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

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Ballesio Mauro wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

More clues and facts exploiting Google Books

For whoelse that can not wait till tomorrow...You can learn more about Inferno and NY Times Review references doing this:
1) reading Italian version on Google Books by Mondadori (Ch.2,3,4 and other later chapters)
2) searching for words in pages not in preview, but actually displayed after search in edit box - maybe you need a little bit of Google Translator.

In this way you can discover, apart from what can be read in plan text:
- Who is the Veiled Woman, her role and name.
- Who is the Shade, the Evil character and his name and details about the plan and reason to destroy mankind (I mean every details...).
- What's the "spiral writing" mentioned by NY Times and where it's found, and who is the author and how he's linked to the story.
- The other cities in which the story take place (both european...)
- Other steps of the treasure-hunting
- Many other things, just searching the next keyword...as you prefer.

Don't search too much otherwise everything in the plot will be quite clear...

UDbmas wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Ballesio Mauro

I think for once I am glad I can't read Italian. I've already paid for my copy...
:)

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