Friday, 20 September 2013

Inferno by Dan Brown

I am the shade.

To be honest this sounds like bad poetry, over-the-top melodrama. Worst of all, there's more:

Through the dolent city, I flee.
Through the eternal woe, I take flight.

I don't know if I'd use commas, but as this is poetry, I guess anything goes. So to recap we have yet another prologue attempting to titillate the reader with a cheap thrill. It describes a person being chased through Florence presumably, one hopes, by villains bent on killing him. However, Mr. Brown, ever the tourist guide, makes sure this man running for his life takes the scenic route.

Chapter one:

The memories materialized bubbles surfacing from the darkness of a bottomless well.

Mr. Brown can't resist tapping the inner poet. Too bad for us.

A veiled woman.

Let me explain what follows since if we let Mr. Brown do it, you'd fall asleep. The main character, some guy named Robert, seems to have lost his memory and must rely on hallucinations in order to piece together the mystery that is this plot. That's right, it's all already happened. All we know is that Robert wakes up in a hospital and bad guys are chasing him. The lady doctor becomes the love red herring interest that tags along as they run for their lives. Basically, this means that the climax of the novel has already happened, and just as soon as the protagonist remembers it (or the writer figures out what it is), he'll tell the readers and then...well, the end.

I read on for about another 140 pages before I lost interest. Too much running around. I felt like I was reading a travel voucher for convicts on the lam. This formula grows weary after fifty pages, but drones on in this book. If the byline on this was of some unknown schmuck like me, it would fail miserably. I suppose I was hoping this would have something of the Umberto Eco to it, but alas...

The biggest crime is associating Dante with this jogging/tourist excursion thriller.

Verdict: Fail

Theodore Moracht

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