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on 9 June 2013
A truly frightening, beautiful and thought-provoking account of a human being's vision of the realms of the hereafter. I had read Dan Brown's "Inferno" and was interested in familiarising myself afterwards with various things mentioned in it, including Dante's Inferno and the architecture that Mr Brown describes, and I was amazed by Dante's incredible poetry and sense of drama.

On the Kindle, I was not totally keen on the layout - even with adjustments there was not much to a page, which interrupted the flow a bit, but I quickly got used to it and was able to make it work.

Whether people choose to read this work on the Kindle or as a real printed book, I totally recommend it to all.
25 people found this helpful
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on 7 December 2016
Musa's translation of Paradise is surely his crowning achievement. The clarity and beauty of this translation, together with his very insightful notes, has yet to be surpassed in my view. And although I consider Pinsky's and Merwin's translations of the Inferno and Purgatorio as somewhat more powerful, I use Musa's notes throughout the Divine Comedy.

Even though the Comedy (naturally) contains scholastic elements, the poem's originality, coupled with its existential dimension, make sure the Divine Comedy still resonates.
6 people found this helpful
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on 26 January 2014
Once I heard about The Divine Comedy, I was always intrigued by it's bold story and even more so after seeing Gustave Dore's illustrations for the poem. When I finally got round to reading it, I was surprised at it's more narrative based text and autobiographical, highly personal way of reading. It amazes me that such an imaginative, personal, emotional, metaphysical, innovative and controversial work could be written in this time (c.1308 - 1321), especially when concerning the political & social context and political rivals of his time that Dante implicates in the poem.

With both the illustrations and the poem itself there is something very mystical, ethereal, surreal, dreamlike and yet realistic about the way it reads (which is a great credit to C. H. Sisson's translation & David Higgins notes, diagrams and maps in this edition). It's as if you as the reader has discovered or been given Dante's personal diary after his passing, which has been left, written from the spiritual world for you to find and be read as a guide and preparation for the afterlife in itself. The first line speaks to you immediately, with no introduction of who, where, how or why; just Dante's personal expression of waking up and finding himself lost in an unknown world, yet accepting of his own death.

I have currently only finished reading Dante's Inferno, which was at times an intense read in itself and a lot to take in and understand at times when concerning the political subtext especially, but in this edition there is plenty of historical context, appendix and notes that help you to understand and appreciate the text more so. I also found it effective to read the poem alongside Gustave Dore's superlative illustrations for the poem, which seem to capture the atmosphere perfectly from the prose.

I would highly recommend this Oxford World Classics edition to any newcomer; as Sisson's translation and Higgins notes help you to greatly understand and appreciate this epic poem for what it is; a metaphysical study, political / social commentary of it's time and literary, artistic masterpiece.
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on 3 May 2018
Having started collecting these leatherbound classics, I really can't fault the quality of these books. They are obviously not small and lightweight but they're not meant to be. This one looks lovely on the shelf with the others. I can't review the content as I've not read it yet, but the presentation of all these books tends to be lovely and I love reading the introduction in the beginning of each one. Highly recommend these books to anyone wanting a treasure to cherish who just loves books.
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on 13 October 2012
This Clothbound Classic from Penguin is beautifully bound and enjoyable to read. The quality of the paper and the fact that each double page has the Italian and English text displayed, makes this a real treat. The notes on the text offer some insight into the political climate that Dante was writing and give the lay reader an important context for the work to be set against.
12 people found this helpful
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on 24 April 2014
I'd highly recommend this edition of The Divine Comedy to any fan of poetry and even if you've read it before or own a different version (as I do), it certainly makes a great addition to any book collection. It is a beautifully produced book that really stands out on the shelf, with golden edged pages and a spine that grants it an age old and dignified feel.

It's quite striking when you open it up for the first time, I was studying the front and back cover for some time before I even began reading and it instantly felt precious; it's something that should be looked after with great care. These features certainly enhance the words on the page too and truly make the work feel that much more epic. There are illustrations throughout the book that are quite spectacular too and, as the poem itself can be a little tricky to navigate at times, the images certainly help to clarify some of the more convoluted parts of the poem, at least for me, and make it clear what is going on. In many ways the images strengthen the work, helping you to visualise what's going on and also adding to the shock value, particularly in the Inferno.

There's a neat introduction preceding the poem which is very informative, with a bit of background information on Dante and an outline of each of the three sections, which is also helpful. I'd have liked more in way of analysis, but that's probably best left for the Oxford Classics Edition. At any rate, the information given here is made very accessible, and it's a nice little addition to the rest of the book. The layout is clean and tidy too, with the cantos neatly divided up and line numbers to help clarify where you're at.

Buy it, you won't regret it.
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on 23 August 2015
What can I say, I am struggling to find the right words to say how beautiful this this, it is a divine book for a divine piece of work; an epic poem in an epic designed book, for years I have been looking for this piece of work in a decent binding and this is more than decent it is the best edition I have ever seen I recommend this edition to anyone who wishes to own this masterpiece.
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on 19 May 2018
Beautiful looking book with great formatting. The texture of the page is also very agreeable and won't disrupt reading. Also, unlike other texts, the font is slightly larger than usual which is nice.
Was not expecting diagrams but it was a pleasant surprise and a great aid when reading.
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on 10 November 2014
Aside from the fact that it is such a famous classic - I truly love this print.
You are not to judge a book by its cover but you can with this one.

The leatherbound cover is beautiful as as the gold page trimming. The images inside are great and the print is easy and fluent enough to read.

Bring on cold winter nights, the blanket and hot coco for this one.
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on 26 January 2018
I have only just started to read this epic poem, but I am already enthralled by it. and find it hard to put down.
One person found this helpful
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