Escape to Hell is billed as a collection of short stories and essays, but most readers have found it lacking even the basic ingredients of plot or content. One of the most bizarre stories is called “The Astronaut’s Suicide.” It tells the story of an astronaut who returns to Earth from a long stay in space, finds he can’t adjust to normal life, and kills himself. It’s meant to be a children’s book.
Suzanne Merkelson writing about the literary proclivities of Muammar Gaddafi and other unsavory leaders in Foreign Policy.
Bad Politics, Worse Prose: From suicidal astronauts to bestiality, you can learn a lot about what makes the world’s worst tyrants tick from the terrible books they write.