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Book review : Inferno is a 2013 mystery thriller novel by American author Dan Brown and the fourth book

in his Robert Langdon series following Angels & Demons The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol!"1# $he book was released on %ay 1& 2013 by Doubleday!"2# 't was number one on the (ew )ork $imes Best *eller list for hardcover fiction and +ombined ,rint - ./book fiction for the first eleven weeks of its release and also remained on the list of ./book fiction for the first seventeen weeks of its release!

Plot
0arvard 1niversity 2rofessor Robert Langdon wakes u2 in a hos2ital with a head wound and no memory of the last few days! 0is last memory is walking on the 0arvard cam2us but he 3uickly reali4es that he is now in 5lorence! *ienna Brooks one of the doctors tending to him tells him he suffered a concussion from being gra4ed by a bullet and had stumbled into the emergency ward! *uddenly 6ayentha a female assassin who has been following Robert breaks into the hos2ital shoots the doctor in charge of Robert7s care and a22roaches Robert7s room! *ienna grabs Robert and they flee to her a2artment! After *ienna recounts the details of his admission to hos2ital Robert finds a cylinder with a bioha4ard sign in his 8acket and decides to call the 1!*! consulate! 0e is told that they are searching for him and want his location! ,er *ienna7s guidance Robert gives them a location across the street from *ienna7s a2artment to avoid getting *ienna more involved in his mysterious situation than she already is! *oon Robert sees an armed 6ayentha 2ull u2 to the location Robert gave the consulate! At this 2oint *ienna and Robert believe the 1!*! government wants to kill him! Robert decides to o2en the container and finds a small medieval bone cylinder fitted with a hi/tech 2ro8ector that dis2lays a modified version of Botticelli7s Map of Hell! At the bottom of the illumination are the words 9$he truth can be glim2sed only through the eyes of death!9 *uddenly soldiers raid *ienna7s building: *ienna and Robert narrowly esca2e! Robert and *ienna head toward the ;ld +ity believing the cylinder must have something to do with Dante! 0owever they find that 5lorentine 2olice and +arabinieri officers have sealed the bridges and are searching for them! $hey run into a construction site near the Boboli <ardens where Robert illuminates the modified 9%a2 of 0ell9 again notices that individual letters which collectively s2ell 9+A$R;6A+.R 9 have been added to each of the ten layers of the %alebolge and that the layers have been rearranged! %oving them back to the order in the original Botticelli 9%a2 of 0ell9 yields the words 9+.R+A $R;6A9! Robert recogni4es these are the same words on the 2ainting The Battle of Marciano by 6asari located in the ,ala44o 6ecchio! Robert and *ienna manage to evade the soldiers and get into the ;ld +ity using the 6asari +orridor! Robert stands in front of The Battle of Marciano trying to figure out where to go ne=t by connecting the 9eyes of death9 2hrase in the modified 9%a2 of 0ell9 with his location! A custodian sees Robert snoo2ing around and gets the director of the museum in the

,ala44o 6ecchio %arta Alvare4! %arta recogni4es Robert having met him and 'gna4io Busoni the director of 'l Duomo the 2revious night! *he leads Robert and *ienna u2 a set of stairs by The Battle of Marciano and Robert reali4es the to2 of the stairs is on the same level as the words 9cerca trova9 in the The Battle of Marciano 2ainting! %arta tells Robert that she showed them Dante7s death mask the 2revious night which sits in a room down the hall from the Battle of Marciano 2ainting! Robert reali4es he is retracing his own ste2s from the 2revious night! %arta takes Robert and *ienna to the mask who find that it7s gone! $hey look at security footage and see Robert himself and 'gna4io stealing the mask! $he museum guards turn on Robert and *ienna! At this moment %arta calls 'gna4io7s office to 3uestion him but is greeted by his secretary who informs %arta that 'gna4io died of a heart attack the other night but left a message for Robert moments before he died! 'gna4io7s secretary asks to s2eak with Robert and 2lays to him 'gna4io7s message! 'n it 'gna4io esoterically tells Robert where the mask is hidden referring to 9,aradise 2>!9 Robert and *ienna esca2e the guards but the soldiers arrive! $hey cross the attic over the A2otheosis of +osimo ' where *ienna 2ushes 6ayentha to her death! Robert connects the 2hrase 9,aradise 2>9 to the 5lorence Ba2tistry where he and *ienna find the Dante mask along with a riddle from its current owner a billionaire geneticist named Bertrand ?obrist! *ienna later e=2lains that ?obrist was a geneticist who advocated the halting of humanity7s growth due to its out of control 2o2ulation! And that he was rumored to be working on a means to do so using an engineered disease! A man named @onathan 5erris with a large bruise on his chest which he hides from the two and a severe rash on his face claiming to be from the Aorld 0ealth ;rgani4ation BA0;C comes and hel2s them esca2e the soldiers! $hey follow the riddle to 6enice where 5erris suddenly falls unconscious with *ienna claiming he is suffering from massive internal bleeding causing Langdon to sus2ect 5erris has been infected with ?obrist7s 2lague! Robert is ca2tured by a grou2 of black/clad soldiers while *ienna esca2es! Robert is taken to .li4abeth *inskey the director/general of the A0; and is given an e=2lanation of what is going onD ?obrist who committed suicide the week before was a brilliant geneticist and Dante fanatic who has su22osedly develo2ed a new biological 2lague that will kill off a large 2ortion of the world7s 2o2ulation in order to 3uickly solve the 2roblem of the world7s im2ending over2o2ulation! .li4abeth raided ?obrist7s safe de2osit bo= found the cylinder and flew Robert to 5lorence to follow the clues! 0owever Robert sto22ed communicating with .li4abeth after meeting with %arta and 'gna4io and the A0; feared he betrayed them and was working with ?obrist to unleash the 2lague! $he soldiers were the A0;7s emergency res2onse team and never meant to kill Robert! ?obrist had 2aid a shadowy consulting grou2 called $he +onsortium to 2rotect the cylinder until a certain date! 0e also left a disturbing video filled with Dante imagery which also showed a 2icture of the 2lague itself ke2t in a hidden underwater location within a slowly dissolving bag! $he video claims that the world will be changed the following morning! Ahen .li4abeth took it away they were obligated to 2rotect whatever the bone cylinder 2ointed to! $hey kidna22ed Robert after the meeting with %arta and

'gna4io but Robert hadn7t yet solved the whole riddle! $hey gave Robert ben4odia4e2ine drugs to erase his short/term memory created a fake head wound and staged every event u2 to this 2oint so that Robert would be motivated to solve it! *ienna 6ayentha and 5erris are all actors working for $he +onsortium: the call to the 1!*! consulate was also staged! $he leader of $he +onsortium having become aware of the bioterrorism 2lot has agreed to coo2erate with the A0;! 5erris7s rash was due to an allergic reaction to the s2irit gum he as 2art of the disguise as the doctor 6ayentha 9murdered9! 0is bruises were because the s3uib used to simulate him being shot in the chest misfired and broke his ribs! 0e colla2sed in 6enice because he had been ordered to detain *ienna as the ,rovost B+onsortium headC had allied with *inskey with *ienna reali4ing and 2unching him in his damaged ribs!

$omb of .nrico Dandolo at the 0agia *o2hia! *ienna goes rogue and $he +onsortium reali4es she was a secret su22orter and lover of ?obrist! *he learned where the 2lague is being ke2t after Robert solved the riddle and ac3uires a 2rivate 8et to get to it before everyone else! Robert the A0; and $he +onsortium team u2 to sto2 her! 5rom watching ?obrist7s video they conclude that the bag containing the 2lague will be fully dissolved by the date the video s2ecifies and that ?obrist7s clues 2oint to its locationD the 0agia *o2hia in 'stanbul where .nrico Dandolo is buried! Robert and the others find the 2lague is in the +istern but discover that *ienna is already there! $he bag that held the 2lague had already been broken 2resumably s2reading through the outer world via visiting tourists! *ienna runs out of the +istern yelling something in $urkish which causes 2anic among the tourists who stam2ede out into the city while Langdon gives chase!

'nside Basilica +istern with water below and tourists above! 't is discovered *ienna didn7t 2uncture the bag: it was water soluble and had dissolved one week 2reviously in the +istern waters meaning that the whole world has already

been infected! $he date s2ecified in ?obrist7s video was the mathematical calculation of when the entire world would be infected! 't is also discovered that *ienna was trying to sto2 the virus herself but didn7t trust the A0; because sam2les of the virus would certainly find their way into the hands of governments 2erforming wea2ons research! $he leader of $he +onsortium tries to esca2e A0; custody with hel2 from disguised underlings but is caught later by $urkish 2olice! 't is im2lied that $he +onsortium will be investigated and ruined! *ienna receives amnesty in e=change for working with the A0; to address the crisis since she is a medical doctor and has e=tensive knowledge of ?obrist7s research and work! $he 2lague that ?obrist created is revealed to be a vector virus that randomly activates to em2loy D(A modification to cause sterility in 1E3 of humans! .ven with future genetic engineering technology changing the human genome back would be ha4ardous! $he human race therefore has been forced into a new age!

Characters

Robert LangdonD A 2rofessor of symbology at 0arvard 1niversity! Bertrand ZobristD A genius scientist and a madman who is obsessed with Dante7s Inferno he is intent on solving the world7s over2o2ulation 2roblem by releasing a virus! (Felicity) Sienna BrooksD A doctor and ?obrist7s former lover! *he also worked for $he +onsortium! *he hel2s Langdon find the virus ?obrist created but her 2ast relationshi2 with ?obrist makes her loyalty to Langdon sus2icious until the end of the novel! *he was a loyal disci2le of ?obrist until she reads his last letter and decided to get his new technology before it can fall into the wrong hands! *he believes the Aorld 0ealth ;rgani4ation will coo2erate with other government agencies to use ?obrist7s new virus for wea2ons! *he uses $he +onsortium and Robert to follow the %a2 of 0ell and get to ground 4ero before everyone else but she reali4es that ?obrist had set off a futile search as he released his virus well beforehand! Elizabeth SinskeyD $he head of the Aorld 0ealth ;rgani4ation who hires Langdon to find ?obrist7s virus! The ProvostD $he head of $he +onsortium! 0e tries to accom2lish ?obrist7s wishes by securing the location of the virus from Langdon and *inskey and to divulge a video ?obrist made before his death to the media! Ahen he learns that he was hel2ing ?obrist in a bioterrorist attack he hel2s the Aorld 0ealth ;rgani4ation to find the wea2on! 0e is eventually arrested for his hand in the events! ayenthaD $he +onsortium7s agent in 5lorence who has orders to follow Langdon she is later disavowed by $he +onsortium! *he falls to her death following a confrontation with Robert and *ienna in the ,ala44o 6ecchio! Christo!h Br"derD 0ead of the *R* team B2art of the .uro2ean +entre for Disease ,revention and +ontrolC who is ordered by *inskey to find Langdon after she lost contact with him!

#arta $lvarezD An em2loyee in ,ala44o 6ecchio in 5lorence who assists Langdon with Dante7s death mask! *he is 2regnant with her first child! %gnazio B&soni'il (&o)inoD $he director of 'l Duomo in 5lorence who assists Langdon with Dante7s death mask! 0e succumbs to a heart attack 2rior to the events of the novel! *onathan FerrisD An agent of $he +onsortium who 2retends to be in league with the Aorld 0ealth ;rgani4ation! 0e used fake eyebrows and a mustache to 2retend to be Dr! %arconi at the beginning of the novel! Ettore ioD $he curator of *t! %ark7s basilica in 6enice! #irsatD A guide of 0agia *o2hia in 'stanbul!

The $ssociation +or Research into Cri)es against $rt


A real organi4ation $he Association for Research into +rimes Against Art and its blog is mentioned in the novel! 'n cha2ter F2 Robert Langdon uses the AR+A website to check the history of the 5our 0orses of the Basilica *an %arco and is startled by the 2assageD 9The decorati e collars !ere added to the horses" nec#s in $%&' by the Venetians to conceal !here the heads had been se ered to facilitate their transportation by ship from Constantinople to Venice(9"3# $his 2assage is taken from a series of four articles discussing the long and tumultuous history of the 5our 0orses of the Basilica *an %arco the art work with the longest history of crimes against it written by @udge Arthur $om2kins! @udge $om2kins is an AR+A trustee and faculty member who teaches a course on Art +rimes in Aar as 2art of AR+A7s ,ostgraduate +ertificate ,rogram and he includes detailed discussion of the 5our 0orses as 2art of his course!

#arketing
Brown released the book7s title on his website on @anuary 1> 2013 "&# after 2rom2ting readers to hel2 reveal a digital mosaic using social media 2osts "># and revealed the cover in late 5ebruary 2013!"G# $he cover de2icts the famous Basilica di *anta %aria del 5iore located in 5lorence 'taly! 0e also 2ublished the first cha2ter of Inferno along with a free ebook of The Da Vinci Code on %arch 1F! $he ebook was distributed for free to readers worldwide through online e/book stores like Ama4on <oogle ,lay and Barnes - (oble until %arch 2& 2013! $ransworld 2ublishers the official 1H 2ublisher of Dan Brown books have also released the official book trailer through )ou$ube! Inferno has been translated into 5rench $urkish <erman Dutch *2anish +atalan 'talian ,ortuguese 5innish (orwegian *wedish and Danish for simultaneous release! $he 2ublishers hired a team of 11 translators who worked on the 2ro8ect at the head3uarters of %ondadori in %ilan between 5ebruary and A2ril 2012! $hey were

re2ortedly se3uestered in a basement and worked intensively under strict security and secrecy! Inferno has been also translated into ,ersian by Afra4 ,ublication 3 months after first 2ublishing! "F#

Rece!tion
Inferno received mi=ed reviews from critics! The )e! *or# Times 2raised the book as being 98am2acked with tricks9 and said that Langdon is on 9one of those book/length scavenger hunts that %r! Brown creates so energetically9 "I# $he (ew )ork Daily )e!s reviewed the book favorably calling it a book of 9harrowing fun threaded with coded messages art history science and imminent doom!9"J# ;ther reviews were more negative! @ames Hidd of The Independent 2anned Brown7s awkward 2rose but e=2ressed a22roval of the book7s 2lot writingD 9Brown7s fusion of gothic hy2erbole with a 2edant7s tour/ guide deliberately restrains the imagination through its awkward awfulness!9"10# The Boston +lobes +huck Leddy com2ared the book favorably to Brown7s 2revious works and deemed it 9the kind of satisfying esca2ist read that summers were made for!9"11# *amra Amir of $he .=2ress $ribune was critical of the novel7s 2redictability and mala2ro2ism but noted that 9BrownKs art reigns over boredom! 0e manages to kee2 the reader glued!9"12# Ariting for $he <uardian ,eter +onrad dismissed the book7s content as 9cons2iratorial farrago9 and further elaboratedD 9'nferno is also dreadful abounding in mala2ro2isms and solecisms leaden restatements of the obvious and naive disinformation about the reality outside the bat/thronged belfry that is Brown7s head!9[13]

Co))ercial !er+or)ance
Inferno initially sold 3GJ 000 co2ies at outlets that re2ort to (ielsen Book*can! 't debuted as the L1 bestselling book in the 1*A and was also ato2 the 1H7s book charts in its first week in sho2s selling 22I JG1 co2ies! $he book remained L1 on (ielsen Book*can for the week ending %ay 2G selling 211 000 co2ies and bringing its two/week total to >I0 000! Des2ite sli22ing &2M in its second week 'nferno far out2aced the L2 book Hhaled 0osseini7s And the Mo,ntains -choed which 2osted a debut of J1 000 co2ies!

Fil)
*ony ,ictures has dated a film ada2tation to be released on December 1I 201> with Ron 0oward as director David Hoe22 ada2ting the screen2lay and $om 0anks re2rising his role as Robert Langdon