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genteXt October--The title just seemed appropriate

It doesn't matter what we say about this novel, you're either going to love it or you're going to hate it. There's an anchorman, a repeatedly executed Hitler, and a Satan with daddy-issues that smells like Old Spice ( is Satan Mustafa or Fabio, discuss!).

Here are your effusive review quotes:

“Butler has been honing his profound empathy and wild imagination in electrifying collections of short fiction. He now unchains himself in this furiously detailed, harrowing, and gruesomely funny satire, taking on everything from genocide to advertising, journalistic ethics to marital bickering. The result is a scorching and cathartic novel of delusion, pain, crimes great and small, just deserts, and the capacity for change.”—Booklist

“Prolific Pulitzer-winner Butler features a colorful cast of underworld dwellers in his latest novel, and, as in Severance and Intercourse, captures stream-of consciousness in delicious, unleashed rhythm.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“The fresh hell described by Robert Olen Butler’s new novel is crammed with random celebrities. It is plagued by modern problems like four-hour erections and crashing hard drives. Patrolled by Satan’s minions (among them, two of the Bee Gees) dressed in powder-blue jumpsuits, it’s filled with bookstores that optimistically open with new owners at every sunrise — only to go out of business by the end of each day. If the books they can’t sell in hell are maddeningly uneven, ever bouncing between passable wit and sophomoric giggles. Mr. Butler’s slapdash “Hell” deserves shelf space there.” —Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Robert Olen Butler's Hell is the perfect summer read . . . the prose flows in a seemingly effortless stream . . . [leading] to complex and exquisitely written set pieces of inspired insight into the sinful and broken nature of humanity.”—News and Observer

“In Hell, Robert Olen Butler has given us a rare treat —a novel that explores the darker side of human nature while making you laugh so hard iced tea almost comes out your nose . . . McCord's search for the elusive back door culminates in a fascinating trip to heaven and some interesting conclusions about the nature of being human. It’s a strange trip . . . if you like contemporary authors such as David Maine and Glen Duncan you will enjoy Butler.”—Tampa Tribune

“One can imagine that Pulitzer Prize winner Butler had a grand time writing this endlessly witty and inventive novel. Readers will find it wildly comic and thought-provoking.”—Library Journal

“Butler plays his winning game at full length . . . The physical comedy goes beyond anything in all but a handful of American novels. The image of Jagger prancing through “The Polish Sausage Polka,” in lederhosen, is but the tip of Hell’s iceberg . . . his wild hair of a Hell manages both to sneak around Dante’s and deliver an uproarious refutation to Jean-Paul Sarte’s.”—Bookslut

“I’ll never stop believing it: Robert Olen Butler is the best living American writer, period.” —Jeff Guinn, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“No writer in America today can be said to surpass Butler in the eating-his-cake-and-having-it-too category: He’s literary and entertaining, serious and funny. Within his clear and fluent narratives, there usually nestles complexity, if you care to look for it.” —Chauncey Mabe, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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  • A former member
    A former member

    well, shoot. i don't have time to read a bk in 1 day let alone find it. maybe next time.

    October 23, 2011

  • Jennifer

    Yes, we all read the book and discuss it. I will bring discussion questions and some other recommended reading. The discussion questions will be posted tomorrow.

    October 23, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    r we supposed to read something ahead of time?

    October 23, 2011

  • Jennifer

    Fullsteam no longer has open mike on Mondays, so they should be able to accommodate us!

    October 18, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just as a thought, would we have a higher turn out if we met on the 24th rather than the 31st? I would love to discuss this book, but I already have plans for Halloween. If I'm in the minority or we can't switch the date, that's fine, I just thought I'd raise the issue in case others are in the same boat.

    September 25, 2011

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