Hell’s Mandatory Summer Reading List
Souls of the Eternally Damned,
You’ll be arriving here from Purgatory in a few weeks, pending the compulsory completion of the Walker, Texas Ranger marathon. But in the meantime, I thought I’d reach out to you — the 45,591st class of Ignominious Miscreants — to give you a list of the books you’ll need to have read by the time your hopeless soul is thrust into our punishing inferno.
Moby Dick | Herman Melville
It would be impossible to pass as a well-read, sophisticated Servant of the Flame without having an intimate familiarity with this timeless classic. Not only is it a stirring tale of obsessive revenge, but it also teaches you a thing or two about 19th-century whaling techniques. And let me tell you something: there’s going to be a lot of whaling in your future. In fact, you’ll be sent down two Circles if you don’t harpoon one of Shamu’s relatives in your first three days here.
The Da Vinci Code | Dan Brown
If you’ve been reading up on your new home, you might know that the Inhabitants of this region aren’t especially fond of the Christian tradition. We understand that you might have had friends growing up who adhered to those traditions — you might even have been one yourself! Well, fret not. Within a week here, you’ll be lambasting the pillars of Western religion with the best of ’em. The Da Vinci Code is your comprehensive guide to effacing the central tenets of Judeo-Christian history, so make sure you study it well before you arrive.
Note: If you like this book, we also recommend The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman.
Hooking Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to Love, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party | Tila Tequila
One of the defining novels of the 21st century, this masterpiece will make you laugh, cry, and think. Emotional wholeness is important to us here, and this treatise on the human experience will be an integral part of your spiritual wellness.
The World Is Flat | Thomas Friedman
In the Upper World, it’s common practice to read a wide variety of sources, in order to achieve a circumspect understanding of a subject. Down here, we take a different approach, instead drawing our knowledge of a given issue or concept from a single work deemed appropriate by His Holiness, Beelzebub, The Prince of Darkness. No book is more vaunted in our hierarchy of respected works than Friedman’s The World Is Flat. You are forbidden from partaking in any conversation about global affairs that does not make reference to it.
The Twilight Series | Stephenie Meyer
We might be Overlords of the Unending Darkness, but we still believe reading can be fun! This series is unanimously regarding as the best leisure reading in all Nine Circles, so we think you’ll enjoy it. Keep in mind, though: regardless of whether you enjoy it, it is compulsory.
Screenplay of “47 Ronin” (2013) | Chris Morgan and Hossein Amini
The Great Demon Apollyon caught 47 Ronin in theaters last year and brought back rave reviews, insisting that His Holiness, Beelzebub, The Prince of Darkness watch the movie. Sure enough, He was so impressed by the film that he added it to the list of mandatory reading. You won’t be able to see the movie version, unfortunately, seeing as souls in penance must serve for a minimum of two eons before they can be granted DVD rights (five eons for Blu-Ray rights).
Eat, Pray, Love | Elizabeth Gilbert
You will be given a very, very thorough quiz of this book upon your arrival to Hell. We’ve found that 12-15 read-throughs are required to achieve a passing grade.
Don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions about the mandatory reading — firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, and I look forward to meeting each one of you in a few weeks!
Director of Incoming Soul Relations