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Summary

The epic grandeur of Dante's masterpiece has inspired readers and listeners for 700 years and has entered the human imagination. But the further we move from the late medieval world of Dante, the more a rich understanding and enjoyment of the poem depends on knowledgeable guidance. Robert Hollander, a renowned scholar and master teacher of Dante, and Jean Hollander, an accomplished poet, have written a beautifully accurate and clear verse translation of the first volume of Dante's epic poem, the Divine Comedy. Featuring the original Italian text opposite the translation, this edition also offers an extensive and accessible introduction and generous commentaries that draw on centuries of scholarship as well as Robert Hollander's own decades of teaching and research. The Hollander translation is the new standard in English of this essential work of world literature.

©2017 Translation copyright 2017 by Robert Hollander and Jean Hollander (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"A distinguished act of poetry and scholarship in one and the same breath, the Hollander Dante, among the strong translations of the poet, deserves to take its own honored place." (Robert Fagles)
"This new version of the Inferno wonderfully captures the concision, directness, and pungency of Dante's style. Like a mirror, it reflects with clarity and precision the Italian original. Each canto's set of copious, authoritative notes complements the facing-page Italian and English translation. A grand achievement." (Richard Lansing, professor of Italian and comparative literature, Brandeis University)
"English-speaking lovers of Dante are doubly in the Hollanders' debt: first, for this splendidly lucid and eminently readable version of Dante's Hell, and second, for the provocative, elegantly-written commentary, which judiciously synthesizes a lifetime of deeply engaged, wide ranging scholarship, as well as the past six centuries of commentary on the poem. No student of Dante would want to be without it." (John Ahern, Antolini Professor of Italian literature, Vassar College)

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A must read (or listen)

This book is a classic, the translation and reader are good but the story itself is heart wrenching.

1 person found this helpful

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Uncanny and thoroughly engaging

The delivery by Dominic Hoffman was superb. It added a quality to the poetic masterpiece that made it a joy to listen.

The book itself presents humanity at its most vulnerable, highlighting the unsavoury aspects of our condition that lead us astray and into the depths of depravity, melancholy and eternal remorse. Dante examines these facets of our being via conversations with the poet Virgil and the numerous wretched souls as they traverse the 9 circles of hell. It is an uncanny portrayal of people's propensity for regret - the souls he speak to seem to comprehend their misdeeds, but only after the fact; each encounter a lesson for Dante as he is led out of the Inferno - after having become lost himself.

I would argue that this book should be read by any interested reader, even those who don't particularly enjoy poetry, as it provides some important reflection on our own actions and gives poise to human behaviour. Enjoy!

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needs a new narrator

I've heard so much about this book prior to reading it myself, it still seems like a really good book BUT the narrator made it really hard for me to stick with the story, it got really confusing and to be honest that really made the listen boring and confusing when with another person's way of narrating this book could be an awesome experience for me also, I might try listening all over again some time later on, but for now it made me disappointed, change the narrator!

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Always Topical

Always relevant and vivid. Told with clarity and restraint . I will listen again and again

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  • Adam
  • 25-10-19

Into Hell

It's interesting how this novel provides such a descriptive portrayal of Hell and what actions you take, place you in the specific section of Hell. Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Wrath, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery, This novel was published in the 14th Century and reveals how human nature hasn't changed much since that era.

9 people found this helpful

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  • BenYL
  • 15-08-20

That was a long four hours

This book does not suit audio format because footnotes are needed. Lots of references to ancient times and mythology which could be interesting to those more in-the-know than I.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 10-03-21

Stupendous rendition of a timeless classic.

This is exactly what I had expected from a fairly direct translation of the great tragedy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • stephanie
  • 14-09-21

Outstanding !!!!

I am using Hollanders Audible Inferno along with his kindle version & I am so impressed !!!
I looked for the next two versions purgatorio and Paradisio narrated by Dominic Hoffman and I haven't found it....

I am studying " 100 Days of Dante " in celebration of 700 years of Dante and this is the best !!!!!