6 Books About Journeys Through Hell (and Other Realms)

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Presence, The Play by William Jefferson

This book centers on the spiritual journeys of Brother Script, a member of the Order of Message Makers, a group of storytelling monks. They live on Estillyen Isle, surrounded by the misty Storied Sea, a sort of semi-mythical Hy-Brasil. Brother Script has toiled for years on his latest play, Presence, and it is opening night at the stately Theatre Portesque. And then the unexpected happens.

As Script is fussing about near his balcony seat, he loses his footing, strikes his head against the railing and falls into a deep coma that plunges him into what can only be described as a parallel world. It’s a world where he will encounter a trio of spiritual guides who assist him in traveling to hell and back, attempting to uncover and stop Satan and his nefarious plans to subjugate humanity, starting with Script’s own beloved isle of Estillyen.

Presence, the Play is a novel. A novel in which we, as readers, are treated to an allegorical tale woven across multiple levels: Christian theology, media critique, the hero’s journey, poetic reimagining of classic works, and sheer entertainment. All wrapped in an exploration of the concept of presence and its many manifestations, both divine and mundane.

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