He's a dangerous man, that Dan Brown, with the ideas he plants into the terrorist/conspirator/activist/extremist mind. Brilliant, but dangerous.
My opinion of this book went through a major roller coaster ride. I started out loving it, then got a little impatient, then got a little annoyed, and just when I was about to give up, Brown surprised me with a pleasantly explosive conclusion.
Well, we all know the formula for Dan Brown's books. Langdon is approached by some kind of powerful organization to use his cryptographic powers to uncover some underground conspiratorial plot set up by an ancient secret society. Langdon always refuses at first, saying he is just a history teacher but eventually relents. We learn a lot of history along the way, some true, some stretched, and some pretty cool stuff. There is always a woman and a friend and one of them is always a betrayer.
Okay, well that's not exactly how this one started. The book starts out with Langdon in the hospital with amnesia. Immediately after regaining consciousness, he discovers three things: He was shot in the head; he is in Italy; and people are "after" him. A pretty nurse helps him escape the hospital as the bad guys barge in and start shooting up the place. She becomes "the girl." She helps him run all over Italy trying to remember why he's there and who is trying to kill him. It all has something to do with Dante's Inferno, which Langdon originally claims to know very little about. As the book progresses, it seems he knows EVERYTHING about Dante and his Divine Comedy. And everything about Florence, and everything about Venice, and the Vatican, and Istanbul and Turkey. And hooray for us, because we get to know EVERYTHING too.
Since the book started out a little differently than Brown's other books, I liked it immediately. I continued to like it as the mystery unraveled and as we learned about the plots and conspiracies. Then Brown got tedious. Langdon couldn't walk four steps without the reader being treated to a whole textbook history of the building he was approaching and the artwork and every historic person who ever cast eyes on it. Every time a new character entered the book, we had to listen to the whole backstory of that person's life before we were allowed to know what the person was even doing in the story. Holy cow, could we just get on with the story, please?? The backstories and history lessons were draining and almost killed the book entirely.
Now, if that wasn't bad enough, toward the end, the few bits of action we DID get were completely stripped away when Langdon was told that none of it "really" happened. They just made it look like it happened!
So at that point, I've got a serious case of irritation with a side of impatience. But I know something good must happen, because this is a Dan Brown book and he always pulls it off somehow. And he DID. The climax of this book surprised me. It was controversial, ingenious, and scandalous all bundled together. Glad I stuck it out.
I really wanted to give Inferno 5 stars. But Dan Brown needs to stop being so long-winded. I want to get from point A to point B without the lectures and tour guide. The scenic route can be nice, but not if it means traveling around the world with a text book tucked under each arm.
Paul Michael did a great job as narrator, thank goodness.
Yes, I would recommend Inferno. Just be prepared for a loooooong ride.
Dan Brown is the Master at building a story around Historical sites and unbelievable Art.
Inferno is masterful look at the future of science set in the realm of a majestic past.
The characters are well developed interesting and important to the harrowing plot. Who can you trust is the byword throughout this Brown intrigue. Perhaps we have a budding love for Dr.Langdon, Brown may build on in his next book.
Some may find the details used to describe the beautiful Art and Buildings as slowing down the book but I found them interesting and vital.
There are so many twists, turns and changes of allegiances. I was amazed Brown could keep everyone together and everything tight and cohesive. He's a master of this type of novel. Others have tried to but they are rookies in comparison.
Paul Michael's narration is impeccable, it's hard to believe it was only one voice narrating. He is Robert Langdon!
I'm listening to it again to see what I missed and if I could have figured out any of the intricate plot entanglements than enhanced this wonderful novels. It's a must read.
I am a semi-retired psychologist who likes to listen to books, especially mysteries, as I drive in the car.
Dan Brown could turn making a peanut butter sandwich into a thrilling mystery. This book had so many twists and turns that I began feeling like I had amnesia. I often had to stop and start the story in between listening to it and even the second time I sometimes wondered if I had advanced or retraced the story. This is not a criticism of the story, because it actually made sense if you heard it all together. I listened to it more than once with pleasure, delighted that I had picked up different tidbits. The stories of history and Dante were as delightful as the story was thrilling. Just when I thought I had the entire story, something new was heard. I think this was the best story Dan Brown has written of the three.
Enjoy camping, listening to audio books, cooking and learning something new everyday.
Yes, friend, family everyone. The reading brings you in from the start till the end.
How each story line came together in the end and wanting me to listening to it again.
Listen to more books by Dan Brown
the initial chase scene
sadly, this read like an outline for the real book. It felt like all the details were ignored.
Dan Brown knows how to tell a story and the narrator was fantastic in pronouncing all of the Italian words in the book.
I enjoyed all of the characters.
He pronounced all of the Italian words so eloquently, I would have just skipped over them.
I loved listening to the descriptions of the museums. Now I want to travel to Italy to see them.
I wasn't disappointed. Dan Brown has done a great job in listing so many details that it makes you want to travel to Italy to see for yourself or at least research and learn more.
I'm an avid listener. Audio books are a mini-vacation for me. They fill my "need to read" when I don't have time - which is most of the time. Great element of multi-tasking!
I always enjoy the adventure/religious symbology of Dan Brown's novels, and did so again in this book, BUT... the first 15 minutes of the listen was exactly what I expect he turned in to Ron Howard and Tom Hanks as a treatment for the next Robert Langdon film. The writing throughout was very cenematic (not necessarily a bad thing, but obvious). The characters were believably" in our worst nightmares," and the descriptions of Florence and Venice were beautifully realistic. Brown had a story to tell, but has chosen to fill up the pages with snippets of art and religious history to bring the story to novel length, it seems. 30 minutes could be cut from the length of the tale if he reduced the number of times he describes the same watery cave. All-in-all, a reasonably good experience, but not up to the standards of the previous in the series.
I loved Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code but Inferno was a let down. The middle of the book seemed to go on endlessly about Langdon and the requisite pretty young woman running from the "bad guys". Some chases can be fun and entertaining but not so much here. No suspense or much action at all throughtout the entire book. Toward the end the story gets a little more interesting but still felt forced and unsuspensful. I had no problem at all turning off my iPod at any point throughout the entire story.
And without giving anything away, I agree with the main theme of the book so it could have been much more interesting to me. So many things were repeated over and over and some were just plain stereotypical. The older woman who found out at a young age she couldn't have children and longed for them all her life, still feeling a pang of sadness when she saw a child, blah, blah, blah. She's well-educated and presumably wealthy. Get over it and adopt. So cliche and overly repeated. And speaking of over repeated, if I heard "Dante Alighieri" one more time I was going to scream! We know which Dante you're referring to, Dan Brown. Stop repeating his full name every other sentence, Dan Brown. It was very annoying, Dan Brown.
I expected to be much more intertained by Dan Brown. I wonder if Dan Brown was paid by the word?
it was hard to stop - good pacing and interesting use of scenery - since I'd been to most places in the book it was like reliving a trip!
too preachy at the end - a little editing to realize that he had hit home his overpopulation theme would have been great at the end - we get it! The story was great despite the unnecessary soapbox delivery at the end.
A more believable main character. Although Langdon did manage to survive falling out of the sky in our last adventure together.
The descriptions of Italian art, literature and architecture were the most compelling part of the story.