The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl (2003)

Description: Boston, 1865. The Dante club, a small group of literary geniuses that includes Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henty Wadsworth Longfellow, prepares the finishing touches on America’s first translation of The Divine Comedy. Their plans come to a screeching halt when a series of murders erupt in a style and form stolen directly from Inferno and its singular account of Hell’s punishments. With the police baffled, lives endangered, and Dante’s literary future at stake, the Dante Club must shed its sheltered literary existence and find the killer.

Review: We follow several literary big wigs around Boston during 1865 and their adventures with translating Dante into English. That doesn’t sound too exciting in itself; however, someone has started murdering people in the fashion of Dante. The Dante Club now has the task of finding out who “Lucifer” really is and stopping him before he kills again. To be honest, I had a difficult time getting into this book. I am not sure if it was the person reading it (I had the audio version) or if I just wasn’t connecting with the text. After awhile though, the story blossomed and it did indeed get good. The plot was interesting, but I felt that there was too much extra information and it dragged a bit. I think the people who would enjoy this book the most would either be people interested in literary history or Dante. As I have little experience with either, it was a bit of a stretch for me.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

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About Michelle

I'm a Midwest girl who has landed herself on the east coast. I spend my days in libraryland. My passion/specialty is graphic novels, manga, and anime. For a few weekends of the year you will find me at an anime convention somewhere on the east coast.

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