A quintessential Elkin protagonist, Ellerbee is a good husband, a good employer, a good sport who cares greatly about his fellow human beings―until he is killed during a senseless liquor-store hold-up. Suddenly smote by a deity as indifferent as history, Ellerbee is off on a whirlwind tour of a distressingly familiar theme-park Heaven and inner-city Hell―to learn, along with his late coworkers and a marvelously vivid cast of characters, that much of what they’ve always heard about God’s love, God’s wrath, and the afterlife is, unfortunately, quite true.
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Stanley Elkin (1930-1995) was an award-winning author of novels, short stories, and essays. Born in the Bronx, Elkin received his BA and PhD from the University of Illinois and in 1960 became a professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis where he taught until his death. His critically acclaimed works include the National Book Critics Circle Award-winners "George Mills" (1982) and "Mrs. Ted Bliss" (1995), as well as the National Book Award finalists "The Dick Gibson Show" (1972), "Searches and Seizures "(1974), and "The MacGuffin" (1991). His book of novellas, "Van Gogh's Room at Arles", was a finalist for the PEN Faulkner Award.
Curtis White is the author of the novels Memories of My Father Watching TV and Requiem. A widely acclaimed essayist, his work appears regularly in Context and Harper's. He is an English professor at Illinois State University and the current president of the Center for Book Culture/Dalkey Archive Press
This short novel exhibits the author's sardonic fatalism, a kind of humor so dark that, before the work closes, it's more sad--or angry--than funny. A basically good man dies in a stickup, finds himself in hell, whence proceed comic misadventures. Elkin gives his dramatis personae an endearing quality--except for God, who is a petulant, willful despot. George Guidall, one of the best audiobook narrators, misses none of the beats. Wisely, he reads with a comic tone, but without the comic timing of gags that would turn satire into the Three Stooges. He stints on none of the drama, yet pulls back on the bigger moments to keep them from turning bathetic. His interpretation conjures up a phantasmagoria by Hieronymus Bosch in a prankish mood. If he errs, it's in his inability to give Joseph, a minor character here as in the New Testament, the Yiddish inflections the author wrote for him. There is something of Dostoyevsky as much as of Elkin in Guidall's horrifically funny afterlife, something bigger than the text he reads from. Y.R. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Book Description Warner Books, 1980. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110446925373