Item description for Grape City by L Donihe Kevin...
Meet Charles, a demon forced to work shitty minimum wage jobs ever since Hell went out of business. He now lives in Grape City, which would be the worst place on Earth, provided all other cities weren't just as bad. While adjusting to his new way of life, Charles passes the time by writing emails to Satan, going on blind dates with mortal women, and attempting to fit in with human society . . . . . . unfortunately society is a mess of chaotic absurdities in which bang-murdering and hack-raping are cultural norms."
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Apr 20, 2006
Publisher Eraserhead Press
ISBN 1933929510 ISBN13 9781933929514
Availability 107 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 08:04.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Grape City?
When there's no more room in Hell...they frost the windows and hang up the "Closed" sign Aug 16, 2008
Actually, in Kevin L. Donihe's Grape City, Hell closes because the Earth has become so appalling, Hell can no longer hold a candle. This is a topic I've believed for many years and it's nice to see someone else vocalize it.
Charles, a re-named ex-9th circle demon, lives in Grape City where he now divvies up his time between Tony's Used Cars and Burger Hut. He emails Satan, watches some TV, and does a little people gawking. These are the things his humdrum life now consist of. And he is completely disgusted with the state of the world.
In the catalog that accompanies nearly every Bizarro book, Donihe's distinguishing factor is said to be his humor. More than a few times I found myself laughing out loud at the odd juxtapositions Charles and the other demons found themselves in.
Donihe also has a gift for evoking pathos. As a reader, you really do feel sympathy for these once grand rulers of the netherworld. Sure, they used to torture damned souls for what they thought would be eternity, but as Charles points out, there was a reason and a purpose. The humans left on Earth have devolved to the lowest common denominator and torture the demons sent to live there for no other reason than they're being different.
In the best works of Bizarro, you can usually find an underlying message or bit of social criticism amongst the surreal mayhem. In Grape City's case, Donihe's message seems to be a critique on our society's ongoing racism and xenophobia in a post-911 world. Charles is verbally baited several times during the story and has to mentally calm himself to avoid lashing out. There is even a Bizarro-version of the running of the bulls in which ex-demons are paid to run through the streets of Grape City and avoid being caught and tortured by the city folk.
I only had two minor qualms with this book. The ending was very abrupt and though I'd have liked to keep reading about Charles and his exploits, the sudden ending seemed more a problem of pacing. The first four chapters moved along at a steady consistent pace and then the last two doubled or even tripled speed. While that can usually occur at the climax of a story it felt like there were some things left on the writing room floor that needed to be re-inserted. The other minor quibble concerned typos. I read several Bizarro books and this is the only one that I've noticed at least one or two extra or left out words per chapter. It's not a big thing, but it can be distracting after the author has gone to great lengths to create this surreal world with its own inner logic and the reader is pulled out by something as mundane as typos. But it happens.
Overall, I'd highly recommend Grape City to the neophyte and veteran alike. This is my first experience with Mr. Donihe's work and it won't be my last.
Weak Attempt - IMO Feb 13, 2008
Okay, definitely an interesting idea for this short little piece...However, I noticed a huge trade off from purpose and story to pure weirdness. The bizzare happenings of the novel seemed far too exaggerated and leave this novella ultimately "quirky" at best.
A creative author, it seems, but if you're trying to show us the madness of men by holding up a demon for comparison -- put him in a realistic city! Let him interact with regular people, let him navigate the insanity of a New York city. Instead, we get a ridiculous "future" city that loses the reader.
When it comes down to it, Grape City seems to me, to be a personal work for the author himself. What it needs, is a good editor to keep his wild mind on track and produce a story that means something to the audience.
working title Nov 15, 2007
Grape City is has a clever plot that reflects a common disease that most of us come across more than once in our lives- stereotyping and/or racism. The main character, Charles, is actually a demon that is forced to live in human society because Hell closed for business. In Grape City, Charles has to endure mistreatment of all sorts because he is considered lower than the humans, that even have a celebration when they use demons as pinatas for their own amusement. The story is entertaining but if read between the lines one can see that some of the demoniac qualities in our modern society have been reflected and and exagerrated in Grape City.
Thank you, come again. Oct 8, 2007
Life in in Burger hell is rough for anyone, but it's even worse for a former denizen of the real Hell, which has closed due to competition from Earth. Humans have completely lost control of themselves, and their world has become filled with random acts of bang raping, among other perversities. And in this world, a demon named Charles must adjust to life in a city which makes Hell seem pleasant by comparison. Between a clueless social worker who can't remember his name and a sociopath for a boss, Charles is getting frustrated enough to consider taking dire steps...by looking for a new job. Add in a few interviews gone horribly wrong and a true "date from hell", and you've got a great bizarro story with plenty of laughs and gruesome visuals in generous portions... served with fries on the side.
Hilarious! Oct 4, 2007
I'm going to buy another copy to give my friend for Halloween! This book is super fun to read horror comedy. Written in an easy going style with lots of hilarious details. Hell goes out of business and a demon has to find a new way of life up on earth.