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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2010
I began the Comedy with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's interpretation; which, though lofty and elegant, is about 10 times harder to comprehend than the King James version of the Bible. So I switched to A.S. Kline's interpretation. That, in concert with Cliff's Notes, made all the difference.

Cliff Weber
Oregon
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2002
Readers, please note: The two people who gave this negative reviews thought that The Inferno was written in Latin. It wasn't. Clearly, they read neither the Cliff's Note nor the book. Silly to write a review of a book that you know nothing about!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2014
I used this version for a college humanities class. It's good to read before each canto because it gives you a good idea about what is goin on. This book does give you some back ground, which is good, but it is a better aid for leisure reading than for academic study. We are currently reading the translation by Anthony Esolen and I find the notes his book to be more in-depth and more useful for the class. Might be a better source for high school students?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2013
I bought this to go through before reading Dan Brown's Inferno to refresh my mind regarding Dante's original. I like the background information about Dante himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2013
The Divine Comedy is a really well written, although sometimes excessively wordy and detailed piece of work. Before undertaking the original version---I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Cliff Notes. It will make the original piece far more valuable to you. love, maureen
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2014
The Cliff Notes are very well put together. It makes clear a writing that can be difficult to read and can be understood on many levels. The glossaries and summaries are concise and to the point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2012
Took the scary out of what I was reading by understanding the author's POV and backstory. Actually made it more interesting.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2013
Great overview to read slowly in a couple of hours. A friend of mine (a published Oxford poet, with two earned doctorates in Literature) when asked told me that the Inferno was a "tough read." Well, I thought if he can't do it, I had better get some help by getting the lay of the book as a whole. It worked for me.
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Read the Signet version instead. Has great commentary and summaries as well as the story itself. I can't comment on the translation but it was recommended by the high school teacher and I don't think he steered us wrong.
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17 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2000
Well, it's odd to write a review for a set of Cliff Notes, but I'll make an exception in this case. People often equate buying Cliff Notes with kids who have to read a book and want to actually get OUT of reading the book. However, I bought Dante's Divine Comedy: The Inferno for leisure reading (actually I like the theological implications that Dante ponders in the writing of his poem) and the Cliff Notes have become quite useful. The Notes start out with a general background of Dante, giving a mini biography of the author. Throughout this sketch they allude to a number of instances in his life which will come into play in his work The Divine Comedy. They then go on with an overall synposis of The Inferno. After that they go into a full-out commentary on the work itself.
I picked up the Cliff Notes at the same time I bought my copy of The Divine Comedy. Why? Well, I didn't want to miss a thing. I read for fun, but I also try with the books I truly enjoy, to read critically. Knowing that the copy of The Inferno was actually a translation from the latin meant that since I cannot read latin, that there would be certain nuances of the language that I may miss out on when reading it in english. Hence, I am relying on the Cliff Notes (which I read AFTER I finish a particular section) to point out these instances to me. I can then go back and re-read the section and gain the deeper insight into the poem itself. Used as a supplement (not as the source itself, which unfortunately happens with many users of Cliff Notes) this has proven to be a nice tool. It is by no means absolutely necessary (my copy of The Inferno comes with its own commentary... I have the Bantam issue of Dante's Divine Comedy) but it is nice to have on hand when there are sections that are a bit 'heavy'. I will not go into the book itself here in this review, since this is the Cliff Notes, but instead I'll tackle that in a review of the book itself. Overall, I think the Cliff Notes are a nice addition, something to have next to the armchair when reading the actual book. The only downside... the Cliff Notes cost almost as much ($4.95) as the book itself ($5.95).
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