Search - The Dante Club (Audio CD) (Abridged)

The Dante Club (Audio CD) (Abridged)
The Dante Club - Audio CD - Abridged
Author: Matthew Pearl, Boyd Gaines (Narrator)
Words Can Bleed. — In 1865 Boston, the members of the Dante Club -- poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J.T. Fields -- are finishing America's first translation of The Divine Comedy and preparing to unveil Dante's remarkable visions to th...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780743517928
ISBN-10: 074351792X
Publication Date: 2/1/2003
Edition: Abridged
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.

3.1 stars, based on 21 ratings
Publisher: Audioworks
Book Type: Audio CD
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Dante Club (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
Story about a murderer who kills people with methods described by Dante. The book is set in the 1860's, and focuses around a group of poets. The writing style is "old" and period appropriate. I enjoyed this, but the writing style made for a somewhat difficult read. None of the characters are particularly moving or endearing. They don't seem to have a lot of depth, either.
reviewed The Dante Club (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
HATED IT. I only finished it because my bookclub was discussing it. It is written in a period appropriate vernacular and very difficult to get through. The murder scenes are incredibly grisly, not for the squeamish at all. I just found the tone condescending and was somewhat taken aback that the author thought he could perceive the thoughts and actions of such iconic historical/literary figures like Longfellow. The one good thing - it has inspired me to read Dante and it was nice to have it under my belt when I read Jodi Picoult's The Tenth Circle (which I did enjoy).
reviewed The Dante Club (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 168 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Set in Boston of 1865. Longfellow and several of his poet-friends (Lowell, Holmes) are translating Dante's "Divine Comedy" (against resistance from Harvard functionaries). A series of murders happens, which are basically reenactments of some of Dante's punishments in hell. The "Dante Club" helps the first mulatto police officer in Boston to find the murderer.

Even though this book is very well-written (old style), I had a hard time "getting into it". On the one hand, the book is filled with details - you learn a lot about post-civil-war Boston, on the other hand, it feels as if it is an account by an impartial observer. The characters show no emotions, sometimes it is hard to figure out who is speaking or why someone acts a certain way.

I liked the story idea, and the writing is excellent, but the characters are too flat.
reviewed The Dante Club (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
In 1865 Boston, not many people spoke Italian. It was much more popular for people to study Latin and Greek; the classic works in these languages were common reading for students and academics. But the small circle of literati in Pearl's inventive novel is bent on translating and publishing Dante's Divine Comedy so that all Americans may learn of the writer's genius. As this group of scholars, poets, publishers and professors readies the manuscript, much more exciting doings are happening outside their circle. The Boston police are hot on the trail of a series of murders taking place around town. In one, a priest is buried alive, his feet set on fire; in another, a man's body is eaten by maggots. It doesn't take a rocket scientist-only a Dante expert-to realize these murders are based on Dante's Inferno and its account of Hell's punishments. Scholars become snoopers, and the Dante Club is soon on the scene, investigating the crimes and trying to find the killer. A tad unlikely, but it makes for a terrific story. Gaines gives an stirring performance, nimbly portraying some of the "Hah-vad" professors' "Bah-ston" accents and impressively reading the Italian passages from Dante's work. Although it's sometimes hard to differentiate between the various characters-after awhile each stuffy Bostonian begins to sound alike-Gaines nonetheless amuses and, via Pearl's historical references, educates.
reviewed The Dante Club (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Very disappointing. I tried starting this book several times to no avail. While it starts out promising, the writing is just too pompous and overblown. If you want a good historial thriller, read Caleb Carr's, The Alienist.
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reviewed The Dante Club (Audio CD) (Abridged) on + 6 more book reviews
Very interesting historical novel which made famous authors seem more real to me. I felt the previous rating wasn't accurate. I liked it a lot.

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