In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno.
Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.
Please note: This audiobook will be released on Tuesday, May 14, at 3:00 am Eastern Daylight Time.
©2013 Dan Brown (P)2013 Random House Audio
I have just finished Dan Brown's newest book, Inferno, and can't tell you it was worth the time I spent slogging through it. The best I can say is that Paul Michael does a good job narrating this sad, formulaic, trip down the same road traveled in Brown's prior books. This time Robert Langdon wakes up in hospital with amnesia, meets a beautiful woman-with-whom-he-does-not-get-involved, immediately witnesses a murder, and goes on the run with her to escape from people trying to kill him while he pursues the symbolism in Dante's Inferno to save the world from a deadly virus created by a madman. The reader is treated to the same "lectures about things the world has not understood" -- this time about Dante, Florence, vector viruses, and overpopulation of the world. Brown's writing style is sloppy, and (remarkably) Robert Langdon remains under-developed and again appears as a "I have no life or personality" character who is marginally affected by the remarkable situations and events in the plot. I recommend you skip this one...
Say something about yourself!
Unless - like our cerebral hero Langdon at the opening of Inferno - we find ourselves suffering from retrograde amnesia, it's impossible to not be reminded of the previous Langdon installments when reading this latest clue-seeking romp through the art treasures of Florence and Venice; or for that matter, comparing the previous 3 novels with Brown's latest. Dan Brown has his formula, as do most authors, and there is no sign here that he is trying to fix what was almost broke with his last Langdon adventure (The Lost Symbol). Both Brown and Langdon are in fine form here: Brown sends us on an almost scenic, fact-based excursion through the cathedrals, museums, and art hot spots, and Langdon dodges bullets, the Italian Polizia, untangling a sinister plot (with the prerequisite political statements ala Brown). Brown is nothing if not consistent; so you get what you know you are getting; better than Lost Symbol, not as good as Da Vinci Code; a solid middle grounder. If the formula has lost its luster to you, enjoy the new scenery and history, like I did (easily worth a star).
More so than Brown's previous novels, I thought this was a bit padded (maybe that is because it seemed written for the silver screen, even to the point of describing the minutiae of the on-lookers, the horse-toothed girl getting her picture drawn near the Academe, etc.). As a do-over, and if it was offered, I would do the *gasp* abridged version. I also noticed Langdon has become a little snarky, taking pot shots at the turistas, poking fun at those guide-book toting Americanos, while he should have been paying attention to where he next placed his Italian loafered-foot on the cat-walk (oopsie! look out below).
You want another Dan Brown/Langdon--you got it. A good pizza-read, and who doesn't love pizza? Paul Michael does a great job as narrator and tour-guide.
Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.
I happen to like Dan Brown. I feel like I learn something about art and history and symbolism with every book. This book is mostly set in Italy and will give you a glimpse into Dante's Inferno.
If you liked The Lost Symbol and the Da Vinci Code, then you'll like this one.
My feelings about Dan Brown could be optimistically described as "mixed".
I'll admit, with a slightly chagrinned tone, that I've read all of the Robert Langdon books -- and every single time I've finished them, I am annoyed that I just wasted X number of hours putting it into my brain.
They are (and here I'm being restrained in my word choice) formulaic.
There's the beautiful sidekick, the harrowing adventure through cities of historical value, the major work of art, the good Professor's pivotal role in a case of international and apocalyptical significance (okay, really, how many times does a semiologist find himself looking down the barrel of gun during his line of work? I'd buy once, *maybe* twice. But four times? No way.) we are all taught a lesson and the world is better off for having Robert Langdon to watch over it.
So, if it's not for the vaguely pedantic tone, prosaic repetitive writing or even the irritating sensation that Robert Langdon is a thinly veiled author surrogate, why read these books? What's the appeal?
My guess is the escapism. Suspend disbelief (Langdon is dashing about Florence sporting a serious head wound and conveniently amnestic) and chow down on the brain candy. The city is well researched and there's enough of a mystery that the reader is left wondering how it's going to be tied together, even if it's lite in terms of prose.
As a positive note, I will add that Langdon's character seems to be evolving. He is more somber this time around and prone to moments of existentialism. I'll also have to give kudos to Mr. Brown for choosing to address the issue of overpopulation. It is a difficult question that often meanders into a moral grey zone -- and the ending of Inferno is darkly surprising.
Overall, it's more than I expected, but not that much more.
Paul Michael did a great narration.
Robert of course!
I thought he really sounded like Tom Hanks and varied his tone well for other characters.
There was that Dan Brown fear twist that kept the story edgy.
I loved the ending.
I would recommend this to a friend who is planning a trip to Venice,
Istanbul and Florence. They will not need a guidebook.
This book is a movie script, so I would not need to go to the movie.
Should also be on travel channel.
This movie script is akin to Mission Impossible meets Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The premise is ridiculous, the author took his FODOR's and spliced in totally
irrelevant travel and historical facts. It is a Mile Wide and an Inch deep.
If you like to travel, read this book. Otherwise, never mind!
The narration is spectacular !
I have a theory about Dan Brown: He lives in New Hampshire and as a former Granite State resident I can attest to the fact that winter is cold and usually lasts six months. If I had Da Vinci Code money, I too would spend at least six month of each year hanging out drinking espresso in the most beautiful and interesting places in the world…then to justify the expense I too might cobble together a pot boiler on the scale of Inferno and palm it off on my fans. Note, Mr. Browns books aren’t typically set in Manchester or Cleveland…I think I see a pattern here.
Don’t get me wrong, Inferno isn’t horrible…I mean I finished it, and some of the characters are quite interesting….but it’s a bit of a mess. I was interested to read that Mr. Brown was raised Episcopalian and has a love or organ music from an early age, so his intense affection for mediaeval architecture and symbolism is quite understandable…I share a similar affection, you just can’t beat visiting cathedrals as a way to spend a few days in Florence or Venice. However page after page of what is essentially Trip Advisor meets James Bond can get just a tiny bit much.
My biggest problem with the book is the plot; why would a super villain (think evil Steve Jobs) go to the trouble of leaving an elaborate set of symbolic clues to allow possible thwarters of his evil plans to track down that evil pan and thwart it? It makes no sense at any level. Any plot, which starts off with amnesia, is suspect from day one in my book. The plot even throws in an old fashioned switcheroo in the middle so that all the good guys are now bad and vice versa…after I recovered from the whiplash I could hardly stop laughing.
Overall it’s a lumbering bloated (albeit lavish and well read) story packed full of plot turns, which go from the breathless to the down right silly. If you are already a fan and happen to have a spare credit and 17 hours go ahead and dive in. It lacks the pacing of Da Vinci Code but is a better read than the fairly awful lost symbol. Ultimately the story deflates at the end…which is a shame. A confection as large and sugary as this shouldn’t leave you regretting all those empty calories.
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
Has it been almost four years since the last Dan Brown novel? Yes it has! In his latest work, Inferno, Brown pulls out the unflappable symbologist Dr. Robert Langdon of Di Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. Brown uses the same formula for his new novel, Inferno, substituting the Bible for Dante. It works. The problem with all Langdon novels is that they happen over such a short timeframe, you don’t get a chance for much character development and very little backstory.
Langdon awakes in a hospital with a head injury, in Italy and without a clue to how he got there; then the game is on. This time-lock story formula and lack of character depth places him at a significant disadvantage that he more than makes up for with interesting facts, plausible fibs and fast paced action. The novel is narrated by Paul Michael who did a good job but a touch monochromatic for my taste.
In my conversations with other readers, over the years regarding Browns’ work, I think either you love him or you don’t love him so much – no middle ground. He is a very polarizing writer because of his formula and style. For me, I just like to sit back and enjoy the ride. He isn’t the most eloquent of authors but I do like the ways he puts together all of the research and the brisk pace he moves you through conflicts.
I strongly recommend that you read his stand-alone works Digital Fortress and Deception Point which are excellent. They do not use the same formula as the Langdon novels. In some ways, they are much stronger works than the Langdon novels. As long as he doesn’t bring out this formula every year, I will remain a fan – this is a definite listen.
You'd think I'd learn. "DaVinci Code" was great. Everything else Dan Brown writes is just a poor copy of that formula.
I did enjoy the first 2/3 of this book and I think Dan Brown enjoyed writing the first 2/3 as well. From that point, though, realizing he had written himself into a corner, he looked over to bookshelf with the last 6 books and sighed "well, I can always do THAT again."
Paul Michael does a very good job again. His reliability matches Dan Brown. In Paul Michael's case, this reliability is a good thing. In Dan Brown's case, reliability breeds contempt.
Don't do what I did...learn from your mistakes and pass on this one.
With a 4 1/2 hour commute to work, it's not hard for me to find time to listen to a good audiobook.
I want to be careful and not go too deep on the story as even the smallest glimpse of plot elements may spoil the gripping narration of a story that literally entered my dreams last night. Seriously, last night I dreamt about the images described in Robert Langdon’s dream.
This is my second Dan Brown book and I worried that I needed to read the earlier books in the Robert Langdon series to fully grasp and enjoy Inferno. Fortunately, that was not the case. Inferno can be listened to as a standalone audiobook and is not fully dependent on the earlier books in the series. The story was compelling and entertaining balancing suspense and dramatic content.
While I listened to most of the book during my ‘lively’ commute on the train, I really think it would have been best enjoyed in a quieter setting where you can truly feel the solemn reverberation of Paul Michael’s voice pierce through your headphones. To say that Michael did a masterful job in narrating Inferno is a supreme understatement. Varying his role between the protagonist and antagonist, male and female characters, American and French accents, and playing the role of omnipotent guide through the fourth wall, Michael helped bring the story to vivid life.
I was a little hesitant to use a credit to pre-order Inferno without having listened to all of the other books in the series, but I have no regrets. Inferno was extremely entertaining and well worth the credit. But I believe it would be best enjoyed in a more serene environment where you can let the suspense hit you without distraction.
"very disappointing, very repetitive."
Someone who will not listen to it continuously
Not sure yet
Just a really poor repetive story. Sections of the text were repeated word for word in consecutive chapters
"Pure Dan Brown"
Intrigue, mystery, fascinating
Pure Dan Brown. Lve the story, the historical facts and how they can be intertwined so artistically.
I couldn't wait to get back ton it every time I put it down and felt very sorry when it was over.
If you like dan Brown, you'll love this new addition to his latest novels.
"I loved it and can't wait for the movie :)"
Langdon once again made it all so historically interesting! I love facts written into novels!
Very De Vinci Code
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