November 28, 2013

BOOK REVIEW | Inferno by Dan Brown

Basic information
Title: Inferno (Goodreads)
Author: Dan Brown (Twitter - Website)
Series: Robert Langdon #4
Published by: Bantam press in May 2013

‘Seek and ye shall find.’
With these words echoing in his head, eminent Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings.
A threat to his life will propel him and a young doctor, Sienna Brooks, into a breakneck chase across the city of Florence. Only Langdon’s knowledge of hidden passageways and ancient secrets that lie behind its historic facade can save them from the clutches of their unknown pursuers.
With only a few lines from Dante’s dark and epic masterpiece, The Inferno, to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes buried deep within some of the most celebrated artefacts of the Renaissance – sculptures, paintings, buildings – to find the answers to a puzzle which may, or may not, help them save the world from a terrifying threat…
Set against an extraordinary landscape inspired by one of history’s most ominous literary classics, Inferno is Dan Brown’s most compelling and thought-provoking novel yet, a breathless race-against-time thriller that will grab you from page one and not let you go until you close the book.

The reason I got this book is because the selling strategies that bookstores use, work. When the book is literally everywhere, you kind of feel tempted to buy it. Luckily I stumbled upon one of the rare English editions they had and ended up getting my first Dan Brown novel. I’ve read The Da Vinci Code a few years ago but it was a copy from the library so I don’t actually own it. I didn’t know what to expect from Inferno and that’s why it might have taken a few months before I started reading it.

While protagonist Langdon chose for a life without a partner he always ends up with a woman on his adventures though nothing serious ever happens between them. I don’t know why this is a reoccurring theme in the Langdon books but it sure is ironic in a way.
This book is full of mystery and suspense. In the end Dan Brown has deceived you once again and do you need a moment to understand everything yourself. Throughout the book there are tons of plot twists that keep you reading. Langdon and his companion get themselves into situations where improvising is needed and where Langdon then all of a sudden remembers where there’s a secret passageway. Sometimes it was well done but other times I was more like ‘really?!’.

I thought this was a great read, I enjoyed it very much. The theme is interesting (Florence, Dante, The Divine Comedy and lots of art and architecture – as usual) and the book is written in multiple perspectives. I’d recommend it to people who enjoy this genre (mystery, adventure, thriller) and to people that are interested in history, art and symbolism. Inferno isn’t Dan Brown’s best book, I think The Da Vinci Code is still much better.

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