Series: Robert Langdon #4
Published by: Doubleday on May 14, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction, Suspense
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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. Drawing from Dante's dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.
It took me about a million years to read Inferno because most of it was just so darn boring.
For the first half of the book, the problem is that Robert and Sienna (his female companion for most of the book) are running away from the police and assassins, but neither they nor the reader have any idea why. It’s almost like a tour of Florence because they’re running around through the old buildings, Robert points out architecture, tells Sienna about the history, but ultimately the purpose is to hide, run away, and escape through hidden passageways to avoid detection. But we still have no idea what’s going on. And this literally takes up about 40 or 45% of the book. I was very much ready to move on and get some answers.
But, when we finally get one bit of information, that’s still all we have—one bit. At least I had something to go on to hold my attention, but ultimately I didn’t have the bigger picture. Sure, I had guesses, but the overall conflict still wasn’t clearly laid out.
Unlike Dan Brown’s other books (talking about The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons), Inferno suffers from huge dumpings of information. In the other books all the cool history and art information ties into the overall story. But in Inferno it’s just constantly thrown in our faces. Say Langdon is heading to Place X. Along the way he passes by monuments A, B, and C. So, naturally, we get the entire history of A, B, and C, even though they have zero relation to the overall story. This happened throughout the book, resulting in the reader being given huge amounts of unnecessary information that ultimately led to me being bored bored BORED.
I did enjoy some bits of the information and how all ties into the Black Plague, but ultimately… I just didn’t care that much. I didn’t have that same feeling of awe when it all came together as I did in his previous book. It didn’t feel as huge and monumental and “all revealing”. Towards the end I just started skimming because I was so ready to be done with this huge book that sucked up like 5 days of my life.
Ultimately I’m really sorry to say that Inferno doesn’t live up to the epicness of Dan Brown’s previous books. So even if you’re a fan of The Da Vinco Code and/or Angels & Demons (like I am), I can’t recommend Inferno.