In this prequel to Dialogue with the Devil, we meet a younger Stephen, who, after an eventful childhood, makes a living selling bootleg videos and is addicted to hallucinogen drugs. Like many people, he could have gone on leading this kind of existence for the rest of his (short, no doubt) life if it were not for a sudden revelation: drugs open the door to another plane of existence, drugs can lead to God. With his poison of predilection, Stephen sets on a quest that will give him much more than her bargained for.
After a few amazingly well-written biographical chapters which could stand alone, Biro takes us to the heart of the matter, his drug-fueled quest for God and the encounter with the Devil that resulted. Having never taken drugs myself, it was interesting to see how they can alter the body and the mind, but what really riveted me to the pages was the author's trip to the different sin realms in Hell. The descriptions were so vivid I sometimes had to stop reading; they made me feel queasy. The author's take on the underworld is unlike anything you've read before yet, it makes so much sense.
Hellucination is written from a much more personal point of view than Dialogue with the Devil, which makes perfect sense. Before discussing society and what is to be found outside oneself, one needs to explore their own mind. Thus, the two volumes complete each other perfectly. The author's views and conclusions on Hell, sins and sinner are of a remarkable lucidity. Once again, I would urge the reader to look past their beliefs to take in the message Biro is trying to convey; it goes far beyond the empty preaching words of a religious zealot. There is a raw truth in his words. And on the plus side, this narrative is much more accessible than the arcane content of sacred texts.
All my praises for Dialogue with the Devil's prose, format and accessibility also apply to Hellucination. Biro's work is a pleasure to read and I strongly suggest you read his first novel. If you've read the second book already, you know you'll enjoy this one and if you haven't, then why not begin with the start?