How Dante Can Save Your Life

  • by Rod Dreher
  • Narrated by Sean Runnette
  • 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Following the death of his little sister and the publication of his New York Times best-selling memoir The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Rod Dreher found himself living in the small community of Starhill, Louisiana, where he grew up. But instead of the fellowship he hoped to find, he discovered that fault lines within his family had deepened. Dreher spiraled into depression and a stress-related autoimmune disease. Doctors told Dreher that if he didn't find inner peace, he would destroy his health. Soon after, he came across The Divine Comedy in a bookstore and was enchanted by its first lines, which seemed to describe his own condition.
In the months that followed, Dante helped Dreher understand the mistakes and mistaken beliefs that had torn him down and showed him that he had the power to change his life. Dreher knows firsthand the solace and strength that can be found in Dante's great work and distills its wisdom for those who are lost in the dark wood of depression, struggling with failure (or success), wrestling with a crisis of faith, alienated from their families or communities, or otherwise enduring the sense of exile that is the human condition.
Inspiring, revelatory, and packed with penetrating spiritual, moral, and psychological insights, How Dante Can Save Your Life is a book for people, both religious and secular, who find themselves searching for meaning and healing. Dante told his patron that he wrote his poem to bring readers from misery to happiness. It worked for Rod Dreher.
Dante saved Rod Dreher's life. And in this audiobook, Dreher shows you how Dante can save yours.


What the Critics Say

"As a well-written chronicle of choice between the 'success' of big cities and life in the far simpler world of old traditions and deep family ties..." (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Dante as Healer and Friend

Where does How Dante Can Save Your Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is read by someone who sounds very similar to the author and that makes is so easy to assimilate. The account is very compelling.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How Dante Can Save Your Life?

The author explains the moment his life course changed forever: At 14 he had tried so hard to please his parent, but his parent was blind to the sensitive nature of the son. Without foreseeing the damage, an epithet is used that was considered innocuous but because of the grief of the moment and the stress of trying so hard to be pleasing, it was a sharp barb that stuck deeper than all could have predicted.

Which character – as performed by Sean Runnette – was your favorite?

This is a memoir so there aren't "characters", other than that of Dante and his book as its being used to change the life of the author. So my favorite is the author. His story is compelling and I recognize the struggles he had growing up in the South because I am from the South.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It did make me cry and empathize. If anyone has every been misunderstood by their parents or picked on because they don't fit in with their surroundings, they will love this book. Or if you just enjoy observing human nature and the power of transformation in a person's life.

Any additional comments?

The book is so well written, so well constructed. You will get an education on Dante, his grand poe, and an experience on human nature and the power of transformation. It is not hard to follow, but sometimes you will want to stop what you are doing to write down what you just heard, it is so well said, so poignant, so wise and touching. I loved this book, and I loved specifically listening to it.

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- Amazon Customer

Good insight

The author makes wonderful insights on his life and from Dante's works however he fails to connect the source of Dante's work to the Scriptures. He has a high view of Dante and a low view of Scripture and the power of the word of God. Overall I enjoyed the book not one must keep God's word as the true source of truth and beauty. Psalm 19 is a poem that points you to Christ is where true insight, beauty and transformative power is found. Thanks you for sharing your story Rod. I grew up in that part of the country and I identify with all that you have wrestled with in life.
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- MR Felkins

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-30-2015
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio