"If you like Christopher Moore or Tom Holt, read Hell's Super.... Hilarious!"
How can one damned handyman keep all of hell running when everything's always breaking, devils and demons plot against him...and he's terrible at fixing things?
Steve is hell's super, its handyman. Being Mr. Fixit to the underworld keeps him and his assistant, Orson Welles (yes, that Orson Welles), pretty busy, since things go on the blink all the time down there. No malfunction has ever created so much inconvenience, though, as the malfunction of hell's escalator, which leads from the pearly gates to the depths of Hades. What's worse: The breakdown appears to be sabotage.
Satan calls in Steve to investigate. But Steve is distracted these days. He's in love with Flo, a gorgeous, almost saintly figure who has come to hell by choice to ease the suffering of the damned. What's more, she seems to like him, but romance in hell? That could never be. Still, solving the mystery of the escalator could earn him some points with Satan, maybe even a chance with Flo. Or maybe not.
Hell's Super is the first volume in the satire/fantasy comedy series Circles in Hell. It has been compared to other works of "hell fiction" including The Screwtape Letters and Good Omens and to the paranormal humor of Tom Holt, Christopher Moore, and Douglas Adams.
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Hell's looking at you, kid...
I have listened to hundreds in the last decade. This is well read and enjoyable (see comments below).
I liked all the scenes with Flo really, and how that plot line developed. The moments with Steve and the Devil (and the Devil appearing in different characters) was also very memorable.
Steve - the most rounded out I would say, though the Devil is pretty funny in all his guises and moods.
I listened to it a lot when jogging, when commuting, and it lightened my journeys. I can't say I laughed out loud, but I would guess I had a wry smile on my face.
I loved Good Omens, I Lucifer, the film Dogma - I love books that play with superstition and entrenched mythologies and imagine the everyday-ness of their world.
This was refreshingly everyday as well - a fairly normal bloke is in Hell, for eternity. Not quite sure why (seems like a lot of fairly decent folk didn't make it upstairs), but Steve's role in the afterlife is to be Superintendent to the Underworld, and no - he's NOT good at fixing things. That's the point.
It starts by showing us Steve's everyday life down in Hell, how hellish everything is, then it turns into a bit of an Agatha Christie/Philip Marlowe mystery/detective story, as the Devil sends his minion out on a mission to find out why the Stairs (and escalator) between the two afterlifes is broken.
There is romance as Steve nurses a crush for the distinctly heavenly Flo (formerly a Crimean nurse with a lamp...) and is aided (or not) by his desperate-to-be-a-bigshot-again assistant Orson Welles.
It's not overtly laugh-out-loud, it's dry humour, lighter than I was expecting, with memorable characters, and fortunately a well-written lead in Steve, the everyman schmo living a normal after-life and trying to get through the day (Monday, every day).
Not one for those offended by humourous portrayals of Gods and devils, but I found it a very amusing audiobook (and well read by the narrator) with some funny ideas about Hell that kept me entertained.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.
- K. J. Noyes
a promising start
- Fire Horse