Reviews for Inferno


Booklist Reviews 2013 June #1
That Robert Langdon. He goes through more machinations in 72 hours than a phalanx of folk would in several lifetimes. This time out, the professor wakes up in a Florence hospital unable to remember the last several days. A bullet has grazed his head, and some bad people are after him, but with the help of the lovely Dr. Sienna Brooks, he's able to escape--and escape and escape, as he slowly comprehends that a plague is quite deliberately about to be released, and it's his job to figure out the puzzles and symbols that lead to its location. All of Brown's books have a big idea underpinning them--the family of Jesus, freemasonry--and here one of them is Dante's Inferno, a theme that will probably resonate more with readers familiar with the work, though many pages are spent explaining the man, his muse, and the influences that shaped the epic poem. The other theme sharing center stage concerns population control and humanity's determination to be fruitful and multiply itself into oblivion. Is it a worthwhile endeavor to cull the human herd in order to save it? In posing this and other troubling questions, Brown weans himself away from the guidebook atmosphere that permeates the story, as Langdon and Brooks race from Florence to Venice to Istanbul, and asks readers to think about their own answers to the overpopulation dilemma. Fans will once more enjoy the through line of the Langdon formula--the race to find a find an iconic object at the corner of deadly thrills and plot twists. The negatives are here, too: paper-thin characters and windy descriptions. But for those hungry for more Brown, this has some meat on its bones. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 June #1
Brown's (The Lost Symbol, 2009, etc.) latest, in which a very bad guy is convinced that there are entirely too many people roaming the surface of the planet, and, because he's a fan of Dante and the Plague both, he's set to unleash inferno upon the world. Naturally enough, this being a Brown novel, someone is in possession of a piece of occult knowledge that will save the day--or not. The novel is populated with the usual elements in the form of secret, conspiratorial organizations and villains on the way to being supervillains, and readers of a literary bent may find the writing tortured: "This morning, as he stepped onto the private balcony of his yacht's stateroom, the provost looked across the churning sea and tried to fend off the disquiet that had settled in his gut." To his credit, Brown's yarn is somewhat more tightly constructed than his earlier Langdon vehicles, though its best parts are either homages or borrowings; the punky chick assassin who threatens Langdon, for instance, seems to have wandered in from a Stieg Larsson set, while the car-chase-and-explosions stuff, to say nothing of Langdon's amnesiac wanderings around the world, would seem to be a nod to Robert Ludlum. (Being chased by a drone is a nice touch, though.) If you want more of the great medieval poet Dante woven into a taut thriller, see Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club. Ace symbologist Robert Langdon returns, and the world trembles. Perfect escapist reading for fans. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews Newsletter
In a twisty, evolving, and cleverly shifting thriller Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon returns to Italy, this time to the stunning cities of Florence and Venice. He awakes in a hospital bed, suffering a head wound from a bullet, and cannot remember anything that has happened to him in the last few days. Saved from a relentless assassin by one of his doctors, he escapes the hospital and flees into the city--haunted by visions of a woman commanding him to seek and find. Soon Langdon is caught in a puzzle and must navigate Dante's epic poem The Divine Comedy, and the Chart of Hell Botticelli created to illustrate Dante's terrifying world, and a series of clues spread through works of priceless art and stunning architecture. Tracking his every move are others intent on beating Langdon to the answer at the heart of Brown's high-stakes plot: where has a brilliant and desperate scientist hidden the seeds of a new and terrifying plague? The pace is fast and engrossing, the art and architecture are glorious, the history is compelling and integrated well, and the twists are never ending. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Library Journal Express Reviews
Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Angels and Demons; The Da Vinci Code; The Lost Symbol) returns in another thriller that invokes history, architecture, science, and conspiracy. Langdon wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of the last two days. He's surprised to find himself in Florence, Italy, and even more shocked to discover that someone is out to kill him for something he knows. The doctor treating him helps him to escape from an assassin, and the chase is on. Can Langdon follow clues that tie in to Dante's epic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, and stop a plot destined to change the world forever? Verdict Brown delivers an amazing and intense read that arguably is the best Langdon thriller to date. Everything a reader expects from Brown is here, plus a well-written thriller with jaw-dropping twists as well. A high demand for the works of Dante plus a surge in Italian tourism is sure to follow. The king of the historical thriller is back, and this book will easily dominate the best sellers lists for quite some time. [See Prepub Alert, 1/15/13.]--Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 June #2

The threat of world overpopulation is the latest assignment for Brown's art historian and accidental sleuth Robert Langdon. Awakening in a Florence hospital with no memory of the preceding 36 hours, Langdon and an attractive attending physician with an oversized intellect are immediately pursued by an ominous underground organization and the Italian police. Detailed tours of Florence, Venice, and Istanbul mean to establish setting, but instead bog down the story and border on showoffmanship. Relying on a deceased villain's trail of clues threaded through the text of Dante's The Divine Comedy, the duo attempt to unravel the events leading up to Langdon's amnesia and thwart a global genocide scheme. Suspension of disbelief is required as miraculous coincidences pile upon pure luck. Near the three-quarters point everything established gets upended and Brown, hoping to draw us in deeper, nearly drives us out. Though the prose is fast-paced and sharp, the burdensome dialogue only serves plot and back story, and is interspersed with unfortunate attempts at folksy humor. It's hard not to appreciate a present day mega-selling thriller that attempts a refresher course in Italian literature and European history. But the real mystery is in the book's denouement and how Brown can possibly bring his hero back for more. Agent: Heide Lange, Sanford J. Greenberger Associates. (May)

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

The threat of world overpopulation is the latest assignment for Brown's art historian and accidental sleuth Robert Langdon. Awakening in a Florence hospital with no memory of the preceding 36 hours, Langdon and an attractive attending physician with an oversized intellect are immediately pursued by an ominous underground organization and the Italian police. Detailed tours of Florence, Venice, and Istanbul mean to establish setting, but instead bog down the story and border on showoffmanship. Relying on a deceased villain's trail of clues threaded through the text of Dante's The Divine Comedy, the duo attempt to unravel the events leading up to Langdon's amnesia and thwart a global genocide scheme. Suspension of disbelief is required as miraculous coincidences pile upon pure luck. Near the three-quarters point everything established gets upended and Brown, hoping to draw us in deeper, nearly drives us out. Though the prose is fast-paced and sharp, the burdensome dialogue only serves plot and back story, and is interspersed with unfortunate attempts at folksy humor. It's hard not to appreciate a present day mega-selling thriller that attempts a refresher course in Italian literature and European history. But the real mystery is in the book's denouement and how Brown can possibly bring his hero back for more. Agent: Heide Lange, Sanford J. Greenberger Associates. (May)

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