The Damned Busters (To Hell and Back Series #1)

The Damned Busters (To Hell and Back Series #1)

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After accidentally summoning a demon, Chesney Anstruther refuses to sell his soul, which leads through various confusions to, well, Hell going on strike. Which means that nothing bad ever happens in the world... with disastrous consequences.

File Under: Fantasy [ Expletives Deleted | Up Up And Away | Writer Of Life | No Demons ]

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857661036
Publisher: Watkins Media
Publication date: 05/31/2011
Series: To Hell and Back Series , #1
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 617,907
Product dimensions: 6.72(w) x 4.20(h) x 1.14(d)

About the Author

Matt Hughes was born sixty years ago in Liverpool, England, but his family moved to Canada when he was five. He' has made my living as a writer all of his adult life, first as a journalist, then as a staff speechwriter to the Canadian Ministers of Justice and Environment, and - from 1979 until a few years back - as a freelance corporate and political speechwriter in British Columbia. He is a former director of the Federation of British Columbia Writers and he used to belong to Mensa Canada, but these days he's conserving his energies to write fiction. The author lives in Ireland.

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The Damned Busters: To Hell and Back (Hell and Back Series #1) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
FishHeaven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love, love, love this book. Couldn't quite say it's perfect, but pretty darn close. It has humor, a wide range of characters and an insightful, well-developed plot. I simply couldn't put it down!SPOILER ALERT!!! So if you don't want to know what happens stop reading here!!!The main character, Chesny, has a fairly boring and predictable life. He is an actuary in a life insurance firm who crunches numbers all day, who sits out in a part watching life and ladies pass him by as he eats hot dogs and he has poker night with his coworkers. That is about all his life consists of until an unexpected demon shows up. It ramps up to where hell ends up going on strike and he works out a deal with the devil that doesn't give up or compromise his soul. Meanwhile, he gets to fight crime like his favorite super heroes,The main premise of the book and main plot line consists of the thought that we are all characters in a big book being written and in draft form by the big man upstairs. He has the capability of deleting portions he doesn't like which is why demons and angels can't act on their own and lack their own thought process. I had to say it really made me think and I look forward to the next installment to see where the Actionary is headed.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book. We get Chesney Ansruther who accidentally summons a demon while making a five sided poker table. He refuses to sell his soul, allowing the loophole that gives the overworked demons the opportunity to go on strike. And that is only the beginning!This is a great wonderful book in the the mode of "Good Omens". The characters were nice and varied, I especially love the demon that gets assigned to help Chesney with superhero wish. Chesney is exactly what he seems, a bit boring, mathematically enlightened, and smart, but not too smart. He makes mistakes. He can't talk to girls. He has a nagging mother who doesn't approve... its all good. Its a great read, there isn't a part of it that doesn't drag. I can't wait to read the next one.
Shrike58 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this novel up, and suggested it to my book group, on the strength of the Hengist Hapthorn stories. However, I have to admit that it did not capture my imagination like Hughes' previous series. It starts well enough, as our protagonist (one Chesney Arnstruther) mistakenly invokes a demon, refuses to consummate the traditional deal, and unleashes a host of trouble. It also ends well, as Chesney has to dare a poker tournament where he's playing for the sake of his freedom and his friends, and has to draw upon his own strengths to prevail.In between, I'll admit that much of what I read didn't move me one way or the other. While Chesney gets to live out his dream of being a costumed crime fighter, much of the story is about how he transcends his, dare I say it, comic-book view of reality, but the overall impact is surprisingly stolid. Call this the downside of making your protagonist personality challenged for satiric affect.Still, I continue to have positive expectations for this new series and look forward to the next installment, if not with as much enthusiasm as I thought I would.
fiverivers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s hard to make me laugh. Call it a personal failing. But it¿s true. While other people gasp for air in a fit of jocularity, I¿m merely smiling, wondering about the depth of the humour involved. The Damned Busters: To Hell and Back, by Matthew Hughes, is the first time since reading Terry Fallis¿ The Best Laid Plans, I actually burst into laughter while reading a book. The title alone was enough to pique my curiosity ¿ an intriguing play on the 1955 British film about WWII RAF dam bombers.Hughes¿ delivery is dry, unexpected, often with a remarkable turn of phrase. At first I thought I¿d be reading a more accessible variation on Rushdie¿s theme in The Satanic Verses. And while there are similarities by way of the timeless opposition of the divine and profane, Hughes¿ story is utterly unpretentious, and consistently, deliciously, irreverent. Because of that there were moments I was reminded of some of the famous scenes from Monty Python¿s Flying Circus. And then again, moments of Douglas Adams¿ whacky, surreal scenarios.Past the first few chapters my opinion changed again, so that I thought I was reading a graphic novel minus the graphics. But the writing is so tight, and the character development so strong, even original, that the stereotypes of the superhero paradigm vanished. We¿re presented with a socially deficient actuary, in fact a very Canadian hero in that he doesn¿t consider himself heroic, nor necessarily does he do heroic deeds. He simply wants to aid in the pursuit of justice, a justice tempered with compassion and a bumbling, admirable, loveable naiveté that lands him in an unusual deal with the Devil and a strike in Hell, while Himself Above rewrites the epic saga known to mere mortals as Life. As our hero¿s slippery sidekick we¿re dished up a Cagney-esque, stogey-sucking, rum-guzzling demon that breaks most archetypal standards.In the climax of all this zany narrative one is again reminded of classic literature in a scene that easily parallels Hades¿ abduction of Persephone. But in what appears to be quintessential Hughes facility, he turns that parallel into something completely unique so that we¿re left with an original, satisfying denouement and conclusion. The Damned Busters should definitely find its way to your bookshelf or eReader if you¿re craving an entertaining and engaging bit of escapist literature.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good book, but quite strange. Never before have I read a book with this same tone. At times dry and intelligent and others quirky, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a change of pace from the standard fare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Short and sweer. Very witty yet also observant when it comes to the lines that faction good and evil.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago