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Extended Audio Sample The Dante Club, by Matthew Pearl Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (21,010 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Matthew Pearl Narrator: Boyd Gaines Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1865 Boston, the members of the Dante Club—poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fields—are finishing America’s first translation of The Divine Comedy and preparing to unveil Dante’s remarkable visions to the New World. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing that the infiltration of foreign superstitions onto American bookshelves will prove as corrupting as the immigrants living in Boston Harbor.

As they struggle to keep their sacred literary cause alive, the plans of the Dante Club are put in further jeopardy when a serial killer unleashes his terror on the city. Only the scholars realize that the gruesome murders are modeled on the descriptions from Dante’s Inferno and its account of Hell’s torturous punishments. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante’s literary future in America at stake, the Dante Club must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret.

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and outcast police officer Nicolas Rey, the first black member of the Boston police department, place their careers on the line in their efforts to end the killing spree. Together, they discover that the source of the murders lies closer than they ever could have imagined.

The Dante Club is a magnificent blend of fact and fiction, a brilliantly realized paean to Dante, his mythic genius, and his continued grip on the imagination.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Matthew Pearl is the new shining star of literary fiction—a heady, inventive, and immensely gifted author. With intricate plots, classical themes, and erudite characters…what’s not to love?” 

    Dan Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code 

  • “Ingenious…Working on a vast canvas, Mr. Pearl keeps this mystery sparkling with erudition…Pearl, with this captivating brain teaser as his debut novel, seems also to have put his life’s work on the line in melding scholarship with mystery. He does justice to both.” 

    New York Times

  • “Pearl’s triumph is mixing these two cultures: wealthy, cultivated men of letters faced with the mysterious and seedy streets of a nineteenth-century Boston…creating not just a page-turner but a beguiling look at the US in an era when elites shaped the course of learning and publishing. With this story of the Dante Club’s own descent into hell, Mr. Pearl’s book will delight the Dante novice and expert alike.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A hell of a first novel…The Dante Club delivers in spades…Pearl has crafted a work that maintains interest and drips with nineteenth-century atmospherics. The real test of a book like this is whether, upon reaching the end, readers feel motivated to delve into Dante for some firsthand glimpses of the netherworld. Those who don’t weren’t paying close enough attention.” 

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A #1 Washington Post bestseller
  • A #1 Boston Globe Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Marcy | 2/20/2014

    " Still trying to make it through this book. So far it's been so boring that I put it down and have finished Dick Francis' Flying Finish and am already half-way through Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. Maybe I'll pick it up again later, but I'm struggling to get excited about this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Daniel | 2/19/2014

    " Like The Last Dickens, this was a very clever book. I thought it was a little better than The Last Dickens. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Debbie Hersh | 2/16/2014

    " I really like the way the author brings the historical people to life as well as making well-rounded fictional characters along side. The fictional murder mystery blends seamlessly with the historical facts and you can tell the author has done a lot of research. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ravi Teja | 2/1/2014

    " the book is good to read. it encourages reader to look into dante's "Divinia Comedia" an excellent work. "

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