Monday, October 11, 2010

Dante's Journey by J. C. Marino

After Detective Joe Dante's family is murdered, Joe will go to any lengths to catch the murderer and find justice, even if that means following the killer into the depths of Hell. 

In 1961, Joe steps off the streets of Boston and into the first circle of Hell.  A mysterious tour guide, Virgil, attempts to get Joe to realize he's dead and take him where he belongs, but Joe is hell-bent (literally!) on finding Argenti, the murderer of his family. 

Dante's Inferno has been one of my favorite books since I was a child.  As soon as I heard about Marino's book, I knew I had to get my grubby little hands on a copy.  When you're renewing a classic, it's pretty tricky and few can pull it off.  In this case though, Marino is definitely a winner.

Different Dantes, different stories.  That doesn't really cover it though.  The basic premise of the story is the same.  Dante takes a trip through Hell with his guide, Virgil.  Both books are full of symbolism and deep thought.  Basically, Dante's Journey is a more updated version of Dante's Inferno.  Yes, I'm sure Dante is rolling over in his grave if he's reading this, but this is my blog and this is my opinion.  The literature factor is definitely still intact.  It's not up to par with the original, but it is geared more towards today's reader.  The story is definitely more updated.  Joe Dante leaves his living life in the early 1960's and his story in Hell spans nearly 50 years.  This leaves room for rock stars and Catholic priests in Hell, as well as the original inhabitants.

Overall, this is a fast-paced, thought-provoking ride through Hell.  It's not pretty, but it's not supposed to be.  It could have been a bit more graphic for my tastes, but I still devoured each and every word.  Fans of Dante's Inferno will enjoy that the story is comparable yet different.  Those who haven't read Dante's Inferno will love the ride. 

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