Series: Robert Langdon #4
Format Read: Hardcover
Source: local library
Release Date: May 13, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.
Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.
So, Dan Brown seems to be one of those authors that people love or hate. I actually fall in the middle, I can take him or leave him. The blurb was appealing so I added this to my library wishlist and eventually it came in.
"Inferno" is long, the hardcover I read was almost 500 pages, and it wasn't necessary. There's a lot that could easily have been cut. Brown is verbose in his descriptions and it seems as if every little thing is worthy of description. I appreciate his love for art and history but the details bog down the story at times and slow the action.
The title comes from Dante's epic poem "Inferno" and the poem is crucial to events. You don't have to have read poem, Brown gives us more than sufficient background and information. Much of it was interesting and at times I found myself wishing that I remembered more from when I read it in college. But, you don't have to have read it to enjoy the book. Brown weaves art, history, science, and religion into a story that was at times horrific, due mainly to the reason for our "villain"'s actions. He tackles the ongoing issue of human overpopulation and ties it into Dante's poem. Honestly, the information provided about overpopulation was at times overwhelming and terrifying. There's no easy answer but what the antagonist does is drastic and will have long term consequences in this series. Occasionally, Brown gets heavy handed om the topic of overpopulation but for the most part he's calm about it.
Many of Brown's trademarks are in the story: a far-reaching conspiracy, a beautiful and possibly treacherous woman, assassination attempts, twists and turns (and they were genuine twists, my head spun in circles a few times), and a mix of politics and religion. The characterization is spotty at times, there's too much detail, yes that is possible, and he sticks with his formula. It was an interesting read, not a great one. If you're on the fence, I'd suggest skipping it.