Sunday, October 30, 2016

"Inferno" by Dan Brown

In most cases, I like to read the book before I see the movie. (How about you?) I don't always succeed, but in this case, I did. I picked up a paperback copy of "Inferno" by Dan Brown last Monday, before the movie opened this weekend. At slightly more than 100 chapters, I figured if I could read 20 chapters a day, I could finish the book before we went to the movie on Sunday afternoon -- and I did. ;)

Brown's usual hero, Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of art history and symbology, wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy, with no memory of how he got there.  Before long, and he and his pretty young doctor, Sienna Brooks, are on the run, trying to solve a series of puzzles. Dante's Inferno is the key to finding and stopping a maniacal billionaire from unleashing destruction upon the world.

Having read previous Brown/Langdon adventures "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels & Demons" (as well as seeing the movie versions), I knew what to expect, and I wasn't disappointed -- although the endless twist after twist after twist had me rolling my eyes & muttering "Seriously??!"  You don't need to have read any of Brown's previous books to understand or enjoy this one. They aren't great literature, but they're generally fun, and you learn a bit about history and art and religion (and, in this case, science) along the way. 

I don't want to give away too much of the plot but (mild spoiler alert!) there are several infertility angles that pop up in its pages.

This was book #20 that I've read so far in 2016.

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Having ploughed through the book, I was ready to see the movie this afternoon. There were some changes from the book -- it was Hollywood-ized in some respects, not all of them good, although the twists remain (with a few more added). (I won't go into details, so as not to spoil things for those of you who haven't read the book or seen the movie.) 

Still, I enjoyed it. (Dh hadn't read the book yet, and probably enjoyed it as much or more than I did.)  The thing I really like about the movie versions of Brown's books (besides the always-affable Tom Hanks as Langdon) is we get to see the actual places and the artworks that he writes about, instead of trying to imagine them. What's not to like about a trek around Florence, Venice & Istanbul, through secret passages & hallways lined with priceless paintings??

It won't win any Oscars, but it's a fun way to spend the afternoon -- with a big bag of popcorn in hand, of course. ;) Two thumbs up.

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