BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bea Reviews Inferno by Dan Brown

Publisher: Doubleday
Series: Robert Langdon #4
Format Read: Hardcover
Source: local library
Release Date: May 13, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

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.

Bea's Thoughts:

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.  


  1. I am enjoying this series, but I'm with you-I could take or leave it :) I gave Inferno a 3 star rating, and liked the previous books in the series a little better.

    1. I actually can't remember if I liked those more or not. :D But I liked them enough to read this one.

  2. This definitely wasn't his best work. It was thought provoking, yes, but like you said - way too long. I didn't get the same enjoyment of the travel in this book as I did with his previous Robert Langdon works. But, I still enjoyed it enough.

  3. This one is on my wishlist. For me it is those little details that I love. Sorry it was just an ok read for you.

  4. never read any of his books, but I heard they are pretty great.

  5. I read this one last summer when I was going through a bad time here at home and hadn't been reading much (I was going to quit blogging as well) and this book kinda brought me back because it was the one book in a couple weeks that kept my interest. I love the Robert Langdon series but The Lost Symbol was my least favourite and I only enjoyed this one a fraction more. I just like how much passion he puts into his writing and I think his ideas are interesting. Sorry you didn't like it more Bea but the world would be much less interesting if we all liked the same books :)

    1. He is passionate and that definitely comes through. But if i helped you through a rough patch, that's fantastic. :) Gotta love any book that can do that.


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