There’s been a personnel change in Hell. Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus have been sacked. Hades has chosen you to be the new judge of the dead, and to assign interesting and innovative punishments.
You have a new arrival in your infernal realm, and want to design a suite just perfect for an eternity of soul-sucking torment. In addition to whatever ghoulish and complicated miseries you have in mind, you must also decide on truly hellish entertainments for your conscript to while away eternity. The television will only play reruns of “Saved By the Bell.” The only movie on Cinemax is Joel Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin.” The radio plays an endless loop of “MMBop” and “Ice, Ice Baby.”
What book will you put on your victim’s shelf? Perhaps you will provide one copy, perhaps enough to fill the Library of Congress. But only just the one book.
My submission — the pop-up version of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Preferably one that has been lovingly mangled by an enthusiastic and curious toddler.