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on 6 October 2016
Hard to review the book properly without giving away spoilers, but I'll try.

I've read all of Dan Browns books now, his early works were my favourites. They were well written stories and didn't need to be fleshed out with unnecessary babbling.

I picked up my dusty copy of Lost Symbol last week, and once I'd finished it I remembered why I'd not finished it the first time around. In an attempt to redeem Dan Brown, I thought it only fair to read Inferno to see if he had gotten any better... unfortunately not.

A 500-600 page book (depending on your text size on the kindle) could so easily be 400 if he were to simply stick to the story instead of going off on a history lesson every other paragraph. Whilst mildly interesting, these tangents served only to frustrate me by leading me away from what was actually happening in the story. I found myself often skipping through many paragraphs in an attempt to find some actual dialogue once more.

As for this reviews title... if you follow pop culture you may know about the plot of Raiders of the Lost Ark and what effect the protagonist had on the evil plans of the bad guys... if not, look it up. Once you e read this book you will understand the parallels I'm drawing here.

In summary, a combination of too much "filler" and unclever so called "twists" (blatant cheating as far as I'm concerned) ruined this book for me.
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on 25 September 2017
Great plot premise. Beautiful descriptions of a city I dearly love and a fascinating meander through the art and history of the Renaissance. Sadly, mixing these elements together in a novel didn't seem to work. Robert's cartoon-like escapades around Florence quickly became tedious. The double-crossing, two-faced and morally dubious nature of Dan Brown characters is too predictable. ****Spoiler alert*** I didn't mind the 'less than Hollywood' outcome and it stopped the book becoming an all out predictable stinker, but the last couple of chapters focused on the wrong things and were an anti-climax. I would have liked to come back a year later in an epilogue to see the real life challenges faced by the WHO in the aftermath. If you like Dan Brown books, you'll probably find this one a bit meh. If Dan Brown is new to you, you'll probably be a bit confused by the random travelogue and history lessons dotted throughout and ultimately feel disappointed by the morally ambiguous ending.
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on 11 September 2016
I really enjoyed this book. It has been a while since I read the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons and had forgotten just what a good writer Dan Brown is.

I love the intelligent style of writing and love checking out the facts - I learn such a lot from these books.

There are some great twists and turns - nothing is predictable and I love the clear and well written descriptive passages which brings the story to life very quickly. Its is fast paced and I enjoyed reading it in large chunks - wondering what was going to happen next!

Dan Brown has created some really interesting characters and he has great insight into the human psyche.

The storyline certainly gives food for thought.

I am now looking forward to seeing the film hoping that it will be true to the book.

Would definitely recommend this as a good read.
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on 30 November 2017
Brown has come up once again with a good story. However, large sections of the novel could just as easily be placed in a tourist guide, in fact, it often appears as if descriptions have been lifted from guide books and dropped into the novel. I'm sure they haven't because Brown wouldn't risk an accusation of plagiarism. The descriptions of the art and architecture are accurate, but they are far too didactic to be found in a novel. In The Da Vinci Code and Angel's and Demons, Brown got the balance just about right between displaying knowledge of art and telling a story - here, he hasn't.
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on 8 May 2017
I read this book while I was visiting Florence and it had been recommended to me. It was interesting to actually note some of the places mentioned in the book while I was sightseeing. This was a bonus for me, but if you didn't have that interest I imagine it would become quite annoying. The novel is padded out with long descriptions, which read as if they have been taken directly from travel guides. I imagine this makes a book of this type very quick to write! So the novel comprises an action packed chase through the main tourist attractions of Florence, Venice and Istanbul. The story is fairly entertaining and the author creates a few twists of plot along the way. The writing is quite often clunky. The characters are stereotypical. It's a harmless romp if you've got nothing better to read.
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on 6 August 2014
Professor Robert Langdon knows something. Or not.
Gets chased. A lot. Actually, permanently chased until it switches to him doing some chasing too.
They want to kill him? Do they want to kill him? Or not? Why? Who does?
Sound familiar?

This time it is against, as is usual, an interesting backdrop of travelogues through Florence, Venice and Istanbul.
Short sentences. Short Chapters.
Somehow all that works. I wish I knew how and why. Is it because it reads like a screenplay? Is it a screenplay?

After Angels and Demons, everything that told me I shouldn’t enjoy this well paced romp through Europe on the trail of…well…does it matter?
Yet I did. A great deal. I have no doubt I shall be reading other of Mr Brown’s works although I have no idea why.

Want a holiday read? Read this.
Want a well paced page turner? Read this.
Want to be entertained? Read this.

In short. Read this.
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on 12 August 2016
I like Dan Brown and i really enjoy the Robert Langdon books, but i didn't find the subject matter as compelling as i did with the Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons before it.

It feels like the Robert Langdon series has now run its course and i hope that Dan Brown moves on to something new.
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on 29 May 2016
Having read all of Dan Brown's books I knew what to expect when reading inferno. There's clearly going be a crisis, adventure, danger, European locations steeped in symbology and a ton of art work crafted by masters.

This book had all of Dan Brown's best qualities and throughout 95% of the book I was constantly asking myself where the hell the storyline was taking me.

I do have one or two very slight disappointments with the book. I love hearing about all the art, the history and the Italian or Latin phrases, but my main disappointment was that this book was the first where I felt there were too many descriptions bogging the storyline down.

It's too common for people to compare Browns books to The Da Vinci Code, but in my opinion Angels and Demons was his most spectacular work. Having said that, it's completely unfair to compare one book to the other and I implore people to read with their minds open and without comparisons being at the forefront of your mind.
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on 26 October 2016
Having read the first three Langdon novels and thoroughly enjoyed them from first to last page I found this 4th outing to be some what boring, it didn't really get going until two thirds of the way through when twists and turns started to appear but by then it did not seem to matter and did not save the day for me.
This was a book that I stayed with purely to reach the end because I hate to give up.
I hope Dan Brown can recapture his magic and suspense if he decides to take Mr Langdon on another outing.
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on 9 August 2014
From the opening chapter when Langdon wakes up in hospital with a head injury and haunted by visions I was hooked. All the expected questions were popping in my head: what happened, where is he, who's after him - you know, that kind of thing. And the pace doesn't slow from there.

Set in Florence, Venice and Istanbul we're taken on a rollercoaster journey as Langdon attempts to solve the mystery and the clues in a race against time before a catastrophic plague is released into the world. Sound familiar, course it does! This book follows the same suit/format/template of the other Langdon novels; Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol even in the ending of each chapter on a cliff-hanger of sorts. Basically different city/villain/lead female but in the same style. But you know what, why change a format that works and sells millions of books. I love it. The tension, the excitement, the red herrings, the double crossing, the will they won't they, deciding who you trust, the descriptiveness of the city's architecture and the fact that I might actually learn something.

The book is littered with Italian phrases, some are translated, others you understand because of the answers. I like this, makes it feel more authentic. And the beautiful descriptions of Florence and Venice's architecure and art just make me want to jump on a plane now.

The subject matter itself is quite a provocative topic - world overpopulation.

"Here the throng of tourists was almost impenetrable, creating a claustrophobic crush..."

In some respects I can kind of see where Zobrist is coming from, the figures and facts speak for themselves but his method is obviously way off. Brown does like to stress his point and you will find a lot of repetition in this book (hence 4/5 not 5!)

So overall, you have to like mysteries, you need to like history and problem solving and although part of the Professor Robert Langdon series, this being number 4, this can easily be read as a standalone and is crying out to be made into movie as per the others.

Is is factually correct, is it historically correct, is it accurate? I don't know and I didn't care. I got totally swept along, believed every word and as I'm not a history or classics graduate then I didn't need to pick it to pieces. It's just a bloody good story.
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