Inferno by Dan Brown

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I keep picking up (or downloading) the Robert Langdon books by Dan Brown. I do this over and over. And here’s what happens:

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Last year it was The Lost Symbol, which was so convoluted that by the time they found what they were looking for – I was totally annoyed. I seem to recall that the lost symbol was a view of the Capitol Building through the Washington Monument at sunrise.

Robert Langdon is a professor of symbology – at Harvard (of course, why not?). Harvard is the only university in America that stands immediately for excellence beyond question. I write this with complete disbelief, knowing a few Harvard graduates in my life who couldn’t find a job outside of restaurant work. I have nothing against restaurant work, mind you. I just think puffing up Harvard’s image until we all bow in submission is ridiculous. And I was not one of the privileged few with enough cash to go to Harvard. I had the grades and the test scores ……. just not the money.

So back to Inferno. Dear Jesus. Brown has a formula he uses for every book. I have read them all up to this point. This is the last one. I swear.

In the books, he is presented with a horrific problem that only he can solve because of his incredible photographic memory and deep knowledge of symbols. He has to solve this problem very quickly or the world will explode, a gazillion people will die, the water will turn sour ……… on and on. He has a female with him – someone he may or may not trust. She too is as intelligent as he is, although not as knowledgeable. She leans on him, being the good female she is.  (Dear Lord Jesus shoot me now.)

They have enemies who are chasing them. All over some romantic location such as Rome or Paris or Florence – somewhere romantic. The Lost Symbol was in D.C. and I can’t see that place as romantic, no matter how hard I try.

They get shot at, someone might get caught or not and there are climaxes at the end of each chapter. Then you get to the end of the book ……………

The sound splat comes to mind. Fizzle. Duh. Nothing. Nada. No mystery. No real emergency. Nothing. Just lots of esoteric clues set in pictures, buildings, poems ………. you get it.

Inferno lives up to the rollicking good time it is not. The reader is led all over hell and back by the nose only to find there is absolutely nothing worth all that activity at the end. I remember one of his books where the two of them were being chased over a glacier and a big wave came up and swept them to safety somewhere in one or other of the poles …………… kind of James Bond unbelievable …………..

And yet I keep reading these books. At least this one was free. It ought to be banned from the public library as too intelligence-insulting for words.

I didn’t like it.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennifer says:

    So glad I’m not the only one. I thought it was the stupidest book I’ve read forever …. like the big deal over her being bald only to find out it’s because she’s depressed (poor thing) and depressed because she’s so smart (poor thing) and everything was backwards – I thought the silver headed lady was being held captive —- no. Oh well at least I won’t read another one! I’m re-reading Dorothy Sayers Have His Carcase now ……… written a hundred years ago and much better ………

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  2. OMG I skipped soooooo many chapters. So boring. Like a history lesson there were so many twists and turns that I didn’t care what happened next. I just went to the last few pages and that was it. As you said, too many impossible things to make it the least bit realistic or interesting. And, in spite of the fact that the characters never sat down for two minutes, it was SLOW and again, BORING. Last one. I rarely read books like this but I thought I would give it a shot. Could have be written on three pages and been better.

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  3. Jennifer says:

    Well I’m sure done! I don’t know why I kept reading them because I didn’t even think The Da Vinci Code was that good ……..

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  4. suth2 says:

    I read the first Dan Brown book. My husband read the first two and at the end of the second one he said it was too formulaic. I haven’t read any more than that first one…. The Da Vinci Code I think 😀

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  5. Jennifer says:

    I’m sure it is – and I sure don’t like Dan Brown’s writing – will I ever learn?

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  6. Maju says:

    You just confirmed my long ago decision to never ever read anything by Dan Brown.

    I live in the DC area and while it might not be the most romantic city in the world, it is very beautiful.

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  7. Jennifer says:

    Oh boy ……. hope you like it better than I did! 🙂

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  8. I’m reading this now. 🙂

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