Have you read Inferno by Dan Brown? It’s number one on the New York Times “Combined Print & E-Book Fiction” Best Sellers list right now and was last week too. Here are some ways to get it and to find similar or related books to read.
The Andersen Library’s copy is checked out at the moment and there are several holds on it, but you can try to borrow one of the available copies at another UW system library for free using UW Request through Research@UWW.
Want to know more about Inferno before you request it? You can read an excerpt of it on www.danbrown.com that will really suck you in. Basically there’s this clever guy, Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor, who gets entangled with a riddle regarding Dante’s The Divine Comedy in, where else, Italy. (I don’t want to give too much away.)
I’m really looking forward to reading Inferno, because I’ve enjoyed Brown’s other Robert Langdon books: Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. If you haven’t read those and like intellectual suspense stories where brains trump brawn in the discovery of answers, I highly recommend them. As I type, those are on the shelf, so you can come right here and check them out. This Dan Brown Research@UWW search will show you which Dan Brown books and videos we have, and where to find them.
If you’re not familiar with Dan Brown’s fiction and would like some short synopses of what he’s written, check out his entry on Fantastic Fiction out of the UK. A bonus feature of the site are author “recommends” at the bottom of each main entry, where the author, in this case Dan Brown, makes some suggestions on other fiction for you to read. Usually these are in the same genre that the author writes in so you might get some ideas for further reading.
I’m also a fan of NoveList, one of the Andersen Library’s databases, for finding information about authors, their works, reviews of the works, and “read-alikes.” In the entry for Dan Brown, eight similar authors are listed on the right, such as Raymond Khoury, John Case, and Ian Caldwell. If you search for a specific book, in addition to the summary, subjects and reviews you’ll see, there are titles of similar books on the right. For example, the record for Inferno is already in the database, and in that record eight suggested book titles are listed and each title can be clicked on for further information. One of the most beguiling is The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper, which involves riddles from Milton’s Paradise Lost and is set in Italy too. I’ll have to put that on my reading list as well!
It isn’t necessary, but if you have the time while you’re waiting for Inferno to become available, you might want to glance over The Divine Comedy. There you could find some hidden nuggets of information to help you unravel the mystery in Inferno. This out of copyright classic is available for free online in many locations, such as Project Gutenberg and Google Books, both of which have copies of a version translated by Henry F. Cary.
Now that you’re prepped for Inferno and it’s literary universe, I’ll turn you loose to enjoy some summer reading.
As a Guardian reviewer noted, Dan Brown has graduated from being a terrible writer into just a bad writer. The book is terrible, the plot is weak, and the characters are not meaningful. In short, its a bore. The title is confusing as the book is loosely connected to Dante’s Inferno.
Ah, but as Sara Vine of The Times says, “Another Dan Brown blockbuster, another slew of literati sniffing at it while secretly gnashing their teeth in jealousy at his sales figures.” and “Dante did more than most to bring his knowledge of classical literature and history to a wider, less scholarly audience. … Many in his day considered him a shameless populist; history does not record their names.” I’m with you, Martha, I’ve enjoyed his stories, but I don’t expect them to be life-changing or deep thought-provoking reads. Are they flawed? Do you have to suspend a *lot* of disbelief? Could I skip them and read something else? Yup. By the way, I also enjoy reading the critics who complain about his writing, like David Sexton of the Evening Standard (http://www.standard.co.uk/arts/book/review-a-chase-a-blonde-some-dimwit-culture-it-must-be-dan-browns-new-blockbuster-inferno-8615057.html).
Thanks for the insightful comments. I know that “blockbuster” does not often translate into “literary masterpiece” and I’ll take Inferno for what it is at heart.
Well…. Howard, that was some interesting insight. I’m curious as to how such a terrible writer gets #1 NY Times best seller ratings, has film adaptations for two previous books, one more in the works, and introduces a book that will inevitably convey transhumanism to a world in utter chaos and provide it with hope and serenity for the future of our consciousness, while alongside being considered basically a piece of **** writer? I’d like to see you produce something better if you have such innate ability to slander against a man that has done his best to introduce groundbreaking science to as wide an audience as possible the same way that Dan Brown has. I’ll look forward to your material.