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The Divine Comedy | [Dante Alighieri, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (translator)]

The Divine Comedy

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.
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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.

(P)2009 Audio Connoisseur

What Members Say

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3.7 (206 )
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4.0 (122 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 03-13-11
    Amazon Customer Prairie Village, KS USA 03-13-11 Member Since 2005

    Larry

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    "Not for listening."

    Longfellow was a wonderful poet, but the linguistic hoops he jumps through to preserve the form of the cantos leaves comprehension in the dust for the listener. Charlton Griffin can't save this muddle. It is almost incomprehensible at times. Almost everything in Italian rhymes, not so with English. One thing that is missing is comprehensive footnotes on the political background and personalities that Dante meets. Still, the language is beautiful, just don't expect to follow it in your car.

    27 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tbaley 05-27-15
    Tbaley 05-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Divine Comedy"

    The epic of all epics. Carlton Griffin is magnificent. His pronunciation and intonation made it so much more reachable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    daniel hoffelder 03-12-14 Member Since 2014
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    "My first digital book"
    Where does The Divine Comedy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Second only to the Bible


    What did you like best about this story?

    The final balancing of justice


    What about Charlton Griffin’s performance did you like?

    Very strong voice


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Several, mainly in hell.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a little tough being in King James English...just push on thru and it will raise your mental view on life.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur royse city, TX, United States 04-10-12
    Arthur royse city, TX, United States 04-10-12 Member Since 2008

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Good story told to put you to death"
    What disappointed you about The Divine Comedy?

    The narrator failed to even keep me awake it was horrid


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love Dante I read the divine comedy several times when I was younger I got my husband to get it and he wanted to drive his car off of the road... I thought he was just exaggerating until I tried to listen to it and couldn't get through five minutes :/


    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig E. Campell 07-14-15 Member Since 2008

    Omnivorous audiophile.

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    "Timeless poetry"

    This is a decent translation of the Comedy, though perhaps not my favorite. Griffin's narration moved the story along nicely without getting in the way, and the sound effects at the beginning of each canto contributed to the otherworldly atmosphere of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Condra Jacksonville, IL United States 07-02-15
    Connie Condra Jacksonville, IL United States 07-02-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Very disappointing."
    What would have made The Divine Comedy better?

    I would have preferred that the poem actually been read rather than descriptions of the poem


    Would you ever listen to anything by Dante Alighieri and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (translator) again?

    I would be interested in listening to more of Dante's poetry if I can actually get the poetry.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Charlton Griffin?

    Meh!


    Any additional comments?

    There were at least three repetitions in the first hour of the audio. That, in addition to a lengthy biography of Dante, was very irritating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Smith pearland, texas 06-10-14
    K. Smith pearland, texas 06-10-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Wasted Credit"
    What disappointed you about The Divine Comedy?

    To anyone reading this, save your credit. I hated this listening to this book so much that I could not finish it. The narrator was completely monotone and the music along with the thunderstorm sounds made it worse. I actually wanted to listen to this classic but I think I will just read it in paper form instead.


    Has The Divine Comedy turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. Just this narrator.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I did not finish it due to the boring narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    I usually like to read and listen to classical literature. However, this audiobook is one of the worst I have ever listened to. I would not recommend it to anyone.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • David
    Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
    6/13/14
    Overall
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    "Dull!"

    I've given this two stars because it's famous, but that's it. I actually couldn't finish it. The imagery in inferno is interesting, but well known, but I was losing the will to live a few hours into the Paradiso. No wonder most people only read the first book! Nothing wrong with it as an audio book, I just blame Dante! So much of it is parochial politics, people Dante knew at the time which might be quite interesting if you knew who they were but without a lifetime of study, which I'm not prepared to do, I just couldn't get into it. Read the York notes instead!

    4 of 11 people found this review helpful

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