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on 29 May 2016
The collected work of Gustave Doré's illustrations to all three of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedies: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise accompanied with the core texts. A perfect collection of the same standard of the one of John Milton's Paradise Lost. I literally have nothing negative to say about this product.
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on 4 December 2016
A great book and this edition is absolutely excellent - the paper, book binding and cover are all of an exceptional standard and if one did not know, one would have assumed that it cost several times its actual price.. I am not sure how it is possible to produce a book of this quality at such an extremely reasonable price. Highly recommended.
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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.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 17 April 2016
Bought this leather bound edition for my son as part of a Christmas gift and I am glad to say he was delighted with it, as was I. This is a really beautiful bound leather edition that is illustrated throughout featuring Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's renowned and 135 full-page reproductions of Gustave Dore's classic engravings from the 1867 edition. What more could one ask for as the two go hand in hand IMHO. Binding and paper quality together with print quality is truly exceptional and if you want to own a copy this is a lovely edition to go for. I have heard some discussion in the reviews about the quality of the translation form the original Italian. Well, the same can be said for most translations, however, I personally cannot find any real fault in the translation. Perhaps the academics may disagree, but one must bear in mind this book is for reading and owning and enjoying: it is not a text book for academic study. Buy it and you will love it.
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on 14 September 2011
...and Love surely was part of Professor Musa's great endeavour in translating the whole Comedy into English: his passion for Dante emanates from every single translated verse and endnote.

Funny however how many reviews and appreciations exist about his first two volumes, and Inferno & Purgatorio generally, but not so for Paradiso: do I suspect that not many reach the end of Dante's supernatural journey? And yet, it's a wonderful Paradise that we encounter in the verses of this cantica.

Many first time readers of the Inferno must have finished it in a few sittings; the Purgatorio continues the narrative interest. It can likewise be read quickly, in a few days, in the knowledge that the reader will return to master the identities of some of the characters, or puzzle out some of the more obscure points. The third section od the Divine Comedy is different. The Paradiso is a work of prodigious originality, where the effects achieved may be found in other artistic forms (i.e., painting and music, to name two), but not often in literature. Why?

Because Dante is going to achieve what the 4th Gospel said it was impossible -- at the end of this cantica he will see God, or at the very least, as words and vision fail, he will have come as close to seeing God as anyone else in literature. In fact, the Paradise is the boldest work of Western literature, since, if it achieves its effect, it will have ceased to be an imaginary narrative and will have led the reader to the vision experienced by the pilgrim-poet. Its aim is nothing less than to enable us to see God.
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on 28 October 2016
I have read the Divine Comedy rapidly; so I must return in the future. It is an astonishing work in spite of its scholasticism, excursions into Florentine history and plethora of classical allusions. Dante was liberal in relation to his times, but his mediaeval attitude is often trying. A saving grace is his poetic eloquence which illuminates many cantos. The translator's notes are exemplary in their scholarship.
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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 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.
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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2011
Having wanted to read this book for a while but being put off by the seemingly endless number of translations available, after not much research I finally plumped for this version by almost picking it at random.

Generally, I didn't have any problems with the translations and it all seemed to flow quite nicely. Admittedly, I haven't read any other versions so have nothing to compare it to, but suffice to say I didn't struggle with this book one bit.

Onto the actual story that Dante tells, I actually really enjoyed it. Despite being hundreds of years old, the story seems very timeless. Although it does seem like a medieval way of name dropping; with a constant barrage of people who were then famous (or infamous, I suppose) but without the notes, I'd have had no idea who they were or their significance.

There's so many layers to each Canto that you don't even realise are there until you read the notes. It's quite brilliant, in a way, and another reason why I enjoyed this version of the book.

The "comedy" part of it is, as you would imagine, rather dark at times. For example, two blokes are stuck in a frozen lake in Hell with only their heads above the ice, with one guy eating the other guys brains. Turns out that the person eating the head was forced to eat his own children/grandchildren after the other guy locked them in a room and starved them to death. Hilarious stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. Although I did laugh out loud at one or two phrases, like the devils that were blowing raspberries at each other, with the other devil "saluting them with his bugle of an a--hole"!

It's an easy to read book, considering how old it is, and it is really worth what little effort it takes to get through. A great book and a very nice translation.
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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.
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