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Inferno (2013)

by Dan Brown

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Robert Langdon (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,041435721 (3.53)105
"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" -- vendor summary.… (more)
  1. 10
    The Last Cato by Matilde Asensi (vpfluke)
    vpfluke: Both books are thrillers where the main characters follow trails taken from Dante's Divine Comedy
  2. 02
    The Population Bomb by Paul R. Ehrlich (bks1953)
  3. 04
    Dante: The Divine Comedy (Landmarks of World Literature) by Robin Kirkpatrick (bks1953)

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» See also 105 mentions

English (398)  German (8)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (7)  Italian (5)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Arabic (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (435)
Showing 1-5 of 398 (next | show all)
You know what? This wasn't bad. Not great, but not awful. Skip through the first bit with the eye-rolling character descriptions and get to the plot, which rollicks quite well. The twist is classic Brown-cum-Shymalan, and better than I'd imagined. And as Brown reveals his misanthropic tendencies, I find myself just a little more sympatico with him. ( )
  goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
I can absolutely say I adored "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons". They were very interesting plots with intriguing characters with tons of symbol and history thrown in. They were not the best books ever written but they were 100 percent entertaining. "The Lost Symbol" in my eyes was just a mess of a book. Besides giving facts about D.C. wrong, the ending was a joke, and the entire novel was strung together like a screenplay. Even though I saw all of the bad reviews for "Inferno" I still bought this because I wanted to see if Dan Brown rebounded from "The Last Symbol". However, "Inferno" merely shows that Dan Brown has reverted back to his style of writing (that I was not that big a fan of) from his earlier efforts.

Professor Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence with amnesia. Seriously everyone seconds, and I mean seconds after awakening a short spiky haired woman (that many reviewers noted seemed similar to Lisbeth Salander from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) tries to assassinate Langdon. A doctor he just meets named Sienna flees with Langdon to Venice. Langdon and Sienna get started unraveling clues and symbols related to Dante's Inferno in order to find out who is after Langdon.

Seriously the writing was just awful. When you find out the main plot and why someone is after Langdon it was beyond dumb. I think I lost a couple of brain cells.Are evil geniuses really a thing? Really? I don't want to spoil for anyone that may read this in the future for something to do but just like with "The Lost Symbol" I felt as if Dan Brown was writing this book in mind of a potential future movie. I don't think he thought about the absurdity of the plot. I think he imagined Tom Hanks flying in and out of really cool places with a hot co-star and someone playing the mad evil genius like Benedict Cumberbatch.

And because of the above I don't think he thought much about how absurd the entire plot really was.

Also as other reviewers noted there is so much repetition that you just start skimming the novel in self defense. I as a reader do not need to be reminded two minutes later who someone is and what their background is.

Coupled of with really weird segues into Langdon teaching his class and him just regurgitating facts at Sienna started to drive me nuts. Does the man know everything in the world and what the meaning of every little thing is? Seriously? There was no tension in this novel since you knew how it would play out from the very first pages.

I do not recommend this novel. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Dan Brown is definitely starting to move away from the extremely formulaic plot of his earlier novels. There's still a formula here, but it's not as easy to predict everything from the very first page, which is a big plus for a thriller. On the downside, I found Inferno a little hard to get into. I think this issue was largely caused by Brown's use of amnesia as a plot point and a way of keeping the reader from learning things too early. It's such a trite trope by this point, and it's hard to engage with a novel when you're busy being annoyed at such a cheap cop-out.

That said, I really like Dan Brown's other books and I ended up enjoying this one a lot once I got into it as well. I've spent a lot of time defending my enjoyment of Brown's books over the years, which I find quite ridiculous. He's not Shakespeare, but only one person has managed to achieve that (or, I guess, a few if you're of the multiple-authors camp). Reading doesn't always have to lead to self-betterment. Sometimes it's for fun, and this book is fun. That's good enough for me. ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
Overall, I thought the book was okay. It started and ended as an action novel with the same standby professor that wants to be Indiana Jones. I've the read all of the others and I don't generally read these books for the characters or the action. I read them for how the art and history is tied into the work of fiction in a bright and interesting way. It's like reading really bad science fiction for the ideas even though the writing stinks.

As I started reading it I groaned and mentioned to my wife that it's coming again: A psychopath is going to be fixated on an idea again and it's going to cause huge problems for the whole world. Only a historian will be able to save us all!

People mention formulaic writing and often say it's a bad thing. It's not. Not really.

We had the first half of the book being colored within the lines and then Mr. Brown decided to scribble his crayon all over the page. He consciously decided to break his formulaic prose, and while I can respect it in theory, I almost put the book down because I was so conscious and annoyed with what the author was doing and my credulity was stretched so damn far that it really almost broke. That's saying a lot for someone who has no problem with quantum sized people living on the corona of a neutron star deciding whether or not the want to join the mass human exodus through a naked galaxy-wide singularity. But I digress. A 180 of the main players is fine in a novel if it is apparent to the reader that it was planned for, set-up, and otherwise jammed down our throats in at least a modicum of foreshadowing. I was reminded of how it was done very well in the movie called The Game directed by Fincher, and was not favorably disposed to the execution in this novel.

A novel-wide Oh By The Way is the surest way to prevent yourself from being published, and I have to say that this one was one hell of a whopper that seemed to have been called for not because the plot required it, but because the author either didn't know how to get to where he wanted to be at the end or didn't like how the first write was progressing and didn't want or couldn't have a rewrite. Maybe it was shot through the publishing industry so fast or without an editor or perhaps several conflicting editors. Whatever the reason, I pulled on my hair and rolled my eyes and wanted to throw the book across the room.

Since I don't throw books and if I start one that I don't particularly want to read anymore, I still read them through, I continued the novel. And it was okay, all the way to he end. (Granted, by that whopper, I wanted the plague to wipe out humanity and I was really rooting for the bad guy and wanted to see what Robert Langdon was going to do in the next novel with a disease-ridden humanity, a post-apocalypse setting. Alas.)

So, hooooooboy, Mr. Brown broke the formula and there aren't any bad-guys, despite the pretty decent setup and reasoning FOR the bad-guys. Ahem. The formula sells, and it's fine to break it as long as you've got a dedicated readership. The problem comes when the reader's trust is also broken. If you don't want bad guys, don't sell us bad guys. Sell us a morally-grey soup and lead us through the maze. Don't advertise a bill of sale in the first few pages and then turn a bait-and-switch in the middle of the novel.

Still, the whole novel was pretty alright. If only I could get over this sense of betrayal. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Boring, boring, boring...BAM...AWESOME!

For the first, say, 70% of this book, it was a complete yawner. I almost gave up on it twice.

But then a huge plot turn that I didn't see coming. I love those. After that, I was hooked. The last 30% of this book, took me 2 days to read, where the first 70% took about a month. Like I said...yawn.

I think the illustrated version might be much better as Dan Brown spent a large amount of time (too much in my opinion) setting up the locations. Maybe with pictures, it'd be better.

Sienna...first good, then bad, then in-between?! Whoa! Totally didn't see that coming.

The main quote for me: "What's worse than a plague?" I love quotes like that and the payoff definitely lived up to the question.

I am curious what's going to happen in future Dan Brown books. This world that has been created has now changed. I wonder how much it will impact what happens in Book 5 (if there is one). Maybe it'll be a prequel...or something.
( )
  cgfaulknerog | May 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 398 (next | show all)
"In short, Dan Brown’s “Inferno” is the kind of satisfying escapist read that summers were made for."
... there is the sense of play that saves Brown's books from ponderousness, even when he is waxing wise about some ancient mystery or architectural wonder.
"Unfortunately, at other times the book’s musty passageways seem to be not so much holding history up as sagging under its weight."
"To the great relief of anyone who enjoys him, Mr. Brown winds up not only laying a breadcrumb trail of clues about Dante (this is “Inferno,” after all) but also playing games with time, gender, identity, famous tourist attractions and futuristic medicine."
added by bookfitz | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (May 12, 2013)
Renowned author Dan Brown hated the critics. Ever since he had become one of the world’s top renowned authors they had made fun of him. [...] The critics said his writing was clumsy, ungrammatical, repetitive and repetitive. They said it was full of unnecessary tautology. They said his prose was mired in a sea of mixed metaphors.

» Add other authors (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dan Brownprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carole DelporteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dominique DefertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sappinen, Jorma-VeikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.
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I am the Shade. (Prologue)
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«… Nell'uomo, la negazione è un fattore importante nei meccanismi di gestione dello stress. Se non ci fosse, ci sveglieremmo ogni mattina terrorizzati al pensiero di tutti i modi in cui potremmo morire. Invece la mente umana blocca ogni nostra paura esistenziale concentrandosi sugli stress che riesce a gestire, come per esempio arrivare in ufficio in orario o pagare le tasse. Se ci vengono in mente paure esistenziali più ampie, le rigettiamo subito e torniamo a concentrarci su compiti semplici e banalità quotidiane».
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Dan Brown's new novel, Inferno, features renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and is set in the heart of Europe, where Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history's most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces.
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