Inferno by Dan Brown

Following a suitably short, but none-the-less intriguing if rather stark and violent prologue, in the first chapter of Dan Brown’s Inferno, readers are greeted by a very confused Dr Robert Langdon; immediately readers are thrust into this latest fast-paced, nightmarish adventure. Having read many of Brown’s previous novels, being re-acquainted with Robert Langdon felt like meeting an old friend, familiar but new at the same time because it’s been a while. It was a lovely feeling which allowed me to immediately sink into the novel and I dare say other readers would feel the same.

Characters who initially suffer from amnesia or memory loss as Langdon does are fascinating, because there are endless scenarios, multiple possibilities which could explain how they came to be in that predicament. It is always an exciting adventure finding out exactly what happened; and in doing so Brown allows readers to indulge in making up their own answers, before the secrets are revealed. But of course painstakingly revealing secrets is Langdon’s (and therefore Brown’s) forte. Combine this literary technique with a rapidly changing pace and the inclusion of both long and short chapters, and you’ve got a novel which grips and pulls at a reader’s every sense and emotion.

InfernoAs is my usual thoughts on Brown, Inferno is gripping, full of suspense, eloquently detailed (although some may feel it’s overly descriptive) and educational in a fun way. Art History has never been so appealing! In comparison to The Da Vinci Code I found Inferno somewhat darker in tone. This comes from the very nature of the possible impending threat, a topic which is very much at the fore front of the global political agenda, the nature of some of the characters and some quite shocking and stark violence within the pages. Whilst you hope never to be in Robert Langdon’s shoes, as a reader you get a thrilling and adrenaline-fuelled adventure to enjoy from your sofa, bed, bath or wherever!

In particular I must praise Brown for his ability to convey to the reader everything Langdon sees, hears and feels. There is a fluidity to the novel each revelation, clue cracked and new location appears sequentially with ease, again the change in pace and length of chapters assists with this. You do not merely have to be a spectator, Brown gives his readers the opportunity (through his literary prowess) to step into the novel and become Langdon, his companions and to an extent even his adversaries.  Inferno is full of plot twists and turns, cliff-hangers and extremely detailed and intriguing back stories, for characters whose role in the novel is often not fully explained or understood; until it is revealed at the very end. The deceptions revealed in chapters 81 and 82 in particular I found truly astounding- I never saw them coming! At one point I was so stunned I closed my book and just thought about what I had just read. The level of thought put into the concoction of deceptions such as Brown’s; if they truly exist in the world well… but each reader will make of that what they will, but it makes for very gripping and very entertaining reading

There is some repetition within the novel, and at times the amount of paragraphs given to describing the numerous places and countries Inferno involves can be distracting from what is an otherwise a well-established plot. One does wonder how much of the description is for the scriptwriters of the film, and how much is for the actual readers.

Overall I think it’s a good addition to the adventures of Robert Langdon. Fans should find it enjoyable to read but also those just being introduced to Dan Brown’s novels will find they can equally enjoy the novel without needing to have read any of his previous books. Despite the numerous negative reviews out there this series will always be one of my favourites and I will continue to buy Brown’s novels, simply because of the experience I get when reading them.

© Gemma Feltham 15 June 2014

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21 Comments

Filed under Adventure, Crime, Mystery, Thriller

21 responses to “Inferno by Dan Brown

  1. Yvo

    Your review made me wonder if I should give Dan Brown another chance. Sure, I was able to enjoy The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, but other books mostly let me down. Maybe I should try Inferno for myself since there exist a lot of contradictive reviews of this book. I’m just afraid it will be a carbon copy of earlier successful plots he used…

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    • Hi Yvo,

      Firstly thanks for reading and even more for commenting! I agree there are many contradictory reviews out there, the only way to truly know is to give it a go. Admittedly Inferno does follow similar plots to his other work, but I personally found that since I’d not read those in a while, Inferno was a welcomed return.

      I hope you choose to give it a go and drop me a line with your thoughts!

      Happy reading! Gem

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yvo

        I will probably give it a go somewhere in the near future. Even though Inferno might turn out to be repetitive, I have to admit Brown always is a guarantee for easy reading, and might be a good read for one of those cold winter evenings I will be facing during the next two months. Thanks and happy reading to you too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really loved the novel. The best thing about the writer is describing the unreal scenes in real places.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can understand your review. I myself am kind of a snob when it comes to reading these type of “commercial” novels. I love the way you write! I started a blog as well to share my book thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had a good experience reading “El símbolo perdido” (The Lost Symbol in english) with the plot-twists that you mentioned, I even had to stop a few times to let the emotions work properly. I think Dan Brown is a piece of a writer who works in his best-known territory, the line between reality and fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It was an incredibly interesting read…I just can’t bring myself to decide if it was better than the Da Vinci Code though. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t gotten around to Inferno yet, but I have read Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. As you all mention, Dan Brown has a formula that is working for him. I’m not sure the formula translates as well to the movies. The problem is – his puzzles require detailed descriptions of history, art, and science concepts that can be made at length on a page, but can get a little boring on the big screen. Overall, he’s a great author.

    I like your book blog, I just started book blogging myself. Feel free to stop by and if you have any ideas on how to get better at this share away:

    http://www.bookshelfbattle.com

    Liked by 1 person

  7. They say that Dan Brown’s works had a genre of suspense, is it true? I like stories that is having a suspension. Well, if I have a chance I would take my time to read one of Dan Brown’s book.

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    • I would say there is suspense in Brown’s work yes, although sometimes I find the suspense is subtle as it can appear in the form of Brown revealing something about a character that you didn’t know until that point, when the piece of information is revealed it can change the whole course of the chapter and previously you hadn’t even thought to think about what you didn’t know.

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  8. Ah. I know of at least two people who read Dan Brown in principle, it seems. If there is a new Dan Brown in the bookshops, they’ve got their own copy soon after. I don’t know if that’s because of the huge success of “The Da Vinci Code” or if it’s because he’s regarded as being consistently good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I admit I also buy books by authors I know and have previous enjoyed, but I find a good way of being able to make up your own mind about a book or author is to read it after the hype and extreme marketing has died down.

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  9. A great book! You did pretty good job with the review :))) I recently started my own blog, check it out if you want : https://amatterofmoney.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dan Brown has topped my favourite author list. I must say that the book that really hit a nerve was indeed The Lost Symbol. A must read for sure

    Liked by 1 person

  11. And do check out my blog aswell. Just a teen with a dream to have my own novel if God allows it. Insideacces.wordpress.com. Thanx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rehmanjafar

    Angels and Demons was a good read and as your review tells me there are lot of cliff-hangers it only makes me want to read it.Added it to the list.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mia C. Bates

    I’ve been recommending this book to anyone that will listen! I think the fact that Brown can really make you think about such a controversial moral dilemma as well as inspire you to travel, keep you thoroughly entertained, and educated is everything you need in a great novel. He does not miss a thing and I think its a perfectly constructed piece of work. Thanks for sharing!

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