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Dante's Inferno; Adapted by Marcus Sanders
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Dante's Inferno; Adapted by Marcus Sanders

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  902 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
An extraordinary new verse translation of Dante’s masterpiece, by poet, scholar, and lauded translator Anthony Esolen
Of the great poets, Dante is one of the most elusive and therefore one of the most difficult to adequately render into English verse. In the Inferno, Dante not only judges sin but strives to understand it so that the reader can as well. With this major new t
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Chronicle Books
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Jun 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating volume, as it modernizes Dante's well-known classics not only with great illustrations of contemporary America, but also with a much more contemporary translation. While it does, of course, take some liberties with the translation, I like this volume because it really shows why this book is a classic- it endures because it is still applicable today, despite Dante's constant references to 13th century Florentine religion and politics.
Paul Moyer
Oct 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ...drinks for ALL MY FRIENDS!!!
...back in yore of days Cal & me used to wax/wank about doin' a modern vernacular translastion of Eliot's "Waste Land" which would render the famous passage

To Carthage then I came

burning burning burning


den I wen' to da big city an'

After only 20 or so years someone has beaten us to the schtick at least as far as The Comedia is concerned. Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders have done an amazing job violating Dante's High Italian into Modern Americ
Mike Angelillo
Nov 18, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: regrets
Yeah.....sorry, just not working for me.

Ok, this is a brave endeavor to undertake. Re-writing (and re-drawing) what is considered the greatest work written in the Western World.

But for me it just fell flat. It read like a combination of the Divine Comedy and "Hey Dude! Where's my car?!" It simply makes no sense to have a modern day "cool" Dante talking passionately about 1300's Italian politics.

Also, on some level you have to respect the structure and rules of hell that Dante set up. For examp
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book contains modern illustrations and a slang version of the text of The Inferno. Now, the cover and the illustrations are phenomenal, but I expected the text to go with the drawings a LOT more...

I think for a true modern rendition, one would have to adapt the text and topics to a large extent, and make areas of hell correspond to things like being forced to eat McD's for eternity, or being repeatedly run over by trains, or have drug-related tragedies.

Still an interesting read, but I thi
Aug 20, 2008 rated it liked it
This is very cool in concept and very pretty. It's an extremely modern, loose translation of Dante... It's very approachable: kept all the lovely gory bits, but lost most of the deeper poetic meaning bits. One of the main reasons to check out this version is the fascinating woodcuts by Shadow Birk. They're done in the style of the original Inferno illustrations (Gustave Dore in the 1800s), parodying modern life and culture. It's a great re-envisioning of the text. My inner scholar gets a little ...more
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: rachel k. ;0)
i gave this version of the inferno such a high rating soley for the artwork. it's really stunning, in my opinion. the text itself was culled from various editions and translations of the inferno, and then modernized to incorporate current powerful figures, modern lingo, &c..., and it's interesting, but there's probably more to be had from closer translations. but the imagery is really beautiful--i spent more time looking at the art than reading the text (which was bad because i was supposed ...more
Jun 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is really a book for those who have already read the Divine Comedy. In fact, reading this translation along with a more traditional one helps a lot--especially if you're not familiar with it. A huge part of what makes it enjoyable is seeing how Sanders brings Dante's rants against his contemporaries into 'our' time (and not just by including modern slang or dropping Oprah's name).

And, yes, the illustrations are phenomenal.

Oct 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Dante's political enemies, righteous heathens, all of them have Hell as their final address. Dante talks to many of them, and they tell him their stories. I liked the new images of Hell at every level that the characters traveled. If he is right about his poetic vision of the netherworld, most of us will be there in one circle or another, with medieval Florentines all around us.
Kelan Steel Lowney
Jul 31, 2008 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this version of the Inferno. Perhaps I should give it credit for getting me to finally read Dante's masterwork. But the colloquial language ends up doing more harm than good.
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
I don't even know what made me read this book. Torturous, boring, and really long. Never again.
Joss Ratcliffe
Feb 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
Intended for semi-illiterate teenage Americans. If your over the age of 14 read the real thing.
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, poetry, imagetext
I've read a lot of Inferno translations, and while this is far from my favorite, it does have some advantages that other translations would never be able to touch.

First off, it was put together by two surfers from LA, one a writer from various surfer periodicals, and one a visual artist. The Gustave Dore wood etchings are all parodied in a comic book style, most to an interesting effect, so that instead of being situated in hell per se, the characters are put in different locations in a fictiona
Marylu Sanok
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I requested this book as a reference for the new Dan Brown book Inferno. This is not the orginal, but an adapted version by two men who modernized the text and drawings.

The original, The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Inferno with a verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum is the book I am now reading. I remember reading this in high school and didn't think much of it. I found the book Dante's Inferno very interesting and he adds current names of people in the various levels and pits. The added r
Little Red Hat
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The modern adaptation of Dante's "Inferno" that inspired my favourite film version of the poem.
Sanders' text, composed in modern American English, includes references to well-known figures from our own time as well as the original "sinners", along with the use of recent slang - making this Medieval work accessible to any reader.
Birk's stunning illustrations are clearly influenced by Gustave Dore's classics, but they also carry a modern twist, such as skyscraper-filled backdrops and chain store
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love the Sanders translation of Dante (though compilation and interpretation may be a better term to use). The illustrations of Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York (standing in for a contemporary Heaven, Hell and Purgatory) with their homage to Dore's illustrations of the Divine Comedy act as a perfect foil to the use of street language and surfer talk running through the books. I believe these "translations and illustrations deserve to become a modern classic! The opening "I found myself ...more
Kaitlin Ward
Has to be one of the coolest adaptations of a classic of all time. (Instead of seeing all these ancient philosophers/politicians people may or may not have heard of in the journey through hell, it's modern day people--or at least, more modern day, because if I recall correctly, not everyone was within the last hundred years or so. But people anyone would've heard of.) And the illustrations are beautiful. I already love the original, but I feel like this would make me want to read it even if I ha ...more
Apr 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book was really creepy and i found the punishment to be really vivid and gross. I dont recommend it to others although it does "straighten" bad boys up by telling them what happens when they go to "hell." But although this is just one person's view of hell you never know what it would be like. I dont recommend this book to anyone thats really young because you must be mature because of the contents in the book.
Jake Breeden
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
ok so this book im reading is totaly insane. its this journey threw hell. within this journy Dante travels with his comanion virgal threw 9 circles of hell. limbo, the lustful, the gluttonous, cheapskates, Anger, heresy, Violence, the maleboge, and cirle 9 the frozen lake (cocytus) and the satin. i've onley gotten to cheapskates but the journey is awsome.
Dec 25, 2012 rated it liked it
After a while I got tired of the "Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet"-ness of this - modernization for modernization's sake - but I had an easier time with it than the canonical Ciardi translation, and the illustrations are consistently well done and well suited to the text, so I can't knock it too much.
J. Argyl
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes modern twists on the classics

I became interested in this project when I found this book on the shelves of a woman I was dating. When I saw it in a bookstore a year or more later I decided to pick up all three volumes and read them. Unfortunately I didn't care much for the translation but the illustrations are amazing. I love the concept and wish I could afford to have the real prints. They are magnificently original.

Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book was quite long in fact it was quite confusing if you don't read it very carefully. Some of the Canto's(Chapters or so) are just confusing. I couldn't quite make it out but after a long time of reading it i did. This book seem so horrifying and if your a person that go against humanism, I recommend this book to you.
Patrick Carson
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
five stars! a beautifully written book! join dante and his guide virgil as they venture through the black gates and through the abyss. to fully appreciate and understand heaven, one must first go through hell.

abandon all hope, ye who enter in.
Nicholas Dragon
Aug 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
This version, set in Los Angeles, is a blast. I've read other translations of the Inferno (read the entire Comedy twice) but placing it in LA makes me see my home town in a whole new light. The detail is excellent. Highly recommended for Angelenos and Dante-heads alike.
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
The famous tale of the pilgrim's descent into Hell, translated into contemporary, urban, American English. Don't read it instead of, but in addition to, the Italian original or one of the more faithful translations (Mandelbaum).
Shana Dennis
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This edition was the easiest to read and understand, and I love the redone Dore prints. My only (negligible) gripe is that I wish it had footnotes explaining why Dante included certain people in the circles he did, like in other editions I've read.
Oct 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: serious readers
i was the only one in my high school class who actually read the book. i don't know why i liked it. i loved reading the annotations to see how brilliant of a writer dante was. it was inspiring in that way, at that time, for me.
Stephanie Garces- Iero Way
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This adaption of Dantes Inferno makes it possible for almost any one to understand it since it is written in the modern vernacular. I love how humor is added to this horrific tale of the stages of Hell and makes anyone watch out for their sins.
Arsenio Santos
Oct 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
As usual, Sandow Birk's artwork is compelling, memorable and thought-provoking. This time, however, he's got (an adaptation of) Dante Alighieri's text to fall back on, instead of his own attempts at writing -- which definitely makes this a better "read" that his other books.
Mar 28, 2007 rated it liked it
I liked parts of the book, but there was something about allegory and symbolism that was entirely lost on me. For pleasure and leisure, it was great; however, it was draining nay, exhausting to study it for a class.
Nov 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Before I started reading, I assumed I wouldn't like it because I haven't really enjoyed any of the classic literature that I've read so far. Not that I've read a lot of the classics, anyway. But I actually liked this :)
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