Dan Brown's 'Inferno' gets mixed reviews but tops sales charts(Read article summary)
Dan Brown's new book following the adventures of hero Robert Langdon is centered around Dante's work 'Inferno.'
â€śInferno,â€ť the novel by Dan Brown based around Danteâ€™s work of the same name, is publishingâ€™s newest blockbuster, boasting high sales despite mixed reviews.
Washington Post reviewer Monica Hesse writes that itâ€™s clear Brown has mastered his genre of page-turning historical mysteries: â€śHe has perfected the breathless art of the cliffhanger chapter, the ooky villain, the historish backdrop.â€ť
However, Hesse says she found herself distracted at times by actual inaccuracies.
â€śA simple Wikipedia search tells me that one of the important artifacts is believed to be a reproduction, not the real thing the reader is led to think it is,â€ť she wrote. â€śThe Consortium is real, too, Brown writes â€“ and it might be, but would such an organization really have its headquarters in a giant yacht floating around in the Adriatic Sea? No matter. As with Brownâ€™s other works, itâ€™s more fun to read 'Inferno' when you accept that every whoa-ful tidbit is true.â€ť
She also poked fun at one of Brownâ€™s standard plot devices: the dying person who decides to leave enigmatic clues.
â€śRather than using the last minutes of his life to scrawl, 'The [IMPORTANT OBJECT] is in the [SPECIFIC LOCATION]' on a crumpled napkin, he uses them to concoct an artsy, esoteric scavenger hunt through a foreign city,â€ť Hesse writes of one character.
But USA Today's Brian Truitt found himself completely won over by the new book.
â€ś[The book] comes close to the mega-popular 'The Da Vinci Code' in terms of entertaining tension,â€ť he wrote of â€śInferno.â€ť â€śBrown has a definite formula in place for putting Langdon through his paces, but watching him go through hell is about as close as a book can come to a summertime cinematic blockbuster.â€ť
â€śThe early sections of 'Inferno' come so close to self-parody that Mr. Brown seems to have lost his bearingsâ€¦. But 'Inferno' is jampacked with tricks,â€ť Maslin wrote. â€śAnd that shaky opening turns out to be one of themâ€¦. the main emphasis here is hardly on gloom. It is on the prodigious research and love of trivia that inform Mr. Brownâ€™s stories.â€ť
Boyd Tonkin, reviewer for The Independent, said that he was unimpressed by Brownâ€™s writing but that he admires the authorâ€™s plotting.
â€śHowever barmy his premises, however leaden his prose, Brown retains all the advantages of surprise,â€ť he wrote of the story.
However, Telegraph reviewer Jake Kerridge was less enamored and called â€śInfernoâ€ť Brownâ€™s worst work yet.
â€śAs a stylist Brown gets better and better: where once he was abysmal he is now just very poor,â€ť Kerridge wrote. â€śHis prose, for all its detailing of brand names and the exact heights of buildings, is characterised by imprecision. It works to prevent the reader from engaging with the story.â€ť
Meanwhile, â€śInfernoâ€ť is at number one in Amazon sales rankings, having spent 120 days in the top 100 and is Amazonâ€™s most pre-ordered book of the year so far in both print and Kindle. The book is also number one for sales at the Barnes & Noble website.
And for those who prefer their Robert Langdon adventures on the big screen, there's good news. Brown told USA Today that heâ€™s certain â€śInfernoâ€ť will become a movie like his previous works â€śThe Da Vinci Codeâ€ť and â€śAngels and Demons.â€ť