Heaven is a bureaucracy, God hasn’t been actually seen around the place in a few hundred years, Hell is wildly overcrowded with people pushing and crushing the entrance, like the Japanese subways at rush hour, and Satan hasn’t met his Management Objectives for performance improvement. He is to come up with a vision statement.
Vision: To be the provider of choice for corrective torment and to offer “best-in-class” suffering for souls with challenged purity.”
Mission: Exploit synergies with other providers and expand into emerging markets.”
After a review meeting where he is found wanting in his executive management skills, he is tossed out on his ear…er horn…to live life as a human on earth. Specifically, in London, England. He gets a resettlement package that the Authorities consider very generous.
He still has his cloven feet, and his horns, but only one person seems to be able to see them, due to the glamour which the authorities have cast over him.
He finds an apartment in a small building where he becomes friends with Nerys, a promiscuous chick looking for love in all the wrong places, (but she is organized about it, with a spreadsheet and everything), and with Ben, Nerd Extraordinaire, who is deeply involved with gaming and making miniature gaming creatures. We suspect he is a virgin.
This book is a hoot. At first, it being so clever and funny and all, I was afraid it was going to be like one of those SNL skits that just goes on too long, long after we get the joke, laughed at it, and are ready to move on. But, people, NO. It just was so adept and skillfully written that it never got stale.
A lot of the fun is watching Satan, under his new name of Jeremy Clovenhoof learn his way around life on Earth. Kind of like Mork and Mindy in the first season. He gets into all kinds of scrapes, becomes a rock star for a night, cooks a gourmet meal for friends, complete with blood pudding using the blood from a mortuary where he is employed, takes away a huge money heist from a robber in hiding as he makes his rounds fundraising, and sets the apartment on fire. And tries to hide a dead body by first dissolving it in acid in the bathtub.
Turns out there is a plot afoot in Heaven, which is also terribly overcrowded, so much so that a tent city has set up outside the gates to house people still trying to get into Heaven. It seems that St. Peter and …… no. No. I am not telling you any more of the story. Go read it. It will cleanse your palette.