The Returno to the Inferno
Reviewed By: Editorial Board
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“The Returno to the Inferno” by Luigi Enrico Pietra D’Oro (Lewis Goldstein) is a book-length epic poem that follows up on Dante’s “Inferno” with an original, modern discourse (written entirely in rhymed poetry, the same structure Dante used for his original) about what hell is really about in current times—and it’s closer to home than you think. Luigi is now older and less tolerant of the misery and loneliness he sees in our modern, crowded world. And who would be better to help Luigi see the world for what it really is than Robin Williams (or what’s left of him after his own private hell…). The journey of hellish comedy continues with cameo appearances of other laughter-inducing luminaries and even a popular talk-show host whose guest is no other than Satan—who’s not too shabby as a guest, actually. There are great historical figures, as well, who are fittingly housed with the criminally insane, and just rewards for corporate leaders, religious clergy (topped by a lively Pope, for example, who awaits Luigi in Purgatory), politicians and the good old NRA. The journey is portrayed on a large canvas with vivid scenes and clever dialogue, and for a willing reader who cares to suspend disbelief and accept the surreal as real, there’s a richness here that’s unique and memorable. In summary, as with his previous books, the author manages to simultaneously induce bursts of uncontrollable laughter and bouts of unconventional self-reflection. An exceptional book!