Mack Dunston’s Inferno
iUniverse Publishing, Jun 27 2011, $12.95
Mack “Max” Dunstan the actor dies. He will be remembered for his starring roles in The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes and Ben-Hur, etc. but also for his rigid stand on gun rights as an NRA spokesman and president.
He enters the spirit world where the “Supreme Court” rules him unworthy though he has problems understanding why. He meets the ancient Roman poet Virgil who will serves as his tour guide of Hades before Max’s day in Judgment Court overseen by Judge Satan. Max’s journey introduces him to a capitalist loan shark and other burning traveling sinners ranging from the infamous like Manson, Dahmer and the Ripper to the sex revolutionaries like Heffner and Flynt to the holier than God pseudo religious like Swaggert, Robertson and Graham. The dead actor also encounters those who died because people like him and his NRA cronies blocked gun control. This group condemns him for enabling violence as people may kill people but guns is an easily available enabler.
Modernizing Dante’s Divine Comedy while also mindful of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire” with Max as Heston and other twentieth century personal like General Powell and Rowlings making appearances in Paul Collins’ powerful satirical lampooning of righteous American society. The journey into the inferno is filled with mockery and biting humor as Max meets the obvious infamous and a horde of the famous he never would have guessed would be inside the fires. However, it is the victims of guns who bring the poignancy to the parable as they never got to speak when alive; but the muffle of the Second Amendment advocates no longer applies (except as a condemnation) inside of Mack Dunstan’s Inferno.