- Series: Robert Langdon (Book 4)
- Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; 1st Printing edition (May 6, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400079152
- ISBN-13: 978-1400079155
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20,873 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inferno (Robert Langdon) Paperback – May 6, 2014
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Amazon Exclusive: Inside Inferno
Explore the sights of Inferno alongside Robert Langdon in this exclusive first look at Dan Brown's latest thriller.
As Langdon continued on toward the elbow of the square, he could
see, directly ahead in the distance, the shimmering blue glass dial of the
St. Mark’s Clock Tower—the same astronomical clock through which
James Bond had thrown a villain in the film Moonraker.
The Tetrarchs statue was well known for its missing foot, broken
off while it was being plundered from Constantinople in the thirteenth
century. Miraculously, in the 1960s, the foot was unearthed in Istanbul.
Venice petitioned for the missing piece of statue, but the Turkish authorities
replied with a simple message: You stole the statue—we’re keeping our
Amid a contour of spires and domes, a single illuminated facade dominated
Langdon’s field of view. The building was an imposing stone fortress
with a notched parapet and a three-hundred-foot tower that swelled
near the top, bulging outward into a massive machicolated battlement.
Langdon found himself standing before a familiar face—that of Dante Alighieri.
Depicted in the legendary fresco by Michelino, the great poet stood before
Mount Purgatory and held forth in his hands, as if in humble offering,
his masterpiece The Divine Comedy.
Amazon Exclusve: Additional Reading Suggestions from Dan Brown
- The Divine Comedy: Volume 1: Inferno—(Penguin Classics)
- The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology—Ray Kurzweil (Author)
- Brunelleschi's Dome—Ross King (Author)
- The Lives of the Artists Volume 1—Giorgio Vasari (Author), George Bull (Translator)
- The Book Of Symbols: Reflections On Archetypal Images—ARAS
Q&A with Dan Brown
Q. Inferno refers to Dante Alighieri´s The Divine Comedy. What is Dante’s significance? What features of his work or life inspired you?
A. The Divine Comedy—like The Mona Lisa—is one of those rare artistic achievements that transcends its moment in history and becomes an enduring cultural touchstone. Like Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, The Divine Comedy speaks to us centuries after its creation and is considered an example of one of the finest works ever produced in its artistic field. For me, the most captivating quality of Dante Alighieri is his staggering influence on culture, religion, history, and the arts. In addition to codifying the early Christian vision of Hell, Dante’s work has inspired some of history’s greatest luminaries—Longfellow, Chaucer, Borges, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Monteverdi, Michelangelo, Blake, Dalí—and even a few modern video game designers. Despite Dante’s enduring influence on the arts, however, most of us today have only a vague notion of what his work actually says—both literally and symbolically (which, of course, is of great interest to Robert Langdon). A few years ago, I became very excited about the prospect of writing a contemporary thriller that incorporated the philosophy, history, and text of Dante’s timeless descent into The Inferno.
Q. Where did do your research for Inferno? How long did you spend on it?
A. Researching Inferno began with six months of reading, including several translations of The Divine Comedy, various annotations by Dante scholars, historical texts about Dante’s life and philosophies, as well as a lot of background reading on Florence itself. At the same time, I was poring over all the new scientific information that I could find on a cutting edge technology that I had decided to incorporate into the novel. Once I had enough understanding of these topics to proceed, I traveled to Florence and Venice, where I was fortunate to meet with some wonderful art historians, librarians, and other scholars who helped me enormously.
Once this initial phase of research was complete, I began outlining and writing the novel. As is always the case, when a book begins to take shape, I am drawn in unexpected directions that require additional research. This was also the case with Inferno, which took about 3 years from conception to publication.
With respect to the process, the success of these novels has been a bit of a Catch-22. On one hand, I now have wonderful access to specialists, authorities, and even secret archives from which to draw information and inspiration. On the other hand, because there is increased speculation about my works in progress, I need to be increasingly discreet about the places I go and the specialists with whom I speak. Even so, there is one aspect of my research that will never change—making personal visits to the locations about which I’m writing. When it comes to capturing the feel of a novel’s setting, I find there is no substitute for being there in the flesh...even if sometimes I need to do it incognito.
Q. What kind of adventure will Robert Langdon face this time? Can you give us any sneak peak at the new novel?
A. Inferno is very much a Robert Langdon thriller. It’s filled with codes, symbols, art, and the exotic locations that my readers love to explore. In this novel, Dante Alighieri’s ancient literary masterpiece—The Divine Comedy—becomes a catalyst that inspires a macabre genius to unleash a scientific creation of enormous destructive potential. Robert Langdon must battle this dark adversary by deciphering a Dante-related riddle, which leads him to Florence, where he finds himself in a desperate race through a landscape of classical art, secret passageways, and futuristic technology.
Q. What made Florence the ideal location for Inferno?
A. No city on earth is more closely tied to Dante Alighieri. Dante grew up in Florence, fell in love in Florence, and began writing in Florence. Later in life, when he was exiled for political reasons, the longing he felt for his beloved Florence became a catalyst for The Divine Comedy. Through his enduring poem, Dante enjoyed the “last word” over his political enemies, banishing them to various rings of Inferno where they suffered terrible tortures.
From Publishers Weekly
Harvard Professor Robert Langdon returns for another globetrotting adventure in Brown's latest. Awakening in an Italian hospital room, Langdon is suffering from short-term amnesia. He has no idea what's happened to him during the past few days or why he's in Italy. Before he can begin to pull his thoughts together, an assassin breaks into the hospital and attempts to kill him, sending the academic, along with a beautiful nurse, fleeing into the streets of Florence and straight into a mind-bending mystery, the key to which is buried in Dante's masterwork, the Divine Comedy. As Langdon travels around the world, navigating his way through a labyrinth of clues, it becomes clear that he is in a race against time to stop an evil mastermind's devilish plot that threatens the future of all humankind. Paul Michael's narration is clear and precise; his pronunciation of each word, including large passages in Italian, is impeccable. He skillfully keeps the story moving at a strong, steady pace and balances a large cast of international characterizations with ease. He also manages to deliver Brown's signature mountain of historical material without slowing the story to a crawl and offers an accomplished reading sure to satisfy any listener. A Doubleday hardcover. (May)
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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.