Customer Reviews for

The Dante Club

Average Rating 3.5
( 140 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(44)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

excellent

the beginning is a little slow and difficult to get into, but continuing on is a thrill. the story picks up quite nicely and takes some exciting, unexpected turns. I for one could not put the book down!

posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

One of the worst books I've ever read...

...and I've read a lot of books. I truly despised the book. I, too, picked it up because of the Dan Brown recommendation, since I was looking for some historical fiction similar to the Da Vinci Code. However, this is as about as far from the Da Vinci Code that one can g...
...and I've read a lot of books. I truly despised the book. I, too, picked it up because of the Dan Brown recommendation, since I was looking for some historical fiction similar to the Da Vinci Code. However, this is as about as far from the Da Vinci Code that one can get. It is dull and pretentious. And the writing is truly terrible. One Good writing should go unnoticed, but I stopped reading mid-sentence many times to gawk at Pearl's style. It is as if the writer is trying to use as many five-dollar words as possible, just to prove he can. The plot is slow and unengaging. Just thinking of this book makes me shudder. I think I'll wait for Dan Brown's Solomon Key to come out instead of attempting to scout out any more good historical fiction.

posted by NonPersa on March 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2007

    mind boggling

    This was an amazing edge of your seat thriller. The beginning is a bit slow and confusing, but it picks up with great speed! Pearl is brilliant. If you loved The DaVinci Code, you will most definitely fall in love with The Dante Club.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A stunning first novel from a writer destined to become a household name

    Mattew Pearl's recent novel, the Dante Club, combines history, suspense, and mystery in a truly unique reading experience. Famous, well known characters such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Windell-Holmes and James Russell Lowe are intricately woven into a plot which develops around their translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. Their work is disrupted however, when a series of murders in Boston are modeled after mankind's punishment in hell as described in Dante's Inferno. The murder of prominent citizens modeled after their translation make them suspect.<BR/><BR/>The "Dante Club" refers to the group assembled by Longfellow - including Holmes and Lowell - to assist him in the first American translation of Dante's "Devine Comedy". As people in high places - a judge, a minister, a wealthy merchant - turn up tortured and murdered in scenes recreating those described in Dante's classic, the poets hit the streets of Boston and Cambridge in search of the killer. The result is an exceptionally well-researched book that is rich in historical detail while capturing the post-Civil War American psyche and culture. Pearl's description of the Civil War horrors and post-war trauma is especially gripping. The murders are brutally and vividly portrayed, as the victims are variously eaten-alive by maggots, buried upside-down and set on fire, and literally cut in half.<BR/><BR/>Despite the graphic butchery, this is a book that must not be rushed, but savored for the intricacy of the plot and the intensity of the prose. It is the rare book that draws the reader to revisit the poetry of Longfellow, US history in the wake of the Civil War, and the mystery of Dante in 19th century America. A stunning first novel from a writer destined to become a household name

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2008

    What a great way to revisit Dante's Masterpiece!

    I read Dante's Inferno in college with help of a T.A. and found it fascinating! When I tried to read it on my own I was frustrated so when I found The Dante Club, I was thrilled to find a great way to get back into the book with a wonderfully sculpted suspense story included! I will definitely read this book several times over!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2006

    I was captivated from start to finish.

    I could not stop reading. Every word, every page transported me back to the time and place. It was one of the most pleasurable reads I've ever had, and I'm nearly sixty! It also got me interested in Longfellow, whose biography I'm now reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2006

    Fabulous!

    This was truly an entertaining read! I haven't picked up a work of fiction in over 5 years, so I was very paticular about what I purchased. As a student of American history and a fan of Dante since childhood, this seemed like a good choice. Although the first few pages begin with an graphic description of a murder, the story (as most mysteries tend to do) draws the reader in and one tends to overlook the gory aspects. I finished the novel in less than a week, craving more. Pearl succeeds in keeping you on the edge of your seat and just when you think you have figured it out or you can't wait to read more, he cuts from the seen. His style keeps the pages turning and the reader entertained. I'm definitely looking forward to more from Pearl and to dusting off my copy of The Divine Comedy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The amazing detail sucked me in from page one. Absolutely loved

    The amazing detail sucked me in from page one. Absolutely loved this book

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  • Posted July 7, 2012

    CSI in the 19th Century

    Brilliant from cover to cover.

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  • Posted January 22, 2012

    great literary work by pearl

    this is my first novel and have picked it after a friends suggestion. its a great read right from the beginning rich with literary prose and the way Pearl takes us for a journey is mesmerizing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2006

    loved it!

    After being hooked by Caleb Carr a few years ago I have had a hard time finding a book that even compares. This is that book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2006

    You must read this book!

    This book is great in it's plot twists,and meticulous research thrown in. It is a novel, but a compelling one once you get into it. I can't wait to read his new novel, THE POE SHADOW, which deals with the possible murder instead of suicide of the famous poet and writer. Poe would love a book like this about him!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2005

    Simply Superb

    This is a great novel full of creativity, mystery, and a marvelously superb weaving of fact and fiction. I had not read any of Dante's works before reading this book, and, still, I had no problems following the story. In fact, it was because of this book that I decided to further my interest into the world of Dante. [Mr. Pearl achieves such excellence and in his FIRST novel. Harvard and Yale did him justice.]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2005

    The Divine Mystery (or 'wow what a book!')

    While I am rarely found without a book in my hand, I have not read a piece of fiction for my own pleasure in almost four years. Most of the modern 'creative literature' on the shelves strikes me as poorly written and without purpose. As one can imagine, I was uninterested when friends and family suggested The Dante Club. Although skeptical, a love for both my Boston roots and Dante Alighieri, piqued my interest. I was also lured by the idea of names like Lowell, Holmes, and Longfellow. Needless to say, Pearl did not disappoint. I believe I am officially hooked on historical fiction! It is such a fantastic blend of history, mystery and the age old fraternal strength of men¿s societies. I found myself wanting to run off to find every piece written by the members of The Club. What a wonderful advertisement for some of our nation¿s, most celebrated writers!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2005

    One of the best books I've read in a long time

    Pearl's Novel kept me interested the entire time. Being a big fan of Dante's The Divine Comedy really helped. I suggest you look into the initial peice of literature before you read this. Doing so should help out in certain times of confusion. Also look into the life of Dante. It is not only intriguing, but also gives you an insight into The Divine Comedy. This was a Great Read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2005

    If you dont like this book. I'll give you your money back!!

    I haven't even finished the book yet, but felt compelled to write a review in support of it. I have read through 290pgs in about a weeks time and will finish it this weekend(the 'Houston' book club review says it was too long, boring, etc., couldn't be further from the truth of the book). The story is clever, the writing is great (19th century at times), and the characters are lucid and enjoyable. Certainly if you live in the Boston area you will identify with the setting and the thought of picturing certain landmarks in 19th century Boston adds to the story. It's refreshing to hear of Longfellow and how he was admired in the city. The characters are written as if the writer himself were a friend of theirs. When you have that harmony between the characters, it can only be a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2005

    one of the best in historical fiction

    I could not put this book down-it creeped me out in all the right places. Anyone who loves literature and history should read this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2004

    A Very Smart Book

    The Dante Club is a wonderful read and Mr. Pearl has a terrific imagination. The dialogue of his characters is very lively and very believable. The historical side of the book is always interesting and never overburdens, or detracts from, the fictional tale of a small group of aging poets engaged in some high-minded sleuthing to find a murderer whose crimes track punishments set out in Dante's 'Inferno'. There are no slow points in this book but there are parts of it that will make you stop and think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2004

    Factual Fiction

    It's not hard to see the time and effort put into this novel. The sheer volume of intricate detail is amazing. Pearl does with words what Kincaid does with oil paint and light. Memorable plot points, that are very well protrayed, are amazing. He presents many possible killers, and keeps you thinking the entire time, making a sleuth of yourself. I'd recommend it to higher level readers. His extensive vocabulary is refreshing, yet some (average high school students) might not be so appreciative of his diverse language. I also suggest you pick up Inferno by Dante, just so you can follow the story for yourself. You'll see that Pearl did his homework.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2004

    You won't want to put it down!!!!!

    This is one of those books that makes you upset when your done, cause you don't want it to end. It doesn't matter if you are a Dante scholar or if you never read Dante, this novel will captivate you with its great characters and all of its twists and turns! A wonderfull read!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2003

    Everyone needs some Clubbing.....

    Simply great. The biggest complaint about The Dante Club after I read it was I wanted more. In an age when serial killers are common fodder for books and films, you may find yourself wishing for more people to become the victims of the Inferno's punishments. Nonetheless, The Dante Club is a fascinating read that will leave readers hoping the book's success will spawn a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2003

    Join the Club

    This novel was a fun read. Some rather abrupt jumps in the action, but this technique does keep the plot moving. Well-drawn characters. Well researched and scholarly without being stuffy.

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