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A House-Boat on the Styx

John Kendrick Bangs

Book Overview: 

The premise of the book is that everyone who has ever died (up until the time in which the book is set, which seems to be about the time of its publication) has gone to Styx. This does not appear to be the conventional Hell described by Dante in The Inferno, but rather the Hades described in Greek myth (both of which had Styxes): a universal collecting pot for dead souls, regardless of their deeds in life.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .e minds profess to disbelieve my stories, you think it well to be sceptical yourselves.  I don’t care, however, whether you believe me or not.  The fact remains that I have eaten one fried pyramid and countless stewed icicles, and the stewed icicles were finer than any diamond-back rat Confucius ever had served at a state banquet.”

“Where’s Shakespeare to-night?” asked Confucius, seeing that the Baron was beginning to lose his temper, and wishing to avoid trouble by changing the subject.  “Wasn’t he invited, General?”

“Yes,” said Washington, “he was invited, but he couldn’t come.  He had to go over the river to consult with an autograph syndicate they’ve formed in New York.  You know, his autographs sell for about one thousand dollars apiece, and they’re trying to get up a scheme whereby he shall contribute an autograph a week to the syndicate, to be sold to the pu. . . Read More