Inferno

infernoIf you’ve read previous Dan Brown books, this is another one, much better than The Lost Symbol, but still a Dan Brown book.  Personally, I like Dan Brown books.  They fly off the shelves, so I’m guessing that there are a lot of Dan Brown fans out there.  Many of the reviews that I have read have been critical of this book, but I’m not sure what they were expecting?  It was a Dan Brown book, and a pretty decent one.

Robert Langdon, an expert on symbology, is embroiled in an international mystery that is centered on Dante’s Inferno.  At the beginning of the story he finds himself in a hospital bed, having short-term memory loss, with no idea why he is in Italy or why he was found saying “very sorry, very sorry”.  Before too long, it is clear that someone is trying to kill him and he is on the run, trying to solve the mystery of the strange object sewn inside his coat while trying to stay alive.  The clues to the mystery revolve around Dante’s Inferno and lead Robert and his female companion through Italy and through Dante’s work.

I will admit that there was a point in the book where I was getting tired of them running, almost getting caught, improbably escaping through Langdon’s sudden remembrance of some obscure piece of history, and then running again.  However, once I got through that, the story took some twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting, leaving me surprised and reengaging me.

There are a lot of facts in the book, which is actually one of the reasons that I like Dan Brown novels.  It is great to read a thriller while also absorbing new knowledge about art, history, and architecture.  I found myself looking up the art and the buildings he talked about to learn more about them, to see pictures of what was being described.  It’s never bad to learn a little while you’re having fun…  There are also some interesting moral and ethical twists in the story which give you pause, something to think about, even if your mind says that your heart knows the right answer.

Unrealistic?  Absolutely.  Informative?  Definitely.  Fun?  I thought so.

Title:  Inferno
Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 480
Publication: Doubleday, May 2013

Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge is to list the characters that we would “crush on” if we were also a fictional character (because of course no real person ever actually crushes on a fictional character – that would just be silly and we are all firmly planted in reality…).  This was actually a really difficult list for me, I don’t tend to crush on fictional characters all that  much – I might like them, think they’re funny, inspiring, intriguing – but the idea of having a “crush” on them was a little weird for me, and I may have ended up with a list of male characters that I like, but don’t “like-like”, but I tried…

  1. Jack Reacher  – The main character in Lee Child’s Reacher series (the way that he is written – NOT Tom Cruise!!!), he is certainly characterized as being smart, tough, good-looking, and good with women.  He’s a tough guy, and you know that he’s going to move on after the current catastrophe is resolved, but hey – not a bad guy to have around if your life needs saving…
  2. Morelli vs Ranger – For fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series I will provide my thoughts on the Morelli vs Ranger question.  My vote?  Morelli.  Sure, Ranger is supposed to be crazy hot, but so is Morelli and wouldn’t it be nice to have a guy who was there even when your car wasn’t on fire?
  3. Edward vs Jake – For fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight stories – I pick Jake.  Sorry, but vampires are creepy – all that undead, blood-drinking, not sleeping, pale skin – doesn’t do anything for me.  Jake may be a werewolf, but at least they’re living, somehow makes it less weird, I guess?
  4. Atticus Finch – The dad in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely crushable – honest, ethical, a great single dad – and always Gregory Peck in my mind…
  5. Lucas Davenport – The main character in John Sandford’s Prey series is intense, well-dressed, extremely wealthy from his former dork-days (I’ve always been a sucker for a cute dork), and always catches the bad guy – what’s not to like?
  6. Robert Langdon – I have a soft-spot for smart guys, and Langdon from the Dan Brown books is definitely uber-smart, travels all over the world, and has crazy history-changing adventures.  Sounds like fun to me… as long as I don’t get killed…
  7. Cliff Janeway – Cliff Janeway is a former cop turned rare book dealer in John Dunning’s Janeway series.  A tough guy, always saves the day, who knows and loves books – what’s not to love?
  8. Rhett Butler – I’m much more reasonable than Scarlet ever dreamt of being, Rhett wouldn’t have to curse at me…
  9. Inspector Gamache – Inspector Gamache from Louise Penny’s mystery series is probably just a character that I really want to know – not necessarily a crush – I would be happy to have him as a friend, an uncle, a colleague – his constance, his sincerity, his intelligence, his kindness – I have always wished that I could actually meet him!  Plus, he’s married to a librarian… 😉
  10. Rudy – The perfect childhood crush – filled with innocence and adoration – the boy that will do anything for you while begging for a kiss and annoying you – Rudy from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief is my definition of great childhood love.