Inferno by Dan Brown by guest author James Neenan
This review was first published on 2 August 2015, at http://bookguyreview.com/2015/08/02/dan-browns-inferno/.
Most would probably consider me a lit. snob. One of those who turns his nose up at mainstream fiction, and to some extent that’s true. I prefer the more linguistically difficult and denser tomes. I just think reading the tougher stuff benefits us in ways that the easier to read texts do not. Either way, I’ll toss in some candy here and there for fun, and this one is absolutely that: pure fun.
Brown to me is hysterical. It’s melodrama to the point of frenzy. His books move at the speed of light and his characters are awesomely cliché and predictable. Every woman is a super-model who speaks a dozen languages and holds three master’s degrees, and every man (with the exception of the vacuous Robert Langdon) is some sort of superhuman athlete. The villains are all tattooed and smoke, and the ancillary characters are forgettable to the point of non-existence.
Melodrama aside, I love Dan Brown as much as anything else out there. I’m not reading him for self-betterment. If I want to improve I’ll pick up Proust. If I want to lose myself to some over-the-top plot-gripper, I’ll head to Brown’s camp.
You don’t need any knowledge of The Divine Comedy itself to grasp this one, but it’s interesting to know some of the references Langdon tosses around like some sort of profound homage to the classics.
It’s a torrential romp through Florence, Italy, and Istanbul, Turkey motivated towards stopping some global plague from escaping the hands of a populace-controlling maniac. Needless to say, it’s awesome. Fast and fun. The perfect beach read to override that squawk of seagulls. Look no further for an escape. This one’ll suffice.