Dan Brown


"When the sleight of hand was revealed I was impressed as I had been guided up the wrong path."


Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital without any recollection of how he came to be in a bed with a gunshot wound to his head. What is an even bigger shock is what hospital he is in… one based in Florence. Langdon cannot remember how he has lost two days and ended up in the city of Florence. The last thing he can recall is walking across campus in the US! Within minutes of waking up an assassin fetches up to the hospital and shoots Dr. Marconi in the chest. The other doctor, Sienna helps Langdon escape.

At Sienna's apartment Langdon finds a 'torch' that shows the painting interpreting Dante's 'Inferno'. But the painting has been altered. Following the clues Langdon must avoid a woman who he believes is intent on killing him as well as a small army who appear determined to capture Langdon at all costs. Racing across Florence Langdon tries to unravel the past few days that elude his memory before it is too late.

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I received my copy of 'Inferno' when first released in May and I have to confess to only finishing it in the past week! So it has taken me just over three months to finish it! This doesn't mean I am a slow reader – simply that 'Inferno' has been a book I could easily put down and not pick up again. I think I just wanted to make room on my bedside cabinet and decided to give it one last push before totally abandoning it. Thankfully I finished it however, that doesn't mean I enjoyed it. I loved 'The Da Vinci Code' and read it before the whole world went 'Da Vinci Code' mad! However, for me 'Inferno' simply isn't in the same class. I don't expect another 'Da Vinci Code' but if Brown is going to try for the same kind of novel then the standard needs to be high or there isn't any reason to even try. Brown himself set the bar so high so you wonder if he has hoisted himself on a petard of his own making. What was hideous for me is the amount of unnecessary information in this book. Brown can't get Langdon down a street without explaining the history of half the buildings he passes. When Langdon and co reach Venice and commandeer a boat it takes Brown ten pages, (yes, ten pages!) to describe the journey before they even reach their destination! Yes, Brown has done his homework (and some) but it really didn't need to be inflicted on all of us. This makes 'Inferno' more a travelogue than a novel. All this needless information impeded the plot so much that it virtually came to a standstill. I feel that Brown has been given a dis-service by his agent and editor who sorely needed to reduce this novel down and were either frightened of Brown's ego or wary to harm his delicate skin as an author. Either way, this story does not carry well over so many pages. Credit due to Brown for misdirecting this reader. When the sleight of hand was revealed I was impressed as I had been guided up the wrong path. However, the conclusion could have been reached much speedier and without the waffle that this reader had to wade through to get to the nucleus of the story. Plus, the actual reason for this particular conspiracy was whimsical at best with Brown shaking his fist about over population. Again this could have been arrived at a lot quicker without the travelogue part of the book. Brown has shown he has a talent for gripping thrillers, but here he sadly buried his plot in far too much fact. But what do I know – the film has already been scheduled for release in December 2015 and droves of people will race out to see it. That's if Earth hasn't already toppled off its axis by the extra weight of all those people born between now and 2015!

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