In Inferno the befuddled yet well-dressed, attractive Harvard Professor Robert Langdon is back and is here to “learn us” some Dante.
Mild Spoilers after the break.
Inferno is a slow read that lacks the interest or build up found in Dan Brown’s earlier books. This book is no DaVinci Code. There is no secret conspiracy to be discovered around Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy. Instead Langdon and Sienna must uncover the plot of a mad man scientist by discovering clues left behind based off of The Divine Comedy.
Are you still with me?
Now I love Dante’s Inferno; it’s almost impossible to come out of an English Lit degree without finding yourself reading about Dante’s descent through the nine levels of Hell. But Dan Brown’s Inferno… well I have a few issues with this novel.
Brown’s Inferno starts off well dragging the reader right into the center of the drama. Someone is being chased throughout Florence and instead of letting himself be caught he jumps off the roof of a building and falls to his death. The novel then returns us to our good ol’Professor friend Robert Langdon as he wakes up in a hospital bed with no clue how he got there and a wound on the back of his head.
Well then it gets better! It turns out the wound in the back of his head was caused by a bullet. THEN the person trying to kill him shows up at the hospital to finish the job. Langdon and an attractive Nurse named Sierra manage to escape. Everything is set up, you’re ready for some sort of reveal onto what’s going on. And then nothing happens.
Oh, Langdon and Sierra run around a lot, and he tries to figure out why he’s being hunted but the Reader learns NOTHING. You know there is some cool mystery or conspiracy going on somewhere but no one wants to tell you. The thing is, you know more than Langdon, you see the story from other character’s points of view but you’re offered the same facts over and over again. Nothing changes. Nothing new, 200 pages pass and you, the reader slave on, because you just need to know what happens. Something has to happen this is DAN BROWN FOR GOD’S SAKE!
Finally in the last 150 pages the action resumes, there are a couple of twists (ranging from extremely obvious to okay) and the reader gets their ending.
Dan Brown Books are guilty pleasures for me. I can’t help but want to be Robert Langdon. I want to travel the world and lecture and know a ridiculous amount about art history and symbols and obscure religious cults.
As much as I love pretending to be Langdon and going on his great adventures… I know that they are in essence flawed. I can’t help but ignore that even though Brown introduces an extremely intelligent woman who spends the rest of the novel hanging off of Langdon’s every word, subservient to his knowledge.
Dan Brown is the perfect example of a summer beach read, its entertaining to read and turn your mind off for a while, but eventually you have to come back to reality.