Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Inferno (Dan Brown) Review
Author: Dan Brown
Price: $29.95 ($14.09-Amazon)
Rating: 4 out of 5/ A Double Agent
This is likely the most pointless review I have ever put time into writing. I mean if we are going to be completely honest here, you've already decided wether you love or hate this book before you even turn the first page. Hell you probably decided it before you bought it. Reading a Robert Langdon adventure is the literary equivalent to watching a Indiana Jones movie. The formula that drives both of the doctor's adventures never truly changes. There will be betrayals, guns, a mini boss fight in the middle, a final boss fight at the end, sexy women who follow them around, and lots and lots of historical references put together in a way you'd never imagine but seem common sense once they're revealed to you. If you love that sort of thing, you will always love it along with this book. Meanwhile if you hate the predictability... well lets just say it isn't going to be throwing you anything jaw dropping in the shock department. So with keeping the futility of my efforts in mind I will attempt to break down the best and worst of Dan Brown's newest historical thriller.
When you wake up in the hospital, it's been a bad day. When you wake up in the hospital shot in the head, no memory of the last 24 hours, on the wrong side of the world, and the target of a tenacious assassin your having a Robert Langdon bad day. Still unimpressed? Well there's a plauge of bubonic proportions being released by a Dante obsessed madman millionair who has payed off all parts of government to bring down Langdon at any cost. And of course, like any good villian, he has kindly laid a trail of clues that will help lead our heros to their goal saving the world in a sadistic race through Italian history.
It has to be understood that I am simply one of those people who love the formula behind Dan Brown adventures. I loved it the first time and chances are good that I'll still being loving it the tenth. That being said I did manage to tally up some fair complaints regarding this latest installment. The story is as predictable as always, but this time there were a few head turning twists thrown in, and it's here that I had my biggest problem. The twists are terribly unfair, and when they were revealed it caused more anger then astonishment. I might be old school but I like to have a few clues before the big reveal. Then when I realize how wrongly I had put my information together I simultaniously feel stupid and awed for not piecing the puzzle together earlier. The clues that Dan Brown gives us in Inferno are so misleading that often times they were, quite frankly, lies. When you realize that the clues you have carefully collected through the stories were simply wrong or bad information it causes frustration and distraction. The rest of the complaints are small details, often regarding the unrealistic behavior of characters in the story and the seemingly constant terrible aim from the worlds bests soldiers.
The best part of a Robert Langdon book is, as always, Robert Langdon. The mix of humor, action, history, and akwardness from the main character will keep you engaged for hours. The humanity apparent in this unexpected action hero causes readers to be emotionally invested in the survival of Robert as he races out of the frying pan and into the fire. For those readers that like their books to be action packed, look no further. The book opens with a literal bang and doesn't let up until it has forcefully driven it's reader to the final sentence. Disregarding the somewhat dissapointing twists, the mystery of the novel as a whole is fantastically done. Albeit not very original Inferno does prove that fighting off the impending Apocalypse never gets boring.
A good book is one that drives the reader through the story relentlessly, and in this sense Inferno succeeded. That earns it a 4 out of 5 and like a good Double Agent full of twists, I think you'll feel satisfied at the finish.
Picture Reference: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/05/dan-brown-inferno/65174/