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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Inferno


So, Inferno. I have a feeling that just mentioning it will boost my pageviews the way The Devil Wears Prada did.

I had only read two Dan Brown books before Inferno. Someone had told me the story of The Da Vinci Code beforehand, so I didn't find it as fascinating or engrossing as many people seem to find it. I found Angels and Demons more interesting, but the way in which the Cardinals were murdered was a little gruesome and sensational for my tastes. So I hadn't much experience with Dan Brown before Inferno. I didn't go in with a bias because critics always tend to be snobbish and delegate Dan Brown's prose to the trash pile. True, his prose isn't exceptional, and he does mix his metaphors occasionally, but I didn't find him as unbearable as all that.

My biggest takeaway from this book was Dante's Inferno. I learnt so much about Dante and Inferno that I feel quite cultured now. As for the writing, well - some grammatical errors niggled at me occasionally - but I read the book because I was out of town and it was the only one I could get  my hands on, and it suited the purpose of filler entertainment quite well. I thought it was adequately interesting. It was what you'd expect from Dan Brown - what else could you ask for?

Some of the plot twists were a little hard to digest. I won't give in to the temptation to include spoilers here.

I am not sure how much I liked Sienna Brooks, the ultra-brainy, 208-IQ (208? I'm not even sure that has happened in the real world) female doctor lead. She seemed - unreal. And I just didn't like her much. I'm not sure why I didn't though. Langdon was fine.

There's not really much you can say about Inferno without giving away the plot. I wanted to say something about the rogue bio-scientist in the book, but can't figure out how much is too much. But I was a little disappointed by the ending. In trying so hard to give the plot a twist that truly shocks the reader, Dan Brown deprives us of a truly satisfying ending. Things feel slightly incomplete and anti-climactic.

All in all, I liked the book for the tidbits I gained, and for the way it helped me pass my time when I didn't have a number of books to pick from. It isn't boring, which is a lot more than can be said of a lot of books. So, Inferno = good time pass if you are able to ignore notoriously bad prose.

Coming up next: Reviews of Ashok K Banker's Krishna Coriolis series.

I intend to end all my posts like the above hereafter.

Edit, 31st Jan 2014: Inferno shows a terribly simplistic, unsophisticated and inaccurate understanding of over-population and population problems. For example, developed countries, certainly don't need fewer children being born; in fact, many of them are suffering from aging populations and larger burdens on the workforce.