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Barlowe's Inferno Hardcover – December 8, 1998


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Morpheus International; 1 edition (December 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883398363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883398361
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.5 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Mr. Barlowe has done just that.
Charles B. Tibbetts
Everything about it screams of human suffering as the souls of the damned are cruely ground down in to the very stuff hell is made of.
Jim Boydston
Each picture is filled with detail and rich color.
Steven Thomas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Bottom line: if you like jarring images for your jaded visual palate or as Robert Williams put it, are a "retinal fiend", then buy this and buy it now! But beware, it is not the usual eye candy. You have to like your candy made of habanero peppers, gravel and meat by-products.
There is very much that is odd about this book. It's certainly a coffee table book but only a deranged, militant bishop would leave it out on the coffee table. It is not a guide, neither field nor travel, nor is it a photo-journal of a trip as, with only 22 full color paintings and 6 sketches, it would be a woefully incomplete one. Yet, at times, one is left with the feeling that Barlowe is on the verge of a new form of story telling, i.e., using a series of almost disconnected images to force the reader thru a series of emotions and conclusions leading to an inescabable denouement.
The artwork, while visually stunning, has its oddities also. It owes nothing to Dore, Bruegel or Bosch and in this Barlowe succeeds in the almost impossible task of creating something "completely new" in his re-fitting of Hell. His handling, always meticulous, has become a vituoso display of textures and gone, generally and thankfully, are the sharp linear highlights and brushwork of his earlier works.
The images presented are neither hermetic nor hieratic and very approachable in symbolic content. While somewhat more impressionist than realist, the paintings range from landscapes to portraits. Yet, they are curiously without sympathy--the artist is moved to awe by the atmosphere of Hell but conveys little pity for its inhabitants.
In this, he matches Dante, but oddly again, gone is the divine logic of Dante's punishments. Barlowe's punishments are capricious and illogical.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jim Boydston on January 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Depicting an artist's descent in to hell, Barlowe's Inferno is a richly stunning masterpiece. This hell is not a simple pit of torment, not limited to one religions preconcieved notions, and definitely not a place you would want to be. Everything about it screams of human suffering as the souls of the damned are cruely ground down in to the very stuff hell is made of. One of the other reviewers mentions that the depictions lack sympathy for the souls of the damned, but indeed how can you have sympathy for the souls able to wonder when every brick of the behemoth structures surrounding them is itself a soul, when the very dirt is constructed of souls so old and torn they have become agonized fragments of dust. From the Demons Major and Minor with their regal stances and manor bearing witness to their once grace filled state, to the lesser demons completely alien and yet frighteningly recognizable, to the bricks that stare at you with their sorrowful imprisoned eyes, this book is simply captivating.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jim Nevermann on December 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Very highly recommended... but be certain all your lights are on when you open this beautiful but disturbing book.
Although Barlowe's searing INFERNO imagery is rendered in a somewhat less photographic, more "painterly" style than his earlier books I have, it's dead-on target for depicting this eternally skin-crawling, hyper-grotesque netherworld. Helpfully described by a sort of narrative text, the twisted inhabitants of Barlowe's raging nightmarescapes purposefully go about their unending torments with skull-shredding focus: their horrors make bizarre sense.
I first went through this visually and spiritually cacophonous, masterful work on Christmas day. What contrast: listening to carols about angels from Heaven, while staring at demon-shrieking souls in Hell.
Final note; don't miss the deliciously caustic JUSTITIA OMNIBUS at the bottom of page 2.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles B. Tibbetts on February 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Having read Dante's Inferno, a visual description is hard to render. Mr. Barlowe has done just that. He has painted the hard to desribe. One look through this book and you will be "disturbed." Mr. Barlowe has taken the ideas of different religions and beliefs in rendering his "Inferno." Having caught a "glimpse" of what awaits those that do wrong in the afterlife, one sees the visual deterent to doing wrong. This book is a must see.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Kristoff on December 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Barlowe seems to have drawn his visions of hell directly from some deep, primordial ancient memory within us. His illustrations are haunting beyond measure, and seem to resonate with a subconcious picture of what many of us must think the hell of religion and legend must be like. His illustration style departs from his work on Expedition and his other earlier work. His style in Inferno has an ephemeral quality, leaving the distinct impression that there is still something just beyond the edge of perception, beyond the ink on the page. The text makes a perfect accompaniment, providing palpable texture to this world of Barlowe's. As dark as the subject matter is, this is a beautiful book and should definitely be in your libary.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Clapsaddle on October 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This collection is basically Barlowe's visual interpretation of Dante's Inferno from The Divine Comedy. Each painting has a page of description pointing out the purpose and reason for every detail in the image. From a tortorous picture of Lillith, to the haunting painting of a minor demon riding on the backs of several tortoured souls held together with muck, they are each fascinating to examine. Like Dali and other fantastical artists, one can look at these paintings and see something new every time. The color work is fantastic, and in some paintings actually appears to be digital photography until one looks closer. A ver well-thought-out project, it is pleasing to see another side of Barlowe's intelligent work.
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