Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Inferno Thoughts

This is the fourth, and the most recently released book in Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series. In this installment, Robert wakes up in an Italian hospital recovering from being shot, but with no memories of why he was shot and why he's in Italy in the first place. He can't work out the details of his situation on his own so must rely on his doctor, Sienna, to help him first escape the assassin who comes back for him in the hospital and then to evade more pursuers in black SUVs. No one trustworthy ever drives around in black vans or SUVs in mystery novels, have you noticed that, too?

Throughout the chase and the clues and the discovery, one thing really stood out for me. I want to go to Florence. I am more than a little interested in seeing the places and the artwork described in person. It sounds amazing.

Back to the story. Here's where I get a little upset with things. It came too easily again. There was more of a struggle, but not as much as I think there should have and could have been for the plot to be a bit more realistic. I liked the addition of the Provost and his organization aboard the ship The Mendacium. It gave a very 007 feel to what was going on. Modern-day mercenaries are always interesting to me. Their role also gave me multiple instances where I found myself questioning whether I knew who the "bad guys" really were.

As Robert and Sienna move through Florence into Istanbul, they are trying to save the world from a plague that's been developed by our mad-scientist/humanist villain- Zobrist. The driving force behind Zobrist's work is that he sees a need for a major change in humanity and how we treat the planet if we as a species are to survive. His desire is to somehow change the rate at which new people come into the world. He thinks we're breeding to quickly and at a rate that is not sustainable. His plague would put an end to that. It would actually make 1/3 of the world's population sterile. Sterile.

Here's where I got mad at the book. I actually think there is some danger of people causing irreparable damage to our world. However, I think that there are a lot of things we can do that will help mitigate this damage that fall well short of mass-sterilization. What right does someone else have to decide whether or not I should be able to have children? How can someone else dare to assume they know what decisions I would make if given all the options that I have now? At the risk of oversharing, this issue hit a little too close to home for me. The Big Guy and I are trying to expand our family and it's not going quite the way we expected. We thought it would be easier than it is, and it's been the source of a lot of frustration and a lot of tears for me. He's amazing and absolutely my rock in everything, but especially in this. So to think that some lunatic in a lab would make the choice about whether I can have a baby without my knowledge and without my consent makes my blood boil.

Langdon doesn't win this time, the plague is released and the world will forever be changed and I can't say it's for the better. I gave this book 3 stars out of 5 possible on Goodreads.

As much as I disliked what happened, there were a variety of passages that I did like. A few of those that stood out to me are below.

"The decisions of our past are the architects of our present." p20

"Nothing is more creative ... nor destructive ... than a brilliant mind with a purpose." p163

"Only one form of contagion travels faster than a virus. ... And that's fear." p428

"Remember tonight, for it's the beginning of forever." p457

"Dante's poem, Langdon was now reminded, was not so much about the misery of hell as it was about the power of the human spirit to endure any challenge, no matter how daunting." p463

1 comment:

  1. Why Doesn't anyone point out that 'Inferno' plot line reveal at the end is just a copy of a previously written book by Clive Cussler's "The Plaque Ship" ?

    I certainly will be looking forward to seeing the 2015 Ron Howard and Tom Hanks movie release mention the Clive Cussler book in the credits.