Inferno: A Novel : Robert Langdon

  • by Dan Brown
  • Narrated by Paul Michael
  • Series: Robert Langdon
  • 17 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Now a Major Motion Picture
With the publication of his groundbreaking novels The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown has become an international best-selling sensation, seamlessly fusing codes, symbols, art, and history into riveting thrillers that have captivated hundreds of millions of fans around the world. Now Dan Brown takes listeners deep into the heart of Italy, guiding them through a landscape that inspired one of history's most ominous literary classics.
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in a hospital in the middle of the night. Disoriented and suffering from a head wound, he recalls nothing of the last 36 hours, including how he got there...or the origin of the macabre object that his doctors discover hidden in his belongings.
Langdon's world soon erupts into chaos, and he finds himself on the run in Florence with a stoic young woman, Sienna Brooks, whose clever maneuvering saves his life. Langdon quickly realizes that he is in possession of a series of disturbing codes created by a brilliant scientist - a genius whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written: Dante Alighieri's dark epic poem The Inferno.
Racing through such timeless locations as the Palazzo Vecchio, the Boboli Gardens, and the Duomo, Langdon and Brooks discover a network of hidden passageways and ancient secrets as well as a terrifying new scientific paradigm that will be used either to vastly improve the quality of life on earth...or to devastate it.
In his most riveting and thought-provoking novel to date, Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again. Inferno is a sumptuously entertaining listen - a novel that will captivate listeners with the beauty of classical Italian art, history, and literature while also posing provocative questions about the role of cutting-edge science in our future.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well, I don't know what I was expecting

My feelings about Dan Brown could be optimistically described as "mixed".

I'll admit, with a slightly chagrinned tone, that I've read all of the Robert Langdon books -- and every single time I've finished them, I am annoyed that I just wasted X number of hours putting it into my brain.

They are (and here I'm being restrained in my word choice) formulaic.

There's the beautiful sidekick, the harrowing adventure through cities of historical value, the major work of art, the good Professor's pivotal role in a case of international and apocalyptical significance (okay, really, how many times does a semiologist find himself looking down the barrel of gun during his line of work? I'd buy once, *maybe* twice. But four times? No way.) we are all taught a lesson and the world is better off for having Robert Langdon to watch over it.


So, if it's not for the vaguely pedantic tone, prosaic repetitive writing or even the irritating sensation that Robert Langdon is a thinly veiled author surrogate, why read these books? What's the appeal?

My guess is the escapism. Suspend disbelief (Langdon is dashing about Florence sporting a serious head wound and conveniently amnestic) and chow down on the brain candy. The city is well researched and there's enough of a mystery that the reader is left wondering how it's going to be tied together, even if it's lite in terms of prose.

As a positive note, I will add that Langdon's character seems to be evolving. He is more somber this time around and prone to moments of existentialism. I'll also have to give kudos to Mr. Brown for choosing to address the issue of overpopulation. It is a difficult question that often meanders into a moral grey zone -- and the ending of Inferno is darkly surprising.

Overall, it's more than I expected, but not that much more.
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- linda

I Guess Dan Brown Never Read “Children of Men”...


…or “Jurassic Park,” or “Brave New World”…

I’m sure there are plenty of readers who give this book 5 stars because the ideas in the story energized them, and plenty who give it 1 star because they were horrified. I’m giving it 3 stars because I was neither energized nor horrified. The writing was just “meh,” also known as classic Dan Brown – his characters spend a lot of time “recalling when…” or “remembering the first time…” You can almost hear the dream sequence music cue in, and then we’re in for a long, explanatory bit of prose that acts like speed bumps to the plot. He awkwardly hides exposition within dialog and too often follows with a sometimes interesting history lesson on art, on Florence, on Dante Alighieri… but this is supposed to be a race to stop a madman from releasing a deadly plague! Right? I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say our characters have the time for a lesson or two. His show vs. tell skills could do with more exercise. That is, we know his Hero finds the female protagonist attractive because he says she’s “quite attractive.” We know she’s supposed to be very smart because our Hero finds information saying she’s very smart, though, throughout the story, Brown doesn’t have her behave like a very smart person -- she’s clever but not always intelligent. All in all, this is a tepid tale with some awkward contrivances, a strange twist and a flaccid ending, but if you’re interested in the transhumanist movement, Italian Renaissance and art, or Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy, then there is plenty in Inferno for you to enjoy.

Without giving too much away, here’s one point Brown doesn’t make in his arguments: Brown’s “mad doctor” character argues that after the black plague Europe enjoyed a renaissance reflected in the art, music and literature of the time, and makes the leap that the one-to-one correlation is related to the decrease in the population. Professor Langdon, our Hero, as an Art History professor, should have made the counter argument that the Renaissance didn’t simply come about because of a decrease in the population, but as a direct result of and an antidote to the suffering during the plague times. In other words, humanity doesn’t need to be mollycoddled by some guy who thinks he knows better than everyone else. Population wise, we’ve made our bed, so to speak, and there may be great suffering in the future, but think of the art and leaps of science we’ll make on the other side of it. Humans are at their best when given a challenge. Brown’s “mad doctor” wants to take that away without even considering that his Brave New World could usher in a malaise of thought and imagination, and accomplish the opposite of his goal by halting our evolution.
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- Cidney

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-14-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio