Monday, July 1, 2013


Title:  Inferno (The Da Vinci Code)
Author:  Dan Brown
Publication Information:  Doubleday, Random House, Inc. 2013. 461 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book because of how much I enjoyed the other books in the series.

Favorite Quote:  "Denial is a cricital part of the human coping mechanism. Without it, we would all wake up terrified every morning about all the ways we could die. Instead, our minds block out our existential fears by focusing on stresses we can hand - like getting to work on time or paying our taxes. If we have wider, existential fears, we jettison them very quickly, refocusing on simple tasks and daily trivialities."

Inferno is the fourth book in Dan Brown's series featuring Robert Langdon. Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol came before. Robert Langdon is a Harvard University professor specializing in historic and religious symbols. Each of the four books stands alone and centers around a set of such symbols and a current world situation.

Inferno takes on the issue of overpopulation and the symbols in Dante's Divine Comedy. Written in the 1300s, the Divine Comedy is an iconic literary piece with an allegorical look at the afterlife. It is divided into three parts - Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. It has been translated into numerous languages and depicted in many many art pieces. Scholars today continue to study the symbols and allegory in the poem.

Like the other Dan Brown books, the action in Inferno starts on the first page and continues through the end. At the start, Robert Langdon finds himself in a situation with no memory of how he got there. He finds himself caught up in an adventure without an understanding of what or who he is dealing with. The book proceeds with and adventurous chase through different parts of the world. Without a spoiler, I will say that the resolution of this book does not come the way I expected. The author makes a pretty strong statement with the ending of this book.

The critics are harsh in judging Dan Brown's literary style or his writing ability. All I know is his books are fun to read. I know what to expect - adventure, chases, a mystery, some beautiful iconic places. This book delivers on all those points.

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