Shel's Reviews > Hell

Hell by Robert Olen Butler
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's review
Jan 20, 2012

Read from January 20 to 23, 2012

Writers, read this for: a shifting narrative, a marriage of structure and theme — it's told in the point of view of Hatcher McCord, a television newsman in hell trying to figure out why he's there, and explores free will and freedom of thought. Appropriately, then, it also shifts into first person narratives delving into other characters' inner thoughts (incl. Anne Boleyn, Richard Nixon, Sir Francis Bryan, Jezebel, Judas Iscariot). Chunks of stream of consciousness delivered in italics interrupt the narrative.

Pairs well with: possibly Damned by Chuck Palahniuk; the short story "The Ghost Girls of Rumney Mill," by Sandra McDonald (see The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1)

Does not pair well with: Olen Butler's Pulitzer Prize-winning short stories, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, which are of a different style

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Reading Progress

01/22/2012 page 185

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