Dan Brown: Inferno (Review)

The Author

dan brown

Dan Brown is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts fully to writing.

In 1996, Dan’s interest in code-breaking and covert government agencies led him to write his first novel, Digital Fortress, which quickly became a #1 national bestselling eBook. Set within the clandestine National Security Agency, the novel explores the fine line between civilian privacy and national security. Brown’s follow-up techno-thriller, Deception Point, centered on similar issues of morality in politics, national security, and classified technology.

The son of a Presidential Award winning math professor and of a professional sacred musician, Dan grew up surrounded by the paradoxical philosophies of science and religion. These complementary perspectives served as inspiration for his acclaimed novel Angels & Demons-a science vs. religion thriller set within a Swiss physics lab and Vatican City. Recently, he has begun work on a series of symbology thrillers featuring his popular protagonist Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of iconography and religious art. The upcoming series will include books set in Paris, London, and Washington D.C.

Dan’s wife Blythe-an art historian and painter-collaborates on his research and accompanies him on his frequent research trips, their latest to Paris, where they spent time in the Louvre for his new thriller, The Da Vinci Code.

In its first week on sale, The Da Vinci Code achieved unprecedented success when it debuted at #1 on The New York Times Bestseller list, simultaneously topping bestseller lists at The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and San Francisco Chronicle. Later, the book hit #1 on every major bestseller list in the USA.

Dan has made appearances on CNN, The Today Show, National Public Radio, Voice of America, as well as in the pages of Newsweek, People, Forbes, Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, and others. His novels have been translated and published around the world.

Book Description



Writing a review for a Dan Brown book is not an easy thing, he is one of the biggest selling authors out there. His Da’Vinci code achieved almost a cult following status, to even attempt any sort of critic would bring down the wrath of the Brown followers. (but what the heck)

For me personally the book has its good points as well as its bad points. There is a good plot buried within this book, but the book inst an over all great book.

I love thrillers filled with action and quirky unknown symbolism or archeology, and Robert Langdon should be able to deliver that. At times he does, at times I feel educated and feel the pace of the plot building. Then out of the blue Dan Brown decides to take on the role of Florentine, Venetian tour guide, or Dante Historian. Its not that I mind being educated, in fact I love learning this stuff, I really want to visit Florence now. BUT: the stories pace and power and writing style changes as the author introduces this stuff. All of a sudden I feel like I’m starting again, the brakes have been slammed on to the tension and it’s lost, the pace is gone, and the purpose of the thriller writer is wasted, for the role of tour guide.

If you read a book by for example Andy McDermott, you will get explosive action, highs and lows and a continual build of tension through to a dramatic conclusion. This dramatic and heart pounding conclusion gets lost with Inferno because of all the tour guide info, and because of the style of its delivery. If the same info had been delivered as part of the narrative at a higher level and with the full content in authors notes at the end….? well this may have been a reading hit as much as it will sell just fr having Dan Browns name on the cover.

I have seen some criticism in reviews, of the science behind the book, on population expansion, and I don’t agree with the criticism, I liked this part of the book, I also recommend reading this book when you have the flu and are a little spaced with a fever, because the global disease thing gets a freaky scary edge while you are struggling with the coughing and wheezing.. (a bit odd but there you go).

If I the lowly, unpublished novice could offer the multi million book selling writer any advice it would be to go back to basics, don’t try so hard to educate and show your obvious intelligence to the reader. You’re supposed to be writing a fast paced balls out conspiracy thriller, the reader wants a ride through their biggest fears, they want heart in the mouth action, you can be forgiven for almost implausible get away’s, if the plot is fast. Save the education for the end, we readers do also read authors notes (and are happy to learn from them). But from a thriller we want action action action, plot plot plot, nothing wrong with salting some education along the way in a subtle fashion..but the tour guide while great, should be a separate book in the tour guide section.

I give this book 3/5 : like I said, I had fun and being sick helped. But this idea had 5/5 written all over it, it just needed better execution.


A side note: my son almost never reads, but he likes Dan Brown’s books, so no matter what I think of the book, there are and will be many people out there who for them this is great. If Dan Brown can make people like my son pick up a book and read, well that’s a great thing, and if it inspires others to write, who look at DB and think, WOW how much money? and they go out and write new, better, greater books, then DB has done something wonderful.

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Filed under Action/ Adventure Thrillers, Historical Fiction, Thrillers

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