The Dante Club

  • by Matthew Pearl
  • Narrated by Boyd Gaines
  • 5 hrs and 58 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1865 Boston, the members of the Dante Club - poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J.T. Fields - are preparing to unveil Dante's remarkable visions to the New World. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing that the infiltration of foreign superstitions onto American bookshelves will prove as corrupting as the immigrants living in Boston Harbor.As they struggle to keep their sacred literary cause alive, the plans of the Dante Club are put in further jeopardy when a serial killer unleashes his terror on the city. Only the scholars realize that the gruesome murders are modeled on the descriptions from Dante's Inferno and its account of Hell's torturous punishments. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante's literary future in America at stake, the Dante Club must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret.Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and outcast police officer Nicholas Rey, the first black member of the Boston police department, place their careers on the line in their efforts to end the killing spree. Together, they discover that the source of the murders lies closer than they ever could have imagined.The Dante Club is a magnificent blend of fact and fiction, a brilliantly realized paean to Dante, his mythic genius, and his continued grip on our imaginations.

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What the Critics Say

"Expertly weaving period detail, historical fact (the Dante Club did indeed exist), complex character studies, and nail-biting suspense, Pearl has written a unique and utterly absorbing tale." (Booklist, Starred Review)
"Absorbing and dramatic...Pearl has proven himself a master." (Library Journal)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Join the club

If you can't get enough mysteries to fill your listening time, this one is worth a try. It's a quaint, historical, literary mystery that starts slowly, but has lots of twists and turns. Not the best I've come across, but not the worst. An interesting look a Boston in the 1800's.
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- Pamela

Poorly edited

This was disappointing. I didn't realize that this was an abridged version of the book. However,after going back several times thinking that my mind must have wandered, I came to realize that it wasn't my fault after all. Rather,it was the writing, or specifically the editing. Too bad, because the narrator does an exemplary job of vocal inflection, accents and nuances. Furthermore, there is much to glean from the subject matter, but it's too bad an unabridged version is not available (or at least I couldn't find one).
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- Verdi Joe

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-07-2003
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio