writermala, August 10, 2013 (view all comments by writermala)
Every time I read a book by Dan Brown I tell myself, "This has got to be his Magnum Opus." - till the next book comes along. On reading "Inferno," I was delighted. If ever a book called educational entertainment this is it. Brown uses an interesting plot, which starts out with an attention grabber, and slowly and meticulously introduces page after page of fascinating Art, history, and literature. For many of us who read the book in a hurry the ending is really thought provoking.It serves as a new beginning as we debate an important social issue in our minds. I agree with Brown totally that "in dangerous times, there is no sin greater than inaction." This book is a must read for existing fans and new readers of Dan Brown.
dmard, July 17, 2013 (view all comments by dmard)
Dan Brown's Robert Landon books are all fabulously rich with history, art and architecture, but I have to admit that there's a recognizable formula in the books. That is, until you reach Inferno.
While Inferno is yet another gripping, fast-paced adventure running at break neck speed through several of the great cities of Europe, that's where the similarities end. In this volume, you never know who to trust or what will happen next. Alliances and the facts shift like quicksand and the only thing that's clear is that Landon is on his own getting to the crux of this mystery.
My only criticism of Inferno is that it will take so long for the illustrated version to come out!
I'm a Dan Brown fan... I've read all of his works, not just the Robert Langdon series - Digital Fortress is probably my favorite work of his. Anyway, being a fan, I was excited to hear that he was coming out with a new book, had Inferno pre-ordered, and actually waited up until after midnight on release day so I could start it immediately keeping the next day free of commitments so I could dedicate it to reading. Sadly, the only thought that kept running through my head while reading was "Oh Dan, where is the heart!!?" :-/
I like Brown's writing style despite the harsh critique it's received. I enjoy how his books are layered with codes and mysteries, how they're incredibly fast-paced & often surprising, & how he takes facts and then pulls and twists them like taffy as far as they'll go without breaking to turn them into riveting fiction.
I don't even mind the repeated format within the Robert Langdon series - professor and expert on symbology and iconography finds himself embroiled in the middle of a high-stakes mystery, teams up with an attractive, smart and capable foreign woman who helps fill in the gaps and challenges him, and the two cement alliances, skirt villains, and undergo a hair raising adventure to save the world's (or the world itself).
With all that said, Inferno just fell flat for me. It had the expected format as mentioned above. It had the twisted facts as also mentioned above. What it didn't have was any of the action packed thrills and gasp inducing surprises I've come to know and love in Dan Brown's books. In addition, those style critiques I mentioned were very evident in this book to me, where I hadn't even noticed them before: foreign languages used during dialogue - a lot of times without clarification leaving holes for those of us who don't speak fluent Italian or Latin, references that make no sense - a train of thought referral to Dutch city where MC Escher lived (who cares if that's where the artist lived, it has no bearing in the story & took 3 sentences to tell!), simile & hyperbole used in the weirdest of places without much order, etc.
I wanted to love this book. I really, really did, especially given my fascination with and deep appreciation for Dante and all of the other art and literature his Divine Comedy spawned, but alas I just couldn't, and am giving my very first ever 2 Skull review. *sigh*
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