Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno

In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered...

Title:Inferno
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0385537859
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:461 pages

Inferno Reviews

  • Ashley

    I guess this will fulfill my yearly quota for Mickey Mouse watch-clad academics who solve ancient conspiracy filled puzzles.

    - - -

    : Sometimes, I feel like Dan Brown is my nemesis.

    In interviews, he comes off as a smart, earnest guy (if a bit of an academic dweeb*) who has an obsession for puzzles, old art and conspiracy theories, but also as a guy who has no idea how to laugh at himself. He seems to take his own work very seriously, and gets his feelings hurt by even the eensiest teen

    I guess this will fulfill my yearly quota for Mickey Mouse watch-clad academics who solve ancient conspiracy filled puzzles.

    - - -

    : Sometimes, I feel like Dan Brown is my nemesis.

    In interviews, he comes off as a smart, earnest guy (if a bit of an academic dweeb*) who has an obsession for puzzles, old art and conspiracy theories, but also as a guy who has no idea how to laugh at himself. He seems to take his own work very seriously, and gets his feelings hurt by even the eensiest teeny baby criticism. He writes the same four or five characters over and over in every book he’s ever written. He writes books that have sold millions of copies but he has no idea how to write a character that doesn’t flounce around his stories like a puppet with his hand up its ass. He seems to enjoy writing books that will make people tear their hair out in fits of aplopleptic rage. Once, I’m pretty sure he compared himself to Shakespeare, but I can’t find the article right now so you’ll just have to trust me, I guess. He completely disavows the notion that he writes with a formula**. The public image he’s created for himself sometimes gives me a strong urge to chew up nearby scrap paper and then spit it at the back of his head. And I’ve never hocked a spitball in my life.

    *

    **

    His books are similarly easy to riff on, and

    is no exception. Actually, as the fourth Robert Langdon book, it’s the easiest, because it’s becoming increasingly obvious through repetition what his limited repertoire of tricks consists of. Namely: Repetitive plot, repetitive characters, the traitor, the global organization, the puzzle plot (for no reason at all in this one seemingly), etc, etc. See above formula. But the Langdon books in particular have their own special vocabulary. For Langdon himself, you can’t go two pages without one of the following being mentioned: the Harris Tweed that he wears (in apparent defiance of the establishment which scorns the apparel as ‘nerdy’?), his Mickey Mouse watch, the fact that he is in exceptional shape for his age because he swims every morning, his great head of hair (something always noted by other characters, not Langdon himself), having characters applaud or notice how handsome Langdon is, young chicks falling for him all the time, and my personal favorite, how the only thing he thinks about besides his scholarly pursuits is that one time as a child he got stuck in a well, and apparently he never really left. It’s apparent to me that Dan Brown clearly works out his own fantasies, desires, and frustrations in the pages of his books. Bottom line: there’s a lot to criticize in a Dan Brown book.

    HOWEVER.

    (This is where this review will take a 180 and flip positions, so if you’re one of those people who are uncomfortable admitting that even the worst written book might have something worthwhile to offer (THE PLEBES AND THE STUPIDS LIKE IT SO I MUST NEVER) back out from this page slowly and go elsewhere on the interwebs.)

    Here is my point to counteract – or maybe encompass is the better word – the points above. Even if the above points are true, and I believe they are, they do not affect my enjoyment of the book. Look, you don’t read a Dan Brown novel for great writing. You just don’t***. You read a Dan Brown novel to be carried along on a plot going the same exact speed of one of those fancy foreign high-speed trains. You read a Dan Brown book to see historical facts and famous pieces of art placed in new context, or maybe just to learn something. You read it for the secrets and the conspiracies and the ridiculously high stakes the plot hinges on. You read it for the red herrings and the betrayals. (If you’re like me, you also read it so that every time Dan Brown writes something with a Dan Brown flair, you can shake your head or laugh loudly or use whatever sort of exclamations you prefer –

    , you say, mentally patting him on the head with simultaneous affection and frustration.) You read it to find out what crazy thing he’s written about next, and to find out just how many and what types of people he’s going to piss off next. You read it to be fucking entertained. In that respect, this book is pretty much a success.

    ***

    Also, for as much shit as people give Dan Brown, I think he’s good at quite a lot of things that get overlooked most of the time. He’s really good at research, for one thing – the wealth of historical detail he uncovers in his books is extremely thorough, and I’d be willing to bet the amounts of information he uncovers that he doesn’t put in his books is rather large. I also think it’s notable that the historical and artistic bits he does include are nearly always very interesting. For another thing, in terms of the genre he’s writing in (the thriller), his writing is top notch. I’ve read a lot of thrillers by other authors, and in comparison, Dan Brown is something of a wordsmith. On a related note, the purpose of the thriller is to thrill — to create suspense. So while one might consider his short chapters that 99% of the time end in cliffhangers as ‘hacky,’ you might also want to consider them ‘effective’. They serve their purpose — they get you to turn the page. And finally, and maybe most significantly, Dan Brown has a definite talent for finding our cultural panic buttons and then pushing on them real hard. The effect of this is that he works through in his novels issues that we face every day, and he does so in a venue that can be sold candy-coated to a consumer mass public that would otherwise barf up similar information in reflexive panic.

    The last thing I want to say about Dan Brown and this book is the reason that I ended up giving it four stars instead of three. That reason is ballsiness. He tries to break up his formula in this one, and in some ways he succeeds. It was an interesting experiment in

    to have the plot start with Langdon unable to recall where he is or why he’s in Italy, with a gunshot wound to the head. From there, he has to piece together his recent past and solve a mystery he’s already solved once before all over again. This adds an extra layer of confusion to the plot that his previous three Langdon books were missing. He also shakes up his infamous traitor plot a little, but I won’t say too much more about that just in case you’re going to read it for yourself. But the most significant reason I say he has balls is the ending to this book.

    I mean, that’s just unheard of in this genre. I won’t get into the politics of it, but in terms of story, I really think that ending saved this book.

    I could probably go on, but as this is my 52nd review of the year and it’s almost 2,000 words, I think I’ll just leave it at that.

    (I still kind of want to throw spitballs at the back of Dan Brown’s thick head of hair. Anybody know if he’s doing a signing in AZ?)

  • Mohammed Arabey

    It starts with

    Nightmare

    Waking up in Florence far from home,not knowing how he even got here

    With a head wound and a hellish nightmare of inferno to come

    And by trying to solve the codes & puzzles of his chaotic situation, he find out that he must travel again...and

    It starts with

    Nightmare

    Waking up in Florence far from home,not knowing how he even got here

    With a head wound and a hellish nightmare of inferno to come

    And by trying to solve the codes & puzzles of his chaotic situation, he find out that he must travel again...and again

    Although authorities and assissants hired by mysterious 'Consortium' trying to catch him and have all the means to track him, What's worst that they don't hesitate to shooting pullets on him..

    And This time all that is not for the sake of Vatican Cardinals, or to unlock a code kept hidden by secret successors of the Knights Templar, or saving The Mason's Secrets..

    This time it's for the sake of the Globe...The World we're living in.

    Based on a hell of a theory by 19th century Malthus , predicted the real current chaos of the global over population and its hell of consequences, the story get its hell of plot, which as I said more dangerous,really darker than ever and even more confusing.

    For me the light Dan shed on this problem really scared the hell out of me.

    and encrusting it with Dante's Inferno wasn't really helping but to increase the fear of the future...

    Actually that made me a bit confused and somehow taking side with the 'villain' in this novel...it was a serious dilemma , I didn't know how I really want this novel to end..

    But Dan Brown really know how to make a suitable ending, as I loved his ending in his

    cause let's admit that ending a bomb in the last 3 seconds is silly ending unless it's done smartly and perfect...

    I won't say more about the plot, since I think telling even the tiniest bit of it would be a bit of spoiler of the thrilling novel.

    Though it's different since the very early beginning...as Dan Brown choice was of work of literal, as he said at the Illustrated Edition preface..

    Yet it still packed with Historical, Symbols and Art references

    The splendid tour/chase in the early morning of Florence..

    The amazing perfect choice of Venice to be a metaphor for the crises of over population.

    Even the small glimpse of Philippines with the metaphor of the inferno of Malthus' Theory.

    And that other great metaphor of the New met the Old, East met the West , the Christian art met the Islamic symbols..the End of our Journey here..Turkey.

    All these secret places, and marvellous golden Art , Halls and Buildings..

    Mixing that all as usual with the thriller packed novel..

    Characters here was perfect too... the special mind of Sienna Brooks leads Robert Langdon just as Vargil leads Dante through his Inferno...

    The Silver Beauty of Life and Health verses the Mask of Death...the Transhumanist ambitious..who turned manic - Again I can't blame him much, I almost turned one like him reading this novel.

    Those characters will help in other kind of references, science, medical information, trivial ones about how mind work and the conversion from dark topics -like this novel- to lighter ones ,say

    And of course Every Character is deep enough ...and surprises are always guaranteed with Dan Brown..

    These are dark times my friends, dark times...

    And I believe That a story like this required too much efforts to make a good ending..

    Yet It's perfect to me ... as satisfying as having a watch for Christmas of my favorite character :)

    As I said I was facing the same mixing feeling about how I wanted his

    would end..And same here.. and Dan Brown really made it right.

    It's a great story , a great enriching journey ...That's why I recommended the Illustrated Edition at my pre-review "here --->

    That would make your journey easier than searching while reading, yet you'll find the craving for more pictures and videos and may be a visit for these places..

    Mohammed Arabey

    From 16 Feb. 2015

    To 25 Feb. 2015["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Elius

    Allow me to summarize every Dan Brown novel ever:

    An unsuspecting but intelligent protagonist is called up in the middle of the night. Someone very powerful and possibly related with the authorities needs his expertise that only the protagonist can provide. A well-known figure has died and that started a chain of events with catastrophic consequences. The authorities need our protagonist's help to solve a puzzle left by our instigator just before he died, which has some clue in to the nature of

    Allow me to summarize every Dan Brown novel ever:

    An unsuspecting but intelligent protagonist is called up in the middle of the night. Someone very powerful and possibly related with the authorities needs his expertise that only the protagonist can provide. A well-known figure has died and that started a chain of events with catastrophic consequences. The authorities need our protagonist's help to solve a puzzle left by our instigator just before he died, which has some clue in to the nature of our ticking time bomb.

    Meanwhile, unbeknownst to him, a secret organization has dispatched an assassin who must fulfill tasks that would have huge social ramifications all throughout the world. What the assassin and the secret organization don’t know is that the purpose of the assassin/secret organization and the purpose of the person directing the assassin/secret organization, which is our antagonist, is entirely different.

    While our protagonist is running from the assassin and solving said puzzle (which has to be solved within 24 hours), he is joined by a young, beautiful and intelligent woman related somehow with dead man/instigator. At the very last moments of the book we have a final reveal: the protagonist knew the antagonist from the very start! He was being manipulated the whole time!

    The book ends with the antagonist succeeding somehow. The protagonist and the readers are left with a moral question on whether the antagonist is truly the villain... or did he do something that actually benefits the whole world.

    --

    Is Inferno different from other Dan Brown books you ask? No it's not. There are minor variations to Brown's tried and tested formula, but it will not add anything to your reading experience. The book is recycled to its core. In fact, depending on how many of Brown's books you have read, you can see the twists coming based on the number of pages left.

    tl;dr: Don't waste your time

  • Sarah (Presto agitato)

    Or something.

    When I took this picture a couple of months ago, I thought Dante’s dour expression must be because he was pondering the horrors of hell. Now I think it’s because he was dwelling on the ignominy of having his masterpiece turned into this Dan Brown novel.

    By the fourth book in the series, the formula has been well-established: Robert Langdon, the intrepid Harvard professor and “symbolo

    Or something.

    When I took this picture a couple of months ago, I thought Dante’s dour expression must be because he was pondering the horrors of hell. Now I think it’s because he was dwelling on the ignominy of having his masterpiece turned into this Dan Brown novel.

    By the fourth book in the series, the formula has been well-established: Robert Langdon, the intrepid Harvard professor and “symbologist,” must race against the clock to decode a series of obscure clues left by a madman to save humanity from destruction. The only thing surprising is that Langdon continues to be dumbfounded when he finds messages from shadowy cabals hidden in the pockets of his Harris Tweed. You’d think he’d be used to it by now.

    Unfortunately, the book reads as part dressed-up travelogue, part Wikipedia entry. On the plus side, much of the discussion is about Florence, one of my favorite cities. Brown does name-check some good places (I’d agree with him that “No trip to the piazza [della Signoria] was complete without sipping an espresso at Caffè [sic] Rivoire.”) The problem is that these observations about Florentine tourist destinations are interspersed with scenes of our valiant heroes racing through the narrow streets, fleeing heavily armed paramilitary operatives who want to kill them. Langdon is never too distracted to pontificate about history and Renaissance art, but it's probably more likely that he would give the Frommer’s a rest during this particular tour.

    The real disappointment, though, is in the lost opportunity. A Dante-inspired thriller has a lot of possibilities, but this novel is strangely bloodless. It’s just a prolonged scavenger hunt

    designed to show off all the places Brown researched. I’m sure he had fun doing the research, but he never gives us more than any decent guidebook would. Brown has so much potential material, with the city of Dante, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, the Medici, and Savonarola. What he comes up with, though, is bland and forgettable. His bad guy doesn’t come close to stacking up against either history’s bad guys or Dante’s imagination. I don't think anyone reads Dan Brown's books expecting literary masterpieces, but a little excitement and unpredictability wouldn't hurt anyone.

    I did read, though, that they

    while they toiled at their work. It’s perhaps a bit too easy to draw an analogy between that and

    , so I’ll refrain, but maybe it could be the seed for Brown’s next book?

    ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Jennifer Fidler

    Instead of reading any more Dan Brown books, I'm just going to complete the following "Mad Lib" with my sister. Feel free to play along.

    UNTITLED DAN BROWN BOOK MAD LIB

    1) a number ______

    2) month that has at least 28 days __________________

    3) adverb that denotes stress ____________________

    4) pick a European city...any European city _______________________

    5) title given to a respected educator or professional _____________________

    6) first name ___________________________

    7) pretentious last name (bo

    Instead of reading any more Dan Brown books, I'm just going to complete the following "Mad Lib" with my sister. Feel free to play along.

    UNTITLED DAN BROWN BOOK MAD LIB

    1) a number ______

    2) month that has at least 28 days __________________

    3) adverb that denotes stress ____________________

    4) pick a European city...any European city _______________________

    5) title given to a respected educator or professional _____________________

    6) first name ___________________________

    7) pretentious last name (bonus points if synonym for "Brown") _______________________

    8) prestigious museum or institute located in city chosen for #4 __________________________

    9) famous work of an artistic or religious nature _____________________

    10) any old secret organization or cult you feel like picking on this week _________________________

    11) social or political cause du jour __________________________

    12) adverb that indicates someone is an idiot ____________________

    13) founding member of christianity and/or a member of Aerosmith ______________________

    14) a bad way for humanity to come to end ___________________________________

    15) list 5 cities in the world you've ever wanted to visit___________________________________

    16) list 10 works of art/literature connected to or presently located in the cities from #15 __________________________

    17) a number less than 48 ______________

    18) a fraction ______________

    19) a person with a genetic malformity ___________________

    20) a number over 100 ____________

    21) word that means "all" or "every" (feel free to use either or both) ______________

    22) activity that humans do just because they like to or want to ________________________

    23) nonsensical word that means "pretty swell" _______________________

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    ROBERT LANGDON, #___ (1)

    Late one night in _________(2), Robert Langdon finds himself _____________ (3) running through the streets of ______________(4) having recently been contacted by _________________ (5) ____________ (6) _____________________ (7) of the _____________________________(8). ________________ (6) has contacted Langdon to decipher clues discovered in _______________________ (9). Before he has a chance to fully devote his attention to the task at hand, a fanatic from the __________________________(10) attacks Langdon and his host, revealing a conspiracy to violently end ____________________________(11). Although Langdon has fallen victim to this same plot twist numerous times and by the same formulaic plot and characters, he once again _______________(12) follows a new sidekick who will ultimately betray Langdon and/or turn out to be the last descendent of _______________________(13). In the process of saving everyone from __________________(14), Langdon visits ______________________________________________________(15) and sees ___________________________________(16). Within less than _________(17) hours, Langdon manages to solve __________ (18) riddles, be nearly killed by ____________________(19), and mentions his Mickey Mouse watch at least ________(20) times. Meanwhile, the reader has seen pretty much ____________(21) plot twist or surprise thrown his/her way. And at no point does Langdon ever _____________________(22). In the end, Langdon returns to Harvard knowing that symbols are truly ____________________________(23).

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    So there it is. The "formula" (which is what I hope Brown names his next Langdon book). If we're lucky, it will also have at least 100 chapters, each one ending on a note that makes us think of

    skits.

    I haven't read

    , but that book must have been horrendous considering how many reviews of this one that start out by saying, "At least it was better than his last book..." (OFFICIALLY NEVER READING

    )

    Good night, and may you not wake up with amnesia in Italy tomorrow.


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