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The Dante Club

The Dante Club


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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.

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Para ser la primera novela de este joven autor, El Club Dante es un triller entretenido que mantiene al lector en suspenso de principio a fin. Excelente su estilo narrativo con detalles explicitos que nos transporta a los mas bajos pecados del Boston del Siglo 19...

Dante, Longfellow, and Lowell, Together Again

It wasn't really necessary to read Longfellow's recently re-released translation of Dante's Inferno - but I did it anyway before starting on The Dante Club. Even without the homework which proved not to be at all necessary, this new novel is a captivating, page-turner that draws you in and holds your attention. Meticulously researched, but brilliantly crafted, readers will be brought back to post-Civil War Cambridge and Boston and experience life as the great authors and publishers and common people and low lives might have done. Historically accurate (from my perspective as a lifelong Cambridge MA history buff) and with characters true to whom they were, the novel was entertaining, stimulating, and informative. And Pearl keeps working for us until the end. If you've ever visited Boston and Cambridge, you'll enjoy walking in the paths Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the great publishers of the era - all of whom play significant roles in the story. I'm looking forward to the next book.

A Literary Mystery

There are not enough mysteries with a real literary component. Matthew Pearl provides us one and we should be grateful. There are many enjoyable mysteries, but to read one that has both historical and literary ingredients is a real find. The Dante Club provides all of that and an interesting mystery as well.I rate it right along side such other historical and literary mysteries as The Name of the Rose and The Alienist.

Excellent Historical Recreation

This novel is a must read for those of us who love literature and the art of literary translation. I admit that I have read only a little over half the novel, not because I find it boring; quite the opposite: I find it too wonderful to want to finish it in haste. Slowly, slowly I read with exquisite pleasure -- quite the opposite of those in Dante's hell who suffer exquisitely forever -- or at least a long time.The novel is set in post Civil War Boston. Longfellow, Holmes, Lowell and their publisher are the "private" detectives as well as the most prominent members of the Dante Club, a club dedicated to translating Dante into English. In a kind of Borgesian world where fact and fiction overlap, the detectives are challenged by a serial murderer who has decided to translate Dante's Inferno into a horrific reality. Who is this murderer and how far will he succeed in translating Boston into Dante's inferno? You and I will have to continue reading to find out.

A "Devine" Thriller

Every few years a book is written that breaks the mold of the standard mystery/thriller fare. Umberto Eco's "Name of the Rose", Martin Cruz Smith's "Rose", more recently Boston Teran's "God is a Bullet", to name a few. "The Dante Club", the remarkable debut of writer Matthew Pearl, is another example that represents a bold, ambitious, and refreshing approach to the familiar serial killer "who-dunnit".I'll admit that at first I was somewhat leery of the concept: the Fireside Poets - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell cast as investigators of a string of horrific murders? An ambitious premise for a novel, for sure, but more aptly, bizarre and ripe with risk. Pearl, however, pulls this off with a curious combination of the poet's love of the language and the storyteller's knack for pace and action. The "Dante Club" refers to the group assembled by Longfellow - including Holmes and Lowell - to assist him in the first American translation of Dante's "Devine Comedy". As people in high places - a judge, a minister, a wealthy merchant - turn up tortured and murdered in scenes recreating those described in Dante's classic, the poets hit the streets of Boston and Cambridge in search of the killer. The result is an exceptionally well-researched book that is rich in historical detail while capturing the post-Civil War American psyche and culture. Pearl's description of the Civil War horrors and post-war trama is especially gripping. Not since "Silence of the Lambs" or "Se7en" have murders been so brutally and vividly portrayed, as the victims are variously eaten-alive by maggots, buried upside-down and set on fire, and (literally) cut in half. Yet despite the graphic butchery, this is a book that must not be rushed, but savored for the intricacy of the plot and the intensity of the prose. It is the rare book that draws the reader to revisit the poetry of Longfellow, US history in the wake of the Civil War, and the mystery of Dante in 19th century America. In summary, a stunning first novel from a writer destined to become a household name. Don't miss it!

Edition Details

Publisher:Random House Trade Paperbacks
Lowest Price:$3.79
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