Saturday, May 18, 2013

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Inferno

Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 bestselling novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the best selling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars. Brown’s novels are published in 52 languages around the world with 200 million copies in print.

In 2005, Brown was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine, whose editors credited him with “keeping the publishing industry afloat; renewed interest in Leonardo da Vinci and early Christian history; spiking tourism to Paris and Rome; a growing membership in secret societies; the ire of Cardinals in Rome; eight books denying the claims of the novel and seven guides to read along with it; a flood of historical thrillers; and a major motion picture franchise.”

The son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he later returned to teach English before focusing his attention full time to writing.

Brown is currently at work on a new book as well as the Columbia Pictures film version of his most recent novel.

Inferno - ROBERT LANGDON Series #4
by Dan Brown

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.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
I'm a Dan Brown fan... I've read all of his works, not just the Robert Langdon series - Digital Fortress is probably my favorite work of his. Anyway, being a fan, I was excited to hear that he was coming out with a new book, had Inferno pre-ordered, and actually waited up until after midnight on release day so I could start it immediately keeping the next day free of commitments so I could dedicate it to reading. Sadly, the only thought that kept running through my head while reading was "Oh Dan, where is the heart!!?" :-/

I like Brown's writing style despite the harsh critique it's received. I enjoy how his books are layered with codes and mysteries, how they're incredibly fast-paced & often surprising, & how he takes facts and then pulls and twists them like taffy as far as they'll go without breaking to turn them into riveting fiction.

I don't even mind the repeated format within the Robert Langdon series - professor and expert on symbology and iconography finds himself embroiled in the middle of a high-stakes mystery, teams up with an attractive, smart and capable foreign woman who helps fill in the gaps and challenges him, and the two cement alliances, skirt villains, and undergo a hair raising adventure to save the world's (or the world itself).

With all that said, Inferno just fell flat for me. It had the expected format as mentioned above. It had the twisted facts as also mentioned above. What it didn't have was any of the action packed thrills and gasp inducing surprises I've come to know and love in Dan Brown's books. In addition, those style critiques I mentioned were very evident in this book to me, where I hadn't even noticed them before: foreign languages used during dialogue - a lot of times without clarification leaving holes for those of us who don't speak fluent Italian or Latin, references that make no sense - a train of thought referral to Dutch city where MC Escher lived (who cares if that's where the artist lived, it has no bearing in the story & took 3 sentences to tell!), simile & hyperbole used in the weirdest of places without much order, etc.

I wanted to love this book. I really, really did, especially given my fascination with and deep appreciation for Dante and all of the other art and literature his Divine Comedy spawned, but alas I just couldn't, and am giving my very first ever 2 Skull review. *sigh*


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