Dan Brown — Inferno

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I have read most of Dan Brown’s books. Despite somewhat negative comments I have enjoyed majority of them. I have read critics stating that his style is mediocre, resembling more like a mass entertainment than being enlightening or other way high quality reading material.

Well, I have to agree that those books are indeed for easy reading. Story starts immediately, plot advances fast. Chapters are short, switching between multiple parallel event streams. It is more like a movie manuscript than a book. But it has been this way since the beginning. By taking this book home from the store I knew what to expect. And I was not neither surprised nor disappointed. It was exactly like the three or four books before.

Some say that it gets boring, style is too familiar and lame, like a typical Hollywood action movie; there is nothing new. I agree, but it really depends what you are looking for. I bought this book because I do not want to read lengthy descriptions about the mental projection of the main character, complex emotional relationships or deep psychological introspections. I bought it because I want that starting from the first page main character will jump headfirst into the action. And I do not mind that I more or less know how it all ends. Happy ending does not reduce my amusement following the plot.

That being said, this book was exactly what I was looking for. I like that the story happens in a real world. I have been to many of those places Brown describes and for me it was a nice resemblance. It was like walking on those streets again. Smelling the same smell, breathing the same air. Connection with the real world is the thing I adore most in his writings. As he has wrote in the very same book, the best deception is the one that utilizes many key elements from the real world. That is exactly what Brown has done in his work.

Some write that his descriptions of historic places are like Wikipedia entries. It might be true, but again, this is an adventure book, not a scientific material. I like the brief introduction to the locations, poured over with some interesting, but other way trivial facts. The next time I go to either Florence or Istanbul I will look those sights a little bit differently. Surely read additional information from real history or architecture works. And that is the biggest value I see about Dan Brown. His books encourage people to rediscover arts and history that would otherwise be seen as a boring activity.

Our world has changed. People are not into deep reading anymore. Even lengthy newspaper articles get less attention than they used to be. In that light there is no reason to judge Brown as his work is exactly for such people. No reason to expect anything deep. And those who do, will get disappointed.

I did not.