Inferno by Dan Brown

August 3, 2013

inferno Plot summary (from the publisher): In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces…Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • The references to Dante’s Inferno were interesting, as was the information about his life in Florence. I’m sure most of this stuff could have been gleaned from Wikipedia, but since there’s not a whole lot else to praise in this book, I’m inclined to give Brown a little credit here.
  • Robert Langdon actually said that he was too old for Sienna! I have to admit that I was dreading the prospect of a Langdon/Sienna hookup, so it was a relief when it didn’t happen. And to openly state that age was an obstacle (and to stick by the objection instead of just using it as segue for listing a bunch of reasons why such a relationship WOULD work) is something not often seen in this type of book.

Disliked:

  • There was so little action in this book that it took me over a month to read it. When you compare that to how I finished Da Vinci Code in less than 24 hours, you can imagine my utter disappointment in this story.
  • There weren’t all that many “codes” or “clues” here–just one stupid poem written on the back of the Dante death mask. And Langdon didn’t even get his hands on that thing until, what, halfway through the book? Again, the action was way too slow in unfolding.
  • This book mostly read like a travelogue rather than a thriller. Brown spent way too much time describing Italian architecture and art, which was completely unnecessary since, unlike in Da Vinci Code, those things had very, very little to do with figuring out where the virus was.
  • Brown’s too frequent use of informal punctuation (?!) was appalling. I expect to see that sort of thing in blogs, text messages, or Facebook status updates, not in a book published by Doubleday!
  • I’m not about to go into the plausibility of the main villain’s actions because I don’t feel like spending that much time on it. Suffice it to say, the whole premise was beyond ridiculous.

Rating:

This was another disappointing effort from Dan Brown. Inferno was boring, repetitive, and completely lacking in suspense or surprise. Maybe it’s time to write a standalone instead of trying to force this Langdon series to go on. I give the book 2 stars out of 5.

One Response to “Inferno by Dan Brown”

  1. I agree with you. My only criticism is the generosity of your 2 star rating and your “likes”. I borrowed this book to check that my opinion of Dan Brown’s literary capacity should remain unchanged.His only ability is indeed to tell a ripping yarn, which he does exceedingly badly. In this book, the yarn does not even rip.

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