Deep inside the Vatican, a priest discovers the rarest and most valuable art object ever found: the manuscript of The Divine Comedy, written in Dante's own hand. When a writer named Nick Tosches is called to authenticate it, the temptation proves too great: he steals the manuscript in a last-chance bid to have it all. As this dark and twisted journey unfolds, so does a parallel tale: the odyssey of Dante himself, a man trying to weave a poem that contains the sum of the world's wisdom and the very breath of the divine. An astounding masterwork of audacity and beauty.
Quote of Jewish man to Dante - "Faith is but a birthmark with which we are born, an impalpable umbilicus to time and place, which we rarely ponder to cut."
Dante's Inferno is balanced, ruled by a certain kind of reason; even the most horrific scenes in the Inferno are still meticulously crafted in some of the most beautiful, lyrical Italian ever set down. Maybe I haven't gone far enough to see a pattern, but I just don't see that resonance here. The tone, the violence, the language - it isn't about Dante to me. And if the main character is intended to evoke Dante the pilgrim, I don't think the author gets Dante at all. Without that connection, the rough, dark, contemporary violent edge just isn't a style I'd read otherwise. I may go back and give it another go sometime, but for now, I'd say give this one a pass.
I get the point, the author inhabits the caricature of himself to play with your mind and undermine the foundations of "literature" and the publishing industry, but I just got bored.