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 U.S. 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.