A young man staying in a Paris boarding house finds a hole in the wall above his bed. Alternately voyeur and seer, he obsessively studies the private moments and secret activities of his neighbors: childbirth, first love, marriage, betrayal, illness and death all present themselves to him through this spy hole. Decades ahead of its time, “Hell” shocked and scandalized the
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The Inferno (alternate title – Hell) by Henri Barbusse makes for one strange reading experience. We have our first-person narrator, a thirty-year-old gent who takes up residence in a Paris rooming house only to discover a crack in the wall where he can remain undetected as he observes the happenings in the next room.
Then there’s the dialogue and action of the various occupants of that next room who come and go, all filtered through the alembic of the voyeuristic narrator. And what intriguing ch