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