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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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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

10 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.

6 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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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!

2 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

1 person 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.

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Convoluted and befuddling

Don’t expect any comedy, divine or otherwise, in this astonishingly tedious descent into hell. A literal tour of wretchedness is made worse, unfortunately, by the cheesy voices the narrator uses, voices that deflate whatever elevated style Dante or Longfellow were going for entirely. I suspect the language is finer in Italian, but an English listener would never know, because Longfellow is one of our most plodding American poets. This might be better to experience as a dual language print edition.

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It's okay

I've always wanted to go through the story of Dante's Inferno. A few other stories out there reference this little passage, due to the imagery it describes. I honestly felt a lack of energy going through the story. Some of the low energy came from the narration. It doesn't quite feel engaging, as much as feel like a poem. Which is fine, but leaves me feeling just that....just fine, not bad.

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Absolutely wonderful.

A wonderful reading of one of my favorite tales. I listened all on one go, couldn't put it down!

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Maybe need a newer translation

I don’t know if it was the reader or just all the old English or maybe both but I couldn’t get into this.