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The Divine Comedy cover art

The Divine Comedy

Written by: Dante Alighieri,Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - translator
Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
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Publisher's Summary

Dante's Divine Comedy is considered to be not only the most important epic poem in Italian literature, but also one of the greatest poems ever written. It consists of 100 cantos, and (after an introductory canto) they are divided into three sections. Each section is 33 cantos in length, and they describe how Dante and a guide travel through Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

Expertly translated here by the famous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dante's masterpiece leaps vividly to life in this production.

Philosophically, the poem is based on the theological works of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Divine Comedy is essentially an allegory of the progress of the human soul toward God and the progress of mankind toward peace on earth. Many of the characters involved are drawn from ancient Roman history and from Dante's contemporaries, making the work a realistic picture of Italian life in the early 14th century. As well, it is an intensely developed analysis of human affairs. In structure the poem appears to be a description of the afterlife. But it is in essence, a compassionate, oral evaluation of humanity and a mystical vision of the Absolute toward which mankind struggles. The Divine Comedy endures today because of the universality of its drama and the lyric quality of the poetry, and not as the result of any doctrinal content.

Public Domain (P)2009 Audio Connoisseur

What listeners say about The Divine Comedy

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Very well done

First off ignore the other two reviews in the Canadian section, this does include the full poems, but there is a biography first and then a section after which summarizes each canto. Weird placing I’ll admit but if you check the chapter section you can easily scroll down and get to the poem. It’s about 2 hours and half plus into the recording

Now for the production it’s great, the narrator, Charlton Griffin, is amazing as he is in the plethora of other audiobooks he’s recorded in. Not an expert on the translation but I do enjoy it.

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7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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BEFORE YOU BUY

If you are looking for a breif overview of each canto, as it is interpreted, this is for you. I, on the other hand, purchased this audiobook thinking it was a reading of the translated original, and only after sitting through the life story of Dante did I realize, much to my surprise, that was not that.

Although the performance was pretty well done, and I learned quite a bit about the life of Dante, I was quite disappointed. The description available on Audible is misleading and I did not get what I thought I was buying.

Still a perfectly acceptable compendium, however I was wanting the originals as written.

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6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very difficult listen

The book is exceedingly difficult to grasp, as it’s not written in prose and the poetic language it uses is not modern. Many times I would repeat a paragraph or entire chapter several times before giving up. My best friend was the synopsis at the start of the book and using ChatGPT to constantly ask what so and so meant, or what Canto (x) was about, since it’s rarely explicitly stated. It’s an interesting read, especially the Inferno, but purgatory is a real dredge and even Paradiso is very slow. I ended up skipping about half of Purgatory because nothing really interesting (or easy to grasp) was coming up. I’m glad to have said I’ve read it but 90% of my understanding came from asking ChatGPT what was happening in the chapter I was reading.

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Fascinating but also slow

The first book is fascinating then the second gets rather boring, same with the third, but overall worth it. Fascinating to see what the ideas and thoughts if sun weee during this era

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Always wanted to Accrobaticly read it.

I will definitely have to listen to this one again and may be again after that over time. the historical value along with it visual representation show a truly ginormous damnation and absolution.

the biography along with the synopsis truly were enlightening and helpful

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