I read this book, Gargoyle (by Andrew Davidson) recently, and it was inspired I think largely by Dante's Inferno. I had heard of The Divine Comedy but never read it (still haven't read it) and knew next to nothing about it. The book got me interested, so I googled it.
I hit the wikipedia link: The Divine Comedy
And it's pretty awesome (provided that the wikipedia page is at least partially truthful. If not, the guy who fudged the wikipedia page could make a living out of the stores in his head) judging by what's there.
I've always been fascinated by the "occult", and I say that to include things like aliens, ghosts, magic, evil, heaven and hell (not in the Bible sense, but in the Constantine sense). The idea of all hell's levels, and the various creatures residing there thrills me.
The thought of a river of boiling blood in Hell excites me, as does the concept of the River Styx (which means Hate, incidentally) and the boatman Charon. Davidson depicts Charon nicely, and it ties beautifully in with the book and the themes.
It's uber cool - so cool I'd considered briefly getting a tattoo with the River Styx or a similar homage to the poem on me, though I'm loathe to get "hate" stamped on my skin for the rest of my life.
In any case, I'd recommend giving both a read (or at the very least, the wikipedia page) to see what I'm on about - it's awesome. Dante was genius; I can feel the inspiration already.