Dan Brown and Jason Kaufman Hang Out

Dan Brown and his editor (and close friend) Jason Kaufman participated in an online hangout last week, talking about Inferno and various aspects of his writing with a few invited (virtual) guests. The 30 minute chat has been posted on YouTube, and I've embedded it above for those interested.

Hanks and Howard Sign On for Inferno Movie

Deadline.com is reporting that plans for a movie version of Dan Brown's Inferno are going ahead, with Tom Hanks and Ron Howard signed on as Langdon and director respectively - though it also sounds like the adaptation of The Lost Symbol might be dead in the water.

Tom Hanks and Ron Howard, the star and director, respectively, of Sony’s first two tentpole movies based on Dan Brown’s novels, are returning for Inferno, we’ve learned. Hanks had been expected to reprise his role as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon for The Lost Symbol, the third novel in Brown’s book series. But Howard had bowed out of that project, which is now on the back burner, saying he wanted to produce it with Brian Grazer and their Imagine Entertainment but not direct. Now we’re hearing he’ll return for Inferno.

Source: Deadline.com

Inside Dan Brown's Inferno Updated

Last week I updated my eBook Inside Dan Brown's Inferno to be a 'post-publication' guide to Inferno, rather than the predictive treasure hunt version that was released in February. There's a lot of common material between versions (the tour of Florence, Renaissance history etc) but also a new chapter and many updates to smaller sections. It should come out as a free update to anybody that bought the pre-publication version - can any readers confirm that this has in fact happened?

Also, for those that would like both pre- and post-publication versions of the book, I left a note at the end of the updated edition on how to get in touch with me about getting the original release sent out as a standalone book.

Thanks for all your support, and the fun and games trying to track down the material in Inferno before it hit the streets! Hope you enjoyed 'the chase' as much as I did.

Dan Brown on The Colbert Report

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.

Inferno: Surprises and Disappointments

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?

Inferno - The NYT Review

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.”)

Link: The New York Times review of Dan Brown's Inferno

Inferno Related Kobo Competition

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:

www.kobo.com/thedescent

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?

Secrets of the Inferno

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.

Download The Da Vinci Code for Free!

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!

First Chapters of Dan Brown's Inferno


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.

Links: Pre-order Dan Brown's Inferno on Kindle, and grab my primer Inside Dan Brown's Inferno at the same time so that you know exactly where Langdon is, and the history behind the various plotlines.

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