To Hell with It

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To Hell with It

Of Sin and Sex, Chicken Wings, and Dante's Entirely Ridiculous, Needlessly Guilt-Inducing Inferno

Dinty W. Moore

American Lives Series

180 pages
31 illustrations, index

Paperback

March 2021

978-1-4962-2460-6

$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

March 2021

978-1-4962-2570-2

$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

March 2021

978-1-4962-2572-6

$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Dante published his ambitious and unusual poem, Divine Comedy, more than seven hundred years ago. In the ensuing centuries countless retellings, innumerable adaptations, tens of thousands of fiery sermons from Catholic bishops and Baptist preachers, all those New Yorker cartoons, and masterpieces of European art have afforded Dante’s fictional apparition of hell unending attention and credibility. Dinty W. Moore did not buy in.

Moore started questioning religion at a young age, quizzing the nuns in his Catholic school, and has been questioning it ever since. Yet after years of Catholic school, religious guilt, and persistent cultural conditioning, Moore still can’t shake the feelings of inadequacy, and asks: What would the world be like if eternal damnation was not hanging constantly over our sheepish heads? Why do we persist in believing a myth that merely makes us miserable? In To Hell with It, Moore reflects on and pokes fun at the over-seriousness of religion in various texts, combining narratives of his everyday life, reflections on his childhood, and religion’s influence on contemporary culture and society.
 

Author Bio

Dinty W. Moore, a former zookeeper, modern dancer, professor, and failed altar boy has authored or edited numerous books, including Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals and Between Panic and Desire (Bison Books, 2010).

Praise

"Unstrap your backpack of guilt and sit down for a laugh."—Kirkus Reviews

"Moore's humor, combining intellect with pop culture knowledge, shines throughout the book."—Rev. Elizabeth Felicetti, Good River Review

“Dinty W Moore might say, ‘to hell with it!’ But he doesn’t mean it. He’s too good for that, and too funny—Kurt Vonnegut funny—and even with his head in a bucket of county fair chicken, too wise to tempt the fates. To Hell with It is a madcap, deep, hopeful, absurd, learned, solemn, silly, and somehow redeeming look at the hell we make for ourselves, the hell the world offers, and the heaven to be found if only we look in the heart of each of our hearts, plus cartoons!”—Bill Roorbach, author of Life among Giants

“I don’t dare say that Dinty’s Inferno is better than Dante’s. But it is a hell of a lot funnier. It’s so funny that you don’t realize how smart it is until it’s too late: you’ve suffered Deep Thoughts. You realize you’ve been not only entertained but enlightened. Okay, okay, to hell with it: Dinty’s is better.”—Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating and Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

“Moore’s mashup of classic texts and pop culture, the personal and the spiritual, is creative nonfiction as its quintessential best. To Hell with It is a fascinating, humorous, and compelling cosmology to revel to. This is stand-up theology at its finest.”—Sue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences

Table of Contents

Author’s Note    
Prologue: The Hole    
1. Cantos I–III: Dinty’s Inferno    
2. Canto IV: Pudgy, Smiley, Jughead, and Fritz    
3. Canto V: The Burning Bush    
4. Canto VI: Gobbets of Chicken    
5. Canto VII: Some Precious Blood, a Speck of Bone    
6. Canto VIII: Into the Pickling Swill    
7. Cantos IX–XI: The Little Heretic’s New Baltimore Catechism    
8. Cantos XII–XVII: The Hell Hole    
9. Cantos XVIII–XXX: Bring on the Ass Trumpets    
10. Cantos XXXI–XXXIV: Beyond Goode and Evil    
Epilogue: My Paradiso (With Basil and Tomato Cream)    
Acknowledgments    
Index    

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