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Hatcher McCord, anchor man for The Evening News in Hell, is like all the denizens of the infernal region, tormented and tortured in a way that has been uniquely tailored for him. Denizen’s are repeatedly incinerated and then molecularly reassembled, repeating again and again for eternity the very things that they despise.

Hatcher lives with Anne Boleyn, whose beauty—when her head is attached to her body—instils within him an vehement arousal, a desire for a coupling that is never to be satiated—such is the nature of Robert Olen Butler’s hell.

The inhabitants continually ponder the problem of why they are there, what they did to deserve their predicament, and why everyone, even the most pious of humanity, seemed to have been sentenced to an eternity in the pit. Hatcher begins to realise that Old Nick is not as omnipresent as he had thought, and investigates the rumour of a back-door. Hatcher’s adventure leads him to encounter artists and philosophers, ex-presidents and ex-wives with ironic and humorous consequences. The story culminates in a wonderful twist, a realisation that is both gratifying and profound.

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