Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Historical fiction, Thriller
Thoughts: This is actually my first Dan Brown book, and while I enjoyed reading it, it did have some faults. I’ve been told that all Dan Brown books are like this – leave lots of cliff-hangers, make you want to keep reading it, but the writing isn’t actually that great. Basically, Brown’s main character for four of his books is Harvard symbologist Professor, Robert Langdon. The start of Inferno begins with the Professor wakes up in a hospital, without any memory… Pretty average story starter, if you ask me, but it did follow on with good bits. Some exciting stuff happens, and by the 4th chapter, we have identified the bad guys and the good guys. He then embarks on an adventure around Florence and Venice with new-found friend Sienna Brooks.
So, on to the review – it was full of exciting stuff. So many things happened, and basically every chapter ended with some new part of information that did not make sense, making you want to read on – basically a cliff-hanger every chapter. So definitely exciting. I had to force myself to put it down so I could actually get some sleep on some nights. The story line was also quite enjoyable, for me at least. I have recently travelled around Italy myself, spending some time in Florence and Venice, so it was very nice to be able to recognise what Brown was explaining and describing. I also enjoy learning about mythology and ancient history, including the Italian Renaissance, so for me, I loved that this whole book was based on it. Saying that, I can still understand that some people would find it a little boring and overfull of information. Dan Brown did put quite large chunks of information about the history of some certain artefact, and while it was interesting, I kind of just wanted to get back to the story.
Professor Robert Langdon is a cool character I think, and Sienna is also a nice addition as a strong female lead. Over the course of the story, there isn’t too much development between the two, or with any characters as a matter of fact, which was a let down, but I had to keep reminding myself that the entire plot only happens over the course of one day. So really, not too much character development could happen. There was a bit in the last few chapters, and I have to say they would have to be my favourite part of the book. I think. I enjoyed the story overall, it was just some little nit-picks that brought it down.
For example, the writing style. While it was very effective in keeping readers interested (including me), it was also pretty average writing. The sentences were short, and descriptions ordinary. I found that Brown was telling us, not showing us, instead of the other way round. But that is the way Dan Brown writes so, I’m just going to have to deal with that, because I did like the other parts of the book. The characters were pretty likeable, and had some faults, which made them more relatable. For example, Landon’s claustrophobia. I actually loved this aspect, and the parts where he mentioned and was suffering from it were some of my favourite parts of the novel. I don’t know if anyone else found this, but I just really loved that aspect. Another part that I really liked (that isn’t actually that important) was Landon’s Mickey Mouse watch. It was gift from his parents when he was little, and has worn it ever since, and gets quite upset when something happens to it. To all the other characters, it would have seemed a little weird that the well-renowned Professor Langdon was upset over losing a silly little watch, but it was another really nice aspect.
One of my favourite things about this novel, was that it made you think. Really hard. It had a very deep message underneath everything else, and I actually found myself questioning some of the things both the good guys and bad guys were doing. Our planet is facing overpopulation, and the main message of this book is What are we going to do about it?? And it is quite an impossible question to answer. I’ll let you make up your minds about that one…
“..”consider this. It took the earth’s population thousand of years-from the early dawn of man all the way to the early 1800s-to reach one billion people. Then astoundingly, it took only about a hundred years to double the population to two billion in the 1920s. After that, it took a mere fifty years for the population to double again to four billion in the 1970s. As you can imagine, we’re well on track to reach eight billion very soon. Just today, the human race added another quarter-billion people to planet Earth. A quarter million. And this happens ever day-rain or shine. Currently every year er ‘re adding the equivalent of the entire country of Germany.”
― Dan Brown, Inferno
Overall, a good storyline, just the writing let it down. I’m hoping to go see the movie that will be released soon, and am actually starting to think that the movie could be better. The interesting plot line is there, and I think it will be better represented on the big screen.
Why you should read it: If you’re a Dan Brown reader, you’ve probably already read it, but if you haven’t, you still could. It’s definitely not a favourite of mine, but I do like the history, and renaissance side of it, and found it to be an enjoyable read.