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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.
©2015 Rod Dreher (P)2015 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"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
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 02-07-16

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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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Storytellersrus on 01-30-18

Thoughtful, though dogmatic

I suppose I should have expected a religious conversion considering the title, and I did bear witness to the author’s personal transformation. But i was not inspired to experience my own. Reading this, I felt as if I was in the presence of someone sobbing at my Father’s funeral; it was a curiosity but didn’t help me work through my own grief.

I struggled with his harsh judgment of others, especially his parents. Being a grandparent, I see his criticisms in a different light. Parents do the best they can and of course we all fall short. I would hope my own children cut me a bit of slack and take responsibility for their issues. I struggle to sort out my choices and the impact of my nuclear family; I a person in my own right.

I sped the book to 1.25 halfway through, just wanting to be done with it. I was tired of listening to the reader’s whining voice. Seriously! Grow up.

I would have liked more of the poem. I read this to introduce myself to “The Divine Comedy” from a fleshed out perspective. I did not expect the story to be about trading one black and white vision of the world for another. I am sorry if this sounds unfair. I am moving on to C.S. Lewis’s Novel, “Til We Have Faces”.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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