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 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.
It's simple really, I am just a guy looking to enjoy the writing and reading talents of others while raising my family the best I can, just Like most everyone else!!!
I downloaded Dan Brown's latest book as it was released, around 3:30 am, (FWIW, I'm not a bum, I have a spinal injury) and Immediately became absorbed in an utterly fascinating tale! The story is interesting, fast and fierce. I found the reader perfect for the parts and he did everything to bring me in farther. I do not want to spoil the book for any of you so I will only say, if you liked his other works then you will probably like or love "Inferno." I say this because they are very much the same type of books but at the same time very different. I wish all series writers could write that way. I hope you enjoy it as I have.
May God Bless!
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
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.
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.
Always on the lookout for my next great listen!
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.
This book is 75% art history and 25% story. I love the historic texture of Dan Brown books but Inferno lacked his usual creativity. He slaps together a story to go along with his fantastic research tour of Italy. I bet he had big fun researching this novel but spent little time with the composition.
I love (audio)books.
What can I say about Inferno? It's Dan Brown in action-- a breathtaking and fast paced novel, with great characters and lots, lots of information about historic facts, places and dates, books,...
I enjoyed a lot the reading (listening) and think that Dan Brown improved overtime. The book is better than "Code" and "Angel and Demons", but three times I felt cheated and almost gave it 4 stars: the first one was about the shot in the head (and, despite the "real" explanation, I couldn't swallow), the other one was about the super smart friend/villain/friend (twisted, twisted but I didn't swallow), and the biggest of all: why would the villain/ savior of the world send all those clues? Of course, without the clues wouldn't have a story and a professor to crack it.
But I can't complain. I had a super time with "Inferno", and the book is very informative and shouts loud and clear about a very actual and important topic- overpopulation...Yes, I had to swallow my pride and give it 5 stars after all.
before I finished the first "book". I thouroughly enjoyed Dan Brown's previous three novels, and had trouble putting them down. This story is not based on history, with the exception references to objects and cities that exist. Too much of a reality stretch for me, and I found the narrator's female characterizations a turn off. Different strokes, so while I was disappointed, another listener could find it enjoyable; I simply did not.
If DB's first two novels seemed similar, but had an engaging variation in their background research, this one manages to copy the formula, without enough historic research to compensate for the terrible re-use of plot.
Does a main character, whisked away to help solve a potentially world-rocking crisis, paired with a single, attractive, unavailable, and surprisingly key player in the drama, with lots of running from historic location to historic location sound familiar?
The core story of this third iteration has enough content to fill a very short novella. The number of times the same information is repeated by different characters to stretch the story, or the poorly built suspense that is limply carried long after the surprise is obvious, makes for tedious listening, despite the skilled reader.
If you're a one trick pony, phoning it in seems doubly unfair to the audience.
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