Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Who's Who in Hell” as Want to Read:
Who's Who in Hell
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Who's Who in Hell

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  17 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Who's Who in Hell, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Who's Who in Hell

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 268)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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!
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
April Phillips
April Phillips marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2014
Nicole-Marie Hughes
Nicole-Marie Hughes marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2014
Evelyn added it
Oct 25, 2014
Indra marked it as to-read
Oct 04, 2014
Deborahanndilley marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2014
Amanda marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2014
Jimmi marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2014
Rodolfo Quesada
Rodolfo Quesada marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
  • All the Presidents' Pets: The Story of One Reporter Who Refused to Roll Over
  • The Sound of No Hands Clapping
  • I Only Roast the Ones I Love: Busting Balls Without Burning Bridges
  • The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto
  • The Pornographer's Poem
  • Hello Darling, Are You Working?
  • Flat Crazy (A Blanco County Mystery #3)
  • A Broom of One's Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning, and Life
  • Fried Eggs with Chopsticks: One Woman's Hilarious Adventure into a Country and a Culture Not Her Own
  • When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror
  • Sugar and Other Stories
  • Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer
  • Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead
  • Love Monkey
  • Silent Bob Speaks: The Selected Writings
  • Naptime Is the New Happy Hour: And Other Ways Toddlers Turn Your Life Upside Down
  • Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs
Robert Chalmers lives in London and writes for British GQ and The Independent.
More about Robert Chalmers...
Fortune's Bastard East Of Nowhere Fuga nel niente The Jataka, Volume I Une Vie En Chute Libre

Share This Book

“Magic looks exactly like reality – only the effect is different.” 2 likes
More quotes…