Dan Brown’s newest Robert Langdon mystery, Inferno will feel familiar to his readers. This twisted tale begins with Langdon awaking in a Florentine hospital with no memory of the previous 2 days. As he pieces together his purpose in Florence and an underground network of people who are working to limit the human population, Brown leads us around renaissance Florence, Venice, and to Istabul’s hidden underground.

As usual, Brown loves to taunt the reader with historically significant stories, and Inferno is no different. A madman uses Dante’s Divine Comedy to lead a team of scientists around the world to try to find a potential virus that is meant to decimate the human population in order to restore balance to the world. The idea that human population has gotten out of control and needs to be put into check by Bertrand Zobrist, the unelected head of a Transhumanism movement. Its an interesting concept that the world’s population has grown to an unsustainable number and that something needs to be done for humanity to survive. Although Brown’s novel is a fantastic view of what could happen if a brilliant, wealthy, patron to decides to take action on overpopulation, it is an idea worth thinking about.

Although this novel has all of Brown’s known twists and action while jumping around beautiful buildings in some of the most beautiful cities in the world, something seemed to be missing for me. It seems like Brown was trying to fit into his own pattern without having the passion to deliver like he has in the past. Since reading The DaVinci Code, I’ve become a fan of crime and mystery novels and have read many fantastic writers in this genre. Maybe after reading novels that subtly dissect societal ills, its hard to read such a heavy handed approach to the end of the world. I think reading Dan Brown’s Inferno is like watching Hollywood’s summer blockbusters, while authors like Per Wahloo, Maj Sjowall, Gillian Flynn, Henning Mankell deliver the mystery and dissect society with the required quietness for true introspection.

Overall, an ok summer read.

Read May 2014.


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