The fourth installment in Dan Brown’s series with the main character of Robert Langdon definitely did not disappoint. His newest book Inferno was entertaining, suspenseful, and not terribly inaccurate (although there were some inaccuracies). The book is set in Italy (Florence and Venice) and one other country that I won’t name so that I won’t give away any spoilers. Langdon awakens in a hospital believing he’s been shot but no remembering anything else from the recent events of the evening before. The plot revolves around an altered image of Botticelli’s painting depicting Dante’s version of Hell from his masterpiece, The Inferno. Langdon finds a small projector in his coat pocket that contains the image, which has been altered to reveal clues to a mystery–although not necessarily an ancient one. Langdon, along with the typical cliché female sidekick, goes on a wild goose chase through Florence and Venice in search of the meaning of the painting and the clues left on the back of Dante’s death mask, which was stolen by a friend of Langdon’s.
The use of Dante’s Inferno as the main focus of the novel is done well by Brown as he uses this as an obsession of the villain of the novel. Overall, the book had a very Angels and Demons feel since it revolves around something ancient yet modern in that Langdon is once again working to save the world from a disaster. Brown also obviously did his research before writing this one as far as literature and art are concerned (there are a few historical inaccuracies, but they do not detract from the enjoyment of the book). I would also say that this book (up to the end) is much less controversial than some of Brown’s other books, and I would say that it is definitely Hollywood worthy. The suspense and plot definitely will do well as a movie, so I hope to see one eventually just as I hope they come out with an illustrated version depicting some of the art work and literature just as they did with The DaVinci Code and Angel’s and Demons. As far as the writing style, it is typical Brown and not a literary masterpiece, but a good read for the weekend (I finished it in about 2.5 days of slow reading trying to enjoy myself!). It held my attention to the very end, but I was somewhat left unsatisfied by the ending as, in my opinion, some things were unresolved (sequel, maybe??). But, overall, it was not a terrible ending, but it wasn’t satisfying, and the ending will definitely cause controversy in some who read it. However, it should not stop you from picking up this summer thriller for a good beach or weekend read. If you love Dante and/or Italy (as I definitely do!) you will enjoy Dan Brown’s latest thriller, Inferno.
Coffee & Literature’s rating: B