But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
I'm not sure why I volunteered to jump into another D@mned Dan Brown novel. What Circle of Dante's Inferno was designed for a cynical, but weak reader who keeps returning to those crappy, popular authors (D@mn Brown Brown, Orson Scott Card, Tom Clancy) of their youth hoping to drink from the waters of Bimini? What circle do you consign the novel's author?
1. Limbo? Look, the novel isn't THAT horrible. D@mned Dan Brown can be tolerably entertaining if you SIMPLY ignore his actual writing. He IS (as everyone keeps telling me) the master of page-turning historical mysteries, but I'm just not sure if that says MORE about page-turning historical mysteries, Damned Dan Brown, or us as readers.
2. Lust? To be fair, while I despise D@mned Dan Brown's actual words, his style, and his in-artful language -- his plotting does somehow turn me on (occasionally) as a reader. While I am now convinced he hit his low-brow/high water mark with The Da Vinci Code (Yes, it's all down hill from Leonardo D@mned Dan Brown), this novel is slightly better than the The Lost Symbol so --- I can't absolutely pan it (thus 2 stars).
3. Gluttony? This is the most likely circle 'Inferno' belongs to. I think D@mned Dan Brown's major issue is his self-indulgence. DDB's style is inflated, but doesn't actually inform. His metaphors are swollen. His descriptions are possessed of a majority gristle with very little actual literary meat. Half of the book reminds me of some obscure teenager's fan fiction site cribbing a Lonely Planet Publication's guide to write about Florence, Venice, and Istanbul.
4. Greed? It is obvious why D@mned Dan Brown writes this way... because we (myself included) still buy it. It reminds me of why I hate it when directors in Hollywood become successful. They stop being interesting and instead become hacks. The reading public, much like the movie going public, demands mediocrity if the writer/director is going to be successful. Real art is not usually bought, real literature is most often ignored (I know that is a cliche, but it IS true). The amazing thing is that DDB started (in the beginning) as a hack and has just perfected hackery to a point where he will certainly be able to print money in 20 years by just publishing an Italian phone book.
5. Anger? No, not really. It is more like regret. If I am angry (Notice how I shifted from the circles being about DDB to the circles being about me? If you aren't comfortable with those kind of style abortions/grammar shifts, you should probably not read D@mned Dan Brown) it is an anger of what now passes as novel entertainment.
6. Heresy? No, D@mned Dan Brown definitely doesn't belong here. This is certainly a circle the Catholic church would have like to place him for The Da Vinci Code but 'Inferno' is mainly heretical to scholars of Dante, lonely Transhumanists, and perhaps the odd weekend, Malthusian alarmist.
7. Violence? Again, because D@mned Dan Brown is aiming for the center-mass of the pulp, paperback purchasing world, he isn't going to make his novel THAT graphic (plus DDB doesn't have the Cormac McCarthy writing chops to paste together a single sentence that would actually scare the beJesus out of anyone). He made 'Inferno' grim in parts, he made it painful to read cover-to-cover, but violent? Meh.
8. Fraud? 'Inferno' is simple and obvious rip-off of every dystopian SF novel about eugenics + a whole shelf of discount guide books + cheap James Bond knockoffs + a little bit of the 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. But, since all writing is a crib, a rip-off, I can't really condemn D@mned Dan Brown to Hell, at least to this circle for doing what everyone does, but he just does poorly. If DDB is condemned to the 8th circle it will be more for The Da Vinci Code, which I believe is a boring, watered-down and mediocre version of Foucault's Pendulum.
9. Treachery? The further down into Hell you go, the more you realize it actually takes a lot of work to earn a place at these lower levels. That alone would discount D@mned Dan Brown. It would also probably discount my review, since I just couldn't bring myself to spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing a book I wasn't all that impressed by.
I have read all of Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series. This book did not get my emotional involvement as much as his other books.
I felt like they were playing the game "Where in the world is Carmen San Diego". Lots of art facts and locations which I love. But, overall this book was not that great in light of better books available
NOTE: If you have not read his earlier books of the series, read them first. They are much better.
I really liked the ending, it wasn't a cliche. The attention to detail and history makes all his books great.
Dan Brown is fabulous, and I love every story I've read of his. I only wish that I could see all the things he writes about as a read about them! Can someone develop a virtual audio book, please?! :)
A good novel delivered by Dan Brown; definitely an enjoyable read. Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code are still my favorites but don't let them take you away from this book. Paul Michael does an excellent job bringing the reader/listener into the midst of Robert Langdon's exciting journey. Recommended for anyone who enjoys a little history with their fictional stories.
Dan Brown has a knack for making a reader feel connected to every character he creates. Sienna Brooks was an incredibly developed, complex character that I feel I know. With the same intellectual writing, and historic, religious, and conspiracy content that forces you to listen for hours on end, Inferno is a perfect sequel to the Robert Langdon anthology.