It's an epic poem that takes from Dante's Inferno (using the same structure that Dante did), and since I just recently read Dante's work, this book fit right into my memory of that epic poem. It's one of those stories that will bring you in, with the language, the format, and the overall writing talent of Luigi. "but hold your tears for what is to come." Full of humor, and yet, self-discovery and reflection, this story brings the reader on a gentle and unusual journey. You don't have to be familiar with Dante's "The Divine Comedy" to read this, but it may make you want to brush up on the classic. Amy's Bookshelf Review
Reading Returno to the Inferno sent me to long-forgotten Dante via Amazon books. In both Returno and Inferno I found the same three line poetry form, the same number of Cantos (34); each with titles that were related between Dante's and d'Oro's (Lewis Goldstein) poems. Unfortunately there was no rhyming in the English translation of Dante's 14th century vernacular Italian to modern English; however, D' Oro's rhyming is delightful and the prose coherently modern. Returno also doesn't have Dante's glut of puzzling ancient allegories, metaphors, symbolisms forgotten wars, heroes and such; there is nothing obscure about d'Oro's narrative. He adroitly rhymes anger about our disregard for our environment and injustices as well as racial and species biases and bigotry. Americans' fascination with guns gets punked and feminism defended while 'demons' prowl the prose. There are celebrity guests, one being Satan himself and a visit to the Church of the Double Cross. Much drama and many emotions are visited on this poetic roller coaster. Although both authors reveal that humans' create their own hells, d'Oro's updates that notion with warnings of modern human created hells, and manages to do it with sprinkles of humor. I found the ending of Returno to be delightfully surprising; don't miss it. Dante's Inferno is touted as one of history's great pieces of literature; although I am not qualified to judge the 'greatness' of literature, I am qualified to say that I understood and enjoyed Returno very much more than Dante's Inferno. Arthur Merchison
The Returno to the Inferno
Lewis Goldstein (Luigi Enrico Pietro d'Oro)
Has created such a unique and often hilarious masterpiece! An epic poem with incredible humor, sad yet hopeful insights into the human condition, Returno To The Inferno takes us on a journey and back to our deepest and darkest qualities of what we call being a human being. His characters hit too close to home considering the political climate we are in in 2018. Highly recommend! Kenpo64
"Laugh out loud and pause to ponder." The Columbia Review.
Back to Eden, The Eco-Adventures of Adam and Eve
Reviewed By: Avraham Azrieli
Avraham Azrieli writes novels and screenplays. His website is: www.AzrieliBooks.com
“Back to Eden, The Eco-Adventures of Adam and Eve” by Luigi Enrico Pietra d’Oro is a unique book of rambunctious satire, whose humor interweaves biblical characters and Genesis-to-Exodus myths with sharp, contemporary humor.
With a farcically brilliant sense of staging, reminiscent of the immortal Monty Python and the recently departed yet deeply beloved Terry Prachett, “Back to Eden” makes us believe in almost anything. We time-travel with Adam and Eve, John and Jesus (and a few other familiar biblical heavyweights), and engage in an epic battle across centuries and continents against the all familiar (and greedy) perpetrators of our current (and coming soon) ecological disasters. If you ever prayed to visit the Garden of Eden, the vividly colorful and outright hilarious characters in “Back to Eden” are here to make your trip possible—and you won’t even have to travel.
We have in the past praised the author’s pervious two books (“The Second Coming, The Last Parable of Jesus” and “Of Fleas and Fleadom, A Tale of Two Vermin). In what is becoming a consistent theme of sharp, realistic-yet-absurdist fiction, “Back to Eden, The Eco-Adventures of Adam and Eve” adds to the author’s portfolio of thought-provoking, laughter-inducing, and cleverly provocative works.
The author’s particularly skilled pen excels at deftly combining the ancient with the contemporary, especially in having biblical characters morph into contemporary lingo and context. Take, for example, the following piece of unforgettable dialogue:
John sighed, “I’m so tired and confused. I need some of my meds, my herbs. Do you know where I can get some herbs that will calm me down?”
Jesus’ eyes lit up. “Herb! Now you’re talking. Medical Marijuana, just what the doctor ordered. Some sweet green stuff for the old fella.”
In summary, “Back to Eden” is a superb book of humor fiction that will provide readers with a great deal of deep-seated laughter and lasting, indelible impressions from scenes that are never short of explosive creativity and incisive commentary on today’s most controversial and possibly disastrous human issues. Highly recommended!
New Indie Reviews!
The Second Coming, The Last Parable of Jesus
by Luigi Enrico Pietra d'Oro
OMG hahaha what did I just read? And now that I know where the title “The Second Coming” is inspired from, I’m laughing again as I write my review about this awesome book by Lewis Goldstein. This should be a movie. Seriously. I don’t think the smile left my face the whole time I was reading this. Only those with a sense of humor and who don’t take their religion too seriously should probably read this… but those with an open mind and ability to laugh at it all will love it. Highly recommend! (5 stars). Stacy Decker- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
Chock full of comedy, tongue-in-cheek snark and wit, “The Second Coming, The Last Parable of Jesus” was by far the most unexpected delight I’ve read this year. Wow did I need that! Why do I almost feel like the world would be a better place if everyone read this book? Love the author’s comedic (and actually insightful) twist of age-old tales and beliefs, and it is also very well written. Really enjoyed it! (5 stars). Claire Middleton- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
Oh my! I’m blushing… laughing.. telling my husband he MUST read this next! I admit I wasn’t sure what exactly I was in for when starting to read this book, and as soon as I reached the part about how Jesus was conceived (by Jose and Maria… she’s a Scorpio), I knew that this would be unlike anything I’d read and to put my big-girl pants on and dust off my sense of humor. And I loved every page! Really enjoyed how Mr. Goldstein spun his own twisted and fun versions of religious lore, and there are more laugh out loud moments while reading this than any other book I’ve ever read. You need to take things with a grain of salt and not be easily offended. Recommended for adults as there is some salty humor and descriptive sex. (5 stars). April Dawn- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
What a fun, entertaining read! So easy to get totally swept up in, and different from anything I’ve read lately. The author has a genuine knack for humor, and that is really not an easy thing to do, let alone write. Too many people “try” to be funny, and it feels forced. But this was just effortless brilliant writing that kept me engaged and entertained throughout. Really hope this author writes more like this is the future! (5 stars). Karen Matthews- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
“The Second Coming, The last parable of Jesus…” is an entertaining and satirical look as some of our most beloved and best known (and least known) religious stories. Imagine if South Park took on the history of Christianity… well this was a hundred times better and funnier. Overall the writing was solid, but there were a few editing things here and there, and the formatting was tough to read at times with the block text that wasn’t indented or spaced properly. Just made some parts run on where they shouldn’t. But other than that, the flow was nice, and the narrative was hysterical. Recommended for ages 18+. (4 stars). J.T. Thomas- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
Delightfully quirky and unique, “The Second Coming…” by Lewis Goldstein reminds me of a cross between a satirical re-imagining of religion, crossed with a super cheesy soap opera. But in a really awesome way! The description of Jesus had me laughing out loud (as did many other parts, actually) and I knew I was in for a treat. If only church had told us these stories growing up! Ha! Despite all the obvious humour, there are actually some pretty good messages in here, and I think I’d love to have this author as a dinner guest. I imagine he’s make some entertaining company! A must read for anyone with an ounce of humour, and recommended for mature readers as it has adult language and scenes. (5 stars). James Masters- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
Sharply irreverent and laugh-out-loud funny, “The Second Coming, The Last Parable of Jesus” tackles conventional Christianity like an eager bull in a china store filled with sacred cows. But oddly enough, this novel presents a worthwhile message, an intriguing approach to an age-old question: What would Jesus do? And what better way to pose radical propositions and make readers think (rather than close their minds) than through a good story filled with humor?
While this is a comedic novel, the story is no less intense and full of action than a good page-turner. Author Lewis Goldstein (a.k.a. Luigi Enrico Pietra d’Oro) clearly has done his research. The novel is populated by all the New Testament main characters with whom every Christian would find both familiarity and shock, as their literary embodiments here are the stuff of cringe-worthy revelation.
In this contemporary Californian reincarnation, Jesus, his family, his apostles and his opponents are hilariously cast with brilliance and irony. God himself, who appears to enjoy playing dress-up, sports a long beard and flowing robes, inspired by the Godly portrait Michelangelo painted in the Sistine Chapel. And why not? Surely the Divine would possess a divine sense of humor, wouldn’t He?
Jesus in this “Second Coming” is Hispanic (as white people do not named their boys ‘Jesus’), and God sends him back for reasons very different from what mainstream Christianity and peripheral evangelicals believe. But the reasons (without spoiling the many surprises) are no less virtuous — yet unlikely to be embraced by the End of Days aficionados.
What we find especially worthy of praise in this highly creative work, beside the familiar yet endearing cast of holy characters, is the truly original take on what is the real difference between good and evil, and what it really means to have faith in the goodness of mankind and its Creator. More specifically, what is the nature of the responsibility to live a life of virtue.
And while dogmatic theologians might take offense, “The Second Coming” will surely make the reader laugh out loud, pause to ponder those big existential questions (beyond religious dogma) and in general become a better person — even a better Christian. Highly recommended!
Of Fleas and Fleadom, A Tale of Two Vermin
Reviews for “OF FLEAS AND FLEADOM: A Tale of Two Vermin” by Lewis Goldstein
1. Having read another of Mr. Goldstein’s wonderfully witty and funny book (The Second Coming, The Last Parable of Jesus), I knew I’d love this one and I wasn’t wrong. While it is different than the other – more of a comic book or picture book format rather than a novel, it still tells a cute and surprisingly moving story about the adventures of Finnegan T. Flea. It’s not for the kiddies though, as this flea gets “busy”, and with the picture to prove it. And the Illustrations were amazing!!! (5 stars) Karen Matthews- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
2. Another fantastic and fun read by Lewis Goldstein. Such a strange and oddly engaging story about, yup… a flea! Never thought I’d care much about a flea’s life or his adventures, but this was a fun ride and I found myself rooting for Finnegan. The pictures were so good! And the text flowed and rhymed nicely. Enjoyed. (4 stars). J.T. Thomas- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
3. A fast, easy, and downright fun read, “Of Fleas and Fleadom” was a different sort of book for me as it is more like a graphic novel than a regular book, with the story being told in pictures and smaller chunks of rhyming text telling the trials and tribulations of a flea. And bizarrely enough, it totally worked! I’m impressed with this author’s ability to create such an original story and make us actually care about a flea. Happy he found his “fleadom”! (4-5 stars). James Masters- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
4. This is a fast read, but thoroughly entertaining! I’d just read another book by this author, and although this one is different, it still has the razor-sharp wit and humor. In fact I was impressed by his ability to tell a cohesive tale in a poetic way, and in shorter space. No easy task by any stretch. He’s a natural and I look forward to reading anything he may write in the future. (5 stars). April Dawn- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
5. “Of Fleas and Fleadom” by Lewis Goldstein was awesome. Funny and actually tells an interesting story that keeps you engaged the whole time. Loved the illustrations (flea sex? Now I’ve seen it all!!!) and liked how it all ended. A nice message with a serious yet comedic tone. Recommend for adults with a sense of humor. (4 stars) Claire Middleton- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble
6. Awwwwww… what a great story. I’m sorry, but if you can actually make me feel SORRY for a FLEA than you are GIFTED!! Haha, I hate those guys. But I LOVED Finnegan! He had quite the adventurous life for a flea, and now I’ll never look at them the same way again! (Okay, that might not be totally true). But seriously the drawings were terrific and the storyboard was clever and well written. Read it in one sitting and wished there was more! (5 stars). Stacy Decker- Indie Book Reviewers; Goodreads; Librarything; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble