Author: Declan Moran (The Brothers Grim & Grimy)
I have to say, as a huge Divine Comedy fan, I was beyond pleasantly surprised to receive this modern-day version in the mail. This retelling of a literary masterpiece was done by The Brothers Grim & Grimy. (No, I’m not making this up). In fact, the introduction of the book tells the story of these two brothers who, in one night filled with madness, issued a dare to each other, went into separate rooms, and came out at dawn with their version of Dante’s classic tale. And after they joined their works together, they returned to their graves - where they wait still and silent ready to rise up again and do more damage.
The prose not only adheres to the classic work, so that all fans will certainly know what they’re reading, but the Brothers also used modern day words, sights, and sounds so that people less familiar with the original can glom on to a whole new world full of the darkest circles of mankind.
Within the pages, the Brothers also offer artwork that is so well done and poignant to the extreme, that all viewers will make sure that this is one book that will find a permanent home on their bookshelves. Original is not even the word for something that was this well thought out; one-of-a-kind would be a more precise description. One of the greatest attributes that impressed me was the break down of the Circles, and who would easily fit in each level between Heaven and that other really hot location. I love the fact that lawyers were put in Circle 8 along with the flatterers, thieves, and hypocrites. In addition, magician’s (even the illustrious H. Potter) and Frosty the Snowman found themselves a spot on the illustrious ladder. Modern day political figures such as Limbaugh and Gordon Ramsay appear in the text as well to solidify the fact that not much has changed over the years when it comes to dark and evil entities.
The writing is extremely modern without ever once losing the dramatic poetic effect that the original owns in spades. This is not only a wonderful way to experience The Divine Comedy, but it’s also a fantastic way to introduce the story so that we commoners can understand the intricacies, jealousies, and science-fiction aspects of Dante’s world. The way the book is laid out offers the new version in a column on the left hand side of the page, and descriptions/explanations of the paragraphs on the right hand side, therefore creating a wonderful story with notes that offer the reader a great literary experience.
I, for one, hope the Brothers rise once again in the future and take on another classic so that we’ll all be able to share the wealth of ideas that are quite apparently racing around inside their dead zombie heads.