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The Inferno (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

You can see why it is a classic

Yes, once again, Aaron actually reads a classic. The last time this happened was, ummm..., a few years ago. Anyway, this time I tackled the famous recounting of one man's journey to Hell. The version I read used the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translation from the ni...
Yes, once again, Aaron actually reads a classic. The last time this happened was, ummm..., a few years ago. Anyway, this time I tackled the famous recounting of one man's journey to Hell. The version I read used the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translation from the nineteenth century, which might have made things harder then they needed to be, as there were definitely some archaic words used. Not that the subject wasn't hard enough, considering that the book was written around 750 years ago. What I wasn't prepared for was how personal everything would be (for the author, not for me). See, Dante used this book (and most likely all of the Divine Comedy, of which The Inferno is just the first part) to take some rather serious pot shots at various people he didn't like, as well as showing favor to people that he did like. For example, many of Dante's political enemies find themselves in some rather interesting situations in hell, undergoing some rather perverse tortures for their sins in life. A number of classical philosphers and poets show up in Hell, too, which only makes sense considering that they died without acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ. However, because Dante likes these guys, they are only in the first circle of Hell, where things relatively aren't all that unpleasant (like Judas Iscariot, who gets eaten by Lucifer for all eternity. Lovely.). Lastly, I would like to note that the preface, the footnotes, and the endnotes were very helpful in getting a proper understanding for what was going on and putting it in the proper context. Props to whoever put that all together.

posted by Anonymous on November 19, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Very intellectual

Dante takes a journey through the 9 levels of hell with incredible dipictions of the tortures of each level... yeah if you can understand it. This was written in 1300 so obviously the writting is much different. I found it incredibly hard to read and if it hadnt been fo...
Dante takes a journey through the 9 levels of hell with incredible dipictions of the tortures of each level... yeah if you can understand it. This was written in 1300 so obviously the writting is much different. I found it incredibly hard to read and if it hadnt been for the endnotes i would have finished and had no idea what i just read. The idea behind the book is briliant, i loved it, i just couldnt follow along very well. I learned a lot and it was interesting enough, but it is just a tough book to follow along with. If you have lots of time, READ IT, and good luck.

posted by TwinsfanLR on March 27, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    JUST READ IT

    If your looking at this as a possible book to reread, get it. If you've never read The Inferno, BUY THIS COPY. Its the greatest poem in history, arguably the greatest work of art in history. It is epic, beautiful, amazing, and stimulating, intellectualy and emotionally. In ways, it is beyond flawless. Everything about this work: the writing, the story, the characters, the presentation, eben the preface is masterful. Buy it, and never sell it unless you can get another copy cheaper.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    Excellent

    The writing in Dante¿s Inferno is beautiful, powerful, and effective. It was a little hard to comprehend, but I understood much of it. I thought the book was very excellent and fun to read. I would recommend it to anyone who finds fantasy interesting. The way God/Dante punishes the people in Hell is weird/interesting, but I loved it.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    Great book......

    I really enjoyed this book. It was great I L.O.V.E a book with symbolizism in it. This book is always misrepresented as one thing when its talking about something else. Dante biography is amazing. N his L.O.V.E for Beatrice was incredible. I had decided to do farther research on his life. From start to finish the book his life....both very wonderful. I enjoyed it...it is a MUST READ!!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Difficult to get through,but rewarding none the less

    It probably took me a month to trudge through Dante's Inferno. That being said, it was probably one of the best books i have ever read, and I really wish there was a modern text version of it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    From the fiery pits of the Wrathful, to the bitter, glacial tomb

    From the fiery pits of the Wrathful, to the bitter, glacial tombs of the Traitors, Hell has a torturous domicile to accommodate sinners of all kinds for eternity. Dante Alighieri is considered by many to be one of the most brilliant writers of all time, and is credited with the transformation from Middle Age literature to the masterpieces of the Renaissance. The pinnacle of his writing career was “Dante’s Inferno”, which was published as part of his “Divine Comedy” in 1314. Dante’s brilliant epic poem explored the faults of humankind through the journey across Hell and the shortcomings of the main character. 
    The protagonist of the story is Dante, who is a poet that must pass through the nine circles of Hell in order to achieve salvation. He must cross over the circles of Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Avarice, Wrath, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery/Betrayal, each more detestable than the last. Fortunately, Dante is guided by his perspicacious guide, Virgil, who comes to him as he is being attacked by animals and has lost his way – both literally and figuratively. As he traverses through the underworld, the faults of human civilization are exposed by each of the nine circles.
    To give example of each of these faults, Alighieri includes notable figures from history, literary works, and mythology, such as Alexander the Great and Helen, by placing them in the circle that they supposedly belong. In the novel, Dante frequently converses with these support characters in order to elucidate how to alleviate his sins. Additionally, these conversations provide insight as to the sins that each of these people represent and which human fault they symbolize. Furthermore, it can be argued that the character Dante does not wholly represent the author, but rather mankind itself, while Virgil represents God, as he guides Dante to salvation, which is similar to how God guides people to that same result. 
    These colloquies are pretty common and somewhat predictable (although the content and messages are not), as the poem follows a generally linear plot in which Dante enters the next circle, talks with the damned souls, deals with the challenges of the current situation, and moves on to the next circle. Consequently, the linear plot doesn’t build much suspense and the poem is met with a very anticlimactic end when Dante meets Lucifer. 
    The barren ending was a shortcoming of the book; however, it was still a brilliant work of literature. The clever symbolism in the book, such as when the punishment for avarice is pushing a boulder against another boulder, which is pointless like wealth, is particularly impressive. Additionally, the dark and hopeless atmosphere of the book is held throughout the book, as it never fails to remind the reader that he/she is in Hell. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    great book

    i have the Dantes Inferno video game which is based on this and i really wanted to read this and i thought it was really good

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    an excellent book

    i don't particularly like poetry, but this book is incredible. though the first canto is a little boring, it grabs you from the second canto all the way through to the 34th. the book can be a little hard to understand due to the translation by Longfellow into the older English of the time, but if you switch the words around a little bit, it tends to make better sense. this is a very gruesome, gorey, and depictive book of how Hell is. i recommend this for everyone who would like to see into the "9 levels" of Hell as portrayed by Dante.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    There is a reason this book has stood the test of time.

    The Inferno is one of the best books I have read. Once I began reading it, I could not stop. Normally books written in this time period do not hold my interest, but Dante did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Better Reading On Nook Than The Book

    It's much faster reading the Inferno on the Nook than the paper book because of the footnote links. But all around a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    This bok is amazing

    Omg good bok who ever wrote this book is a gen gen

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    I wrote the comment "excellent read my review"

    Oh too continue on my last review saying its great, mark up the text, add notes etc. I'm 14 so if i can read and decipher it you can...just rememer everything has symbolism usually not many things are literal. Everything idripped alot of details if yiu can decipher taht you can read this

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2007

    interesting and hilarious

    Whenever looking at the cover, you think it'll be all about punishment. But that's not all. That Dante either had a vivid imagination or was told by God Himself. I disagree with something somebody said earlier. Hell isn't a common grave for mankind. That defies the whole Bible. The spirit doesn't remain in the body it escapes the body and goes to its destination according to God's will. And this so-called Bible educator apparently doesn't understand that Jesus and God spoke of fire and brimstone, not dirt and rocks. Anyway, read the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2007

    An amazing tale of poetic genious!

    Dante's Inferno is destined to become immortal and it's only the beginning! All three books of the Divine Comedy combine to form the perfect story of sin, redemption, and the rise into transcendant bliss.Difficult, but fully rewarding, this is epic poetry at its best. Not to mention the appearance of the one and only Virgil himself!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2006

    Excellent! Very educational, tough read for some.

    This book is filled with historical references to mythology, christiantiy, and Florantine history. And very funny. The Introduction and Endnotes are very good, and essential to understanding the poem itself. I can usually get through a classic novel in a week, but it took me 6 weeks to get through this, but very well worth it. I'm moving on to Purgatorio next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2006

    hilarious

    it really is a comedy and i think readers forget that. if you want a great laugh, read dante's inferno. he wrote it because he was mad anyway, and as they say you should never write when you are mad! but if you substitute the italian politicians names for modern politicians you get a hilarious account of a man's journey through hell lead by Virgil! hilarious

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2006

    Awesome Read

    Great vocabulary and the endnotes and footnotes help alot. The writer uses great imagery to create vivid pictures in you mind. The book can be a bit frightening at times but it all add to the effect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2005

    Enthralling Read

    A very good read. I was assigned this book to read for senior english class. At first I had trouble getting into the story, but after the third canto I was hooked. This book was unlike anything else I had read and I am excited to read the Purgatorio.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2005

    best book ever written

    i have read this book and i am currently reading the purgatorio. it is my opinion that this is the best book ever written. the language in this book is almost non-existent among writers these days and the references to his own birthplace gives the book a very nostalgic feel

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2005

    Great read

    This was the first reading anything like this for me. It was a very hard read but turned out being the best book I've ever read. I would recommend this to anyone. The end notes made reading it much easier and the summaries at the beginning made sure that I understood what had happened in each canto.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2004

    Classic literature at its best

    Albeit ladden with many (and, at times, puzzling) allusions to other aspects of literature and culture, Dante Alighieri's 'Inferno' is a most excellent read. As the first part of the longer 'Divine Comedy,' it is a perfect beginning for Dante the Pilgrim's journey to Paradise.

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