El manuscrito de Dante
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El manuscrito de Dante

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  583 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Deep inside the Vatican library, a priest discovers the rarest and most valuable art object ever found: the manuscript of "The Divine Comedy," written in Dante's own hand. Via Sicily, the manuscript makes its way from the priest to a mob boss in New York City, where a writer named Nick Tosches is called to authenticate the prize. For this writer, the temptation is too grea...more
Paperback, 343 pages
Published May 10th 2008 by LA Factoria De Ideas (first published 2002)
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It was my birthday in 2002. I had rec'd a gift card to a local indie bookseller ( we miss you Hawley-Cooke) and I happily went to buy this. They were sold out. I bought instead Prague by Arthur Phillips which was quite the rave at the time and had the added interest of my impending trip to Eastern Europe. A friend of mine was cheating on his wife at the time. he went to another local and bought me a copy. He was a good friend. Was he buying my silence about his activities? I first read Prague an...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

This book originally came to my attention after reading the 2000 nonfiction piece The Last Opium Den, in which edgy novelist Nick Tosches was sent by Vanity Fair magazine to rural Asia on the eve of the millennium, to find out if any honest-to-God opium dens still actually exist anywhere in the world...more
Dawn (& Ron)
Had this on my cannot decide to WL but had it in my TBR pile, that speaks volumes! I don't just turn away a book without giving it a shot.

The book summary didn't grab me anymore, not sure why. To be fair, I tried reading a sampling to give me an idea. On the first page there is so much cursing that I'm already turned off by the second paragraph. I don't care for that rough in your face style. Do I want to continue this, well let me check some more? Then I came across this sentence which seemed...more
Phil James
I'm going to give up on this one. Life's too short to listen to all this foul-mouthed egotistical babble.
I get the point, the author inhabits the caricature of himself to play with your mind and undermine the foundations of "literature" and the publishing industry, but I just got bored.
Do you like to be insulted and offended?

Do you enjoy plots that go nowhere?

Do you love to read long rants of self-indulgent whining and hypocrisy?

Do you prefer characters who grow slower than a shark fetus develops into a shark? (The shortest known gestation rate for a shark is 4-5 months for a bonnethead shark, the longest gestation rate is probably that of the Frilled Shark at 3-4 years, just so you have some perspective.)

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, congratulations,...more
Suzanne Stroh
I wanted to put this book down after five pages of first-person narration by a violent, misogynistic misanthrope. But I couldn't. I was outraged, I was offended, and I was...still reading...and paying full attention.

In the tradition of Dante and de Sade, this novel about obsession and lust is engrossing, haunting, and I found it sucking me in almost against my will. A tour de force about corruption on a vast scale that makes The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco seem sophomoric.

The darkness and v...more
Nick Tosches is the darkness and the light shining forth from the darkness. It’s as if he is the embodiment of Jung’s statement, “We do not become enlightened by imagining beings of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” "In The Hand of Dante" is a unique thing of beauty. It is a work of art unto itself that nothing being written today can touch. The vulgar edges of the text itself are beauty.

Tosches is a literate writer which will make him challenging for the average general reader. But,...more
I would suggest this book for people who enjoy old world literature, but who also like gritty crime reads. It was ambitious, challenging, disturbing, and yes, occasionally overblown and annoying. Still, I'm happy to have tackled this beast. It seems that a lot of other readers were put off by Nick's ego, (interjecting himself as a suave character in the story), and his vulgarity, (the profane and misogynistic wiseguy-speak), but I found it rather humorous. As a subject, Dante Alighieri is obviou...more
Cindy Jackson
Mar 12, 2012 Cindy Jackson rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody. OK, maybe someone I didn't like.
Recommended to Cindy by: Clearance rack at B&N- should have been a clue.
This has to be the worst book I have ever read. I generally have an open mind about books. I'm good at suspending my disbelief. And there are very few books that I have put down and never finished. Unfortunately, I finished this one. I just couldn't believe that it could possibly be so bad, I kept thinking it had to get better. I can't really put my finger on what made it so horrible, but I was really annoyed about how the author wrote himself in as the main character. Beyond that, maybe it was...more
May 22, 2008 Maureen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: biography, commentary
This book is a fascinating work on the lives of Dante Aligiheri and Nick Tosches. Nick takes on a subject like Dean Martin, or the Vatican Bank, Sonny Liston or Paradise Lost and makes it his own. His books are intricately detailed, incredibly well-written, and alternately mind-expanding and mind-blowing. I think this is my favorite of all of his works I have read, because anyone serious about literature comes to the Aligiheri well sooner or later, wishing to channel that elusive afflatus that d...more
Seth Lindsey
I was plunged into a love/hate relationship with In the Hand of Dante. On one hand, we have Tosches first person narrative, telling us about his travels, and his beef with the mutating publishing industry and its streak of publishing mediocrity - this part I loved, I was vastly intrigued, I simply couldn't put it down. However, on the other hand, we have Dante, and his thick styled prose, as he tries to breath divinity into his own writing. You'll need an encyclopedia to get through this mess of...more
I'm going to guess Nick Tosches is single because I do not think ANYONE would be able to tolerate this foulmouthed egocentric asshole. it really upsets me to think of all the tress cut down to print this tripe.
do not let yourself be sucked in by the somewhat intriguing premise as I was
I ahve to admit I gave up on this book. It felt to me as if the author's need to display his erudition was more important than the story at hand. If I wanted to learn Latin...I would have learned Latin!
Jul 13, 2013 Elizabeth marked it as unfinished-abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Unrated for reasons of "fuck it, reading this book is a waste of brain cells I could be spending on pretty much anything else."
It sounded absolutely fascinating, but I got about 50 pages in before I gave up. Boring, vulgar, didn't move *at all*. Avoid.
Mind-blowing. Love it when an author is courageous enough to write an unsympathetic protagonist. Gangrena...
Nádia Batista
Já há muito tempo que esperava ler A Mão de Dante, pois a sua sinopse prometia. Apesar de nunca ter lido A Divina Comédia (algo que espero um dia fazer), Dante enquanto pessoa sempre me intrigou, e ler um livro sobre ele, com uma história que aparentava ser tão interessante, foi uma oportunidade que não podia desperdiçar. Estava também curiosa em conhecer Nick Tosches, devido ao final da sinopse: "Alguns leitores poderão considerar este livro ofensivo. Outros considerá-lo-ão transcendente." Quem...more
The first hundred fifty pages are rough to say the least and are full of coarse language (I swear he used “fuck” ever other word for two straight chapters) and a non-existent plot. I also could have done without the twenty-five-page rant about the publishing industry. However, I could not put the book down for the last 200 pages as I got use to his style and started to enjoy the short beautiful punches of imagery in between the main chapters.

Early on I knew this was going to be an interesting re...more
Anya Wassenberg
This is the kind of book that makes literary critics swoon (my edition begins with three pages of quotes from swooning critics!) but most of the time, judging from many of the critiques here including my own, just doesn't connect with its readers. Like many of the previous reviewers, I was tempted to give up half way through, but was reluctant to pass judgment without reading the whole thing.

Yes, he's a great writer in the sense that he can deftly manipulate the English language, it's just that....more
While browsing at a local book fair, this book grabbed my attention because I love Dante and the Divine Comedy. After perusing the description on the back cover, I snatched up the book, intrigued by the prospects of a novel about the discovery of an original Dante manuscript. When I began reading, however, I was sorely disappointed.

The book is so disjointed and frankly, it is tedious and boring. While I liked the initial plot about the priest making his fantastic discovery in the Vatican archive...more
YES! I admit I picked this book up bec. of size & price for traveling purposes. It's been a while since I read this, but I recall it being one of the books that makes me look words up. "Mr. Nick" is a wordsman...he rolls ideas and words like good-weed joints. There are always new finds archealogically...books, letters, snippets written decades-centuries past that are stumbled upon with uncanny timing.
Old writings hooking fresh eyeballs for a toss up and reevaluation of traditional theories....more
If any of my friends ever asks what I think about them tackling the caballah in their writing, I will shoot them in the face.

Maybe that's a little strong, but I still think it's justified. Maybe just take away their writer's club card till the mood to write about the subject passes them by. It's ruined too many other writers I like to become bogged down in mystical bullshit that is not only hard to explain, but boring. And irrelevant. And stupid. And this is coming from someone who really enjoye...more
Susan Emmet

Wish I knew more Latin, Greek, Hebrew. Wish that Tosches could find a synonym for "fuck."
Wish that the novel moved more...sequentially?
Interweaving the story of Dante/Via Nuova/The Divine Comedy with semi-autobiographical Nick Tosches (thief and murderer and misanthrope and yearner for things good and bad) is amazing though.
Obvious that Tosches is well-schooled in all things medieval.
But somehow this novel falls short of great.
Tosches' ego intrudes.
The novel resonates with Cormac McCarthy and U...more
Alex Ronk
Tal vez debí de haber leído la divina comedia antes de embarcarme en este libro; pero supongo que no pasaría nada si la leo después... o eso quiero pensar.

Es confuso, por lo que de repente no sabes exactamente que estás leyendo, ya que combina diferentes historias narradas de diferentes perspectivas y eso es un poco difícil de asimilar al principio. Sin dejar de lado que es realmente bueno, entretenido y no tan fácil de soltar. Tiene un lenguaje soez pero solo por momentos y no resulta tan mole...more
Hobart Frolley
Awful,terrible, over stylized, poorly written, has a 12-year old boy's obsession with being offensive for the sake of being offensive, self-important, arrogant, pretentious....I could go on but what is the point?
If you want gritty literature that actually reaches heights that this book so desperately aspires to, do yourself a favor and read Burroughs or Genet...not some over rated hack who whines and cries about the publishing industry and has the gall to insult Moby Dick("not much of a book") a...more
One of the three books in my life that I havn't been able to finish. So, I dunno, maybe my reveiw counts for nothing, since I couldn't stick it out. I could not keep track of the characters. The different perspectives were, at once, wordy & vague. Too much was being written, with too little being described. It was unclear to me how many characters there were, or if many people were being brought in, one after the other... I thought this was leading to an evil version of the 'Da Vinci code',...more
Това най-накрая го завърших. Авторът не би желал да се срещне с мен, че не се знае какво ще му се случи. Досега не се бях натъквала на толкова претенция, а като се налага да се превежда, нещата отиват на едно съвсем друго ниво. Не съм чела "Шифърът на Леонардо", но предполагам, че е нещо такова, само че с едни допълнителни пасажи за авторовата грандиозност, ерудираност, изключителност и прочее, гарнирани с максимално засукан и отвлечен език, за разкош с измислени думи, когато се следва сюжетната...more
Martin Mulcahey
I gave up on the book after Tosch's railing chapter against publishers and other aspects of his life..., I foolishly thought I was buying a story about something other then Tosch. Too bad, I liked the fictional characters I found in the first chapters, and the jumping to and from of gritty and beautiful written chapters. Maybe I should have given the book more time, but found a new book by Arturo Perez Reverte and went with it. I would suggest the same to others... any Reverte book will do.
it had it's moments. i only wish that it continued with the same suspense as how it begins. confusing at first because it's not really obvious when it's a different character telling the story. im pretty sure i would appreciate it A LOT more if i knew what they said when they talked in the other language, sounds beautiful but idk what their saying. a bit rambling at times. sky of illimitableness.
Mike Dell'aquila
I REALLY wanted to love this book but only ended up liking it. The amount of time it took for the story to get moving was pretty surprising, and not in a good way. At the same time, there were so many great scenes that made the work a worthwhile read. I almost wish that he would have just focused more on Dante's personal transformation while writing the Divine Comedy and spent less time on the frame.
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Nick Tosches was born in Newark, New Jersey, and raised by wolves from the other side. Through nepotism he became a barroom porter at the age of fourteen. Casting this career to the wind in his quest for creative fulfillment, he became a paste-up artist for the Lovable Underwear Company in New York City. On January 12, 1972, he went to lunch and never came back, drifting south to Florida, where, a...more
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