In the Hand of Dante
by Nick Toshes
Category: Fiction / General
374 pages; ISBN: 0316895245
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Having lived a pious life, the septuagenarian priest wants to go home to Palermo, Sicily as he is sick of the Vatican except perhaps the library that gives him some mundane comfort. The priest’s spirits pick up when he finds a rarity in the library, an original manuscript of Dante’s The Divine Comedy seemingly hand written by the author. He takes the treasure with him on his trek home. Ultimately, the find ends up with the NYC mob.
Writer Nick Tosches is hired by Louie (see CUT NUMBERS) to determine the authenticity of this incredible jewel. However, like the priest, Nick, even knowing the danger, purloins the manuscript as he tries to resolve whether he possesses an original or a clever copy and if legitimate how much would it bring in the marketplace. As Nick muses over his own life and what he now holds, others try to take the manuscript away from him.
IN THE HAND OF DANTE is an interesting very daring crashing of the artist’s wall as Nick Tosches uses this novel to provide an intriguing autobiography and a factual biography inside an appealing crime thriller. The modern day scenes (the autobiography and the crime sequence) are divine as they bring the reader into the deepest circles of the soul of the author. The look into Dante’s life is loaded with historical information, but seems infernally trivial so that the audience feels as if the subject is a two dimensional figure trapped in a personal purgatory. Still more than just fans of Nick Tosches will feel they attained paradise with his latest novel.
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