Dirk Review

MY FIRST BOOK REVIEW!!!!!
Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife: All You Need to Know to Choose the Right Heaven by E. E. King
(Exterminating Angel Press, October 1, 2010)
You know something’s up when the publisher has a name like “Exterminating Angel,” and the book’s dedication page says the author “intends no disrespect. . . . On the other hand, [the book] intends no respect either.” And then there’s the complete subtitle: All You Need to Know to Choose the Right Heaven Plus a Five-Star Rating System for Music, Food, Drink and Accommodations. Caution: Read only if you have a sense of humor.
Our hero, Dirk Quigby, is a man trapped in the infamous cubicle of life. His dream of becoming a travel writer is on a seemingly permanent hold, as he is stuck as a copywriter in a small ad agency, with an impossible boss and the mandatory attractive, yet not too attractive, co-worker. Seeing an opportunity, Lucifer, the handsome little devil, contacts Dirk to offer him his dream job. It seems that Hell has become overcrowded, and God’s favorite really wants more people to go to Heaven. The problem is that it seems that there are so many heavens from which to choose.
Dirk’s assignment is to write the ultimate travel guide: a guide to the afterlife. Lots of writing, lots of travel, and no strings attached. Kind of.
E. E. King does a masterful job at mixing short vignettes of Dirk’s experience with the Devil, his travels to the many heavens, his newly discovered lover, and the factual descriptions of the final paradise of each faith. From the Egyptians and Greeks to the Moonies, the Nation of Islam and Hare Krishna, there is no player that is immune to the Guide to the Afterlife. By the way, because the Egyptian and Greek religions are “dead,” their heavens are now closed. Sorry.
She also speaks to the sometimes disconcerting and violent nature of the “true believer.” Within the context of the story, they believe Dirk is out to destroy God, Christ, and spiritual belief. Though he is not, there are numerous attempts on Dirk’s life after he is a guest on the televangelist Michael Guy Alright’s talk show. Gotta love that name.
When the Guide arrived, my wife got to it first. The stories of Joseph Smith’s Mormon Church, Mary Baker Eddy’s Church of Christian Science, and L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology had Kathy asking, “Is this really the way some of these religions started?” Yes, my dear, it is.
The Guide honors three of my favorite writers, Douglas Adams, Fredrick Nietzsche, and Anonymous. (Did you know that his—or her—full name is Anonymous Source?) King’s humor is quiet, touching on Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, while Nietzsche and Anonymous are generously quoted.
There are quiet puns, many humorous pokes at religion, and King’s valiant attempt to answer the other ultimate question, “Where do I go when I die?” (The ultimate question and its answer are found in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide.)
King pays special attention to American Christian beliefs for two obvious reasons. First, there are so many denominations of American Christianity (about 215 at last count) and, second, they generally do not agree on anything. Each claims to be the true Church of Christ and, with the exception of the Protestants, each has its own heaven. The Protestants invite all of their sects, but there are walls of separation to prevent . . . ?
This is the most delightful book this reviewer has read in a while. The short chapters flow easily. Lucifer is not as menacing as some would believe. He does have a heart of sorts, is quite fastidious regarding his nails, and remains God’s favorite….
The “Five-Star Rating System for Music, Food, Drink, and Accommodations” is most enlightening. King even touches on sex taboos during and after life. She does not leave much out.
…The Guide to the Afterlife is a mixture of fact and fiction, faith and mysticism at its best.

Reviewer David Rosman is an award-winning professional speaker, editor, writer, and college instructor in Communication, Ethics, Business and Politics.
www.bellaartes.org

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About E.E. King

E.E. King’s has published many short stories. Ray Bradbury calls E.E. King a writer “marvelously inventive, wildly funny and deeply thought provoking. I can not recommend her highly enough.” HER NEW COLLECTION new Collection of Short Fiction “Another Happy Ending,” comes out in October 2013. There is a book launch and party @ Ray Bradbury’s favorite Bookstore Mystery and Imagination Bookstore October 20th @ 2:00 -3:00pm Her first novel, Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife, came out 2010, released in Spanish in 2/2012. She is performing bits of "Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife, all you need to know to choose the right heaven.” (in costume) October 30th @ 7:30-8:30 @Echo Park in “Stories Book and Café.” 1716 West Sunset Blvd • Los Angeles • CA [213] 413-3733 The New Short Fiction Series, Los Angeles’ longest running spoken word series, launched her anthology, Real Conversations With Imaginary Friends, 1/2012. Sponsor, Barnes & Noble. All her books as well as her children’s book The Adventures of Emily Finfeather or The Feathernail and Other Gifts are currently available on audible. E.E. King is the recipient of various international writing, biology and painting grants. Her murals can be seen in Downtown Los Angeles and Spain. Elizabeth Eve King has a background in teaching, painting, theater, comedy and biology. She will be an artist in residence at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art June -Sept 2015 Ms. King is the recipient of two International Tides painting fellowships, and two international biology Earthwatch grants. She was an advisor for the J. Paul Getty’s and the Science Center’s, Arts &; Science program. She was the Science and Arts coordinator in Bosnia with Global Children’s Organization (a summer camp for war orphans and refugees) in 2000. She was the founding Arts & Sciences Director for Esperanza Community Housing Corporation . She’s worked with children in Bosnia, crocodiles in Mexico, frogs in Puerto Rico, egrets in Bali, mushrooms in Montana, archaeologists in Spain and planted butterfly gardens in South Central Los Angeles. The butterflies wish she had chosen a different location. Her short stories have been published widely
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