"A novel that explores the darker side of human nature while making you laugh so hard iced tea almost comes out your nose" (Tampa Tribune).
One of American literature's brightest stars and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain reimagines the underworld in an uproarious novel. Its main character, Hatcher McCord, is an evening news presenter who has found himself in Hell and is struggling to explain his bad fortune. He's not the only one to suffer this fate—in fact, he's surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters, including Humphrey Bogart, William Shakespeare, and almost all of the popes and most of the US presidents. The question may be not who is in Hell but who isn't.
McCord is living with Anne Boleyn in the afterlife but their happiness is, of course, constantly derailed by her obsession with Henry VIII (and the removal of her head at rather inopportune moments). One day McCord meets Dante's Beatrice, who believes there is a way out of Hell, and the next morning, during an exclusive on-camera interview with Satan, McCord realizes that Satan's omniscience, which he has always credited for the perfection of Hell's torments, may be a mirage—and Butler is off on a madcap romp about good, evil, free will, and the possibility of escape. Butler's depiction of Hell is original, intelligent, and fiercely comic, a book Dante might have celebrated.
"I'll never stop believing it: Robert Olen Butler is the best living American writer, period." —Jeff Guinn, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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