First up I want to talk about Even Hell Has Standards: Pride by Chantal Noordeloos. This book is available on amazon for 99 cents and its a great story. Adolf Zakerny is one evil man. He has lived his life as a tribute to hell. He is a serial killer who has killed and tortured hundreds of people and he believes that one day he will go to Hell and become a demon because he was so good at making people suffer.
Finally one day he is gunned down by police, his only regret is that he didn’t make it to 1,000 murders. As he arrives in Hell he finds that things aren’t what he thought they would be. He leaves one body and enters a new one which isn’t as good as the one he had. Also there is no fire and brimstone, just darkness and people waiting in long lines for their punishment. Adolf doesn’t get the hero’s welcome he thought he was going to get, he’s just another soul waiting to learn his fate in Hell. Adolf doesn’t think of himself as the average soul and demands to see Lucifer. Adolf is determined to make a name for himself as one of the greatest demons in Hell but Lucifer is not the person Adolf thinks he is and the devil has other plans for his soul.
I’ve read various works by Chantal Noordeloos, she is a great writer and this is another story by her that I couldn’t put down. This story works as a psychological horror story, a disturbing shockfest and a philosophical tale on how to live life. In some horror stories that I’ve read, the author tries hard to shock and terrify the reader but Chantal doesn’t have to try to shock you. The horror in her stories is organic. Chantal’s writing is scary without her even trying to be scary.
It’s hard to talk about my favorite parts of this book without giving to much of the story away but one part I did like was when Adolf gets to take a tour of Hell. In one of the rooms he sees Tantalus. Tantalus is a Greek mythological figure who is being punished for feeding his child to the gods. When Adolf sees him he tries to prove himself to Lucifer by making Tantalus suffer more. This ends up being an impossible task and not for the reason you might think.
Another thing I liked about this book was how complex of a character Lucifer was. Lucifer also has a servant who is hardly in the story but comes across as being a sympathetic character when you realize who he was talking about when Adolf sees him for the first time. I also love the way he looks at Adolf as he leaves Lucifer’s chamber. At this point I would love to talk about the main theme that Chantal brings up in this story but I can’t without ruining this novella. So I’m just going to say that Even Hell Has Standards: Pride is only 99 cents and you should really go buy a copy.
Here is a book you will find for free on Amazon. It’s Zombie Nights by Tom Lichtenberg. “Being a zombie, not so easy”. That could have been Dave Connor’s six word memoir. “At first he couldn’t remember how he’d ended up in that shallow grave; he just knew it was hell to claw his way out, and that the taste of its dirt would remain in his mouth for the rest of his time on this earth” … Expect the unexpected in this existential resurrection thriller.
The Book’s Review of Itself:
This is not really a story about zombies, for of course there are no such creatures,only maybe that some people are more dead than others, and while some people may have all the luck, others have very little of it. This is an absurdist fable at heart, whose moral is that no matter where you go, there you are, even after death.
One more book for 99 cents that I’m proud to have a small part in is 60 Black Women in Horror Fiction by Sumiko Saulson. February is African American History Month here in the United States. It is also Women in Horror Month (WiHM). This list of black women who write horror was compiled at the intersection of the two. It consists of an alphabetical listing of the women with biographies, photos, and web addresses, as well as interviews with nine of these women.