Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Inferno by Dan Brown

Well, this will be proof that I am honest in my thoughts about a book and don't love everything!

I will begin by saying that I thought the way the book ended was great, I love the premise and think that the issues the story is based on are truly worth being spoken about (not going to discuss them here though, that would be a huge spoiler!). I think it isn't saying too much to say that overpopulation plays a key role, and I like the stark reality that is used to present the situation.

That being said, the way Dan Brown got to the last fifth or so of the book infuriated me! I think the main issue for me is that despite how much I love the Robert Langdon character, how fascinated I am with his character's profession and background, and also how much I love Tom Hanks as an actor, I think Dan Brown needs to move beyond this character. That, or maybe take a break from him until he has a story to tell that better suits what the Langdon character provides to a story. I think this character is perfectly suited to the first two novels he was the focal point of, The Da Vinci Code, and Angels and Demons. But, with this book and The Lost Symbol, I felt that the inclusion of Robert Langdon was forced and a bit awkward. I think that what Langdon has to provide as a character is much more interesting when it is used to present and investigate situations presented as "ancient mystery" type situations, with clues left behind long ago. With this book, antiquities were used by the protagonist to create clues. I would love to see the author deal with other secret societies like he has before; The Bilderberg Group or Skull & Bones maybe, there are plenty sufficiently clandestine and mysterious ones left out there for him to choose from! I would also love to see him do some stand alone novels again. Deception Point and Digital Fortress were both fabulous. He is a great storyteller and I love the amount of research it would seem he puts in to his books, I guess things have just started to become more formulaic.

That being said, and this may sound surprising with what I have said, I think it is still a good read. I just think it should come with a disclaimer--"This book may make you crazy at first!"--or something of the sort. I think it is meant to be a shocking twist, and it is to a certain extent, but that becomes overpowered by the fact that it is also a relief to be done with the annoying nature of the rest of the book.