Sunday, June 9, 2013

Book Review: Inferno by Dan Brown


Author: Dan Brown
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Date of Publication: May 14, 2013
Pages: 558 (NOOK Edition)

   About two pages into Dan Brown's Inferno I had an incredible feeling of deja vu.  I felt like I had read this before.  This author wrote a blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code, in 2003.  He created a unique character in Robert Langdon, an art historian and "symbologist" who deciphered a code painted into "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci.  A sudden act of violence triggered a hectic race against an international conspiracy.  Landon was aided by a female counterpart, a brilliant and beautiful cryptologist, who became more than a colleague.  The Da Vinci Code dashed through Paris, London and New York before it concluded back at The Louvre in Paris.  Substitute Dante for da Vinci, The Divine Comedy for "The Last Supper", a brilliant and beautiful physician for the cryptologist and Florence, Venice and Istanbul for the three cities and you have this novel.  The conspiracy is different here and the stakes are higher, but it's the same formula.

   The author certainly does his research, however.  The descriptions of the locales are superb and I am ready to sign up for an "Inferno tour" of Florence.  The lavish explanations and expositions regarding the artworks encountered are well done also.  My quibble with these, however, is that they tend to interrupt the action.  It's like getting an art appreciation lecture in the middle of watching "Die Hard".  I would also recommend that if they make a movie of this that they replace Tom Hanks with Usain Bolt as Robert Langdon since the character spends most of the story running helter-skelter from police, museum guards, the World Health Organization as well as his own claustrophobia and paranoia.  

     This was an interesting and informative read but, in my opinion, a repetitive one.

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