Kill the Whale!-- Part 4

“Inferno” is now a video game, with a brawny, armor-clad Dante as its protagonist…The game’s creators say there’s an audience for it. Their research showed that most people had heard of “Inferno” but few knew what it was about. This, they say, gave them license to make a few improvements.
    — The New York Times
TAGLINE: "Yes, yes, yes! Die, die, die!"
CHARACTER:  You’re Leopold Bloom, an advertising executive. Somebody's stole your wife's affections. Somebody's gonna pay.
MISSION: Fight your way through a nightmarish re-creation of the streets of Dublin that anticipates the rise of Frommer’s. Rescue your wastrel young friend Stephen Dedalus from the fleshpots of Nighttown. You’ve got twenty-four hours—just like Jack Bauer!
WEAPONS: Stream of consciousness, mock-epic poetry, a lucky potato.
POWER-UPS: Drinking, gambling, whoring, rejecting God.


BOSS DEMON: The sexually voracious Molly Bloom. Many brave men have been lost in the Bermuda Triangle between her treacherous thighs.  Tip: she has a weakness for roses like the Andalusian girls wear in their hair. Bring her a bouquet—then blow her away!

HIDDEN LEVEL: "The Odyssey," by Homer.
CHEAT CODE: Ctrl-S unlocks the subconscious.
SOUNDTRACK: “A Day In The Life” by the Beatles, “In The Name Of Love” by U2,  anything by the Pogues.
RATING: M for Mature Audiences


Robert Brenner is a humorist, critic, and ventriloquist. His work has been published in New York Magazine, Open Salon (, and Happy. 

July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).