Thursday, 20 June 2013

Inferno by Dan Brown

"In dangerous times, there is no sin greater than inaction"

I have been a big fan of Dan Brown's writing for a while and so was eager to read his newest novel, Inferno, which features the intriguing Robert Langdon. This latest instalment in the saga is based upon Dante's infamous poem, Inferno, and sees Langdon and Sienna Brooks embark on a journey through Italy and Turkey.

The opening is somewhat confusing, with Langdon waking up in a hospital with amnesia before being forced to go into hiding with his doctor, Sienna Brooks. This amnesia makes for fascinating reading, however, with everything being a revelation to Langdon who is initially unsure of who to trust. This questioning of trust develops further as the novel progresses and the differing chapter focuses highlight this with us being able to see three main angles: The provost, Elizabeth Sinskey and Robert Langdon.

As with all Dan Brown novels, the twists and turns in the plot made it impossible to predict what would unfold and the action made for a particularly gripping novel. The threat of the police (and therefore capture) looming over Langdon provides a continually tense atmosphere with the constant reminders of the police keeping this fresh in the mind of the reader. Also, the novel felt very current despite technology not playing a huge part in the unravelling of the plot (who needs a computer when Langdon is on hand?!); furthermore, it was particularly pertinent that Brown was writing about contemporary issues, namely overpopulation and genetic modification.

I know that these books are not to everyone's taste but I find them fascinating and greatly admire the skill which goes into writing them. My interest in the novels  for me was peaked when I saw Brown giving an interview where he explained his love of maths and codes as well as his intense desire to fully research a topic before creating his fiction.

Dan Brown - the author
Despite having big shoes to fill, in my opinion Inferno certainly lived up to expectations and was the best Langdon novel; however it has received mixed reviews with some critics labelling it boring. I was surprised to discover the levels to which Inferno had divided people with some loving it and others hating it. Without a shadow of a doubt Brown novels are an acquired taste and so perhaps the best way to describe Inferno would be as 'a Marmite novel'! Regardless of this controversy, one thing is for sure - Dan Brown has left the world waiting for the next Robert Langdon novel.

Please let me know your comments below on Inferno, I'd be really interested to know what other people thought and whether you feel that this is as good as Dan Brown's other novels.


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