Saturday, 22 June 2013

Book Review | Inferno

I know. The last review I wrote was way back in April (also when I wrote my last post) but it's not that I forgot about this blog. I just haven't been able to find the time to just sit down peacefully and write. And speaking of writing, it's 22nd June and just 8 days from now, is the deadline when we, NaNo Winners can submit our NaNo Novels for printing. So I was focusing more on completing that, than blogging. I am hoping to write an update about it soon. :)

As far as reading books is concerned, I have been reading a lot; every minute I can spare. But the thing is, after I finished Dongri to Dubai, I picked up Stephen King's Dreamcatcher. It was the first of King's novels that I started reading and I was not prepared for it. The writing style and the genre is completely different from what I am used to reading. Moreover, the book is more than 800 pages long and it took me over three weeks to just get through half of it. What pissed me off was that in 400 pages, the word Dreamcatcher appeared twice which made me doubt the significance of the title and any link it may have to the actual story. So I put it on hold to read other books that were on my list. I read Amish Tripathi's 'The Immortals of Meluha' (review will be up once I finish reading the Trilogy) and Dan Brown's 'Inferno.'

But this is not a review of the Dreamcatcher; especially since I haven't even fully read it. So I will reserve my opinions on that. For now.

Let's me talk about what I am really here for. Dan Brown's latest thriller - Inferno

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There are a few extreme reviews out there and I made the mistake of reading a few of them before I even started with the book. One or two of them made me wonder whether buying the book would be a good idea. But I have read Dan Brown before and I had a pretty good idea about what I could expect, especially from the Robert Langdon series. So I bought it anyway. And I don't regret it a bit.

Inferno is fast paced, engaging, interesting, exciting and an extremely well written book that makes you want to keep turning page after page. It is not quite different from the other three books in the Robert Langdon series because let's face it, a story revolving around a Harvard Professor specialising in religious iconology and symbology will be about exactly that. It will take you to places that have a historical significance that have hidden clues and it will tell you why and how these places became important. Of course, it will also have a major crisis that needs to be averted by solving those clues and it can only be done with the help of the protagonist.

Some have said that it was a tourist's guide to Florence and Venice and this is what I have to say to them - if that is all you have read in the book, that I am sorry to say that you have missed out on a great story. It is a fun read, it is witty where it needs to be and most of all, it makes sense; and that is very important considering the trash that's being published and sold these days. Yes, the extensive detail and specific descriptions may seem unnecessary to some, but I felt they were essential to get a feel of the 'where' and 'what' in the story; especially if you haven't been to these places and have no idea what these places look like. It helps you get a better understanding of the story and picture these places in your head.

The whole story revolves around a pressing global issue that needs to be taken care of immediately. The statistics and other facts in the book are mind boggling and sent shivers down my spine because I've had similar discussions with a few close people recently. Without divulging more, Inferno describes Robert Langdon and Sienna Brooks' race against time to stop something that will have catastrophic effects and change the world forever. Hidden between poetic and graphic clues, it not only makes you wish Langdon is able to figure it out and stop it in time, it also makes you wonder if the so called 'catastrophe' would really be so bad in long run.

It's moral dilemma, one we are all facing today but one that needs to be answered for our survival in the long run. I don't want to disclose the plot here, so I'll discuss that in another post. Suffice to say that it's a thought provoking question and is the reason behind most of the things wrong with this world.

Although I must add that the end, even though practical, is slightly disappointing in the sense that I felt that the author has left it hanging and I felt like the story was unfinished. I felt like I needed to know what happens next, but there's no explanation. Other than that, it is fantastic.

As far as the book is concerned, if you're looking to read something that does not involve ancient history, art, culture, icons and symbols and their interpretation, then this book is not for you, because it has all that and more, set in beautiful places in the world in a great and intriguing story line. However, if you love to read about a fast paced adventure and love solving riddles and looking for clues that are hidden in ancient paintings and writing, you'll enjoy this.

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