Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno is the fourth novel in the series about Harvard professor and symbologist Robert Langdon. This time he finds himself in Florence, Italy, where he is trying to decipher codes related to Dante’s Inferno, in order to avert a global crisis. It is made more difficult by the fact that Langdon suffers from temporary amnesia and he does not know who his real friends and enemies are (neither do we). He is forced to trust Sienna Brooks, a genius doctor who saves his life in the opening scenes. Other main players include a brilliant scientist gone rogue, The World Health Organization, and The Consortium. Flashbacks throughout the novel give us tidbits of information, but not enough to figure out the ending.

Secret Passageways

It is somewhat ridiculous how Langdon constantly finds miraculous ways to escape, more often than not thanks to secret passage ways. (A recent interview with Dan Brown revealed that his own house has “secret doors and passageways at every turn” and that his office is hidden behind a painting.)

Fact

The preface states that “All artwork, literature, science, and historical references in this novel are real.” I find myself wondering if that is actually true, but in the end it does not matter. The novel shines light on a current global issue and the ending is very surprising (and controversial), and it shows that there are no clear solution to some problems. I would not be surprised if a few readers even agree with the villain.

Typical Brown Thriller

The chapters are really short (over 100 chapters in the novel), which allows for a high pace and you keep flipping the pages. Brown’s writing style has been criticized and if nothing else I wish he would drop the use of italicization. However, it does not matter that the novel has some annoying attributes, because the plot kept me going and I bet that you will see a lot of people reading Inferno on their vacation this summer.

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