Special pre-sale price until March 2022
A modern retelling of Dante’s Inferno from the twinned vantage points of the Covid-19 pandemic and the crisis of global capital, as well as a vintage review of pop culture and modernity-at-large through the literary lens of medieval hell. In a tragicomic collage of the fictive and the historical, the ancient and the contemporary, the book ultimately poses the questions:
Why are we in hell?
Why is it so funny?
And why can’t I laugh?
The reader expecting a fair and accurate summary of Dante's Inferno will be puzzled and disappointed by this thought crime made flesh. In Jared Joseph's hands, what might have been merely a capricious interpretation of a classic also becomes a challenge to literacy. Capitalization is irregular; several pages are mostly written upside-down. The typesetting and front matter are adequate, but this reviewer would have appreciated a topic index and an index locorum.
- Martin Devecka, UCSC Classical Studies Director and author of Broken Cities: A Historical Sociology of Ruins
I shake my head in amazement at this book. Jared Joseph is “funny.” But so is hell. OK, I'll explain: Jared Joseph is our father Virgil guiding us (uh oh, we're Dante) through hell, which is both the text of the Inferno and the text of life during Covid-19, complete with horrors and suffering. But told in the allusive web of our late-world vernacular, i.e. it's fun as fuck to read. Air Bud is Cerberus. It is also a retelling of the Inferno as a pandemic lockdown coping project called for by tremendous grief. It hurts. I needed it. In all honesty, this is the first book I've loved reading in a long time. O you whose intellects keep their sanity, this Bud's for you.
- Sarah Elaine Smith, author of Marilou is Everywhere
Jared Joseph’s wild A Book About Myself Called Hell dispenses with the pregnant deferrals and cunning allegories of Dante’s poem, finding eternal platitudes alongside changeless torments and ecstasies right here in the present tense. Joseph identifies a canon of substitutable dads, excoriating them for their dadliness, even as he follows the path to paradise they proscribe—and takes us with him. “The funniest things in life,” this very funny book reminds us, “are also hell.” It’s a pleasure to be here, I mean there, howling alongside our hero in the flames.
- Brandon Brown, author of The Four Seasons
- Review in Sage Cigarettes