Series: Robert Langdon #4
Published by Doubleday on May 14th, 2013
Genres: Historical Fiction, Thriller
In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code,Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.
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.
Books like Inferno are my ultimate guilty pleasures — some people read trashy romance novels or watch reality TV, but I geek out HARD to the ‘historical detective: clue solving, traversing Europe using the knowledge of the historian to uncover wondrous things or save the world’, type genre. Throw in my favourite buzzwords – Medici, Florence, Italian Renaissance, Dante – and I am one sold fan-girling historian.
In the latest installment of the adventures of symbologist Robert Langdon, we are transported to Florence, Italy – though even Robert does not know why, or how he has arrived. Soon, Robert is deeply enmeshed in a race against the clock to stop a potentially catastrophic worldwide massacre, by uncovering and navigating the clues laid out by a madman obsessed with Dante Aligheri’s Inferno.
So yes, while Dan Brown is a very formulaic writer, and Robert Langdon is perhaps the man that Brown always wished that he was, but this did not at all take away from my reading pleasure. But have you noticed how everyone seems to uncannily observe how handsome Robert is? Amusing.
Perhaps it is because of my intense passion for the subject matter of Medicean Florence and the legacy of the Renaissance that the characters were simply the purveyors of the more exciting historical notes of the story, but they were likable (and unlikeable) enough that I found little fault with their construction for that eventuality.
Brown’s writing style allows for a fast-paced, constantly moving plot that never has time to lag or dip off, to the point where I finished the entire book within a day due to my hesitance to put it down. It was not a cumbersome or tiresome read, and likely will be one I return to several times, just to indulge that guilty but thoroughly enjoyed pleasure.