• The Dante Chamber

  • By: Matthew Pearl
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Memories, fears, the fog of nightmares...  

Five years after a series of Dante-inspired killings stunned Boston, a politician is found in a London park with his neck crushed by an enormous stone device etched with a verse from the Divine Comedy. When other shocking deaths erupt across the city, all in the style of the penances Dante memorialized in Purgatory, poet Christina Rossetti fears her missing brother, the artist and writer Dante Gabriel Rossetti, will be the next victim.

The unwavering Christina enlists poets Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, and Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes to decipher the literary clues, and together these unlikely investigators unravel the secrets of Dante's verses to find Gabriel and stop the killings. Racing between the shimmering mansions of the elite and the seedy corners of London's underworld, they descend further into the mystery. But when the true inspiration behind the gruesome murders is finally revealed, Christina must confront a more profound terror than anyone had imagined.

A dazzling tale of intrigue from the writer Library Journal calls "the reigning king of popular literary historical thrillers", The Dante Chamber is a riveting journey across London and into both the beauty and darkness of Dante. Expertly blending fact and fiction, Pearl gives us a historical mystery like no other that captivates and surprises until the last minute.

©2018 Matthew Pearl (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“The sleuths who figure in Matthew Pearl’s The Dante Chamber should thrill English literature majors… [A] literary whodunit.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Murder takes a literary turn…You’ll enjoy Pearl’s evocation of these esteemed authors, who prove to be all too human.” (Washington Post

“[A] cunning follow-up to The Dante Club… Pearl twists the plot to the final page.” (BBC.com’s Ten Books to Read in June)

What listeners say about The Dante Chamber

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It should have been a woman

This story was incredible. Unfortunately it was a bad fit with the reader. His cadence was monotonous, and his American and female dialects were wrong upon distraction. The editing between scenes were too quick and you weren’t ever aware that we were jumping from one scene to another. Quite frankly, it should have been a female narrator, as the true protagonist is Christina. Having this actor do the narration, and in such a way that made the narration feel cold towards the passion of the characters, (yes it was Victorian England, but these circumstances were extraordinary), it took me a over year to listen to completion, as i had to replay quite a bit.) I adore this novelist. I was hoping to love this audio version (as I did for The Last Bookaneer) but alas, this was just unsuccessful.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The narrator matters, the story is abstract.

After listening to The Dante Club and it’s wonderful narration I was thoroughly disappointed by the narration of The Dante Chamber. I understand the change of location may have required a more British-leaning cadence but I sorely missed the performances of repeat characters from the previous book.

The story is just ok. The “twist” comes late and in an exposition dump of about 10 minutes that seemed so rushed and wasted when it could have been more tightly woven in the first part of the book. I did thoroughly enjoy the imagery of opioid and laudanum induced painters and scholars in England but the reliance of Dante puns became a bit eye-rolling. There’s a reason “Inferno” is the most widely read of the divine comedy and The Dante Chamber doesn’t always hold up to the Dante Club much like inferno and Purgatorio.

I would reluctantly recommend, if not for the unconventional twist.

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