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Publisher's Summary

Blake Ritson, David Warner, Hattie Morahan and John Hurt star in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Dante's epic poem.

Inferno: Thirty-five year old Dante finds himself in the middle of a dark wood, in extreme personal and spiritual crisis. Hope of rescue appears in the form of the venerable poet Virgil, now a shade himself, who offers to lead Dante on an odyssey through the afterlife, beginning in the terrifying depths of Hell.

Purgatorio: Dante is led up Mount Purgatory by his guide. They encounter numerous souls who have embarked on the same difficult journey - one that will eventually lead to their spiritual salvation.

Paradiso: Dante's journey comes to a glorious conclusion as he is led by Beatrice, through the spheres of Paradise and into the presence of God himself. As they ascend, they encounter a number of souls who have also achieved blessedness. Many years later, the older Dante reflects on the episodes from his life that have inspired his great poem.

©2014 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2014 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Revisiting the land of the dead

My last year's reading has mostly been on things Italian and in the Italian language. Still, I regret to say I haven't picked up Dante in thirty years, so when I saw this title, I reacquainted myself with this incredible work of art.

Naturally, a radio broadcast can't cover the whole spectrum of the poem, and translations are apt to miss a few things, but as a dramatic production, it's first rate. All actors are superb --- David Warner in particular has an incredible voice and impeccable timing --- and the situations are beautifully rendered. I enjoyed every minute.

Listening to this inspired me to listen to Clive James' translation of the Divine Comedy, read by Edoardo Ballerini. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to investigate further. Ballerini's reading is particularly enchanting.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicole
  • Brooktondale, NY, United States
  • 11-08-14

A great introduction to The Divine Comedy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a great way to get a gist of The Divine Comedy. It's beautifully narrated with different voices for different characters. When you add the sound effects and different cool effects you get a whole experience that really pulls you into the story. You don't think that the story is being told to you. Instead you feel like you are right there with Dante going through the same experiences that he is.

What did you like best about this story?

As it's The Divine Comedy, the story speaks for itself. What I liked the best was how you never knew what was going to happen but knew that it was going to affect you greatly. It feels real and you honestly fear for Dante's life even though you know that nothing bad is going to happen to him. This trilogy is very graphic and pulls on your emotions as it looks at major theological and philosophical questions. You never really get bored.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

It was a full cast which was great. You get that full on experience of living there. I loved that so much! It really honestly felt as if you were there because of that. Instead of one narrator doing different voices of characters. Even the older Dante is played by a different voice actor. I loved that older Dante was played by John Hurt but I didn't recognize who did the voice of the younger Dante. It has been stated that Dante was a symbol of the every man. So having it not be a recognizable actor, at least to me, added in its brilliance.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Experience the three realms of the afterlife like never before...in stunning 3D.

Any additional comments?

I do want to note that this is abridged from the source material. It's a dramatization and skips cantos. This can be annoying especially as there are cantos that I thought they would not skip. There was one spectacular action sequence from Infierno that they skipped that shocked me. It was one that should have been here. Even with that it's a great dramatization. This is a great thing to listen to if you want the main gist or read the whole comedy and want to hear it. I would certainly recommend this to anyone interested in The Divine Comedy.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Amazing.

fantastic, always thought this poem would be boring and dry but it was entertaining, enlightening, and very well done. listen to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Devine

An amazing journey. Read it under the sun, with plenty of time. Very good production and performance, masterfully written, enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome

I'm 14 and I loved this book. It met every expectation. I just loved it so much it was amazing

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Burning with Intensity

This was a wonderful performance! Loved it. If only I had *this* audio version when reading the book in high school 25 years ago.

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Awesome

I love this book have heard it at least 10 times and have to say that every time I listen to it I find something new and am able to draw wisdom on every stage of Dante's journey

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perfect

very good will buy the paper book for my family and to have it in my library

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Divine indeed!

If you could sum up The Divine Comedy in three words, what would they be?

Do yourself a favor and listen to this. It is the clearest commentary not only our politics today but for those who don't read Italian this will help you adore Dante and the wild splendor of his Divine Comedy. Siamo fortunati ad avere un'ispirazione come questa!

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The performance brings it to life.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book will lift you up, exalt you, terrify you, heal you.

Any additional comments?

We are lucky for translations like this that make it accessible to everyone. It is worth learning Italian just to read the Divine Comedy in its original form. A stylistically cinematic journey that only Dante could have written.

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great

Very interesting that our modern conception of hell is based off this poem from 700 years ago

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  • Andrew J Nolan
  • 01-06-16

Very good

I first listened to this when it was broadcast on the radio. It is very enjoyable and have listened to it many times. I would recommend it to anyone.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • 08-11-16

Fantastic Read

The performances were amazing. Gives real insight into Christians and non-Christians. Really makes you think!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Evans
  • 05-14-17

Wonderful adaptation

I have not read the original and in sure that if I had, I would have reservations about what must have been huge cuts, but as an experience in its own right, this is superb. Rich in imagery but never intimidating. Very approachable. And navigates some of the moral certainties of dante which a modern reader might find challenging, with great finesse. Congratulations to all involved.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • darren
  • 08-05-15

Disappointing

Any additional comments?

This audio-book just did not do it for me. I know it's supposed to be a classic but I just found it ridiculous!

2 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-16-17

Reflective

I found myself questioning the concept morality against the guidelines of religion. Glad that views have changed trough time, evolution is necessary

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dogtrainer
  • 10-27-16

Well that just did not work at all !

What would have made The Divine Comedy better?

Being able to access it AT ALL

What will your next listen be?

If thus attempt is anything to go by the blissful sound of silence !!!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

How can I possibly know?

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Divine Comedy?

Have no idea could not listen !

Any additional comments?

totally put me iff Audibke - try harder ?

1 of 12 people found this review helpful