Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

May 28, 2013
Author: Dan Brown
Publisher: Transworld Publishers 
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9780593072493
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
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Caveat: The review contains minor spoilers from the book, but mostly restricted to only the first fifteen or so pages and but there’s nothing here that would kill the book for you.
 
But that don’t impress me much.  The fact that pop singer Shania Twain’s hit from yester years is what I’m using to  describe my first reaction after completing the 100-odd chapter long book must tell you something about my disappointment! 
 
Four years of waiting for Harvard symbologist and art professor Robert Langdon and what we have is the Inferno. It starts off like most other Langdon novels – with him in the midst of action right away and a witty, spunky lady who is in for the ride. There’s less of the symbology per se that enthralled readers in Angels and Demons, but more a show of Landgon’s literary prowess –it is after all Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy that provides fodder for the plot. The narrative, for at least for three-quarter of the book, deserves a mention here. The fact that Langdon is plagued with Bollywood’s favorite – retrograde amnesia– means that other characters in the book aid us in catching up with the plot and it’s been done in a tight way.  Also interesting is that Langdon’s nemesis plunges to his death on Page 7 and is still a force to reckon with in the narrative, right until the end.  There are moments of compelling and clever writing too. An example would be how a simple quote of Dante’s is so central to the story – The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.  
 
Some of Langdon’s oddities like his Mickey Mouse watch and his Harris Tweeds actually provide some relief from Brown’s intrinsic height-and-width description of Florentine architecture. Not taking away credit from where it is due though, Brown’s ability to elicit jaw-dropping reactions is still there. Mind numbing connections and revelations about the tapestry that is the Renaissance is still Dan Brown’s forte and there’s no denying that. You have to give it to the man – he’s got me to do what no one else could – download the actual version of Dante’s Divine Comedy and admire it for what it is;  a true classic!
 
However, somewhere through Chapter 90s, you get an epiphany. There is not going to be a big-bang ending! Forget big-bang, you could close the book and still get the feeling of having been hung out to dry by the author. So besides a tedious architectural discourse and an ending that falls flat on its face, you are actually left wondering, what good came from reading all those pages! Well, it at least got me thinking about the theme of an exponentially growing world population! And oh yes, the Black Plague. 
 
The twists are fairly predictable, so my advice – do not play the guessing the game! The book is best read without the overt use of one’s grey cells (this is in case you’ve already spent 750 INR or more to purchase the book!).
 
The most befitting line to sum up my feelings is precisely what the Telegraph had to say – Dan Brown's take on Dante's Inferno is the thriller-writer's most ambitious novel yet – and his worst.
 

Written by Tanya Singh

51 Comments

  • Divya Gattani May 12, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Nyc review !!! Thank you. Looking forward to read it 😀

  • NAVNEET GATTANI May 12, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Couldn’t wait more. . .

  • Rohan Maheshwari May 12, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Awesome review!!! Made me want to read it even more.

  • Geeta Nair May 12, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Ah! Now that last sentence gets me interested. Think I should try it out to find out for myself.

  • Surbhi Verma May 12, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Heard a lot of reviews saying that it goes down the Lost Symbol but this review kind of makes me interested in reading this one.. Telegraph’s review too can’t be false. I need to read this one now.. 🙂

  • Prasad May 12, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    I am fan of Dan Brown and like to add this book to my collection.

  • AlexGuiaRebello May 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    I am fan of Dan Brown and have all his Awesome Books

  • Sneha May 12, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    looking forward to read it.

  • Sambit Kumar May 12, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Awaiting very hopefully to read this legendary book

  • Tanisha Mehta May 12, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Amazing review,looking forward to read it

  • Ashutosh bhandari May 12, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Inferno!! Here I come!

  • Amruta May 12, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    I am a dan brown fan enjoy his books as they are layered with codes n mysteries , fast paced surprising .hope to read this book very soon

  • Saptarshi Sarkar May 12, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Fan of Dan Brown ! Nice Book !

  • Rohit Dhamija May 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Amazing review,looking forward to read it

  • Shivani Goyal May 12, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Interesting review! haven’t read it yet, would love to read this famous book!

  • Chander Shekhar May 12, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Reading the “Inferno’s” reviews from long, and thinking of having hands on it. But the higher cost stopped me of buying one for me, so asked my librarian to buy one for the library ( for me 😛 ) but thats too in the procedure 🙁

  • arvindpassey May 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    One really has to have an interest in intrigues to start any book by Dan Brown and then complete it… if you don’t have it, you will never read it. This review does help a reader identify his own reading preferences… and, therefore, I liked it.

  • Kavya Seetala May 12, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Can’t wait to read it.Maybe I can learn a thing or two about literature this time.

  • Nipunika Sachdeva May 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Witty review. Can’t wait to read the book, all Dan Brown’s books are worth a read. I would really like to win the giveaway, the book otherwise is too expensive..:( 🙂

  • Rohit Dhyani May 12, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    “Inferno’s” reviews from long, and thinking of having hands on it.

  • Apoorva May 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Looks very interesting. Can’t wait to read this book.

  • saptarshi das May 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    want to read it!

  • Koushik Thakkar May 12, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Awesome

  • Pratikhya Alexis May 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    well being based on Divine Comedy provides an additional reason to read this book!

  • varun shringarpure May 12, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    I have liked reading Dan Brown’s books.. I think this would be good too..

  • suyog May 12, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    k so whats the story…. got 2 read this………………..

  • Ashwini May 12, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Looking forward to reading this one! Absolutely loved the previous four of Dan Brown’s books!

  • Akashdeep May 12, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Looking forward to this one.. I have read all of Brown’s previous works

  • akashtaker001 May 12, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Dan Brown is one of the best thriller writers. Can’t wait to get my hands on it

  • Sanjay Rajak May 12, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    superb..its a true classic!!

  • Aadya Dua May 12, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    Waiting for it!!!!
    Can’t wait to get my hands on it!!!

  • Rajat May 12, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Quite the review! (Y)

  • kalyans May 12, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    fantastic book with a nice review….looks an interesting read.

  • Gaurav Pant May 12, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    A brilliant unsuspecting thriller…! A Must read Book

  • Kashif Akhtar May 12, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    A very brilliant piece of work encompassing the today’s highly debated issue – overpopulation, so ironically woven in weaves of rush hours, and lo Robert once again finds himself in a labyrinth of objectives yet to be accomplished but this time in Dante’s Inferno! Captivating!

  • RAINA JAISWAL May 13, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    a superb thrilling experience … must read for all

  • Shiuli Dasgupta May 13, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    Even though the book could have been much MUCH better, it inspired me to write a short story of my own basing it on information gleaned from this book. Suffice to say, top marks to me! ^_^ All Langdon fans should give it a go though.

  • Vidhipssa Mohan May 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Looking forward to reading this book!

  • Somen Sen May 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    interesting… looking forward to read this book.

  • Sumit Nangia May 13, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    This is the book that ignites your grey cells and the creative angle pours down awe striking imagery in your head.

  • RITUPARN SHUKLA May 13, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    nice book and looking forward to read it

  • Vishavnath Bansal May 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    Very predictable, disappointing as was the case with The Lost Symbol

  • Taniya Dutta May 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Really Good book. A worth read for every one

  • RoNak Baxi May 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    The Description Shows How Awesome The Book is Fully worth

  • Bibliomaniac May 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Have heard loads about the book from quite a people, really wanna grab a copy !! #seemsinteresting

  • Priyadarshi Das May 13, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Really A Fabulous Book, Feel The Experience, A Must Read For Every Reader, Touch The Heart….

  • Divya Sawant May 13, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Really looking forward to reading this book though!

  • Divyanshu Verma May 13, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    A great plot ! awesome book and a bestseller 🙂

  • Sayantini Bhattacharya May 14, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Great review. This book has been in my wishlist ever since it got published. I hope I get to read it very soon 🙂

  • Vaisakhi May 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Predictable plot. Dan brown has stereotyped his books now he needs to twist the flow a bit to break the same old plot he has been using ever since…

  • Divija Rao May 14, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    now I feel like reading both Dan Brown’s and Dante’s Inferno!

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