Inferno by Dan Brown

InfernoDan Brown gets an awful lot of stick, doesn’t he? After The Lost Symbol, I was one of the grumblers, complaining that he couldn’t write for toffee and that he wasted no opportunity to show us how clever he was and how much research he did. I vowed never to read another Dan Brown book.

Then I discovered that his new book was based on Dante’s Inferno and set in Florence, my holiday destination this year. Well, I kind of had to read it, didn’t I?

And I’m so glad I did.

Inferno is the fourth book to feature symbologist Robert Langdon and opens with our hero waking up in a hospital room with no recollection of how he got there.  Langdon is soon under attack from assassins unknown and, with the help of the young doctor who was attending to him, he begins on a race across Florence, Venice and Istanbul in an attempt to prevent a deadly plague.

Brown’s hallmarks are evident: hidden meanings, the mix of science and great art, villains from the present using the art of the past to justify nefarious deeds, and characters not always being as they appear. Yes, the author does a lot of ‘information dumping’; yes, the prose isn’t beautifully written. But you know what? Brown is back to his page-turning best. He does tell a good story, however clumsily and fantastic, and his trade mark short chapters make you think ‘just one more’ time and again until the birds begin to herald dawn.

Dan, I know it’s fashionable to dismiss your books as trash but I’ll forgive you The Lost Symbol so long as you keep Langdon in Europe, doing what he does best.

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. Viv
    May 26, 2013

    Bravo!
    I’m waiting for it to come out in paperback. I’ve enjoyed each of his books, for what it is and not railed for what it’s not. I also think sourest of grapes at the root of some of the dismissive critics words…

    • Annette
      May 26, 2013

      I agree. It’s the same with the criticism for JK Rowling. Not the world’s best writer, but knows how to tell a great story.

  2. Viv
    May 26, 2013

    Bravo!
    I’m waiting for it to come out in paperback. I’ve enjoyed each of his books, for what it is and not railed for what it’s not. I also think sourest of grapes at the root of some of the dismissive critics words…

    • Annette
      May 26, 2013

      I agree. It’s the same with the criticism for JK Rowling. Not the world’s best writer, but knows how to tell a great story.

  3. tracykuhn
    May 26, 2013

    I’m halfway through and enjoying it. It is a bit clichéd but that’s not a bad thing, it’s still fun. Why shohld go books always be hard work?

    • Annette
      May 26, 2013

      Exactly! Fun, and that can sometimes be missing in a lot more ‘worthy’ books.

  4. tracykuhn
    May 26, 2013

    I’m halfway through and enjoying it. It is a bit clichéd but that’s not a bad thing, it’s still fun. Why shohld go books always be hard work?

    • Annette
      May 26, 2013

      Exactly! Fun, and that can sometimes be missing in a lot more ‘worthy’ books.

  5. Peter Domican
    May 26, 2013

    I heard him interviewed the other day. Bore all the criticism of his writing kindly and then the interviewer asked him what he does with his $300m dollars. Must be doing something right!
    It’s all about the story in his books and he does tell a good tale.

  6. Peter Domican
    May 26, 2013

    I heard him interviewed the other day. Bore all the criticism of his writing kindly and then the interviewer asked him what he does with his $300m dollars. Must be doing something right!
    It’s all about the story in his books and he does tell a good tale.

  7. Margot Kinberg
    May 26, 2013

    Nettie – I’m glad you enjoyed this. Doesn’t matter what others think of it. And hey, Brown is earning more per book than I could in five lifetimes..

    • Annette
      May 26, 2013

      Thank you, Margot. He must be doing something right!

  8. Margot Kinberg
    May 26, 2013

    Nettie – I’m glad you enjoyed this. Doesn’t matter what others think of it. And hey, Brown is earning more per book than I could in five lifetimes..

    • Annette
      May 26, 2013

      Thank you, Margot. He must be doing something right!

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