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This is an OK recording of the Charles Eliot Norton translation. The problem is not so much the reading as the translation itself; it's one of those stilted, pseudo-Biblical 19th century affairs. On the other hand, it's the whole thing, not just the Inferno, in a compact inexpensive package.
"Not For Audio"
The Divine Comedy is a masterpiece of imagination. I loved picking up pieces of the story from researching it on my own and I thought listening to the entire thing would finally allow me to get to know the whole story. Sadly, this book does not really lend itself to be listened to. Unless you are a learned scholar of early Renaissance Italian society, this book will make no sense. The portrayal of the hell, purgatory, and heaven is quite vivid and well done, but the narrative is tied to the souls that Dante meets along the way. Dante uses his story to criticize the people that were living in his time I found it nearly impossible to follow the story as he meets with and discusses the sins and salvation of Italian notables from 7 centuries ago. I will still try to read this book someday, but I will find a hard copy with footnotes and keep a good encyclopedic website handy while I read it. This was written before audio recording was conceived and does not do well in this medium.
"Highly dependent upon historical context"
It would be a better audio book with narrations of explanation on some of the people in a commentary similar to the audiobook series
I don't think this a book well suited to the audio format unless you have a specialization in Italian Renaissance history so you know more of the people whom Dante mentions. Most of the people visited by Dante on his trip through the abodes of the afterlife are not well known even to a person with a history major (though I admitted focused on more ancient history). This difficulty would be averted by reading an actual book version with notes (like an oxford edition) to give better context to the various people mentioned.
Besides this difficulty people being skimmed-over throughout the work, it provides an interesting, narrative portrayal of the Catholic Church's doctrines both popular in that time and generally continuing into the present.
Its a lazy translation. All the spoken parts are archaic and so is most of the narration. Why not translate it into a modern vernacular completely. As it stands I had a very hard time understanding what was going on and what the characters were saying.
Don't offer anymore books with archaic translations. Either translate it for modern ears or let it rot.
"great sit down audio book"
yes its a classic you really have to listen to this a couple of times to absorb it. i usually work when i listen to audio boods but yes good classic novel.
probably dont care much for the people that speak the audio book just as long as they do a good voice lines for each character!
oh it was good i loved to just sit and laugh at it and also absorb it
good audio book but you have to focus on this one instead of multitasking like i do when i listen to audiobooks
"The Divine Comedy"
I have never complained before about one of the recordings I've downloaded from Audio. This translation is archaic, unwieldy, and totally unacceptable when compared with others. Compares well with King james Bible language.
I heartily recommend that it be removed from your list.
i wish the chapters were accurate. but that is my only complaint used my droid
DID NOT LIKE NARRATOR, COULD NOT GET IN TO STORY
THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN
"Excellent Delivery of This Classic Story"
Definitely hard to stay focused due to the depth of the writing and use of old language. However, the narration is excellent and acts as a guiding hand to tug you through this amazing story.
I listen to books while driving and found the material very dense and requiring a deep thought that I could not provide while driving. Had to rewind a lot because I would get lost in what was being described. Pam did a spectacular job reading the book and would recommend this for someone that can give the book your full attention while listening to it.
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