Hmm. Okay, let's see. I tried reading this book some ten years ago and I found it horrendously boring, and I had the illustrated edition. I decided to give it a go again now 'cause it's one of those books you have
to read at some point if your life as a reader.
It was enjoyable at the beginning, it didn't feel as tiring and complicated as I remembered it. I had recently finished reading 'Faust' and I couldn't help comparing it to 'The Divine Comedy'; I liked the latter a whole lot more. Dante had an understandable plot, for starters!
Anyway, I did find a bit hard to follow the constant mention of Italian names and the feuds they had against one another. Social critique and politics of 1300's Italy were heavy subjects and can wear down the average reader as it eventually did to me.
I read a review by someone saying that the reason people immediately think about hell when 'The Divine Comedy' is mentioned is due to the rest of the book being rubbish. I would like to say I don't agree but I don't really disagree entirely. The first part is more eventful than the rest, full of gore and impossible punishments; I guess you can say it was quite creative. And there were also some apparition of famous personalities from Ancient Greece, which I found very interesting even if scarce.
Sadly I started losing interest by the end of Purgatory and downright lost it a few chapters into Paradise. It was all so theological and philosophical and cosmic.
Overall, I think the story needed more punch. I mean, I was expecting some word exchange with the Devil when they finally got to him, but they just moved along like it was nothing but an ugly piece of furniture in their way.
I get this book us if huge importance to the history of literature and linguistic but, well, it's not the 1300s and I'm no Florentine. I'm not the target demographic for this book.