Book Review: Heads You Win

Inferno - travellogue and Jason Bourne combined

As someone who has read all of Dan Brown's novels, I could not help check out Inferno, his latest work.

Inferno brings back Robert Langdon epitomized by The Da Vinci Code - the book and the movie.  Thanks to the movie, most of us visualize Langdon as Tom Hanks!  

Inferno finds Langdon in a hospital bed - not able to remember how he landed there.  An inspiration from Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity?  Needless to say, there are killers after him.  And like in other adventures of Langdon, there is a pretty lady for company. 

The action this time starts in Florence.  After an exhaustive (if not exhausting) narrative of the various landmarks in Florence (relevant to the novel), with a lot of Italian dialogues to boot, we are transported by a large boat - where else - to Venice!  The bad guys (are they indeed bad?) are not too far behind, but our hero is always one step ahead. 

There is always a clue to solve and this time it is Dante's Inferno which is the reference point for this.  (Wondering if people have taken to reading Dante following this book - I don't plan to:)

The time is ticking and Langdon needs to hurry - before a deadly virus is unleashed on the entire mankind.

The book goes at a breathtaking pace and you know not, how are friends and who foes.  In fact, one could argue that there are no villains - just radical thoughts - unpalatable for some.

Dan Brown has taken overpopulation of the earth as a central theme - an interesting attempt in itself.   When this is combined with genetic engineering and transhumanism, then you know where it is headed!

There is a surprising climax making one wonder whether the author believes in the same radical thoughts that he has presented in the book.