Review based on free ebook received from the publisher (and in fact my first-ever read-to-review).
Secrets of Inferno is a reader’s guide to the journey Dan Brown took us all on in Inferno. The book gives readers the “back story” on particular plot points, Dante references, symbols, historical events, philosophy, art, music, and architectural works that Brown wrapped into his story. It is also an intellectually enriching, intriguing, fresh and fun look at Dante, the Divine Comedy, the world of ideas circulating in Florence on the cusp of the Renaissance, and the relevance of those ideas to our lives and our world today. In addition, the book turns to some of the leading experts in their field to address some of Inferno’s more provocative notions, including transhumanism and population control. – Book description from publisher’s website.
Dan Burstein and Arne de Keijzer have been unearthing the facts behind Dan Brown’s fiction since 2004 when their first book in the Secrets-series, Secrets of the Code, spent six months on the New York Times bestseller list. I have not read any of their previous offerings, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading Secrets of Inferno in which they analyse Dan Brown’s Inferno (read my review of that novel here) which came out in May of this year. Click here to read more. As it’s non-fiction you don’t have to worry about spoilers
I don’t hate Dan Brown. I honestly don’t. I own four of his books, after all (okay, five, but I got the last one for free, so it doesn’t count). I have contributed, at least in part, to his current wealth. I didn’t like Inferno, I’ve said so, and I was happy to let the matter lie, even after I coincidentally discovered a factual error.
But yesterday I typed “Dan Brown Inferno” into Quora.com, to see if people were discussing the novel, just out of curiosity, you know? There I came across one question which exposed a plot hole…make that the plot hole, a plot hole so big that I didn’t even spot it because the entire novel was inside it.
About a month ago I mentioned that I had won a copy of Dan Brown’s Inferno, which was a good thing as, after The Lost Symbol I wasn’t planning on buying one of his novels again. Turns out my instincts were right as Mr Brown’s latest offering was not much of an improvement on its predecessor.
I have to admit that wasn’t my first impression. In fact, I quite enjoyed the first two thirds of the novel.
This is not what I had planned for today. But I needed to vent. In fact, I needed to vent last night but didn’t feel like powering up the computer at 11pm for a rant.
I finally finished Infernolast night. That in itself is reason to rant, but the full review is on its way. However, on the tedious slog to the finish line I came across a sentence that quite literally made me cringe.
On page 434 of the hardcover edition Mr Brown uses this sentence: “And the HIV virus attacked the immune system, causing the disease AIDS.”
In South Africa HIV and AIDS is a pretty big issue, with about a third of the population infected and more than two thirds affected. In the people-oriented professions like social work, counselling, teaching, community development and the medical professions it is something we have to deal with every day. Consequently, during my studies the facts about this condition was thoroughly drilled into my mind (and I’m reading a book about it again for my Master’s) and I get quite riled up if people spout a bunch of nonsense about it. Continue reading “On getting the facts right”→
Like many people (according to one infographic I’ve found on Facebook, around 57 million) I had never heard of Dan Brown until The Da Vinci Code propelled him into fame. I did not pay the whole phenomenon much attention – I was earning minimum wage at the time and was definitely not going to spend the little cash I had on a novel by someone I had never heard of.
I did some house-sitting in those days to supplement my income. I spotted the novel on the shelf in one of the homes I was watching and decided I might as well give it a read (and before you get into me for reading other people’s books without permission – I can read a 1000-page paperback novel without cracking the spine).