I’m going to be straight with you. This book gave me the heeby jeebies.
I think Henri Barbussee has an extremely well thought out, controversial work of fiction that covers a lot of bases. It even includes LOTS of sex, as well as pretty heavy religion and death topics. I can completely understand why it made the Boxall list and why it’s thought of as a worthy work of literature.
But, goddammit, it’s about a man watching other people through a hole in a hotel wall.
CREEPY AS FUCK. Pardon me while I never ever go to a hotel ever again, and respackle all of my outside apartment walls.
Although it was written in France in 1908, Hell wasn’t released in English until 1966–and even then it was still completely scandalous. When a man finds a hole in his Paris hotel room, he spends all of his time watching the occupants next door: lovers committing adultery, a woman in the throes of childbirth, a man dying.
This is heavy stuff. Our voyeur is a philosophical man, and the book is a manifesto of anti-religion, as he compares his “experiences” against those of Peter in Revelations. It’s pretty athiestic, except he does say “I believe” quite often (hence why I say “Anti-Religion). It’s definitely an interesting book, but very complicated and, again, heavy. And did I mention it’s creepy?
Hell also deals quite heavily in death, and towards the end he talks about how we are all alone–so this could be quite triggering for some people. It does get quite dark.
I don’t quite know how I feel about this one, other than I’m creeped out by it. It’s definitely deep, and requires further analysis. I might read it again at some point, but for now, I’m not going to let myself dwell on it.
Fulfills Boxall #97
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