I really wanted to like this book, but in the end I couldn't. The book alternates between two stories; that of Dante struggling to write his Divine Comedy, and that of Nick Tosches (yes, the author) gaining possession of Dante's original, working copy of the Divine Comedy. The portions detailing Dante's struggle are terribly wordy (in one chapter, a single paragraph spanned three pages) and often times I wasn't in the mood to read through them. Once the plot became apparent (half way through the book) it then seemed to proceed too quickly, and the ending was disappointingly "non-shocking". All in all, it was an interesting story, but it ended up being tedius and unsatisfying.
This sounded pretty nifty. Not my usual cup of tea, but the idea of following Dante in this way was intriguing so I wanted to give it a shot.
It turns out this is definitely not my thing. I'll usually laugh at reviewers who get all huffy about bad language in books, but the many complaints about the language in this book are surely justified. It was annoying right from the start! But even without that, it's the author's...smugness? That's not quite the word I'm looking for. Presumptuousness, maybe? He's pretty full of himself, anyway, and in a way that gets tiresome instead of growing on you. That may be unfair to say since I didn't finish (which is something I almost never do!), so perhaps it would be better to say I don't think I'm a fan of this author.