Lost Symbol information on Twitter: @lostsymbol
Dan Brown stopped by The Colbert Report last night, and held his own against the brilliance of Stephen Colbert. Some genuinely funny lines in there, good to see the man a bit more relaxed and enjoying himself, rather than some of the more structured publicity interviews you see on other shows.
So, Inferno is out! Have you read it yet? What are your thoughts on the novel? Over at my other blog The Daily Grail, I've posted a feature going through my own thoughts on the book, and also looking at how I went offering readers a primer to the content in DB's new novel with my little ebook Inside Dan Brown's Inferno.
As mentioned in that feature, I think my chapters on Dante, Florence and Renaissance history all would have provided an excellent grounding for Inferno readers. The 3-headed Satan symbol, the Vasari painting with the 'Cerca Trova' message, Dante's mask, and locations such as the Vasari Corridor, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Baptistery of San Giovanni - readers of my book would have known exactly what Dan was referring to. I even discussed the Black Death and how it may have helped trigger the Renaissance, not realising how crucial a part this analogy would play in Dan's new book. On the downside, my chapter addressing esoteric and hidden history was pretty much a complete bust, as Dan (surprisingly) seemed to avoid this topic as much as possible, even on topics like Dante as an initiate that he's covered in previous novels. A shame I thought, but hopefully readers still learned plenty from that chapter, regardless of it being non-Inferno material. Likewise, all the hints to Pythagoras, Fibonacci, the Voynich Manuscript and Il Tesoretto on Dan's website, book cover and publication date seem to have been complete red herrings. But again, by exploring those topics I hope readers learned a bit more about 'off the beaten track' history.
I am in the process of updating my book to a post-publication guide - if you've already purchased the ebook this will come out as a free update. If you want to keep some of the 'irrelevant' material that I'll be expunging (Pythagoras etc), I'll be providing an email address so that you can request the original pre-publication version as a separate (free) ebook as well.
What were your thoughts on Inferno?
The New York Times' Janet Maslin has gone off a day early with her embargo-breaking review of Dan Brown's latest novel Inferno (though given her close relationship with Brown on his previous releases, I'd imagine it was done with permission to get some 'buzz' happening). There are some spoilers in there, so beware, but overall Maslin's summation was positive:
Dante’s nightmare vision becomes the book’s visual correlative for what its scientific calculations suggest. And eventually the book involves itself with Transhumanism, genetic manipulation and the potential for pandemics. Just as Mr. Brown’s “Lost Symbol” tried to stir interest in the noetic sciences (studying mind-body connections). “Inferno” puts the idea of a plague front and center, invoking the black plague, its casualty count and its culling effect on mankind. Mr. Brown is more serious than usual when he invokes Dante’s dire warning: “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
But the main emphasis here is hardly on gloom. It is on the prodigious research and love of trivia that inform Mr. Brown’s stories (this one makes mincemeat of all those factoid-heavy wannabes, like Matthew Pearl’s “Dante Club”), the ease with which he sets them in motion, the nifty tricks (Dante’s plaster death mask is pilfered from its museum setting, then toted through the secret passageways of Florence in a Ziploc bag) and the cliffhangers. (Sienna: “Don’t tell me we’re in the wrong museum.” Robert: “Sienna, we’re in the wrong country.”) There is the gamesmanship that goes with crypto-bits like “PPPPPPP.” (Sienna: “Seven Ps is ... a message?” Robert, grinning: “It is. And if you’ve studied Dante, it’s a very clear one.”)
Ebook company Kobo are running a competition related to Inferno title 'The Descent". I haven't had much time to check it out myself, but for those of you who like solving puzzles, $5000 is up for grabs. More details:
The company I work for - Kobo - has launched a game themed on Dante's Inferno leading up to the Inferno release.
We've commissioned eBooks with various imagery, mythology and historical references where players of the game need to unveil clues to proceed to further steps. The first to complete the "game" gets prize money and an eReader signed by Dan Brown:
This is the first time we're building a narrative beyond just the words in a story so we're excited about the experience.
Sounds like a fun way to spend the weekend waiting for DB's new book to drop?
Over on my my other website The Daily Grail I've posted "Secrets of the Inferno", a feature listing eight possible topics that Dan Brown would be tempted to use in his upcoming novel. From Galileo's fossilised fingers to a UFO pictured in a Renaissance painting, it covers some rather strange and fascinating areas, so go take a look. And of course, for the full run-down, grab a copy of Inside Dan Brown's Inferno as a Kindle ebook download for just $2.99.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of The Da Vinci Code (has it really been *that* long?), Dan Brown has made the eBook versions available FOR FREE, all week (March 17 to March 24). Go grab it now!
Dan Brown's publishers have released the prologue and first chapter of his latest novel in the Robert Langdon series, Inferno, which I've embedded above for your reading pleasure. The book begins with the usual (sometimes controversial) Brownian statement that "all artwork, literature, science and historical references in this novel are real", and mentions a pseudonymous organisation known as 'The Consortium' which will apparently feature in the novel (saying the name has been changed for "considerations of security and privacy".
The book opens by referencing Dante's Inferno and a few of the famous locations in the Italian city of Florence. If you've checked out my primer to the new novel, Inside Dan Brown's Inferno, you should be well aware of the significance and details of each of these - if you don't have it, you can grab the eBook for just $2.99.
Dan Brown's latest book Inferno is due out on the 14th of May, 2013. And as is usual with Mr. Brown, he can't resist having a bit of fun by hiding secrets and codes about the place for those willing enough to seek them out (such as the very intelligent visitors and commenters on this website), well in advance of the book's release. As you can see from the video above, one of those appears to be that the publication date of the book (5.14.13) was chosen for a very specific reason: when flipped/read right to left it gives the first five digits of pi (3.1415).
To learn more about the mysteries, history and locations that Dan Brown will likely be exploring in Inferno, be sure to download a copy of Inside Dan Brown's Inferno from the Kindle store (just $2.99!). Using some of these hidden clues that Dan Brown has left about 'for those with eyes to see', the book is an excellent primer that fills you in on the background information behind Inferno to allow you to enjoy the book to its fullest.
Click on the cover below to go get a copy:
The title of Dan Brown's new book has been revealed after a 'puzzle' was completed by fans just hours after being posted to social media. Brown's code-solving historical investigator Robert Langdon will return in the new novel, Inferno, set to be released on May 14.
The title – Inferno – was revealed soon after the announcement by readers, who had been invited to use social media posts to help expose a digital mosaic. By posting on Facebook, or tweeting using the hashtag #DanBrownToday, readers' profile images were added as tiles in a web graphic, with the title – alluding to Dante's 14th-century poem – becoming clear as more images were added.
"Although I studied Dante's Inferno as a student, it wasn't until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante's work on the modern world," Brown said.
"With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm … a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways."
"Dan Brown's enthusiasm for puzzles, codes and symbols is a passion shared by his readers," said Suzanne Herz at Brown's US publisher Doubleday, saying that the marketing stunt was intended "to harness that passion and use it as a catalyst to reveal the new title."