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American Inferno, a novel, is a loose transposition of Dante’s Inferno into a contemporary American setting. Its chapters (or “circles”) correspond to Dante’s nine circles of Hell: Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Hoarding & Wasting, Wrath, Heresy, Violence, Fraud and Treachery. The novel is a contemporary American moral inquiry, not a medieval Florentine one: thus it is sometimes in harmony with and sometimes a critique of Dante’s moral system. Also, like the Inferno, it is not an investigation just of its characters’ personal moral struggles, but also of the historical sins of its nation: for Dante, the nascent Italian state; for us, the United States. Thus the novel follows the life story of its principal character as he progresses from menial to mortal sins while simultaneously considering American history from America’s early Puritan foundations in the Northeast (Circles 1-4) through slavery, civil war and manifest destiny (Circles 5-7) to its ultimate expression in the high-technology West-Coast entertainment industry (Circles 8-9).