I found Dan Brown’s latest conspiracy thriller to about average as these types of novels go. It’s almost as if Dan Brown, like so many other authors is imitating, well, Dan Brown. As other reviewers have noted, it follows the Brown formula, which includes:
• A deadly conspiracy
• A clandestine organization
• A powerful agency
• An intelligent young woman
• Clues buried in art, religion, or in this case the book A Divine Comedy, Dante’s horrifying portrayal of Hell, about which our hero Robert Langdon just happens to be an expert. In Brown’s last novel, The Lost Symbol, Langdon was an expert on the Masons.
• A ticking clock
Brown does a good job of keeping up the suspense, but because of the formula it felt to me like I had already read this book, and I correctly guessed its ending. In general it’s an entertaining read, but don’t expect another Da Vinci code.
I was really looking foward to this story, but it's just such a waste. Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital with amnesia and has to outrun people who are trying to kill him. That’s what he thinks anyway. There’s twists and the enemies are not who he thinks they are, but the plot twists are so contrived. The plot its self is depressing, a mad man thinks the world is over populated and wants to wipe out a third of humanity. It just goes on and on about how overpopulated the world is and how there's no hope. There’s so much repetition in phrases and actions, it’s like he’s beating you over the head with things. Fans of the The DaVinci Code liked it because it was clever, and it was fun to see Robert Langdon put clues together and solve a puzzle. There’s too little of that here, and too much focus on why the crazy guy wants to make a plague. It’s overworked, depressing, and just not enjoyable.
There was nothing fun about it – no sense of adventure, no humor, and the characters are like cartoons. They have one trait to their personality- and its always some sort of obsession.
With half of the story being told from female characters point of view, there really should have been a woman voicing those characters. It was like the only way the narrator could represent the female characters was to make his voice some sort of false whisper, and say things more slowly. It’s like every female character was slow and had laryngitis. It was hard to give an credit to the female characters, because you could never forget that you were listening to a man trying to talk like a woman.
The moments were Robert Langdon was working something out- were exactly what fans of The DaVinci code want, but there was just too little of that and too much of an awful story.
The way the author tried to turn the plot around was just terrible. ‘Oh- you thought I was being held hostage and drugged? Because that’s the way the story was written for the first half? No! I was sick and the soldiers all dressed in black that had me in the back of a van were giving me medicine! How could you not know that?’
I thought the book was great! You know what you are in for with Dan Brown and he doesn't disappoint. Well written and narrated. This book is very similar to his others in plot and character development so if you aren't interested in learning about Florence, Dante or biology it may seem like the same old story to you.
Take any of Brown's earlier novels. Fill in a new exotic location. Add a new, sexy and very smart female collaborator. Recruit a new cartoon-style bad guy. Stir in a few enigmatic pieces of symbology that only Langford understands. Fill in ten hours of chasing and shooting and you have Inferno. Nice idea to explain Malthusian theory in a way that anyone can understand but you don't need a novel to do that. Disappointing.
Dan Brown is very good at mixing art and science in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Florence- so yes, I would endure another book by Brown. Paul Michael's narration is excellent.
The moral relativism of the ending was difficult to swallow.
Without a doubt, Brown hooks you with the perilous predicament of Robert Langdon in the first chapter.
No. Brown's point was made effectively.
Unfortunately, I didn't let myself enjoy the experience until I suspended my bias that I was being carried along in another typically contorted Brownian plot that combines him with another uber-genius female in a deadline-induced race to save the world. Once I gave in to Dan Brown's formula, just as one would give into an Conan Doyle plot line, the book became very enjoyable and exciting. My advice to the reader is abandon all critical reasoning and surrender to Dan Brown.
GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE....
So much action and traveling through Florence... a lovely trip through time and place, yet enough mystery to keep you engaged with the characters...
Best one of all...
Would recommend this to everyone... can't wait for the next one...
If you have enjoyed the Langdon series so far this is a nice addition to the series. It does not have the enjoyment or thrill of the first two but I think this was because while the story is good, the template has become a bit too similar.
The history and lore of Dante is rich and deep and as usual with a Langdon series book I found myself stopping and firing up Google to learn more about what I just read. For me this is part of the enjoyment of why I like the Langdon series and for me is a good template. While some fiction and interpretation is always present there is enough factual information weaved into the story to make things enjoyable.
I enjoy Dan Brown and his books. I also do not have an expectation that everything he presents is going to line up in reality, otherwise this book would be in non-fiction. It is the perspective that is important when you pick up this book and setting expectations.
Dan Brown does a great job of weaving a story, building on his characters and having fun with history.
The narration is good and this book is worth the time and money.
I don't understand the popularity of these novels, I find the tone to be talking down to the reader and the events implausible.
This was my second attempt, I started reading the first book and put it down after 3 pages
It seemed to start out OK then a trained assassin couldn't take down a heavily sedated patient with a brain injury. It went downhill from there.
Love the way Dan Brown intertwines history into a spellbinding mystery. Constant twists and turns - love the reader, Paul Michael also.