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Publisher's Summary

The most famous of the three canticles that compose The Divine Comedy, "Inferno" describes Dante's descent into Hell midway through his life, with Virgil as a guide. As he descends through nine concentric circles of increasingly agonizing torture, Dante encounters doomed souls that include the pagan Aeneas, the liar Odysseus, the suicidal Cleopatra, and his own political enemies, damned for their deceit.

Led by leering demons, Dante must ultimately journey with Virgil to the deepest level of all - for it is only by encountering Satan himself, in the heart of Hell, that he can truly understand the tragedy of sin.

This version of the classic poem is the translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poem's first American translator.

Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor

What listeners say about The Divine Comedy: Inferno

Average Customer Ratings
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This one needs a companion book

I haven’t read Inferno since high school and I vaguely remember the political nature of the text. The description of Hell and it’s inhabitants is difficult to understand without the knowledge of each character and their relationship to the time period. Many of the people doomed to torture in the various levels are there because of transgressions that make little sense in our time. It would be wise to study Wikipedia before delving into the 9 levels of 14th century Italian politics.

11 people found this helpful

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Superb

I keep returning to this translation. For years, I found it impenetrable and would give up. At last, I have the life experience and patience to simply savor it. Moderns may find Longfellow’s Dante infuriating. This is not Rod McKuen. Put it aside until you know something. You may surprise yourself after a few years. Listen to Schutt’s college course. Educate yourself on Dante the man, his politics, and his time. Then return for a magnificent experience.

9 people found this helpful

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Brilliant rendition!

Very easy to get through. An absolute joy to listen too from beginning to end. It's easy to forget there's comedy in the Inferno!

3 people found this helpful

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Well Done Wonderful Story

although the story by Dante was a brilliant peice of fiction I couldn't help but feel pulled away slightly by the almost cartoonish narrorator, he was not at all terrible but for a story of this genre and time I would say it pulled from the initial feel for me a bit. personal opinion

3 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t understand

I’m by no means an English or biblical scholar I found the near ration to be Shakespearean could not get past the first chapter

3 people found this helpful

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Good story, great performance

It’s a really good book, just these old timey books are kinda hard to follow sometimes.

1 person found this helpful

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Good translation, interesting narration

I am almost positive this is a 5-star work of art.

I temporarily rate it 4 due to the following reasons:

-I don't know most of the characters, barring the historically pivotal ones. Brushing up on Dante's life and political adversaries before rereading "Inferno" could be a game changer, so I will do that.
-I haven't read the remaining parts of the book yet.
-There's certainly plenty of 5-star poetry to be found in the book, and Longfellow is a stellar poet in his own right- but a combination of translations would probably be required to really grasp the literary depth of the work, and push my rating to 5 stars based on the quality of the poetry alone.

I'm fairly sure that amending the previous conditions will inevitably elevate my reading experience to 5 stars with this Western classic.

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I personally love this book

this book is a great read and a great listen hope whoever gets this next enjoys it

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Confusing and hard to follow

You have to have a phd in old school English to understand this book. Narrator did not help with all the accents.

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A well told tale.

The narrator did fantastic job. His voice work and characterization were superb. I enjoyed it immensely.