I finished reading The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl. Here are my comments:
My favorite part: when two members of the Dante Club found that their
friend GW Greene preached at the veteran club about Dante and well
before the scheduled discussion/translation session at Longfellow’s
house. They (and I) have never suspected that GW Greene would do this
since he was (almost) always asleep during the session and the other
members kept the murders and mistery as a secret from GW Greene! I
thought like (half laughing) jee, I should’ve known that, how typical,
The most gruesome and memorable part for me is the death of P
Jennison. The other murders were “ok”, this one really gave me goose
bumps. The death of the judge and the reverend were decribed vaguely in comparison to Jennison’s. I think this is because one of the protagonist (Holmes) really witnessed when the victim drew his last breath this time, and saw how he looked. The author described what Holmes saw through Holmes’ eyes. On the other murders, none of the protagonists was present and thus, no detailed description.
One thing that bothers me is the way Fanny Longfellow died. This might
not be an important point for the book/author, but I thought it is a
bit unrealistic (??). She died because of the injuries she had after
her dressed caught on fire. This fire was caused by hot wax which
dripped on the dress…. to me this doesn’t really make sense, or a
bit impossible. Hot wax for seal does not burn paper when it drips on it. So it can’t make fabrics catch fire, can it?
I would certainly recommend this book to others. It is not a book that is
easy to read, at least in the beginning. But once you are absorbed in
the mistery, you just want to go on. I have to admit that I cheated .
I was so curious after reading about the death of the reverend (not
even half way of the book). And not long after that I took a peak at
the end of the book, and found the murderer . I’d have never guessed
that it would be him! He was introduced as a nobody like somewhere in
the middle. His name was mentioned only a few times except in the
chapter which is sort of dedicated to his own story.
The ending: I think it is a bit weak, not satisfying.