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Publisher's Summary

Robert Pinsky's new verse translation of the Inferno makes it clear to the contemporary listener, as no other in English has done, why Dante is universally considered a poet of great power, intensity, and strength. This critically acclaimed translation was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award given by the Academy of American Poets. Well versed, rapid, and various in style, the Inferno is narrated by Pinsky and three other leading poets: Seamus Heaney, Frank Bidart, and Louise Glück.

©1994 Robert Pinsky (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Inferno of Dante

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great translation of the epic.

The performance would have been better if there was only 1 reader. The only reader I didn't care for was the female who was very monotone and just a distraction from the story.

The inferno itself is a great source not just to hear about Hell and the different punishment people get for their sins. it is also a great source regarding the Religious politics that accrued in Dantes time and how he viewed Florance itself. most of the damn are based on real people of Dantes time so while reading or hearing be sure to look up and understand who these people were. a great story for anyone interested in the subject.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic story, horrid narration

Each section has a different narrator and out of the first four only one was acceptable the others sounded like disinterested first time read throughs. The inflection was abysmal and the tone monotonous and disinterested as if they were being forced to read it in front of a class. I couldn't even finish listening to this rendition.

On the plus side I liked the dramatic music between chapters.

3 people found this helpful

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Intriguing story but…

I fell in love with the story and most of the narrators were able to bring this epic to life. The females voice was too monotone and made it distracting for me to truly get the full experience. Another small detail that irritated me was the way she put too much emphasis oh the "w" in words such as"whipped" or "whirled". She was also choppy on many of her sentences. She would often add commas where a comma was not necessary. Her voice was overall distracting and did not do this epic justice. Other than that listening to this was an amazing experience and I will be sure to share this experience with others

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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the woman ruins the story!!!!!!!

Not sure why they thought it would be a good idea to use 5 narrators. She sounds like a brainwashed robot from a sci-fi movie. TERRIBLE! find a different version!

3 people found this helpful

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Monotone

The performers are the worst Ive heard. Too distracting to get past Chapter 3. What a shame.

1 person found this helpful

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Spoiled on Emily Wilson & Claire Danes

Maybe if I hadn't listened to Claire Danes reading Emily Wilson's new translation of Homer, I would be more impressed with this. That was an absolute home run. On the high of that previous experience, I am of the mind that Emily Wilson should translate EVERYTHING & that Claire Danes (or at least an ACTOR) ought to read it. Mr Pinsky appears to fall into many of the classics-translation traps Ms Wilson warns about in her introduction, and I don't think Dante would choose this translation (& certainly not this reading) to carry his art through our time. Mr Pinsky's reading distracts (imagine Cameron Britton's (wonderful) Ed Kemper reading poetry to you), as does Ms Glück's, genius though she be. Mr Bidart & Mr Heaney are easier to listen to, but all to greater or lesser extent suffer from "poetry voice". I much prefer actors doing these readings. Ms Wilson (how hard can Middle Italian be?), Ms Danes, Audible, if you're reading this: I'd pay two credits for a new version.

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Performed by a Priest?

Wrong performers or bad translation. Felt I was listening to a Sunday sermon in a Catholic Church. I don't feel this is how Dante wanted this to come across.

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Monotone

I couldn't listen to the reader's monotone voice for any longer than a few minutes.

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Good story but very monotone

The only problem I have with this is how boring the narrators are. Especially the woman. All of them are very monotonous and it is actually very annoying

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Not a fav

Too many actors. The young guy is acting so forced it's annoying, and his cadence is off. Then there is the girl robot who is so monotone. You can also hear office back ground noise. Then only two that made this tollerable was the european and the other guy. The actors totally ruined the book, I just couldn't wait to get done with it.

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  • Zoot
  • 02-18-17

Not the best version of this book.

Lousie Glück made me want to pass out with boredom. Each of the other narrators had an ok delivery, relatively interesting and such, but Glück read in the most monotone, dreary and sole-destroying way that every part she read was ruined. I struggled very hard to actually listen to what was being said – easy to hear her, just so difficult to concentrate when there is no emphasis or enthusiasm behind her words.

The others’ parts did the book justice and kept me listening. Unfortunately, however, all of the parts sounded like they were recorded in a call center. The quality of the sound was just awful – a subtle low murmuring in the background kept grabbing my attention. Unacceptable and just seems amateurish.

I assumed the different narrators would be reading different characters but instead the readers took it in turns to deliver different chapters. This kind of struck me as odd.

Lastly, they only did the first book – so any continuation of the story will need to be switched to different readers, which feels a bit inconsistent.

Much better off to get the full “Divine Comedy” to begin with, I wish I had and will be returning to do just that.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Idle Cherry
  • 04-10-21

Best translation

The best translation of Inferno. Somehow too it works having the 4 different poets read. Yes Louise Gluck has an affectless delivery - but its done on purpose to give a sense of the doomful mood of hell. Heaney and Pinsky wonderful - and translation sings.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-19-21

Pinsky translation of Dante’s inferno

Great translation. Some brilliant readings but bit mixed Swamy’s Heaney the star turn great that he read the last part

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Duncan Barrett
  • 04-07-17

A very mixed bag

A great translation by Pinksky, but he is a distracting narrator. Worse still is Louise Gluck. I don't know her poetry, but she reads in a voice so affectless that it sometimes sounds almost like Stephen Hawking's computer. Seamus Heaney is wonderful though - a pity he couldn't have recorded the whole thing.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-16-18

Ruined but a few small things

The story is ok, but the narraration wasn't great.

Having more than one narrator was a mistake. The female voice had too much volume variation, and wasn't well suited overall.

The other issue is the audio between chapters. I had to halve my volume, when they came on, to avoid bursting my ear drums.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-24-21

Awful readers

There are three people sharing the reading of this audio version of the book and their readings are not equally sublime. It’s unfair that the one on the sample is the competent reader. Of the other two, one has a strong accent so that some words are unclear and the other gives a dull tone less reading. Help, I cannot finish the audio book. It’s as excruciating as the book’s subject.