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 Dan Brown's "Inferno" (SPOILERS)
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

1268 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2013 :  02:09:44  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you haven't read a Dan Brown book before, basically they have a simple formula. First there's a puzzle, then there's a crisis, then there's a pursuit during which the enigma unfurls (like a flag or a fern), then someone will betray the hero, then there's a big reveal and the hero saves the day.
The Robert Langdon series is even more strict with the forumla. Langdon is whisked away under the premise of helping some acquiantence or other but winds up entangled in an ancient conspiracy of some kind that he and his beautiful female companion must solve, they are pursued by a highly trained goon or goon squad as the enigma unfurls (like a flag or a fern), they are betrayed, then there's the big reveal and Langdon shows how tall smart and handsome he is by tying all the loose ends up and saving the day.

I found this latest adventure a little bit lacklustre, mainly because the things that made the "Da Vinci Code" and to a lesser extent, "Angels and Demons" and the "Lost symbol" popular was that Brown revealed little known factoids and fringe theories about things with which most people are familiar. In "Inferno" the artistic backdrop is Dante's "Divine Comedy". Most people know a little bit about this, but it's not as present in the public consciousness as the Mona Lisa, or the Washington monument, or the Sistine Chapel. Also he doesn't really tell us any conspiracies or secret meanings etc. The puzzle in the book can be solved using knowledge of the life and work of Dante. The enigma itself is to do with the crisis in the book. It's not an ancient mystery like "The Da Vinci Code".
I can see how Dante seemed like a good historical figure to write about, but without the ancient mysteries, conspiracies and secrets the book was largely just telling facts about Dante and how the mystery could be solved using those facts. At times it felt like reading a travel guide of Florence.


One thing I did like about the book was the villain's plan. He was a geneticist who was part of something called the transhumanist movement. In order to prevent the catastrophic doom of the planet due to overpopulation, he created a vector virus which rendered 1/3 of the population sterile. Langdon actually fails to prevent the virus from being released and the whole planet is infected.
For me this is an excellent plot for various reasons. Firstly, I agree the majority of problems facing human beings (climate change, dwindling resources, resistance to antibiotics, poverty) are directly caused or exacerbated by overpopulation. As we know, Dan Brown is extremely popular and maybe the case put forward by the villain in the book will bring this issue to the awareness of average people. The villain was sympathetic, even in the end, the heroes questioned whether it was a bad thing that he succeeded.
This issue really can't get enough popular attention and I think the way Brown wrote about it, that may have been his intention all along.

As for Langdon... what now?
Are his adventures over, or will the sequel be more of a post "event" sci-fi book?
Or will they find a cure between books and forget the whole thing.... I don't know.... I don't WANT to know.

Abigail Evans
New Member

6 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2017 :  12:25:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Abigail Evans a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like books written by Dan Brown, but speaking about "Inferno", it has a little bit tightened plot... This was the first book (by Dan Brown) that my husband read and he took efforts to finish it. After that I suggested him to read jther books of this author and he changedhis mind, he liked "The Da Vinci Code" most
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

9680 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2017 :  08:40:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I didn't read the book, but saw the movie. And as far as the movie goes, it was an excellent summary.

I think Inferno is the one Dan Brown book I didn't read, and was very disappointed that they didn't made The Lost Symbol into a movie first. Otherwise I found his books easy to read, and it's easy to see how well they could be adopted into movie scripts. Even the non-Langdon ones (Digital Fortress, and Deception Point) are easy reads even for a non-native English speaker like me.

For those who want a little more challenge, I'm currently reading The Wounded Land (The second chronicle of Thomas Covenant) by Steven Donaldson. The first 30 pages took me 2 hours to read, but I'm picking up the pace now that I'm getting used to the prose. :)

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Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 01/23/2017 08:41:13
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New Member

3 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2017 :  13:35:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send chrisinebunny a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Abigail Evans

I like books written by Dan Brown, but speaking about "Inferno", it has a little bit tightened plot... This was the first book (by Dan Brown) that my husband read and he took efforts to finish it. After that I suggested him to read jther books of this author and he changedhis mind, he liked "The Da Vinci Code" most

hmm tahts good
Edited by - chrisinebunny on 03/06/2017 14:07:42
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