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Friday, 23 August 2019

Book Review: Inferno by Dante

The Inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell, accompanied by the ancient Roman poet, Virgil.


”They yearn for what they fear for.”

Dante’s Inferno presents one of those incredibly frustrating scenarios where the plot, imagery, themes etc are all fucking insane, but the prose made me want to claw my eyeballs out. I looked at how long the actual poem was and thought “that’ll take me about 2 days?” WRONG. Over a week. This may have been due to the fact that I was also reading the accompanying notes at the back alongside each canto, but I needed to read those or I would have been utterly clueless the majority of the time.

In terms of the nine circles of Hell, all of that stuff was INCREDIBLE. There was actual POOP on one level! It was all so dark and visceral and BADASS, but I couldn’t help but wish that I was reading a graphic novel of this instead, or even an illustrated edition, as I’d love to have experienced this alongside some epic illustrations.

It’s not often that a book makes me feel dumb, but this one did. It was just a LOT of hard work, and I don’t necessarily like to feel like that when I’m reading for pleasure. So I’m not sure if I’ll ever pick up Purgatorio and Paradiso... I don’t know if I could put myself through that again.

However, I’m glad I read it and I was a huge fan of the imagery and ideas, which is why my rating isn’t a lot more savage - 3 stars.

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