City Infernal (City Infernal, #1)
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City Infernal (City Infernal #1)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,728 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Hell is a city. Forget the old-fashioned sulphurous pit you may have read about. Over the millennia, Hell has evolved into a bustling metropolis with looming skyscrapers, crowded streets, systemized evil, and atrocity as the status quo.

Cassie thought she knew all about Hell. But when her twin sister, Lissa, committed suicide, Cassie found that she was able to travel to the...more
Mass Market Paperback, 366 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Leisure Books (first published 2001)
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Stephen
2.0 stars. This book was a disappointment because I was really expecting to enjoy it based on the premise. The only real positive thing I can say about the book is that many of the descriptions of Hell were pretty cool (in a Saturday night gore-fest kind of way). However, after a while even those began to come across more like slapstick horror rather than truly frightening. The book was decent and a fast read but it could have been so much better.
Phil Elmore
I bought "City Infernal" used through one of Amazon's shops after the ad in the back of another horror novel caught my eye. I was intrigued by the idea of Hell as a city of horrors and curious as to how Lee would envision it. I enjoyed the same idea in the novelization of the film "Constantine" and was looking for more.

Lee surprised me with a remarkably entertaining and frequently fresh look at an old subject -- what would Hell be like? He creates a mythos around his Mephistopolis, the City of...more
Justin
Before reading this I saw a lot of reviews saying it is worth reading just for edward lees depiction of hell. Being an edward lee fan I expected it to be good but what suprised me is that his visions are more about the miserable living conditions than the pain and torture that is usually written about. Yes there is torture involved but I have read that before, one of my favorite parts is how they bust open sewage lines and walk around in a combination of excrement and corps sludge just to keep t...more
Tressa
The plot was OK as were some of the one-dimensional characters, but the description of hell was worth the price of the book.

The idea of hell and being punished for an eternity has always freaked me out, but some of the eternal punishments mentioned in City Infernal affected me in a bad way--e.g., being processed as insect dung, jammed into a metal can and throw into a pit of fire, or strung up and used as a demon's breeding mare so he can sacrifice your offspring over and over again.

Lee's descr...more
Marvin
Of all the Dante's Infernal rip-offs I've read...and that's quite a few books...This may be the strangest. The author scuttles the seven circles completely and goes for a cross between The Land of Oz and Detroit. However, Mr. Lee does have a nice plot going for him; Goth twin is guilty about "causing" her other twin's suicide and discovers a way to go to hell to ask for forgiveness. The plot is actually a bit more complex than that. But the plot is secondary to the machinations of Hell's politic...more
Robert Beveridge
Edward Lee, City Infernal (Leisure, 2003)

Edward Lee has been around, it seems, just about forever as far as horror authors go. During the eighties, he was considered one of the rising stars, going so far as to get some of his stories in the then-groundbreaking Night Visions anthology (and "Doing Colfax" will never be erased from my memory). Then the horror market died. Lee, unlike many of his brethren, continued to publish in small specialty presses. Those books are now worth a small fortune. An...more
Daniel
I get it: Hell has become a city (named Mephistopolis - I guess creativity is lacking there) that thrives on pain and suffering and Satan is the big-daddy CEO who lives in the 666 tower in the center of town. Ok, then what?

I asked myself that question for nearly 400 pages, and the answers were few and mostly feeble. So I moved on to the sequel in hopes of better story, and discovered . . .
Camille
This book was VERY interesting. It's not something that I recommend reading while you're eating if you're easily grossed out. And probably not a good idea to read it when you have to sleep alone, like I did. The ending wasn't as good as the rest of the book, which was a little disappointing. But overall, a very good book and very interesting!
Bob Fingerman
Edward Lee always delivers energetic reads, but my favorites by far are his "Infernal" series. The stories are page-turners and his characters engrossing, but it's his depiction of Hell that keeps me coming back for more; it's fresh, vital and alarming at times. His descriptions of the architecture, the denizens (both demons and damned souls), the fashions, the guilds, the bureaucracy and so forth, are a gruesome delight.

Maybe some of my fondness comes from having imagined Hell similarly (insof...more
Angie crosby
Another AWESOME book! it was great. The best book i've read perhaps. There is a second book continuing the story. I can't wait to read it. In this book, Hell is a city filled with horror. Evil and Atrocity are the status quo When Cassie's sister commits suicide, her life chances forever. Soon she discovers she can travel to hell itself. She goes, the only living person in hell, to find her sister, Lissa. It was gory, gross, and twisted. I loved it. I'd recommend it. I'll be reading it again. I'm...more
Synamon Sugar
The only reason I read this book is because I ran into a friend at the library and she practically shoved it into my hands. I had low expectations, but I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. The beginning was a bit strange but after Lissa offed herself, the story really picked up and I got attached to the characters. I can't wait to read the sequel.
Gavin Hurley
Mar 28, 2007 Gavin Hurley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens getting into extreme horror
Shelves: extreme-horror
It is a bit of a teen novel but Lee does not dillute the content or the writing. It is about a teen girl who descends into Hell. Incredible dipiction of Hell. Great images. Great use of mythology as well! Recommended to all!
Tim
Aug 14, 2009 Tim marked it as horror
This. Book. Is. Shit.

Nothing in it was remotely scary or well written.

It....I cannot do this.

goddamn it sucked.
A.R.
Nov 26, 2008 A.R. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to A.R. by: Leisure
I liked Infernal Angel better, but that's probably 'cause I read that first. I thought it was a smokin' book though.

Μιχάλης
Μεμφιστόπολη ή αλλιώς City Infernal:

Αν περιμένετε κάτι σαν τις γυναίκες με τα μαύρα ή το Τραμ 1852 μάλλον θα απογοητευτείτε. Το βιβλίο μου φάνηκε σαν ο Ed Lee να προσπαθεί να γράψει σύγχρονο YA fantasy με τον δικό του τρόπο (άρα και σεξ θα βρείτε και ακραίο gore και καφρίλα αν και οι περιγραφές είναι μαζεμένες).



Ηρωίδα είναι η Κάσι, μία γκοθ κοπελιά που μετά την αυτοκτονία της δίδημης αδερφής της, μετακομίζει σε ένα στοιχειωμένο σπίτι, που είναι πύλη για την Κόλαση (που είναι μία αχανής πόλη) και...more
Jesse
Immature, crude, and not so scary but supremely fun!
Eric Madachik
Unique and disturbing. What kept me from being blown away is the somewhat jumpy nature of sections in the story, especially the ending. Perhaps it was simply where I stopped reading then continued, but the story seemed to come to an abrupt halt with little in the way of tying the entire story together. I get the feeling that there was more to the story that the author either left out or was removed by an editor. Other than a this the story was quite enjoyable with plenty of gruesome detail and e...more
Brian Mcclain
I really liked this story, and finally got back to finish it today. The idea of demons and what hell actually is, is something I've spent a lot of time wondering about and it was nice to see a portrayal that lives up to the thoughts that I've had regarding the subject. I came into this expecting something super-gory and whatnot, but honestly the scenes with "eww" inducing details were written so interestingly enough and with a lot left to the imagination that I actually enjoyed reading about it...more
Tarl
If you are interested in reading this book based off of Lee's reputation for writing gross and over the top fiction, you're going to be severely let down. You won't find his usual style in this novel, but rather something refreshing and extremely well written.

Lee presents a disturbingly fascinating mix of reality and fantasy within this novel. From the peeping tom to the pill dropped into a beer to the masturbating one armed man; Lee presents it all with a certain eye of raw realism that one oft...more
Bill
Jun 17, 2009 Bill rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
City Infernal started off great. Here were two interesting characters, twin Goth sisters, and a plot with great promise. Unfortunately, it seemed another writer with the style of a 12 year-old took over once the story moved into Hell.

Remember when you were a kid, and you and your friends would run around
living imaginary adventures, making up the rules as you went along (OK, this rock? It makes me invisible!)? That's exactly how this book seemed.
Combine that with juvenile dialogue, and the read...more
Jeff
Anyone looking for something totally different in Horror should consider reading something from Edward Lee. He crosses the line between between good taste and just plain nasty splatter horror and sex.
Well, lets put it this way, there is no line he crosses. He doesn't operate or write with good taste, becasue it's not what he does. He delivers what people want and writes what he likes.

With City Infernal, which is the second time I read this book, he delivers a look at Hell that is so different a...more
Kaine Andrews
First, a brief synopsis:

Cassie has had it pretty bad. Living life in the goth scene hasn't been treating her too well, mostly because her twin sister Lissa gets all the attention. When hunky bartender Radu starts putting the make on her, she thinks things are finally going her way. Too bad he's her sister's boyfriend... Things get ugly and after a murder/suicide, a bit of time in detox and a move from the suburbs of DC to the middle of nowhere, Cassie thinks things just might have a chance to ge...more
Carine Engelbrecht

If you don't want to see blood and gore splattered liberally across your reading matter, you may want to give this one a miss. It is an inseparable part of the landscape of City Infernal. When Cassie's twin sister dies, she is cast adrift mentally. But then, she discovers that her new home is in fact a powerful portal into hell. So, with the companionship of three renegade damned souls, she embarks on a quest to find redemption. And her sister.
Alan Torres
I would probably rate this novel in between 3.0-3.5. I enjoyed it but some characters were a bit boring. The action in it was great. I kept hearing great things about it being a great Splatterpunk book but it ended up being okay in that category. I've read more intense books. The story was interesting and I could see myself reading the rest of the series. One of my biggest beefs with this book was the dialogue. Something about it just didn't seem right. It felt really cheesy at times. The only o...more
Mya
While not what I would consider a true horror novel, this book is almost whimisicaly macabre in its vivid descriptions of Hell, the city of Mephistopolis to be exact. The author illustrates every variety and type of gross being that inhabits the city of the damned as he tells an "Alice in Wonderland" type tale of a sister seeking forgiveness of her twin who has been sent to Hell. Cassie the main character is befriended by three of the luckiest, coolest and oddly smartest undead there is in Hell...more
Qthemuse
My expectations were low; I found this book in an airport. The descriptions of hell reminded be of Barlowe's Inferno and the tongue in cheek humor read like a comic. A visual read with lofty descriptions inspired escapism. As much as I enjoyed it, I wasn't left with a desire to continue the series.
General H. Sassafras
I was looking forward to this book - and when I finally got the chance to read it, I was only slightly disappointed.

The story itself is unremarkable. I felt it was predictable and the main character was FAR from sympathetic. I found myself really not liking anyone in the entire story.

However --

The pictures he painted for us of what the Metropolis of Hell - you could see the sights, smell the wretched odors and feel the shadows of heat. I also thought the actual devils (though I did have an iss...more
Jerry
I really liked the first 2 thirds of this. Good writing, funny, nice characters and one superb foray into the imagingings and machinations of "HELL". Very graphic and put you right there. Good Stuff.

However as things went on I started to get a bit fed up of the constant rules of Hell and it began to read like some kind of fantasy romp;

"Put this bone with that bone, then lick that demons ear and you will be invisible. Oh no the Kraxon has a toolo pimlet that lets him see invisibles so we need to...more
Mary
What can I say? Lee is one of the best out there a true artist of shock & more importantly a thinking person's writer of horror (for my non reading friends I wish Lee would make movies because his vision & wit is so much better than a lot of the stuff out there). This is undoubtably a twisted tale worthy of anyone wanting something to read with bite & suprisingly heart. I found the plot & charactors compelling & believable. The landscape was familar playing on earlier themes...more
Holly
I know what I am supposed to write in criticism of this book, which I rated one star to: Ooooooh, I was soooooo shocked! It was so horrifying!! Golly gee, what a bizarre and brutal place Hell is!!!

The truth is, I wasn't shocked, I wasn't horrified, I wasn't offended: I was just bored. To paraphrase Iggy Pop......I was the Chairman of the Bored when I read this book.

One good thing learned from this experiment: do not assume that you will like any horror genre book; read all the reviews, even the...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Edward Lee was born (er, jettisoned) into the world on May 25, 1957, and was raised in Bowie, Md. He has sold 15 novels and continues to pursue the ludicrous profession of freelance writing. From 1976-79, he served in the U.S. Army Security Agency and then was transferred to the 1st Armored Division in Erlangen,...more
More about Edward Lee...
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