Escape from Hell

( 28 )

Overview

Allan Carpenter escaped from hell once but remained haunted by what he saw and endured.

He has now returned, on a mission to liberate those souls unfairly tortured and confined.

Partnering with the legendary poet and suicide, Sylvia Plath, Carpenter is a modern-day Christ who intends to harrow hell and free the damned.

But now that he's returned to this Dantesque Inferno, can...

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Escape from Hell

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Overview

Allan Carpenter escaped from hell once but remained haunted by what he saw and endured.

He has now returned, on a mission to liberate those souls unfairly tortured and confined.

Partnering with the legendary poet and suicide, Sylvia Plath, Carpenter is a modern-day Christ who intends to harrow hell and free the damned.

But now that he's returned to this Dantesque Inferno, can he ever again leave?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Inferno is quite literally a cake walk through hell. I kid you not, Niven and Pournelle have had the chutzpah to rewrite Dante's Inferno as if they were some hybrid of Roger Zelazny, Robert Heinlein, and Phil Jose Farmer. You are right there in the nether-reaches of the ultimate Sam Peckinpah movie with all the matter-of-fact solidity of a Hal Clement novel."—Norman Spinrad, author of Mexica "A dazzling tour de force."—Poul Anderson, author of For Love and Glory "A fast, amusing and vivid book, by a writing team noted for intelligence and imagination."— Roger Zelazny "The somber beauty of Inferno brought up to the twentieth century with care and humor and with some sins Dante didn't even suspect."—Frank Herbert, author of Dune
Publishers Weekly

In the long-awaited sequel to 1976's Hugo and Nebula-nominated Inferno, dead science fiction writer Allen Carpenter returns to the nine circles of Dante's Hell on a quest. After witnessing infamous fascist dictator Benito Mussolini (Carpenter's Virgil-like guide in Inferno) escape from the confines of Hell, Carpenter vows to make the nightmarish journey again and liberate as many tortured souls as possible. Poet Sylvia Plath, recently freed from the Wood of Suicides, accompanies Carpenter, as do a diverse cast of notorious historic figures, including Pontius Pilate, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Anna Nicole Smith. This well-constructed tale will inspire many readers to seek out the original Divine Comedy, but fans of Inferno may find that the landscape and the plot are a little too familiar. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Having fought his way out of Dante's all too real Hell in Inferno, sf writer Allen Carpenter now returns-to rescue souls who don't deserve to be there. Teaming up with the poet-suicide Sylvia Plath, Carpenter discovers that, while entering Hell is easy, leaving it-especially with a crowd-is hard. Veteran sf writers Niven (Ringworld's Children) and Pournelle (Star Swarm) again build a monumental saga that is part tribute, part satire, and entirely entertaining. Recommended for most sf collections.


—Jackie Cassada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765316325
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/17/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 9.52 (w) x 6.32 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Niven is the award-winning author of the Ringworld series, along with many other science fiction masterpieces, and fantasy novels including the Magic Goes Away series. He has received the Nebula Award, five Hugos, four Locus Awards, two Ditmars, the Prometheus, and the Robert A. Heinlein Award, among other honors. He lives in Chatsworth, California.

 

Jerry Pournelle is an essayist, journalist, and science fiction author. He has advanced degrees in psychology, statistics, engineering, and political science. He lives in Studio City, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

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(9)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good read, and great follow up to first book.

    Well worth the time, great plot, and flows well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A good follow up to "Inferno", but could have been better.

    I had some high hopes for "Escape from Hell, Niven and Pournelle's sequel to Inferno, originally published in 1976. I thoroughly enjoyed the character in Allen Carpentier and his view of Dante's classic hell as "Infernoland" in the original book and looked to see his character developed further.

    However, "Escape from Hell" left things a little lacking. The authors basically did a "flashback" to Inferno in the first third of the new book, somewhat tiresome for those of us who read the original. Then, they went back and found a number of characters from Inferno and continued *their* stories after Carpentier had met and then left them. Interesting, but again, not great.
    Carpentier also seems to have gotten a bit more "dense" in his understanding and quest for the reason Hell even existed in the first place. He becomes somewhat dull and predictable and downright dense in some aspects.
    The final disappointment for me was the development of a "love interest" with one of the new characters that, at the end of the book, just stops. Carpentier shows no interest in discovering what happened to her and just goes on woodenly.
    As a read, it's fine and it's enjoyable. I would have preferred to see the authors spend more time on developing "Escape from Hell" a bit more, but we have what we have.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Escape From Hell, Book 2

    Allen Carpenter tells his story of how he lost Rosemary Bennet, to Sylvia Plath a tree in the Seventh Circle, the Wood of Suicides. Mussolini has escaped from Hell, and Allen is taking up his charge to get as many souls as possible out of Hell, which is a lot harder than how it sounds. He looses Rosemary, an assistant deputy prosecutor when she was alive in New Orleans, to the Administrative Center of Hell, where they find out that everyone in Hell will have a new trial! Throughout the group's journey to the bottom of Hell, Niven and Pournelle give a better description than what was provided in "Inferno", and he meets some of the same people that he ran into, in "Inferno". Carpenter's true question as he travels is, is it justice for a sinner to suffer punishment for all of eternity? Because, some do learn their lesson and repent. And, their reward is their will to escape from hell!

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  • Posted December 7, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Although very similar in tone and theme to INFERNO, the sequel is an exciting damnation thriller

    Science fiction writer Allan Carpenter knows he was fortunate to escape from the nine circles of Hell thanks to his guide, Mussolini (see INFERNO). However, returning from the dead does not mean he is mentally freed from what he witnessed as he toured the Inferno. In fact, he suffers survivor¿s guilt and struggles to return to his previous lifestyle as he saw innocent souls confined unjustly to hell¿s torture. He vows to find a way to return to liberate those who deserve a better eternal fate.<BR/><BR/>Poetess Sylvia Plath escapes from the Wood of Suicides. She and Carpenter meet and realize they share something extraordinary. She agrees to accompany him on his quest into hell on what he believes is a heavenly cause. On their trek into the Inferno, they meet J. Robert Oppenheimer amongst others as the Devil tries to prevent them from freeing souls especially those frozen in the inner rings home of mass killers.<BR/><BR/>Although very similar in tone and theme to INFERNO, the sequel is an exciting damnation thriller, as Carpenter learns how hard it is to turn the other cheek with some of the damned he and Sylvia meet. The story line is fast-paced and of course pays homage to Dante while insuring the historical personnel met in hell seem real. However, the tale belongs to Allan and his sidekick as they learn the hard way the infinite meaning of Dante¿s Divine Comedy.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

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