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The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

The Dante Club (edition 2006)

by Matthew Pearl

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6,279147939 (3.36)211
Title:The Dante Club
Authors:Matthew Pearl
Info:Ballantine Books (2006), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

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» See also 211 mentions

English (128)  Spanish (5)  Italian (5)  German (3)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (145)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
An almost 5-Star book (I give it 4-1/2) much to my surprise. The first 2/3 is so slow you have to fight not to bail. My impression was the author shared so many details to prove he is an expert on all things Dante, and I’m sure he is. But then wham! The mystery is complex, impossible to decipher, with many many twists and turns that are all relevant. The last 1/3 made up for the rest of the book and I loved it. ( )
  KarenMonsen | Sep 6, 2018 |
This was an interesting idea and a good plot, but what is a good story is hidden in overly extensive descriptions and diversions from the story that bog down the narrative and make the book very difficult to read. It is probably worth reading if you can slog through the mire of words that slow down the movement of the plot dynamics. Loved the historical aspect but just too much verbage for me to really enjoy the book. Sorry Mr. Pearl. ( )
  Al-G | Jul 17, 2018 |
Just after the Civil War, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and number of his friends -- poets James Russell Lowell and Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, publisher J.T. Fields, and historian George Washington Greene -- are hard at work on what will be the first American translation of Dante's 'Inferno.' But there are conservative powers at work at Harvard University that seek to undermine and discredit the work, and then a series of murders occur, which seem to take their cues from the 'Inferno.' Can the Dante Club solve the murders -- with the help of the first mulatto policeman in Massachusetts -- before they find themselves victims to a maniacal Dante-lover? -- I really wanted to like this book better than I did: I enjoyed the setting and the interactions among the historical figures, and the climax to the story almost breathtakingly exciting, but it lacked something I cannot quite define. -- I found the author's 'The Poe shadow' and 'The last Dickens' more satisfying... ( )
  David_of_PA | Jul 14, 2018 |
An intelligent mix of history and mystery. The plot is imaginative yet plausible and the clues to the identity of the killer are deftly woven into the storyline. Dante's work and the real life characters are grounded in fact and treated with respect. This is a truly excellent read. ( )
1 vote Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
Hm. Not sure where to go with this review. I'll start off by saying I liked this book. A lot. So much so that I picked up Matthew Pearl's next two books (The Poe Shadow and The Last Dickens) and have them sitting on my HUGE to-read pile. This is probably one of the biggest compliments I can give an author after reading one book...not often does someone's first novel make me an instant fan.

The book is historical fiction. And the story is the made-up events surrounding the real-life quest of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to complete the first translation of Dante Alighieri's "The Divine Comedy" from Italian to English. Longfellow, along with real-life friends, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr and James Russell Lowell, notice a parallel between recent murders and the various punishments in the "Inferno" canto of "The Divine Comedy". With Dante's famous work being largely unread in America, the three men take it upon themselves to make the connections and solve the crimes.

The novel seamlessly tied fact with fiction and Pearl crafted a thrilling and suspenseful novel that entertained, taught, and got me interested in reading "The Divine Comedy" in its entirety. In fact, the Longfellow translation has been reprinted due to the notoriety it received from Pearl's "The Dante Club". ( )
  writertomg | Sep 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
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To Lino, my professor, and Ian, my teacher
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John Kurtz, the chief of the Boston police, breathed in some of his heft for a better fit between the two chambermaids.
The proof of poetry was... that it reduced to the essence of a single line the vague philosophy that floated in all men's minds, so as to render it portable and useful, ready to the hand.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034549038X, Mass Market Paperback)

The New York Times Bestseller

Boston, 1865. A series of murders, all of them inspired by scenes in Dante’s Inferno. Only an elite group of America’s first Dante scholars—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, and J. T. Fields—can solve the mystery. With the police baffled, more lives endangered, and Dante’s literary future at stake, the Dante Club must shed its sheltered literary existence and find the killer.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:21 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In 1865 Boston, an elite group of American Dante scholars, including Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is called upon to solve a series of murders inspired by scenes in Dante's "Inferno."

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

Matthew Pearl is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Author Chat

Matthew Pearl chatted with LibraryThing members from Oct 5, 2009 to Oct 16, 2009. Read the chat.

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Average: (3.36)
0.5 8
1 72
1.5 5
2 157
2.5 47
3 447
3.5 127
4 474
4.5 32
5 161


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