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The Divine Comedy is a masterpiece of imagination. I loved picking up pieces of the story from researching it on my own and I thought listening to the entire thing would finally allow me to get to know the whole story. Sadly, this book does not really lend itself to be listened to. Unless you are a learned scholar of early Renaissance Italian society, this book will make no sense. The portrayal of the hell, purgatory, and heaven is quite vivid and well done, but the narrative is tied to the souls that Dante meets along the way. Dante uses his story to criticize the people that were living in his time I found it nearly impossible to follow the story as he meets with and discusses the sins and salvation of Italian notables from 7 centuries ago. I will still try to read this book someday, but I will find a hard copy with footnotes and keep a good encyclopedic website handy while I read it. This was written before audio recording was conceived and does not do well in this medium.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
This is an OK recording of the Charles Eliot Norton translation. The problem is not so much the reading as the translation itself; it's one of those stilted, pseudo-Biblical 19th century affairs. On the other hand, it's the whole thing, not just the Inferno, in a compact inexpensive package.
28 of 31 people found this review helpful