Can our hoodie hero make it through nine circles of Hell and back again? Will he find love with his soulmate, Beatrice? Discover the city of Dis where everybody disses everybody. Meet Frankenstein, the lovesick bouncer with the bling-bling. Come face to face with the Furies, a gang of snake-haired females in T-shirts. Prepare for a host of gluttons, bigots and plunderers from the world of history and politics. John Agard fires Dante's Inferno into the 21st century in a red-hot retelling, with wicked artwork from Satoshi Kitamura.
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(250mm x 180mm x 15mm)
Frances Lincoln Childrens Books
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
In the middle of my childhood wonder / I woke to find myself in a forest / that was - how shall I put it - wild and sombre." Using Dante's Inferno as his model, Agard sends a teenage narrator on a tour of Hell, squired by a fable-spouting Aesop rather than Virgil and encountering not only Charon, Mammon and their traditional like but Einstein and the Furies, here pictured as a street gang. Despite Kitamura's jagged, smudgy black-and-white figures (some of which will be recognizable to contemporary readers), the trek never acquires much emotional or poetic intensity as, unlike Dante, the author seldom names names, finishes up in an abbreviated 13 Cantos and skips over any mention of Lucifer. He also closes by having the narrator hook up with Beatrice (billed by Aesop with a wink as "The Good Fairy") in the library: "I danced in the chemistry of her eyes / and I could have chilled out there for ever." Steer readers who can't face the original to Marcus Sanders and Sandow Birk's weirdly campy but grand illustrated rendition, Dante's Divine Comedy (2004). (Poetry. 12-15) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - John Agard
John Agard is one of the most popular and highly-regarded poets writing in Britain today. His poem Half-Caste is on the GCSE syllabus and he performs at Poetry Live events throughout the country. His adult collection, We Brits, was shortlisted for the 2007 British Book Awards Decibel Writer of the Year Award. His book for teens, The Young Inferno, won the CLPE Poetry Prize Award in 2009, was nominated for both the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards in 2010 and shortlisted for the 2010 UKLA Award. Goldilocks on CCTV, his poetry collection for 11 plus, inspired by fairy tales, is on the 2012 CLPE Award shortlist. John lives in Lewes, Sussex, with his wife the poet Grace Nichols. Satoshi Kitamura was born in Tokyo and has always loved reading comics and illustrated novels. With no formal training, he started work in advertising as an artist and came to London. He has written and illustrated 20 of his own books and illustrated many more, as well as translating children's books.for the Japanese market. He exhibits his work in London and has won a number of awards, among them the Mother Goose Award, Bronze Winner and a shortlisting for the Smartie Prize, a National Art Library Award and The New York Times Notable Book of the Year Award. WHEREABOUTS: London, Japan