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Comment: 2010 Paperback edition; Permuted Press; Excellent clean tight unread condition
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Valley of the Dead (the Truth Behind Dante's Inferno) Paperback – April 30, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kim Paffenroth is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. He is the author of "The Story of Jesus according to L" and the coeditor of "Augustine and Liberal Education".

For over thirty years, Victor Bevine has worked as an actor, screenwriter, audio book narrator, director, and more. A graduate of Yale University, his acting credits include many prestigious roles onstage as well as roles in the film version of A Separate Peace and countless television shows. He has read over one hundred and eighty titles as an audiobook narrator; in 2010, he received an Audiophone Award for his narration of the Pulitzer Prize winning book The Beak of the Finch. He has written several screenplays, including Certainty, which was chosen for two prestigious writers conferences and which served as the basis for his first novel. His thirty-minute short film Desert Cross, which he wrote and directed, won accolades at the Athens International Film Festival. Currently, he serves as CEO of the World Freerunning Parkour Federation (WFPF), of which he is co-founder. He resides in New York City.

Kim Paffenroth is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. He is the author of "The Story of Jesus according to L" and the coeditor of "Augustine and Liberal Education". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Permuted Press; 1St Edition edition (April 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934861316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934861318
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,694,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Despite talks (within the genre) of zombies being just about "as played out" as vampires, there seems to be a fresh take on them nearly every month . . . but few have been as interesting (or intelligent) as Kim Paffenroth's VALLEY OF THE DEAD, which takes its cue from visions seen in Dante's INFERNO and imagines what he went through during his 17-year exile from Italy (a timeline of his life is provided for us mere mortals!).

The author's prologue itself is worth the cover price and dared me (and will dare any zombie fanatic) to keep reading long into the night.

Besides the uber-cool setup, Paffenroth's writing style here differs from his "Dying to Live" series, and the whole tone of the story seems (at times) like you're reading a lost account of a historical reality. The various characters he encounters (and befriends) along his journey seem quite real, and in their conversations (especially in Chapter 20) we learn nifty bits and pieces about Dante's past (hmmm---seems Dr. Kim set out not only to give his readers the willies, but 'learn 'em a bit, too).

While I truly enjoyed this, I'm not sure how many fans of the standard "shoot-'em-up/gut-munch" zombie tale will; but if you allow yourself to enter Paffenroth's speculative vision with no pre-conceptions, you might find it a hard place to want to leave.
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Format: Paperback
REVIEWED BY THE FUNKY WEREPIG

There are two main things you need to know about Kim Paffenroth's VALLEY OF THE DEAD. It's about zombies. And the book is based on Dante's `Inferno' from his classic poem The Divine Comedy. That's a serious mix of horror gore and incredible intelligence. I doubt very few writers could pull this combo off. But having met and chatted in depth with Mr. Paffenroth, I can also say that I'm not surprised that he nailed it.

With this novel, Paffenroth writes as if it's actual history. He follows Dante during one of the most depressing times of his life, his exile from his native city of Florence, Italy. Not much is known of Dante's life during this period but Paffenroth is more than happy to fill in those blank spots- with a zombie plague that has overrun the lands. And in doing so, his fictional story explains in a very matter-of-fact manner how Dante came upon his inspiration for his greatest and best known piece of work.

Told through Dante's eyes and words, he travels in search of some land that hasn't been overrun by the zombie plague. Along the way he joins a few companions- a soldier, a monk, and a pregnant peasant girl- who he forms unique bonds with as they journey literally through different levels of hell to a `safe' destination they're not sure even exists.

Where Paffenroth makes a brilliant choice is in having the living humans be the real horror. Oh yes, there are zombies all over the countryside, in the woods, the mountains and villages. You never know when they will attack and Paffenroth keeps the tension built throughout like a constant heartbeat. But it's in meeting the people who have survived the plague that offer the greatest threats.

Each chapter almost comes off as its own parable or tale.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Valley of the Dead is not a typical zombie novel. This novel gives you a fictionalized account of Dante Alighieri trying to escape a plague of zombies during his exile from Florence. Each chapter gives the story of Dante's travels and an inspiration for each canto in the epic poem. Dante starts off by saving a pregnant woman from a zombie attack and fleeing from an attack from an army trying to purge the zombie plague by killing all the living and dead in its path. From there Dante fights from awful scene to awful scene, trying to escape the valley. Along the way Dante befriends two more besides the pregnant peasant girl. A former soldier and a monk join up with Dante and share in the journey to escape over the mountains and away from all the evil and death. All in all, pretty good book. Good zombie action, plenty of gore and peril, and interesting premise. On occasion the pacing is off but it doesn't sink the experience. I recommend this to zombie fans, horror fans or fans of Dante's Divine Comedy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked it, but it was a bit like Inferno by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. Some variations, but I don't want to be a spoiler. Helps to be a bit familiar with Dante's original work, to see where the author is going, but overall a good read.
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Format: Paperback
The Divine Comedy by Italian poet Dante Alighieri is, arguably, one of the most studied and celebrated poems of all time. Religious scholars have spent centuries analyzing it for its theological content. Students of literature have sung praises for its prose for just long. On a personal level, Inferno (the volume of The Divine Comedy that deals with Hell) is one of the main things that sparked my dark interest in all things horror. The rhythm of the lines and the utterly macabre subject matter teamed with the violent yet beautiful imagery and I was hooked instantly. Now years later I've just finished Kim Paffenroth's Valley of the Dead, which is his fictional account of the years Dante spent in exile from his native city of Florence, and old horror is fresh again. He explains his influence, ideas, and drive for Valley of the Dead in his prologue. I read the entire book and thoroughly enjoyed it but I have to admit it only really took me the three page prologue to know I was gonna dig this ride.
In this account Dante enters a foreboding valley and is instantly drawn into an unholy adventure as both the dead and an army sent to destroy them ravages the first village Dante comes across. Dante, a man steeped in tradition and customs from his native land, saves the life of a pregnant peasant girl and together they flee the doomed town as the dead feast on its citizens and the army burns its buildings to the ground. The odd duo ride to the next town to warn of the dead and the approaching army but arrive to find the town swept up in frenzy against a supposed witch. One lone soldier, a deserter from the calloused and cruel army, stands against the crazed town folk. Again the walking dead appear and fire burns and Dante has another companion.
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