The first book of 2016 that I have finished reading is the first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Inferno.
The edition I read is translated by Mark Musa & published by Penguin Classics.
Musa’s blank verse translation makes the epic poem flow effortlessly, & his commentary makes it easy to understand.
The beauty & horror of Dante’s vision has left a huge impression on me. Graphic descriptions of sinners being punished in various levels of hell left me feeling shocked & horrified.
For example, Canto 28 begins:
“Who could, even in the simplest kind of prose
describe in full the scene of blood & wounds
that I saw now-no matter how hard he tried!”
That is a rather tame quote from the Inferno, but it is a great example of how the reader is left in anticipation of the horrors to come.
I recommend this translation of the Inferno to anyone like me who has never read Dante or The Divine Comedy before.