First and foremost, I haven’t read the entire book. I couldn’t. For me, the prose was extremely nauseating and Brown has a bizarre idea of using similes; yes, uniqueness in literature is a good thing, but when you try using a simile that doesn’t enhance the readers’ understanding of a certain description, then it’s simply a fail.
As always, Brown does not fail to provide a semi-ridiculous plot. The story starts in familiar territory: Robert Langdon is a victim of amnesia and on the run in, yes, Florence, and with no idea why he is an assassin’s target. Oh, and Langdon is also a victim of a hit-and-run and the driver is supposedly Dante Alighieri, who is depicted as a maniac.
Unlike his previous books, where the Bible or Da Vinci’s paintings were a source of inspiration, Brown’s Inferno does not engage as closely with The Divine Comedy. The absence of a centuries-old conspiracy is also somewhat refreshing. The villain in Inferno is the most formidable and dangerous opponent Landgon has faced, despite the fact that he commits suicide on page 7. If Dante is right, our villain’s punishment is to be enclosed in trees, along with the squanderers.
Brown’s attempt must surely have Dante turning in his grave. One redeeming vice that Brown has is his imagination, but even that is not enough to save him.
In the end his ambition wildly exceeds his ability.
Verdict: A book that one can procrastinate on. If you have things to do, no matter how mundane, do them, before reading the book. In fact, anything is better than reading the book. But it’s not too bad.