This is a fantastic novel by Matthew Pearl. It offers the reader an interesting and captivating mystery that must be solved by the members of the Dante Club (a real group)–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, and J.T. Fields. These real historical figures are perfectly positioned to solve a series of murders around Cambridge, MA. because all assist Longfellow on his translation of Dante’s masterpiece into English. The macabre crimes replicate scenes from Dant’s Inferno, which leave the Boston police baffled.
The author makes the inclusion of these real men, all primarily professors or related to literature, come alive with well-researched historical facts, settings, and dialogue of the Civil War era. Any reader that enjoys a riveting mystery, whether knowledgeable about Dante’s works or not, will delight in this wonderful story. 5 stars.
#Readers of classics, I found this last section of Dante’s great work the least interesting, though the most poetic. Dante is accepted into the circles of heaven, each of which offers greater brilliance of illumination as he ascends. His account of his journey is deeply influenced by the teachings of the Greek philosophers and the Catholic Church. For this third part, I give 2 stars, which gives an aggregate rating of 3 stars for the entire work.
#Readers, I have made it through Dante’s Purgatorio, where with each ascending circle a “P” is removed from his forehead.This denotes the cleansing of a sin (peccata in Italian. Again, the tale is filled with personal encounters with friends or enemies (annotations help). Virgil has been replaced by Beatrice, as his guide. She represents a former true love, as well asDivine Wisdom. 3 stars (as it was more tedious).
#Readers, I’ve decided to break the review of Dante’s famous classic story into 3 parts, since I am progressing at a snail’s pace. The first part, the Inferno tells of the protagonist’s travels into the depths of Hell, albeit at his request (for some reason). His guide for this adventure is the famous poet, Virgil, who Dante idolizes. In truth, the traverse through the nine circles of Hell presents a terrifying journey.