Inferno

Inferno - Dan Brown Robert Langdon wakes up in a Florence hospital … a bullet wound to his head, IV tubes sticking out of him, machines beeping and absolutely no memory of the last 48 hours other than he feels a need to apologize, muttering “very sorry, very sorry” over and over again. As he tries to clear the fog in his head a black clad intruder breaks into his hospital room, shoots his doctor … and the chase is on. Racing against the clock (isn’t he always?) he must decipher a series of secret messages left for him to stop a world-wide pandemic from being released.

After hearing the news that this book was coming out (I was quite thrilled) and learning that it was based on Dante’s Inferno I felt that I should try to read Dante’s work so I could have a firmer grasp on the references in Mr. Brown’s Inferno. True confession time – I just couldn’t get through it. I tried. I really did try. Nope – couldn’t do it. But to any of you out there who, like me, are not much into classic epic poetry, no worries, you can get through Dan Brown’s book just fine! I’m not even going to get into a discussion about “literature” vs. “pop fiction”. I read for enjoyment so can find redeeming qualities in all kinds of books in all kinds of genres and yes, I think best sellers deserve 5 stars too.

The bottom line is I enjoyed this book, as I did all his other books. I like Langdon as a character because he has an “absent minded professor” feel to him. He’s a brilliant symbologist who likes his quiet Harvard life and he is always boggled by how he gets into all these sticky situations but then manages to plod through by putting one foot in front of the other. Are the situations a little unbelievable … of course! Its an action thriller fiction book. Some of the negative criticisms of Mr. Brown’s book stem from the fact that he stops the action sometimes to offer Professor Langdon a chance to do mini-lectures on either his surroundings or the art work that is prevalent in all his books. These little mini-lectures are part of the appeal of the books for me. I have never been to Florence, or Rome, or Venice or Istanbul so the description of the artwork; the history and the architecture enthrall me. I’ve even googled things in the books to get a visual about what he is talking about. Okay, I’m a geek. Not only that, but OMG, there was even some scientific “stuff” in this book that was thought provoking, a little scary and posed a moral dilemma for not only the book’s characters but in my mind as well. If that’s not an all around good read, what is?