#381 It’s A Matter of Life! What the Heck?


Two new books from Top Shelf this week, both of which touch on themes related to Christianity — but in VERY different ways…

Jeffrey Brown’s latest, A Matter of Life, centers on Brown’s growing up in a religious family, yet not feeling that interested in religion, and coming to terms with the feeling that he must believe, yet doesn’t really want to. Yet, parts of the book seem unrelated to this theme. Does the focus wander too much?

Then, in Zander Cannon’s Heck, the discovery of a portal to Hell in his late father’s basement leads Hector Hammarskjold to make visits to the underworld a career choice. His journey leads to a lot of interesting philosophical food for thought — for us, at least, if not for him.

Tim and Brandon discuss both books.

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Resident of Japan since 1989, creator of "The Crazing Spider-Hag"

2 thoughts on “#381 It’s A Matter of Life! What the Heck?”

  1. Oh, why not, I’ll just comment. Hi guys; thanks for the great review. I really appreciate it, and I appreciate all the thought you put into it. I would like to answer your question about the giant in Chapter 13. According to Dante (and I actually did not read the Inferno while writing this; I just read the Wikipedia article), surrounding the final levels of hell are a circle of giants, who are afraid to enter. In the Divine Comedy, this is meant to show how terrifying these final parts are meant to be, and I used it to (I guess not very effectively) do the same thing, but also give Heck a certain meanness that I felt came from his melancholy, depression, and dread. Obviously, I cherrypicked what elements of Dante I would include in the book; this one was visually interesting to me, and so in it went. Heck’s reaction was just what I thought he would say. 🙂 Anyway, thanks again; you guys made my day, and I’m really happy you liked the book.


  2. Thanks, Zander! Actually, after we recorded, Brandon found that the giant was from the Divine Comedy, and I meant to mention that in my voiceover at the end of the show but totally spaced it off. Thanks much for your comment & glad you got to hear our review. Looking forward to your next book!

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