Deep in the lowest reaches of the Vatican library, a secret chamber is opened for the first time in centuries. Inside it is an object of inestimable value: the manuscript of The Divine Comedy, written in Dante's own hand.
The priest who finds this treasure spirits it away to his home in Sicily, where it comes into the grasp of more worldly parties. And so in New York a few weeks later, a sometime writer, sometime thief named Nick Tosches gets a phone call from a friend. There's an item he wants him to look at, a manuscript that needs authentication. Tosches recognizes the pages for what they areand embarks on the most harrowing adventure of his life.
As this story unfolds, so too does a parallel tale: the odyssey, seven hundred years ago, of Dante himself, a man trying to weave out of the grossness of his own humanity a poem that contains the sum of the world's wisdom and the very breath of the diving. It is every bit as deadly a struggle as that among the individuals fighting to possess his manuscript centuries later.
In the Hand of Dante is a work of astounding audacity and beauty, combining Nick Tosches' vast scholarship about the Middle Ages with an equally intimate knowledge of the most degenerate lowlifes of New York's toughest streets. Some readers will find this novel offensive; others will declare it transcendent. It is certain to be the most talked-about novel of the decade.
the Hand of Dante