The Dante Club

by Pearl, Matthew.

Format: Book on CD 2003
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Penn Hills Library Audio Visual CD PEA
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Audio Visual
Call Number  CD PEA
In 1856 Boston, the first American translation of Dante's Inferno is about to be published by the Dante Club, which includes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell. But they must first identify a murderer, who kills in a style stolen directly from the Inferno.
In 1865 Boston, the members of the Dante Club -- poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J.T. Fields -- are finishing America's first translation of The Divine Comedy and preparing to unveil Dante's remarkable visions to the New World. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing that the infiltration of foreign superstitions onto American bookshelves will prove as corrupting as the immigrants living in Boston Harbor. As they struggle to keep their sacred literary cause alive, the plans of the Dante Club are put in further jeopardy when a serial killer unleashes his terror on the city. Only the scholars realize that the gruesome murders are modeled on the descriptions from Dante's Inferno and its account of Hell's torturous punishments. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante's literary future in America at stake, the Dante Club must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret. The Dante Club is a magnificent blend of fact and fiction, a brilliantly realized paean to Dante, his mythic genius, and his continued grip on our imaginations.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Pearl's gripping debut novel, set in Boston in 1865, begins with the discovery of the maggot-ridden, dead body of Judge Artemus Healey. The murder shocks the city, and the police are horrified by the possibility that Healey may have been alive for the four days during which the maggots consumed his body. The next murder is equally as disturbing: Reverend Elisha Talbot is found in the underground passages beneath the church, having been buried alive with his feet burned off. The members of the Dante Club--publisher J. T. Fields, essayist Oliver Wendell Holmes, and poets James Russell Lowell and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow--have been laboring on translating and discussing Dante's Divine Comedy and quickly recognize the gruesome murders from the pages of Dante's Inferno. Knowing that only a limited number of people are familiar with Dante's work, the members of the Dante Club conduct their own investigation into the killings. They zero in on a disgruntled Italian academic living in Boston, but the killer, whom they refer to as Lucifer, may be even closer than they suspect. Expertly weaving period detail, historical fact (the Dante Club did indeed exist), complex character studies, and nail-biting suspense, Pearl has written a unique and utterly absorbing tale. --Kristine Huntley"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In 1865 Boston, not many people spoke Italian. It was much more popular for people to study Latin and Greek; the classic works in these languages were common reading for students and academics. But the small circle of literati in Pearl's inventive novel is bent on translating and publishing Dante's Divine Comedy so that all Americans may learn of the writer's genius. As this group of scholars, poets, publishers and professors readies the manuscript, much more exciting doings are happening outside their circle. The Boston police are hot on the trail of a series of murders taking place around town. In one, a priest is buried alive, his feet set on fire; in another, a man's body is eaten by maggots. It doesn't take a rocket scientist-only a Dante expert-to realize these murders are based on Dante's Inferno and its account of Hell's punishments. Scholars become snoopers, and the Dante Club is soon on the scene, investigating the crimes and trying to find the killer. A tad unlikely, but it makes for a terrific story. Gaines gives an stirring performance, nimbly portraying some of the "Hah-vad" professors' "Bah-ston" accents and impressively reading the Italian passages from Dante's work. Although it's sometimes hard to differentiate between the various characters-after awhile each stuffy Bostonian begins to sound alike-Gaines nonetheless amuses and, via Pearl's historical references, educates. Simultaneous release with the Random hardcover (Forecasts, Oct. 7, 2002). (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Holmes, Oliver Wendell, -- 1809-1894 -- Fiction.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, -- 1803-1882 -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Simon & Schuster Audio,2003
Edition Unabridged ed.
Contributors Siedman, John.
Participants/Performers Read by John Siedman.
Language English
Notes Unabridged.
Compact discs.
Description 12 audio discs (approximately 14.5 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
ISBN 074355373X
Other Classic View