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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

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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<br/>

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.<br/>

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

33 of 43 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful Performance

The narration was great and I especially liked the background noises at the beginning of each canto. It was a little difficult to follow in places, being poetry, but that was more a deficiency in the listener than the performance. I would heartily recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful read

First off, I may not have made it through this book had it not been for the performance. It added a deep rich layer to this story. I think I got lost in the beauty of the narrator's voice as much as I did the beauty of the words.

Now, because it is written in poetic form you have to pay attention to the words. It isn't a book you can drift off in as easily as you can with any other book. Of course, that is why I made the comment above. It took focus on every word.

I was amazed at the imagination and detail of the realms of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven that was painted. That was my second most favorite part.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A thoroughly entertaining performance

The book is a classic and while interesting, the story is a bit sluggish. However, the performance was absolutely phenomenal, making even the most mundane prose engaging and impactful. Absolutely worthwhile.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Arthur
  • Forney TX, United States
  • 04-10-12

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 :/

11 of 19 people found this review helpful

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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.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

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really hard to follow while driving

I don't blame the narrator or the book. I was able to follow the inferno because I had read it previously, but the other two were lost causes.

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  • David
  • 06-13-14

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!

12 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam Sheridan
  • 04-14-17

I was completely lost

Not audibles fault but i hadn't a clue what was going on in the story

0 of 3 people found this review helpful