Wednesday, September 10, 2014
A Short Stay in Hell
I was at a dinner party at the home of Steve and Sumer Evans (of By Common Consent fame) recently when Steve said, "Hey I've got a book for you to read." And then he handed me a paperback copy of a book called A Short Stay in Hell with the author Steven L. Peck's signature on the first page. And when he did that Sumer let out a soft gasp.
"I wouldn't let my mother read that book. It's unsettling."
But in both of their eyes I saw this anticipatory thrill, like they had just given me a ticket to ride the most brilliant roller coaster.
I have this little space in my day for reading. It's at night, after I have planned for the next day, and right before Christopher and I have our half hour "how are we doing?" pow wow. But once I got my hands on this book I read it in two nights because I couldn't wait to put the kids to bed and tell Christopher "I AM DOING GREAT!" so I could read and read. It's short, and entirely gripping.
The premise of the book is this: a man dies, finds out the true religion is Zoroastrianism and must spent time in Hell to work out his punishment for not choosing the right religion. Hell is a library full of books (which for some people actually sounds like Heaven right?). His mission is to find the book of his life so he can leave and go to Heaven.
It seems simple enough, until you realize how many books there are in Hell's library.
I finished this story two days ago and it's been on my mind constantly. It is unsettling, but also thrilling and absorbing. It stimulates thoughts on theology, science, religion and love.
I wasn't asked to post about this book, I just want to share it because it's fantastic. You can find it here. HAPPY READING. WAH HA HA HAAA.
*Steven L. Peck is an Associate Professor of Biology at BYU and writer for BCC. I had the pleasure of meeting him. He's very nice, actually.