reviews - quotes - thoughts
- crossposting here and on goodreads -
Caution! Rambling ahead! ;)
With Dan Brown you get exactly what you expect.
I read his most recent novel when I was sick in bed and couldn't do much else than lie around. I needed a compelling read with a certain amount of suspense that would entertain me and wouldn't be too hard to follow. And Brown delivered.
Under any circumstance different from the above I would problably not have finished Inferno. Up until now I had only known Brown's novels from audiobooks - a medium that works very well for the so-called fast-paced thriller. In bookform, however, it tends to get rather boring.
I get the feeling that Brown only has one plotline which he follows in all of his Langdon books. Ellius on GR has done a beautiful sumary of this plot that I can by no means put into better words, so I will just put it in a link.
So, what did I like about Inferno? Short answer: not much!
The characters? Flat! Langdon himself is so obnoxious in his perfection and - excuse me - quite full of himself. Brown's female characters - or rather the one character template he always uses - are beautiful to perfection and intelligent. But God forbid not as intelligent as all-knowing Langdon - he needs to teach! By the way, even the old woman that haunts Langdon's nightmares and implores him to help her and save the world is of course beautiful despite her age and flawless in looks and intelligence. There are no ugly or flawed women in Brown's world.
Everything and everyone is perfect and intelligent and Langdon is the king of the academic world and there is nothing he doesn't know and isn't an expert in - obnoxious! There is running around and solving of puzzles (which are by no means as interesting or thought-through as in his other books) and Langdon gets to explain and teach although he is the one kept in the dark by his retrograde amnesia. Yes, you read that correctly. Langdon does not know how he came to Florence and why he has to solve the puzzle and mysteries at hand. That is the great twist in this novel. Amnesia. Haven't had a twist like that since soap operas were big in the 90s.
In all the running around I really only liked the history and art lessons Langdon and/or the narrator keep doling out. But I could have read non-fiction for that.