Thalia @ Pictures in the Words

I'm Thalia! I run a book blog called Pictures in the Words and I hope to be an editor for YA fiction. I'm a GoodReads refugee!



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Progress: 31/369 pages
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The Inferno (Review)

The Inferno - Dante Alighieri, John Ciardi

The Inferno is one of those books that everyone talks about, but very few people seem to have actually read. It’s a classic of the highest order, and after having read it myself, I have to say I agree with that verdict. It is genuinely magnificently written, and I have both Dante and John Ciardi to thank for that. The notes in this edition were extremely helpful, and I truly enjoyed Dante the character’s journey through Hell. I in no way agree with Dante’s vision of Hell and who belongs there, but it was a very interesting story and I really enjoyed reading it.


What I Liked: Spoilers!

  • I loved this edition of The Inferno. Ciardi’s notes and introductions really helped me get through each canto and understand what was going on. There was a brief introduction in the beginning of each canto that explained what would happen, and then there were extensive notes afterward to help explain some of the details about who, what, and why Dante wrote some of the things he did. There were also a few instances where Ciardi would offer a second translation of certain lines if they could have been interpreted differently.


  • Dante truly did write a work of art here. This book was masterfully written, and with the way the circles of Hell are set up and everything, you can tell he put a lot of effort and thought into the structure. It’s really well thought out and planned, and it’s genius in its allusions and structure. I would definitely recommend everyone read it at least once in their life.



What I Didn’t Like:

  • Some of it was just…slow. I got bored at times and lost in the Italian politics, so I couldn’t quite give this five stars. It was pretty good, but my eyes crossed now and then.


Overall: I really did like The Inferno, and I would highly recommend it as something for everyone to read at least once! There’s a reason it’s considered a class, and it was incredibly well written and structured beautifully. This particular edition had great notes that made it easy to follow the story!