William's Reviews > The Dante Club

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
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's review
Sep 24, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: trade-paper, mystery
Read from January 01 to 06, 2012

A spectacular way to start off the new year, Matthew Pearl's debut novel, The Dante Club, is an engrossing read that is atmospheric and exhilerating. It is set in Boston, 1865, shortly after the end of the American Civil War. A series of grisly murders shocks the Massachuesetts city, and some of America's most beloved literary minds, Longfellow, Lowell, and Holmes (not Sherlock, but he acts like it sometimes in the book)discover the grisly murders are reminiscent of some of the torturous deaths portrayed in Dante's Inferno, an Italian poem they are translating into English for the American public. The poets follow the insignificant clues left behind by the killer as they believe that their tranlation of Dante is the crux of the murders, but soon come to realize that real life can be just as fantastic as the poetry they write.
My only issue with this novel was the quick jumps & time shifts early in the plot that Pearl employed in an effort to give the reader some background information about the real life protagonists. However, once the story got in gear, the flashbacks became less frequent and far less distracting.

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Reading Progress

01/01/2012 page 32
01/03/2012 page 202
54.0% "I am really enjoying this book."
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