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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

"The Dante Club" by Matthew Pearl

This book has a puff from Dan Brown on the front which made me fear the worst. Happily it is nowhere near as bad as The Da Vinci Code; indeed it is nearly as good as The Rule of Four.

Set in Harvard in 1865 it chronicles Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell and publisher J.T. Fields, the Dante Translation Club, as they prepare the first American translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. But there is an evil professor at Harvard who seeks to stop them, damning Dante as obscene (and Catholic). Worse, a psychopath is killing people in ways that mirror punishments described in the Inferno.

Amusing hokum. As a whodunnit there were not nearly enough clues to identify the psychopath although one (a la Da Vinci Code) was obvious; as a thriller it was far too interested in the characters of the four famous Club members and the ins and outs of the Inferno and Dante's life and character. Me being an unusual reader I found these the most interesting parts of the book and I am now resolved to read The Comedy (and maybe the Vita Nuova as well) and to find a biography of Dante.

August 2009, 420 pages

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