Customer Reviews for

The Divine Comedy (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

42 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

Beautiful edition

The nicest English edition of the Divine Comedy I've seen in a long time. The translation is Longfellow's - a classic in its own right, though not to everyone's taste: blanc verse (not terza rima), ponderous, antiquated vocabulary, tortuous, baroque sentences. It takes ...
The nicest English edition of the Divine Comedy I've seen in a long time. The translation is Longfellow's - a classic in its own right, though not to everyone's taste: blanc verse (not terza rima), ponderous, antiquated vocabulary, tortuous, baroque sentences. It takes getting used to, but it's worth the effort. The translation is happily matched by a complete set of Gustav Dore's engraved illustrations - there is one per every 3 or 4 pages, sometimes more. Again, Dore's illustrations are not to everyone's taste - some would find them classicistic, cold and a little boring - but it remains one of the most celebrated masterpieces of the 19th century most celebrated illustrator, and as such, worth perusing. The quality of reproduction is surprisingly good for a mass edition. To find imperfections one really has to squint and look very closely. The book, therefore, is very Victorian, very 19th century in spirit. It strives to be so in appearance as well - handsome red (bonded) leather cover, spine with heavy bands, gold lettering, all edges gilt, yellow silk tassel marker. The cover is embossed with beautiful design, rather 1930th in style. The paper is good quality, the type is easy to read. The book is a pleasure to hold and leaf through - not too heavy or oversize, like so many gift editions of classics that are literally unsupportable - one cannot hold them in hands long enough to read. It would make a beautiful gift, but I bought it for my own library.

posted by Anonymous on April 21, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

A must have for Dante fans...........but!

This is extremely hard to read. I was able to keep up with the plot through about the first half of purgatory, but only because I have read the inferno and purgatory with other Dante translations. By the time I reached the tenth canto of paradise I was so sick of trying...
This is extremely hard to read. I was able to keep up with the plot through about the first half of purgatory, but only because I have read the inferno and purgatory with other Dante translations. By the time I reached the tenth canto of paradise I was so sick of trying to figure out what was going on that I just stopped. I really wish the publishers of this book would have gone with another translation. Nevertheless, this is a very nice copy of the Divine Comedy for a Dante fan to have. I would not however recommend this to someone who has not previously read Dante.

posted by ElwynMartin on March 27, 2010

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  • Posted March 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The best leather bound Divine Comedy book on the market!

    The down side: Longfellow translation can be difficult to read until you are half-way through the first book. I prefer the Musa translations. I liked the annotations found in the Penguin Classics versions with Musa and read Musa at the same time.

    The up side: You would pay this price for a quality book that featured the Gustavo Dore pictures alone. The drawings are AWESOME! The cover itself is a work of art--it well depicts the nature of the Divine Comedy. The pages are "creamy" colored, the type font is very readable. This book just looks good inside and out.

    Easton Press' version may have a higher quality binding--but it does NOT look as good on the shelf as this book. If I had a choice between the two publishers for a free version, I would choose this book over Easton Press. You will NOT regret buying this particular version of The Divine Comedy!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Divine Comedy-Dante's Inferno is Funny as Hell.

    All joking aside, the Divine Comedy is a classic for a reason. It's masterful writing is still evident today.<BR/><BR/>This edition, aside from being affordable, is also a very good translation. It foregoes Dante's original rhyme scheme, but is otherwise rather accurate. The illustrations are very good as well, though it foregoes the diagrams and map that I have personally found helpful in previous editions.<BR/><BR/>To be honest, there isn't much to say that hasn't been said in the past 700 years: it's a solid read, especially if you want a more reinforced classical background.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A truly stunning version but with a down side.

    Between the beautiful pictures and extremely well done translation its a most have copy of The Divine Comedy even if you own a paperback version. On the down side though is really difficult get lost in the story cause of the translation. Although the translation does give it that old tome feel which is what made me pick this book up in the first place. On the whole its a great story just have to take it in strides, maybe thats what the amazing art work is there for to give your imagination help to carry the story along...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    A Challenging book

    The poetry can be difficult to understand and I honestly did not follow all of the old language used. However even with a layman's understanding of the the words, I still found it interesting and the poetry beautiful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good read, sad quality

    This amazing book inspired me to work away from sin and create an understanding between myself and others. Opened my eyes to what it was like back then. The only complaint I have on this book is that the STICKER on the front was NOT CENTERED and MADE IN CHINA. Though everything is now a days. Don't get this book for quality. GET THIS BOOK TO READ!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Hardest reading!

    This book is a good but hard I have ever read! I love the hardcover, it's nice and neatly.

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