Review: The Dante Club

September’s read! #adventuresinreading This one actually took me a while to read. I had to stay up “late” on Monday to finish it. Matthew Pearl’s The Dante Club is actually one of a semi-series. There are three different books based on the stories of other authors. The others are The Last Dickens and The Poe Shadow. I own all three, but I’m definitely going to wait a bit before I read any of the others. Why? Read on…

The Dante Club

I’ve had this book for a hot minute. I think I got it from a discount books store that I haven’t been to in over a year and a half. I’ve been on a real Dante kick recently though. It’s just so intriguing!

The Dante Club follows a group of gentlemen in Boston/Cambridge in the later 1800s. They’re esteemed writers, professors, poets, publishers, etc. While working together to create the first English translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, murders start to pop up around them. Different influential men are murdered, seemingly randomly. They do figure out the origin of the murders and such in the end, so…good job club.

What did I just read?

The first few chapters of the book, I actually thought that I missed something…some sort of introduction or character overview. There wasn’t much exposition to the main characters in the book. Pearl brought up a lot of characters in a very short amount of time. There was also a lot of time spent around the first murder, and a bit around the second, but the book felt like the wrap up was forced.

I’m committed to books. When I start one, I feel committed to finishing it. That is mostly what drove me to finish this book. Also, I just wanted to know it’s purpose.

Would I recommend this?

I’m actually not sure. I’m still processing the book. If someone is looking for a really engaging read, no, I would not recommend it. If you’re looking for a period piece that’s mildly interesting, sure! It was intriguing how they brought in the Dante story, so I will give Pearl that one.

At the end of the day, I’m glad that I finally read the book. I think I’ll read the others one day.


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One Reply to “Review: The Dante Club”

  1. Oh I sometimes have to process my thoughts and how I feel about a book too! I thought I was the only one lol. And I also don’t like giving up when I start reading a book, though it usually takes longer to finish when I do this because I’m not as motivated to pick it up. I feel like this is one of those Classic books that everyone recommends you read. I haven’t read it, and based on the issues you point out, I think I’ll feel similarly. I dislike when a bunch of characters are introduced so quickly and I feel lost. Great review! I’m a little intrigued to read it haha.

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