My verdict is purely my personal view. It is not done to influence any viewers to buy or ignore this book. Each individual’s action, after reading this short analysis, is processed in their own minds over which I do not exert any control – positive or negative.
Last week, Inferno reached the bookshelves globally. The propagation of the novel was more sinister than the propagation of a virus in terms of global reach. I purchased an epub version and went through it. Here are my thoughts on it.
Dan Brown is a very good storyteller who involves semiotics, art history, mythology, and action in a comprehensive blend of fiction that has plenty of twists and turns. Inferno is a 528 page, page-turner which is a good read. The storyline is simple. Robert Langdon, Harvard professor, Art historian, etc. wakes up with retrograde amnesia in a Florence hospital. He is in possession of something very sinister (at least he thinks so) and has to decipher it to prevent a multimillionaire named Bertrand Zobrist from unleashing a so-called plaque that will counter overpopulation.
This takes Robert Langdon across Florence, Venice, and Istanbul along-with a bald, high IQ lady name Sienna Brooks. With many twists and turns where friends become foes and foes become friends, they eventually fail to prevent the plaque from being unleashed. I won’t play spoiler by letting out the end but this is all so bloody Robin Cook-ish. Robin Cook is famous for his medical thrillers and I feel Brown has taken a cue from Cook’s book to venture into a new zone.
I won’t certainly pinpoint to flaws in the script but all my questions about the behaviour of a particular character was answered at a later stage in the novel. But for a novel of this big magnitude, you can allow small flaws. They are perfectly acceptable.
Final verdict – A good read if you like history, art, historical fictions, and semiotics. For people who hate these topics, you have Robin Cook. For people who hate Robin Cook, you have Colin Forbes or Clive Cussler. The twists and turns and the improbable escapes are very much Forbes and the virus stuff is very much Cook and the symbol deciphers are very much Dan Brown. Overall, a fine cocktail but that would not suffice for wine tasters like me!
It’s not different from other of Brown’s books. Every book of his follows the same pattern. A protagonist trying to decipher a puzzle, an organisation hell bent on stopping him, an organisation hell bent on helping him, an assassin in his trail, a beautiful lady to help him, museums, trains, boats, churches, anti-Vatican rants, secret passageways, near death, some important deaths, and finally the antagonist is none else but the one whom our protagonist knew from the start.
I feel I was reading a Vijaykanth movie script that was written by an excellent scriptwriter. If Robert Langdon is going to survive over for a few more books, they should come to India. After all, you have temples, mosques, churches and monasteries everywhere and there is no shortage of myths and secret passages. Be ready for it. It will come eventually.
If you want to read Inferno, you can go ahead and read it. Brown ensures that you are kept interested with loads of whoa-ish facts like ‘Hagia Sophia is 700 years older than Notre-dame’ which, in my humble opinion, does not serve any other purpose apart from making the location of Brown’s plot look great. Meenakshi temple is older than most of the buildings in medieval Europe. Just my 2 Lira for Brown’s thoughts!