- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 17 hours and 12 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: May 14, 2013
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00B1VXVIU
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Inferno: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The problems I have with the storyline and characters would be hard to explain without spoilers; however, I can share a few things: 1) given Langdon's past and how often he has been in mortal danger, he not only didn't seem to think twice about getting involved in yet another government plan, but was actually nonchalant about it; 2) the silliness of trying to make the beautiful girl a hero versus letting her be a villain (if a girl is beautiful and young, she must be good and must, of course, fall for Langdon); 3) Zobrist (the antagonist) would have done well to watch some the old Batman shows with Adam West. Why would a super-smart, super-evil anti-hero leave a bread crumb trail all over Italy/Europe so that someone could actually figure out his plan?! (Sorry, couldn't resist the ?!) Zobrist should have watched the movie "Dogma"...Azrael, a demon who wants to bring about the end of the world has captured the would-be heroes and is questioned about his plan, whereupon he replies, "Oh no, I've seen way too many Bond movies to know that you never reveal all the details of your plan, no matter how close you may think you are to winning." There was no reason for Zobrist, given how his character was described, to leave a trail of clues. One could say it was a case of inflated ego, Zobrist believing he was so smart and no one could have figured out his clues, but if he felt so passionately for his cause, why would he have taken the time, effort, and above all, the chance, that someone could put it all together (which, of course, happened). Yes, he was going insane but insane people are often far more intelligent than depicted; 4) the logic demonstrated by Langdon and the other characters was disastrously flawed in several instances. I found myself questioning several times why characters made certain assumptions.
I could go into more detail but not without spoilers. It is sufficient to say that if you like descriptions of art and literature, reading the book will be reward enough. Also, for pure escapism where you really aren't looking too closely at the plot and storyline, this book will work just fine.
There is an adage in writing that the author should never let his or her research show. When the action is stopped to pontificate about some factoid, it jerks the reader out of the story. This is forgivable once in a while when the story is good. Inferno does not have a strong story and Brown commits this offense countless times. The reader can imagine him getting a VIP tour around a historic site and Brown peppering his escort with questions about passageways and trivia. He let the locations define the story instead of making the locations a backdrop. This makes for a mediocre travel guide and a lousy novel. All plot, no story.
If Robert Ludlum didn't invent the chase novel, he perfected it. The basic formula is that a man and a woman meet, there are murders, the bewildered couple become suspects and must run, they are chased by good guys and bad guys from one exotic place to another, and a puzzle must be solved or bad stuff will happen to the world and our protagonists. Ludlum made you feel for the characters' plight, but Brown uses characters like historic sites to merely carry the plot. The reader doesn't know Brown's characters. They are as enigmatic as the puzzle. I don't criticize Brown for adopting this formula. (I used it in The Shut Mouth Society.) I criticize him for or mimicking Ludlum's voice with single declarative sentences meant to hammer a point, and even copying Ludlum's amnesia device from the Bourne series.
In short, The Inferno was lazy writing.