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HARD LESSONS FROM THE AFTERLIFE
by Stephen Austin
Release Date: 07/01/14
Genre: Satire
Pages: 238
Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing
Format ISBN Price
E-Book 978-1-926839-48-6 4.99
Author Page: Stephen Austin
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Summary Excerpt Comments

Do you know what awaits you in the Afterlife? Do you know what God really looks like? You just might be surprised if you knew the truth. Hard Lessons from the Afterlife lays bare every concept you might hold close concerning life after death. These big questions are answered by our narrator -- a suicide and former Wall Street criminal -- who tells this story in a gritty and cynical voice. Here all misconceptions of the hereafter are laid bare and the truth of everything from God's plan for mankind to space-time continuum, are revealed. He also tells a story of a U. S. President who nearly destroyed God's plan for mankind, where war is to be displaced with peace and enlightenment.

Having waged a prolonged, bloody war in the Middle East -- a war waged on false intelligence whose ultimate goal is to secure oil fields -- President Michael Burrows is assured an Afterlife of toil and retribution in a karmic purgatory, as is revealed to the president by a recently deceased Ronald Reagan. Indeed, Burrows has some Hard Lessons from which he must learn to rectify his evil, earthly deeds if he is to avoid this grim fate.  Here Burrows is presented with a moral dilemma: continue waging a Middle East war for the sake of his egoistic place in history, or short-circuit a scheme by his closest advisors to sell the public on a never-ending conflict by means of an insidious advertising campaign styled on American Idol, as well as averting his own early death.

More than his eternal fate rests upon our hero's decision. Indeed, the future of the Republic is held in this president's hands. This future is a dystopian one, an Orwellian nightmare where the United States is cordoned into strict economic zones, and where the Florida Keys have been transformed into a gulag of pestilence and poverty. This is a daunting task for a simple-minded man who is easily manipulated by his closest advisers -- Machiavellian villains in their own right.

Despite his intellectual short-comings -- or perhaps due to them -- President Burrows is shown the light of truth by the spirits of no fewer than four U.S. presidents, a British prime minister, a repentant rock star, and the president's own personal saviour, Jesus Christ. These spirits show Burrows a privileged past tainted by sin and loneliness, as well as his present predicament of being usurped by a nefarious vice president.

Hard Lessons from the Afterlife is darkly humourous tale of redemption with a paranormal twist sure to appeal to all readers -- regardless of political persuasion -- who fully appreciate subtle, biting wit and lively, colourful dialog.

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