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Summary

Hell hath such fury...

On the world of his birth he's all but a god, but when an ancient evil banishes him to the depths of the Nine Hells, he's just another lost soul. Elminster, Sage of Shadowdale, Chosen of Mystra, faces his most desperate struggle - to survive, to escape, to cling to his very sanity - and all the forces of the inferno are rallied against him.

©2002 Wizards of the Coast LLC (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Elminster in Hell

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Worst book in the series

Mental slap. Pain! That pretty much sums it up. Waste of time. Find something else to do.

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Profile Image for J. M. Zoshak
  • J. M. Zoshak
  • 14-01-15

Disappointing offering from a great author

I love Greenwood, but this was painful almost from beginning to end. He abandons his usual flowing style for a weird, broken framing device based on gruesomely detailed physical and mental torture.

The vignettes that are framed are often intriguing, but are all too short, and it's back to the torture, literal and figurative. I was not a huge fan of The Temptation of Elminster, either, but at least it was a single, if broken, narrative, and came to an unexpectedly tight conclusion. I could enjoy the style if not always the content. This book has none of those saving graces.

Sorry, Ed. I wanted to love it, I really did.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Justin Babcock
  • Justin Babcock
  • 03-03-21

Amazing As Always

I loved this book, the build up, the lore, the ending, magnifique! I'm a huge Elminster fan and this book had me reeling and captivated! Simply epic!

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Guy Generic
  • Guy Generic
  • 18-12-14

Wasted Potential

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The story was simple... Elminster is trapped in Hell with a demon ravaging his mind for magic and memories. But, the implementation was awful (maybe because it was audio and you could not see page breaks/paragraph breaks). The first 7 to 10 chapters are rubbish. The demon sifting through El's memories about stories many of us have not heard of... with characters we do not know. I've read just under 40 FR books and this was truly hard to follow.

Only a few chapters progressed the story. It was nice to see how it ended and makes me want to read other books based on some of the characters but damn. This was not good.

Has Elminster in Hell turned you off from other books in this genre?

I will continue to read other FR books but I'm starting to see the trend with Ed Greenwood that so many people have talked about. His style of writing can be tough to take.

Which scene was your favorite?

Last few chapters tied things together. Knowing the characters who are trying to save Elminster and seeing who finally goes down there was pretty cool.

What character would you cut from Elminster in Hell?

Literally, only a few characters you could say are "main characters." So, I would not cut any of them from the book. All the rest are fillers in stories that lead no where.

Any additional comments?

I'm blitzing the 5 books in this series. This book was the worst by far. Be warned... this is not a book about Elminster slaying and a tight story. He's mostly a vegetable hanging on for dear life the entire time.

Way too much of the book was the devil telling Elminster how unhappy he was because El was not giving him memories with magic. Every chapter was El sharing a forgettable story (on purpose) and then the devil saying "quit messing with me stupid human. I'm getting mad." As readers we get the idea after chapter 2... not chapter 22.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Michael Lowery
  • Michael Lowery
  • 20-07-21

Short Stories

A couple passable short stories not about Elminster and a lot of filler with a rather short dominant narrative.

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Profile Image for Koutsunis
  • Koutsunis
  • 17-07-21

Hard to follow

I’ve read this book in print, It was tedious and not entertaining in audible. Word

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Profile Image for mathew
  • mathew
  • 10-11-20

Not really what the title says it to be.

I'm a huge fan of the Forgotten Realms. I was super excited about this book. I gave it my all but listening to it just drained me. The title of the book is misleading in that you spend most of the book inside the mind of Elminister and him remembering other people. There is very little hell related content, and very little actual story. The book has a huge cast of characters or memories of characters so if, like me, you're a fan, it's fun to see these characters again, but for a novice to the FR world I imagine it would be extremely frustrating. I'm sorry to say Ed. This one was a flop :*(

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Profile Image for E. J. Boston
  • E. J. Boston
  • 08-06-20

Good Content, Hard to follow flow and narration

Interesting, but hard to follow. The narrator does not distinguish dialogue and narration well. The story jumps around a lot, and seems to have missed portions that should have been exposited, but are instead later just explained away. The meandering style proves how interesting each pericope is, to be able to hold your attention and keep you listening, but makes it hard to follow the progression and properly understand/be affected by the literary devices used. It seems almost that Greenwood was enjoying writing so much, that he hit the 400 page mark and thought, "Oops, time to draw this to a conclusion." One character seemed to be developed well over the pages, but it never fully came to fruition. Again, narration is hard to follow. You have to deliberately pay attention to avoid being lost and having to backtrack minutes.

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Profile Image for ray bensley
  • ray bensley
  • 13-11-19

Wha?

All that torment and he touches a bowl and is whole again... Halaster treated like a jobber in the WWE... Asmodeus forgets what he’s doing in his own lair...

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Profile Image for John Cole
  • John Cole
  • 23-09-19

Not so good of a story..

I was not a fan of this book, but I made it through.. It was interesting to see glimpses of El’s life through the centuries and seeing past connections from previous books, but the mind probing was a bit too long, and it felt rushed at the end; kind of throwing everything in to the pot.. Eh..so-so..

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Profile Image for Fred Kauber
  • Fred Kauber
  • 07-08-19

Lose your mind as Elminster loses his

This is by far the weakest of the 4 Elminster books I have read so far in the series. The author attempts what I hope is a one time narrative experiment, using the device of Elminster held prisoner in Hell and having his memories extracted by a devil, to treat the reader to a torrent of FR short stories, each one a memory being extracted from Elminster. It doesn't work - the short stories are jumbled fragments of bigger events with characters we don't really know (unless you've read perhaps every FR novel and gaming supplement); it is possible to follow with great determination and there are some highlights but it is not enjoyable on the whole. As others have stated, the true torture is the devil saying after each memory is shown "Stop wasting my time and show me the good stuff". After the 10th time, you wish he'd kill Elminster and maybe you as well to end this torment.

Books 1 and 2 were excellent; Book 3 is solid but starts with a big time gap which breaks continuity with the prior 2 books and introduces early signs of the narrative gaps that are rampant in Book 4. The audio performance across the books is good. I am wary of reading another in this series especially with the reviews on Book 5, and moved on to a different series to cleanse my palate for a bit. The greatest mage in the Realms deserves better!