I have the entire set of this reading of THE DIVINE COMEDY, and I am extremely impressed. I was dubious, at first, as I had never heard of the translator, Benedict Flynn, and so I compared the text to that of the Durling/Martinez volume from Oxford and the Hollander volume from Doubleday. I was impressed. This is an excellent translation, smooth and poetic. I have a slight prejudice in that I prefer British voices in poetic readings, and thus I am very pleased with Heathcote Williams' fine performance of the text. He dramatizes the text with certain vocal inflections, but he does so in a way that does not, for me, distract from the actual beauty of Dante's poetry. I like his soft and at time breathy vocal tones, which add a subtle emotionalism to much of the text.
The booklet that accompanies the discs is fabulous. An opening Note by Roger Marsh is followed by Notes discussing aspect of the text, thus:
The Poets arrive at the door of Hell and pass through to the antechamber. Within are shades who achieved neither praise nor blame in life, rejected by Heaven and Hell. Charon, who ferries the souls of the damned to Hades, refuses to ferry the living souls across the Acheron. Dante falls unconscious.
good of intellect: souls who lost sight of the 'Supreme Truth' of God.
great refusal: either Pontius Pilate or Celestine V who abdicated in favour of Boniface VIII."
The booklet is infused with a gallery of the majestic Gustave Dore illustrations for THE DIVINE COMEDY.
I love this audio set and highly recommend it.