From Publishers Weekly
Counterculture figure Farren (The Time of Feasting) offers a daringly outlandish premise in his fanciful novel, trotting out fragments of erudition with an autodidact's glee (a phrase in classical Italian, an explanation of the origin of coffee, snippets of Egyptian mythology) and an all-star cast including Moses, Jesus Christ, Dylan Thomas and Doc Holliday, in addition to protagonists Jim Morrison and evangelist, now sexpot, Aimee Semple McPherson. Spirit Morrison hobnobs with countless dead celebrities in a strange, afterlife limbo. He's looking for eternal peace, but what he finds is an incoherent whirlwind of a love adventure with McPherson, whose soul has been split in two. The characters, varied as they promise to be, seem cut from the same cloth. The high-energy action devolves into a series of orgies and ambitious philosophical discussions encompassing and skewering everything from religious doctrine to human values, cosmic forces to science fiction. McPherson is forced into a tryst with the god-dog Anubis, while Morrison has a m?nage ? trois with two queens of the galaxy, Epiphany and Devora. Throughout, Farren hemorrhages a sort of metaphysics of the afterlife: Necropolis is a dog-eat-dog worldAand, though dead, residents may still suffer the worst fate of being thrown onto the "Great Double Helix" of karmic rebirth. The afterlife is populated by such unlikely figures as gun-toting cherubs, serial killers and a rum-and-coke-swigging Moses. With impressive patches of vivid invention, Farren does prove himself to be a strikingly confident world-maker, and among the many flat, self-indulgent jokes, there are a few good ones. The River Styx is mined during the Barbiturate Wars, and soul-selling is the foundation of Hell's economy. Rock star, radical '60s editor and wildly diverse fiction writer Farren's 16th novel is as maniacally uneven, jagged and flashy as his fans have come to expect. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A riotous fantasy in which rock-star novelist Farren (The Time of Feasting, 1996) imagines Jim Morrison wandering through the shades of hell looking for a way out. Don Juan had it comparatively easy in hell. To begin with, he knew where he was and why he was there, while poor Jim cant even remember his name. Sometime, someplace, someone had royally flamed his memory, though he couldnt recall where or when . . . All he knew about himself was that he had once been a poet and that, at least for the time being, he would be forced to live absolutely in a highly specialized moment where even the mundane appeared strange and unexplored, and reality checks could only come via the benevolence of the passing crowd. Talk about a bad trip. The first thing that strikes his consciousness is the rather vivid orgyreplete with golden calfthats taking place around him. A spoilsport with a long beard and two stone tablets breaks up the party, but by then Jim has met Doc Holliday, who tells him who he is and what, more or less, is going on around him. The two set off on a leisurely tour of their domain, which includes ghost towns inhabited by alcoholic dogs, nuclear firework displays, a (very) low-rent district called Gehenna, and a poet-guide named Virgil. Theres also the bifurcated ghost of Aimee Semple McPherson, split into the opposing spirits of Aimee (who has grand spiritual ambitions and manages to impeach Jesus on a trumped-up charge) and Semple (who is most at home in her role as a Nazi dominatrix). Semple becomes the object of Jims quest, but he has to fight off a host of demons worthy of Hieronymus Bosch before he can reach her. Fortunately, Doc Holliday has the magical Gun That Belonged to Elvis, so everything is bound to turn out right. Right? Hilarious, mad, and fast: Farren is probably one of the first writers since Baudelaire who in fact would be right at home in hell. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.