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The Dante Club: A Novelby Matthew Pearl
"In case Jerry Bruckheimer is reading this, here's the pitch: It's Super Friends meets 19th-century American literature! Matthew Pearl's debut novel, The Dante Club, is an audacious and captivating, if flawed, new book that imagines a string of unspeakable murders in Boston, each influenced by Dante's Inferno....Pearl's Dante scholarship is truly admirable, and hats off to anyone who's this passionate about the crazy Florentine — or, indeed, to anyone who's this passionate about anything." Adrienne Miller, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)
Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times Bestseller
Words can bleed.
In 1865 Boston, the literary geniuses 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 College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing that the infiltration of foreign superstitions into American minds will prove as corrupting as the immigrants arriving at Boston Harbor.
The members of the Dante Club fight to keep a sacred literary cause alive, but their plans fall apart when a series of murders erupts through Boston and Cambridge. Only this small group of scholars realizes that the gruesome killings are modeled on the descriptions of Hell’s punishments from Dante’s Inferno. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante’s literary future in America at stake, the Dante Club members must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret.
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and an outcast police officer named Nicholas Rey, the first black member of the Boston police department, must place their careers on the line to end the terror. Together, they discover that the source of the murders lies closer to home than they ever could have imagined.
The Dante Club is a magnificent blend of fact and fiction, a brilliantly realized paean to Dante’s continued grip on our imagination, and a captivating thriller that will surprise readers from beginning to end.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Ingenious use of details and motifs from the Divine Comedy, and a lively picture of the literary culture of post-bellum New England, distinguish this juicy debut historical mystery....Great fun figuring out whodunit and why: a devil of a time." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"The detective story is well plotted, and Pearl's recreation of the contentious world of mid-19th-century academia is engrossing, even though some of its more ambitious elements...are somewhat clunky....[A]n ambitious and often entertaining thriller that may remind readers of Caleb Carr." Publishers Weekly
"[A] dazzler of a debut novel...a creative combo of edge-of-your-seat suspense, fully imagined characters, fictional and real, and an evocative, well-researched, well-realized setting that immerses the listener in another time and sensibility....Smart, exciting entertainment." BookPage
“The Dante Club is a thoroughly accomplished first novel. Matthew Pearl does a marvelous job of evoking the period and making it come alive with finely drawn characters and an ingenious story.”David Liss, Edgar Award–winning author of A Conspiracy of Paper
"A fascinating, erudite, and highly entertaining account of a remarkable moment in American literary history." Iain Pears, author of An Instance of the Fingerpost
“In The Dante Club, Matthew Pearl expertly combines rollicking entertainment with serious insights about Civil War–era America. The book is fun, smart, and enviably audacious.” Darin Strauss, author of Chang & Eng and The Real McCoy
"This first-rate thriller breathes such life into the genre that the term 'thrilling' genuinely applies. Matthew Pearl not only succeeds with a deft and elegant plot, but delivers an eloquent and quirky message for our times about the value of literary heroes. In The Dante Club we are privileged to meet the most unlikely quartet of sleuths." Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Lost
In 1865, the preparations of the Dante Club--whose members include Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes--to release the first translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy are threatened by a series of murders that re-create episodes from the Inferno. 100,000 first printing.
Kriminalroman. I 1865 arbejder en række amerikanske litterater p den første oversættelse til amerikansk af Dante's guddommelige komedie. Et magtfuldt selskab p Harvard University kæmper imod for at holde Dante i glemselen. S sker der en række mord efter opskriften i Dante's Inferno.
About the Author
Matthew Pearl graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude in English and American Literature in 1997, and in 2000 from Yale Law School, where he wrote the first draft of The Dante Club. In 1998, he won the
prestigious Dante Prize from the Dante Society of America for his scholarly work. He is also the editor of the new Modern Library edition of Dante’s Inferno, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He grew up in Fort Lauderdale and currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Dante Club is his first novel. He can be reached via his website, www.thedanteclub.com.
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