Friday, May 24, 2013

'Inferno' by Dan Brown

Good, but not great.  When someone asks me (and they will ask me) “how was Dan Brown’s new book?”, that will be my answer.  I enjoyed but there were more than a few places that were slow and had me scratching my head.  It’s almost impossible not to read one of Dan Brown’s books and NOT compare it to ‘The DaVinci Code’.  I know I shouldn’t but I can’t help it.  ‘The DaVinci Code’ is just a plain amazing novel and has become the standard (at least by me) on how codebreaking-thrillers should be written. 

Would I recommend this book?  Yes, like I said it is good.  But where it got weird for me was, believe it or not, the action scenes!  When Robert and his female companion were running away from the bad guys is when it got dull.  I think Dan spent too much time explaining what was around them and the intricacies of such and such building, and why such and such building was built and when.  So much so that it really slowed the story down.  And that was weird for me.  Dan Brown usually doesn’t drop the ball like that.  His research, as usual, is on point but I felt that his strongest strength was also his greatest weakness with this book.

But again it was a strange dance.  When he was telling the story of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ and how it related to the story, how it played in our modern world, it was a VERY good book.  Once they started running and dodging the bad guys and he threw the history and research with them, that’s when I found I had to push my way through.  This story just didn’t have the same “magic”.  I understand that not every book can be a once in a lifetime block-buster, but even the story telling didn’t have the same Dan Brown-esque flair that I’ve grown to enjoy. 

I’ve always been a big fan of end of the world/apocalyptic books so when I started to piece together what the ‘Inferno’ really was I got morbidly excited.  ‘Inferno’ is pretty detailed and complicated so don’t rush through it.  Setting aside the awkward slow parts that were dispersed throughout this book, it was still entertaining and fun.  The ending will catch you off guard because it’s so… complete.  And horrible.  You always wonder if the author “will go there” and Dan Brown certainly does. 

As with his other novels this one has the dance between “this can’t be real” vs. “CAN this be real”?  I was taken by what ‘Inferno’ referred to and I can’t wait for ‘The Discovery Channel’ and ‘The History Channel’ to start producing shows on it.  Not to mention other media houses dusting off their old DVD and shows with the sole purpose to say “I told you so”.  This book will definitely generate conversation and reaffirm Dan’s place as the devil wordsmith of literature.  Damn him… writing these popular books.

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