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The Dante Club: A Novel

by Matthew Pearl

ISBN 0375505296 / 9780375505294 / 0-375-50529-6
Publisher Random House
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

A New York Times Bestseller
Words can bleed.

In 1865 Boston, the literary geniuses of the Dante Clubpoets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fieldsare finishing Americas first translation of The Divine Comedy and preparing to unveil Dantes remarkable visions to the New World. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing that the infiltration of foreign superstitions into American minds will prove as corrupting as the immigrants arriving at Boston Harbor.

The members of the Dante Club fight to keep a sacred literary cause alive, but their plans fall apart when a series of murders erupts through Boston and Cambridge. Only this small group of scholars realizes that the gruesome killings are modeled on the descriptions of Hells punishments from Dantes Inferno. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dantes literary future in America at stake, the Dante Club members must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret.

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and an outcast police officer named Nicholas Rey, the first black member of the Boston police department, must place their careers on the line to end the terror. Together, they discover that the source of the murders lies closer to home than they ever could have imagined.

The Dante Club is a magnificent blend of fact and fiction, a brilliantly realized paean to Dantes continued grip on our imagination, and a captivating thriller that will surprise readers from beginning to end. [via]