The Inferno of Dante

A New Verse Translation by Robert Pinsky
Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
4 out of 5 stars (184 ratings)

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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
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Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    1 out of 5 stars
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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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    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!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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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I had a hard time not falling asleep

Both readers are very monotone, I really had a hard time following the story, wich is a shame

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The narrators have listless tone.

Their ability to draw you in has been exanguanated. Their lethargic and sluggish performance is boring.

It's hard for me to stay focused on the content with their ability to perform the story.

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POOR NARRATION

Would you try another book from Dante Alighieri and Robert Pinsky (translator) and/or the narrators?

I would try another book by the author but not the narrators.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

It was like one of the narrator was reading the book for the first time. Some of the sentences don't make sense when first listening because the pauses are incorrectly placed. Some are monotonous. I may or may not be able to finish listening to it despite the fact that it is a good story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great work, mostly well read

I love the poem but found Louise Gluck's monotone narration really annoying. The three other narrators were excellent.

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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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    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