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Who's Who in Hell
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Who's Who in Hell

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  168 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Who's Who in Hell is a compelling, uproarious, and achingly moving story about what happens when our plans for life meet its plans for us. Written with a keen eye and enormous heart that call to mind David Schickler, Nick Hornby, and early Roddy Doyle, Who's Who in Hell is a novel with a voice all its own. Daniel Linnell is a charming, rather hapless young man until he mee ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 12th 2002 by Grove Press (first published April 8th 2002)
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Jan 04, 2008 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of John Irving and Nick Hornby
Shelves: britlit
One of the quotes on the back of the book likened it to John Irving, one of my all time favorite authors. The comparison is a good one. I actually laughed out loud (always good for scaring others riding the bus), and underlined some of my favorite passages to enjoy later. Like Irving, Chalmers has a gift for producing fully formed minor characters that populate the text and give his novels depth and flavor. Other reviewers have compared Chalmers to Nick Hornby, but the comparison to Irving is mo ...more
Jul 18, 2008 Ross rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like hanging out with boring people.
Recommended to Ross by: Fox Books in Philadelphia, PA
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was on a recommended book list I use and wish I had not. This is one of those books that after the first 50 pages, you think, it has got to get better. Then you get farther along and it is no better. Then you finish it just to see the ending. A British counselor/bartender/
obituary writer falls in love w/ Laura and their relationship and life is boring. A sad ending to finish the tale. Remember that any review is just an one reader's opinion and other people probably LOVE the author; but I j
I would have liked this book more but the ending really didn't do it for me. I also felt that a lot of the interesting aspects of his job were unrelated to the main story line. Maybe it should have been two more thoughtful books but it was not a bad read.
I picked this up at a used book sale. It was both heartening and heart wrenching, funny and sad. The characters weren't always likeable, but I think that was on purpose. You couldn't help but love Daniel, in his lost, bumbling, British way. Worth reading.
Joseph Pinchback
If you like really cynical stories with unlikeable characters, then this is the novel for you. I thought that it started strong but unfortunately veered way off the tracks in the second half. By the end, this novel is just a complete mess.
I love books that reject the fairytale ending!
This book was a bit disjointed. It wasn't what I was hoping for or expected from the synopsis at the back. I thought it was going to have supernatural elements but it didn't. didn't even stay with the book the character was writing. sometimes there was insight into the thoughts/lives of other characters but I feel that didn't start til Part 2 of the book. I was also not thrilled with the lead female character and had a hard time caring/sympathizing. There was so much going in the book that didn' ...more
Establish cool premise. Abandon cool premise. Repeat.
While an interesting concept of an obituary writer deciding to make a book of all the bigwigs in hell, both the living and the dead, the book itself fell flat. Overall it was confusing written and was dense to read. Part 2 seemed to not relate to part 1 at all other than there were some of the same characters. Ended up putting the book down with about 50 pages left just because I was not into the story and could not see it getting better by the end.
Just...very good. Reminded me of extremely loud and incredibly close. Other than the annoying habit of calling the same people by different names (thus making me have to remember both their first and last names) it was a book I read in one 10-hour sitting (thanks, cross-continental flight).

Also had bits which reminded me of when you re-watch a movie and noticed or understood little parts after the fact. Woo.
This was just a wonderful read. Extremely funny at times, lightly funny the rest of the time, and absolutely wrenching towards the end, this is an amazing work. It’s meant to be a comedy, and it is, but it works more for me as a very insightful look into certain personalities. This was just marvellous. In the end, it was incredibly moving as well. He's got quite a touch.
Brooke Binkowski
This book was okay while I was reading it but, like the movie Napoleon Dynamite, haunted me afterward until I found myself quoting it to unsuspecting people. I liked it a lot, although I suspect that the entire plot was developed as a joke in order to befuddle those horrible people who read the last page first. Yes, I read the last page first, dammit.
I only picked up this book because the author happens to share a name with someone I know. It starts out reasonably interesting but then veers wildly off course about half-way through and ends up just being pointless. There were just enough interesting quirks in minor characters and other digressions to save this from a one-star rating.
Lindsey James
This book is such an overlooked treasure, one of my favorites. So subtly witty, and so moving. It may be a bit hard to get into initially, but is well worth it. This is one I've re-read 3 or 4 times since first picking it up in 2003; each time I appreciate it more.
Nenia Campbell
Part of this low rating is a case of sour grapes on my part. The summary led me to believe that this was going to be a modern-day retelling of Inferno. A sort of "Hipster's Inferno" if you will. Nope. Mostly, it's about this boring guy who does boring stuff and has a boring job and gets a girlfriend who thinks she's really wild and edgy because she goes up to strangers and insults them, but really, she's just a boring old jerk. So if you, too, were hoping this would be another Dante- run away.

Pegah Eizadkhah
British grammer is tough, funny author.
Strange little book
Terry Douglas
Terry Douglas marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2015
Erin marked it as to-read
May 30, 2015
Shelby Marshall
Shelby Marshall marked it as to-read
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May 20, 2015
Cassandra marked it as to-read
May 03, 2015
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Robert Chalmers lives in London and writes for British GQ and The Independent.
More about Robert Chalmers...
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