I find this hilarious on several levels. Take a look at the picture below. Does anything seem a little…odd about it?

See that line at the top: “The literary classic that inspired the epic video game from Electronic Arts.” Yep, EA’s trying to trick you into reading buying the same book your English teacher assigned last semester that you couldn’t be bothered to read.

The cover art here is delightfully misleading–and also looks decidedly out of place shelved in the poetry section–as if doing its best to distract you from the fact this is just yet another edition of the Inferno, the same allegorical epic poem that Dante Alighieri wrote in the 14th century. Not a novelization of the game, which has little enough to do with the text it takes its name from. Not an updated, “edgy” translation to appeal to the “youth of today.” In fact, the translation they’re using here is the classic Longfellow one, with its chief merit being its residence in the public domain, rather than, say, the more modern Pinsky translation, which would add to the production costs.

But the awesome cognitive dissonance does not end there. The book’s other advertised selling point, one which does make it different from the B&N Classics edition sitting next to it, is color stills from the game alongside “classic illustrations” (mostly Dore). There’s something wonderfully silly in seeing screencaps of Giant Video Game Monster #5 being stabbed by Macho Shirtless Video Game Hero Type-B juxtaposed with a moody, intricate 19th century woodcut.

I’m fairly certain this book either heralds the downfall of decadent civilization, or is the most ironically funny thing ever created. Maybe both.