I was a fan of Dan Brown's before the Da Vinci Code took off and catapulted him to the literary stratosphere. Brown is an intelligent writer who is a master of intricate plot development. Inferno is perhaps his best novel yet.
The action takes place over a very short period of time and starts with Robert Langdon (Harvard symbologist and art history professor) waking up with amnesia in an Italian hospital and narrowly escaping an attempt on his life. Langdon soon finds himself fleeing with Dr. Sienna Brooks as he tries to unravel the mystery of why he is being chased, why he has retrograde amnesia, and why he is having visions of Dante's Inferno.
The people chasing Langdon are members of the shadowy Consortium, and it takes a while to determine why they are chasing him and what it is they are looking for.
Nothing is what it seems in Inferno and no one is what s/he seems.
One of the many joys of Dan Brown's works is his meticulous attention to detail and the wealth of knowledge he imparts about a subject area. His ability to bring Washington DC alive is paralleled in Inferno with all the information about Florence, and to a lesser degree, Venice. Brown's knowledge of Dante and all the art inspired by Dante's works is similarly encyclopedic, but he never conveys the information in a pedantic way. It took me about 4 hours of listening before I realized that the portrait on the book cover is Dante himself.
Brown makes the reader (or listener) want to go out and explore in depth the things he's describing.
All of that is background to a taut thrilling story. The twists and turns in Inferno are incredible, and the reader / listener is often surprised by what is really going on. This is a many-layered masterpiece and has none of the preachiness of some of the earlier Langdon novels.
This is a well-crafted thriller with vaguely apocalyptic overtones. Langdon still comes across as a bit of a superhero, but the other characters are painted in shades of grey and are more multi-dimensional than in previous Brown novels.
Brown's philosophical musing in Inferno revolves around overpopulation and its effect on humanity. However, it's not heavy-handed.
I'd describe this as a literary thriller. It's a great blend of art, literature and a cracking adventure / mystery story. Hopefully this will win Brown back some of his earlier fans.
Paul Michael does an exceptional job narrating the story again.
Great story; great narration. Two thumbs up.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
THOSE MEAN REVIEWERS
It is amazing how attached we get to certain authors. Having read and loved, three great books by DB (Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and Deception Point) and with Inferno just coming out, I thought I couldn't lose. Then I read the reviews and I could not believe how mean these arrogant reviewers were treating the Great Dan Brown. I took it personal. I figured they were spoiled and trying to be self important at Brown's expense. I would listen and write a scathing review on the reviewers. I have now noticed that one of those lengthy manifestos as been removed. Through the first twenty chapters I thought I was so in the right. The book really started out gang busters.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, INDIANA LANGDON, DR. PHIL, SOYLENT GREEN, OR SNAGGLEPUSS.
After a while I found my mind wondering. I found the mystery, not that mysterious. I was getting tired of the constant chasing and the I know something and I am not telling you stuff. Then the silliness set in. You know, like jumping out of an airplane without a chute and surviving. The book started to sound like an old episode of Mission Impossible, which was a good show in it's day, but watch it now and it's terrible. They brought up the old theme of overpopulation. This was a theme in the 50's and 60's and none of the things those fear mongers predicted came close to being true. I started to see all the staging for the movie, I almost expected to see blocking (Exit Stage Left Even). Langdon starts to want to father/love? a woman he has known for only a few hours. (Because she is beautiful, the smartest woman in the world and she is misunderstood.)
THE PLOT THINS
So like the plot in the book, my ability to lambast the reviewers did not happen.
There is some good stuff in this book. Brown is still a master at putting words together. You get a really cool tour of Florence. There is a little science, such as eugenics. The last couple of hours has so many twists and turns you will get dizzy.
Narrator is excellent
Life is too short to waste on bad authors.
After the Lost Symbol, I was hesitant to read another one of Brown's books but I thought since there was a large gap of time between Symbol and this one, I decided that maybe I'd give it a shot.
Nope. Brown's writing falls flat for me; sad to say. I just could not get into it.
I don't know but Paul Michael was okay.
I enjoyed this book. Easy to listen to and I really enjoy the tour guide through famous cities. I felt it was very similar to the DaVinci Code in style. Take the DaVinci Code, plop it into a different city with a different book other than the bible and you have this book. So it follows the same formula. However, it is highly enjoyable and a fast ride. I can see tour guides in a few more cities setting up tours based on this book!
Narration was great...will probably listen to this again with the hubby on a road trip.
Brown sticks to his formula - Langdon is running from diverse and dangerous adversaries in order to save the world from a pending disaster. A young, highly intelligent woman falls for him .... but of course. There are a few twists and turns, you can see them coming. Think this might be my last Dan Brown buy.
If you're expecting a book of the author's previous quality -- forget it! I'm forcing myself to finish this one, because I do want to know how it ends. But it is BORING. Not the story, but the way it is told. The same information is repeated over and over again. The narrative is so pedantic, with a lot of it being set up like an eighth grade creative writing essay. I've reached the point where I am anticipating the next "Langdon thought'; 'he wondered'; 'she said'. And the kind of long, wandering thoughts/and lengthy insights the characters have, while fleeing in mortal danger, is almost funny. If you haven't bought it yet -- my advice is don't. And I have loved Brown's other books.
I love a good story. Audible allows me to be outside, hiking and walking and keeping up on great literature.
Not at this point. I enjoyed The DaVinci Code, but slogged through the Lost Symbol, and was dumb enough to try this one. If you've read one, you've read them all. He has relied too heavily on the success of one book to generate others, and it has become trite.
Pretty much as I said above, it's the same story over and over, and the writing is too predictable. Given the potential, I was hoping for more.
He was bland.
I couldn't get all the way through the book, it was too predictable and disappointing.
Avatar by The Domestic Goddess at allavatars
The Dan Brown enjoyment factor is in the not-so-subtle guide book quality. Seriously, I need to hit Istanbul and the JFK mile... He manages enough hard and good science to make it intriguing, plenty of excitement with the necessary twists and turns. A bit on the too convenient side in places within this plot, but not every work can be hit out of the park.
I've read and/or heard them and enjoyed them all.
I'm becoming a fan of the duo of voices in audiobooks and the background side effects. It is a bit difficult to continue to hear female voices torn to pieces by a male reader. They frequently manage one voice fine, two sometimes, and three or more? Not so much. They fall back on stereotypes...
That said, you'll note that the performance brought the book's total rating up to a four star, whereas I only gave the book itself a three star.
Parts simply dragged along with too much exposition and not enough dialog. Also the 'convenience' factor was a bit too heavy.
Robert Langdon could find symbols anywhere in the world. Enough of the travelogue to Italy and Venice. Weak story, poor dialogue, rest in peace Robert Langdon and the career of Dan Brown. Please no more. It started well with the Da Vinci Code, and has been re-worked here with disappointing results.
You have to push to get through this book.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
but, what the "Hell", it's Dan Brown!
How to relate a literary classic about sin to the problem of population control? Ignore the fact that there is no real connection, supply non-stop action, and manipulate your readers til their minds boggle! That's the Dan Brown way, and he has returned more or less to form in "Inferno".
It's been pointed out by many (including me) that this author is not a stellar writer, improbabilities-to-impossibilities abound in all his books, and he pulls all kinds of unfair tricks on the reader. But here's a guy who knows how find an intriguing premise, then how to grab and hold your attention throughout a longish book.
If you like Brown in top form (as in "DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons"), then you will almost certainly like "Inferno". At times infuriating, this is still a fun and diverting ride! And Paul Michael delivers it with authority and enthusiasm.