Monday, May 20, 2013

Finished Dan Brown's Inferno

So, I finished Dan Brown's Inferno, and I got to say. It was mildly disappointing. Don't get me wrong, it's still a Dan Brown thriller, fast paced and full off twists. But the twists here are really predictable, well at least for me they were.

Brown has tried to change a few things, but these changes are not significant and may go unnoticed. His narrative this time around is not the relentlessly fast paced paper cut page turner we have come to expect a la The Da Vinci Code, but rather a lethargic tourist guide sprint through Florence. His descriptions of famous Florentian landmarks reads like a literal guided tour, at some points these overt descriptions become so tedious that you are tempted to skip them altogether, so that you can continue with the plot.  There is also a lot of unnecessary repetiition of a single plot point, again and again and again. It almost feels like it was done to meet some kind of word count.

The plot components stay more or less the same. There's a high powered organisation with a head who has a cool nickname. This time it's The Provost, the head of an organisation called The Consortium, which is so secretive that even Dan Brown wasn't allowed to name who they really were, and as a result, The Provost remains a mystery throughout the book. Even with all the mystery surrounding The Consortium, and even with Mr. Brown's statement that such an organisation exists and he was compelled to change their name to protect their identity, it doesn't make one curious to find out what The Consortium really is in real life like his previous books, which had me researching the NRO and the Delta Force in great detail.

The other change is the muscle/thug like Silas in the Da Vinci Code or the Delta Force in Deception Point. In Inferno, it's Vayentha a Consortium Agent who isn't much of a thug and is killed off in the middle of the book.

And the usual bait and switch you come to expect from Dan Brown when it comes to the real villain of the story, this time around is disappointing and quite predictable, even with the narrative trying so hard to take you in a completely different direction. The attempt at misdirection seems like it's trying too hard and at times feels contrived.

The only bit of the book that had some kind of intense pacing to it was the ending, which takes Robert Langdon to Istanbul. And it's here that Brown seems to find his Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons mojo again, the descriptions here are engaging and drive the intensity of the climax higher. The ending is the only bit of the book where I could find the Da Vinci Code Dan Brown. The ending was the meat of the story and the rest was just useless stuffing without the gravy.

This story left me wanting more and as a result, next time I just might wait for the paperback rather than pay premium for the release date hardback.


  1. i agree with your review totally

    only other nugget i might add was the "gender trick" was interesting, i didnt think i had read that before

    by the way who the hell is the consortium supposed to be

    also - putting lisbeth salander in the book...really?

    1. The gender trick was a good one, I have to give him that. But that was also the point i realised that it was a ruse and wanted to know how he was going to explain the switch. And he did go on to repeat the entire flashback again which I found a little tiresome