Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Review: Poets in Hell

I'm damnably late on this, especially when I am seeing a legion of press pushing the next Janet Morris edited production Heroika.

Poets in Hell continues the tradition of famous and infamous persons alike in Hell having their dramatic turn on all the monstrous possibilities for conflict.

I recall I read Rogues in Hell a few years ago and quite a few of the same authors are back. My first thought years back was why did so many of these mazing people end up in hell? They don't deserve it, until Janet herself commented that there are 613 commandments that nearly everyone of note in life has broken and thusly we end up with Heroes in Hell...

I'll mention my favorite tales:

Seven Against Hell, by Janet and Chris Morris
I love this opening, we get the magnificent point of view of vaunted Diomedes (one of my favorites from The Iliad) he along with Odysseus, Homer and Sappho. Gotta love anything with Sappho! Greatpoetry and imagery for anyone who loves The Iliad and Odyssey.

The opening line of Nancy Asire's Reunion got me - If hell had a GDP ("Gross Demonis Product"), that product would be rumors.
Great line and a great tale.

My friend Bruce Durham's Hell-Hounds is fantastic combining Alexander Graham Bell, Marconi and a run in with the aforementioned Hell hounds and of course the great Snorri Sturluson and Robert E. Howard - my only beef Bruce is that your tale is far too short!

My favorite this time around is likely Larry Atchley Jr's Poetic Injustice probably because I like Samuel Coleridge and always loved his Kubla Khan and this tale is about Coleridge being vexed that he never truly finished that poem to epic length and he needs to - couple that with a nefarious plot by Guy Fawkes and Anton La Vey again as a tailor and we have devilish conspiracies.

And one of the things I really enjoy about this series is the wide variety of people in hell, like Beowulf and Boudica in Tom Barczak's Pride and Penance - and the Jabberwocky!

All in all a great collection of twisted historical personages in the worst place in the universe.


Charles Gramlich said...

Never picked this one up. Looks good. I just got finished reading and reviewing their heroika 1

David J. West said...

I just saw that Charles, I'll get to that one too.

Bruce Durham said...

Thanks for the great review and the shout-out, Dave. REH will a longer tale next time.

JEM said...

Thanks so much for your kind review. All our writers (we call them Hellions) are delighted. And we loved writing Diomedes, Odysseus, Homer and Sappho. Since Seven Against Hell was originally a concept for a novel, and is set up to become one, if the fates allow we might yet expand it... Meanwhile, join us for Doctors in Hell, coming 22 June and now an Amazon pre-order. -- JEM

David J. West said...

No problem, Thanks Janet