Around 2004-2007 I read a book with a really nice red and black cover.

It is about a boy who got into an accident and died. He then got sent to hell. In hell it was very different than what people talked about, fire and all that. He had to go through a tour of some sorts and see people being forced to listen to classical music as a form of torture.

Of all the things I mentioned, I am not very clear on all of the details. They may or may not be true. It was a really good book that I borrowed from the library and a few years ago.


Sounds like Anthony McGowan's Hellbent:

Sixteen-year-old Connor is on his way home from school when he is run down by an ice-cream truck. He is sent to hell with his dog, Scrote, who choked on an ice cream cone which rolled off the truck. There he is sentenced to spending all eternity reading intellectual books and listening to classical music with his personal devil tormentor, Clarence, and a transvestite Viking, Olaf.

At least two editions of it have red and black covers:

hellbent1 hellbent2

  • 7
    An eternity reading intellectual books and listening to classical music? That sounds like my version of heaven, and I'm somewhat miffed that there's children's literature promoting the idea that those are literally hellishly unpleasant. – Kyle Strand Oct 22 '15 at 20:48
  • @KyleStrand The description on Wikipedia is longer and suggests that this is not so simple. – coredump Oct 22 '15 at 22:15
  • @KyleStrand I agree with you, but it's all subjective. One man's heaven is another's hell :-) – Rand al'Thor Oct 22 '15 at 22:23
  • 1
    @randal'thor It's not just "all subjective." The books, movies, etc that kids consume has some influence on their outlook on life. Developing an ear and an appreciation for Classical music requires some degree of time and patience; if kids are told from a young age that classical music is torturous, how are they going to gain that appreciation? The same goes for "intellectual books." – Kyle Strand Oct 22 '15 at 22:26
  • 1
    @KyleStrand who said it was a children's book? If you read the rest of the Wikipedia blurb quoted in this answer, you'll find that it continues with "Eventually he meets a beautiful naked angel called Francessa who tells him that one person's hell could be his heaven. He sets out to swap hells with an elderly, classical music loving, homosexual gentlemen [sic] whose hell is to constantly play the PlayStation and have his penis fondled by nude women." I really doubt that's a children's book. – terdon Oct 22 '15 at 23:44

I Googled fiction boy hell classical music and found "Hellbent" by Anthony McGowan.

"Hellbent" is summarized as

"Sixteen-year-old Connor is on his way home from school when he is run down by an ice-cream truck. He is sent to hell with his dog, Scrote, who choked on an ice cream cone which rolled off the truck." - quote from WikiPedia

  • 3
    Can you include some evidence besides your search terms that this is the correct book? For instance, I Googled fiction boy hell black and red and got Orange Is the New Black Fanfiction, but that's obviously not the correct answer. – user31178 Oct 22 '15 at 19:39
  • 1
    @CreationEdge "black and red" probably wasn't specific enough. The key is to try to use key words and phrases that are unique to what you're searching for. That's why I used "classical music". – Howard Miller Oct 22 '15 at 22:50

There is also the Heck series by Dale E Basye, though they started in 2008.

One day, the nerdy Milton Fauster and his kleptomaniac sister Marlo are in the Grizzly Mall of Generica, Kansas. They go into a store and Milton unwittingly steals some lip gloss.

As Marlo and Milton are running through the mall with the security guard chasing them, Milton realizes Marlo tricked him into stealing lip gloss. They take a break for a moment and they stop in front of a giant marshmallow model of a Grizzly Bear, and Milton sees Damian Ruffino, his extremely unhygienic tormentor and bully at school. He is sticking some dynamite in the marshmallow Grizzly Bear Statue's behind.

Before the mall security guards can catch up with them, the marshmallow Grizzly Bear explodes and Milton and Marlo both die. Damian also dies. The last thing they see is flaming marshmallow all over the mall. Now, Milton and Marlo are holding hands and plummeting downward and Milton feels a slight sting. He and Marlo land, and they found themselves in a terrible school in Limbo where the principal Bea "Elsa" Bubb torments them with things they wish they could have. But, Damian is getting the special treatment.

Classes include home-ec class with Lizzie Borden, ethics with Richard Nixon, and gym with Blackbeard the Pirate. The children are terrified. They now find themselves in Limbo, the waiting area for the Nine Circles of Heck, which include Rapacia, Blimpo, Precocia, Sadia, Snivel, Fibble, Lipptor (Wise Acres), and Dupli-City. When Milton meets Virgil, his new best friend, they and Marlo plan an escape to return to Earth, instead of spending the rest of their lives tormented in Heck.

Each book in the series deals with a realm of the afterlife of Heck.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.