, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Most of you know by now I'm a big fan of Lee Thompson. I have quite a few reviews around here from his epic Division series. When We Join Jesus in Hell is a notable departure from his Division mythos, but it is a testament to Thompson's awesome, dark imagination.

When We Join Jesus in Hell is a great read, but it is also a tough read. It is brutal and heartbreaking. It won't be for everyone, but for those of you who appreciate dark, unapologetic, and emotional stories, it will leave its mark and
Brett Talley
Nov 29, 2012 Brett Talley rated it it was amazing
Dark. Chilling. Disturbing. Heartbreaking. A trip through grief and torment and vengeance. A great piece.
David Church
Jul 24, 2013 David Church rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Easily one of the best Novellas I have ever read. To say this story was profound and full of life lessons, is an understatement. Anytime a story can make you reflect on your own life and make you look at life a little differently, it definitely is a good thing.
Feb 12, 2014 Larry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own, 2014, 2014-best, novella
My god was this novella amazing. It was a very beautiful and heartbreaking book. i loved it so much
Mark Matthews
Jan 29, 2013 Mark Matthews rated it really liked it
I"m a newbie Darkfuse member reader, and this was the first book I got to. Such an amazing feat to pull off the tone throughout this novel, which I am guessing was very hard to write without sounding campy or half-tongue in cheek (like the movie Sin-City, for example, which I still loved but was different). Reality in the novel was dripping and fluid. The content is horrific, sure, but the mystical and surreality of the writing is what got me hooked. ('sur-reality,' just made that word up.)

This is a brilliant novella that takes you into the mind of a man who looses everything in the most tragic and shocking circumstances and then walks a path of destructive revenge. When everything you love is violently taken away from you, what would be your remaining thoughts looking back on your life and your descent into the insidious trappings of family routine? What would be your regrets? What are all the things you wish had been different, the words you wished you had said but left unsaid?
Alejandro Canton-Dutari
Oct 22, 2012 Alejandro Canton-Dutari rated it it was amazing
I was attracted by the strong title, and was expecting some religious conflict. Was I ever mistaken!
A startling image summarized this work: "What's up with your eyes?" "One is for viewing the living. The other for appreciating those not."
This is a long story, or perhaps a novella, that I could not put down until it ended. The author portrayed a main character that pursues an objective under the spell of a psychotic rage so poignant that my emotions felt caught in a runaway cart.
It was a great re
Apr 08, 2015 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a rip your guts out noir-horror novella. Can't say much about the plot without giving the story away, but it is about vengeance for sure. What makes this so amazing is the way that Thompson evokes essentially a whole a life of mistakes, regrets, pain and turns it into an agonizing cry for forgiveness all while vengeance is sought. Powerful stuff.
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“Lee Thompson knows his horror-noir. He fuses both genres together in the turmoil of terror, tragedy, blood, guilt, and lost chances at redemption.”–Tom Piccirilli, author of THE LAST KIND WORDS

Lee Thompson is the bestselling author of the Suspense novels A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS (August 2014), IT’S ONLY DEATH (January 2015), and WITH FURY IN HAND (May 2015). The dominating threads weaved throughout hi
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