Inferno : Novel review

source :

source :

My review:
Robert Langdon, the famous art professor at Harvard, wakes up in a hospital in Florence and doesn’t remember how he got there. Before the young Dr. Sienna Brooks could explain that he is suffering from retrograde amnesia, a professional sniper barges into his hospital room firing bullets at will. They somehow manage to escape.

Back into Dr. Sienna’s apartment no sooner do they manage to freshen up than the professional snipers are there again, this time with reinforcements. As if to add to their troubles, 2 black cars arrive below her apartment and the insiders were looking like military people. They are on the run again and Robert doesn’t even know who wants to kill him or what crime did he commit that the military was behind him too.

Finally when Dr. Sienna gets the chance, explains Robert that he was just operated and a bullet was removed from his brain, thus causing the retrograde amnesia due to which he doesn’t remember much of what happened in the last two-three days and that she found a cylindrical tube in his Harris-Tweed jacket which could shed some light on why Robert was being pursued and what did it contain.

Thus, begins the cat and mouse chase where two stories move parallel to one another, for the reader, where one story propels forward from the current situation and the second story updates us on what happened in the past two days that Robert finds himself in Florence and is being pursued.

As Robert studies the cylindrical tube and it’s contents, he learns that the tube contains a map of hell based on the literary master-piece, the poem Inferno written by Dante Alighieri back in 14th century. But, the map is modified. And a few words are added to it.

Now, Robert Langdon and Sienna Brooks have to not only decipher the meaning of the words added, but also solve the riddle to find the location to which the map leads. They must follow the clues and all they have as assistance is the poem Inferno.
They not only have to decipher the meaning fast but also protect themselves from the snipers and military. Robert’s knowledge of history, secret passageways in museums and their historical meanings can only help them to dodge their unknown pursuers.

The poem takes them through museums, churches – containing great historical artefacts and sculptures – and buildings, all with historical importance, until they arrive at the point to avert a bio-chemical danger that may finish the whole of man-kind otherwise. Only, they get a little late.

How did Robert Langdon happen to be in Florence? Who wants him killed? Why is military also pursuing him? What is the bio-chemical danger that needs to be averted? Who is behind it? To know answers to these and many more questions, you would have to read the novel.

The narrative is racy, full of suspense, and clearly you wouldn’t want to put it down until you actually finish reading it. Also, some disturbing facts that he provides, are thought-provoking.

All of Dan Brown’s novels are thrillers basically ranging only a day, a good 24-hour day. His latest offering Inferno is no different. Although the story and the events start aeons ago, the actual action takes place only in one single day.
And like all of his novels featuring Robert Langdon, this one too is a nice blend of history, science, suspense, mystery and a bit of an adventure to avert a danger.
Also, his novels take you on a virtual tour of wonderful museums, churches and buildings with historical importance making you yearn to visit them in person. The action in Inferno takes place at Florence, Venice and moves to Istanbul, Turkey.

Clearly adding these cities to my “To Visit” list next to Paris, Vatican city and Washington, D.C., the places where his previous three novels were set in.

About Jigar Doshi

M.B.A. Blogger. Love to watch movies and read fiction. Occasionally, dabble with writing some fiction too. Spend most of leisure time on Twitter and Quora.
This entry was posted in books, Dan Brown, Dante Alighieri, history, Inferno, novels, reviews. Bookmark the permalink.