I start every year reviewing my list of what I read the previous year, with the ultimate goal of reading more total pages then the year prior. 2013 is long gone, and with it a read count of 3632 pages. Broken down it was twelve books, twelve different authors, one book of poetry, two young-adult novels, two mystery/suspense, a ton of good ole regular fiction, two books that I absolutely loved (book1/book2.), and one that everyone else loved but which I loathed. Though it was by no means my best read year, it was still a good year. And though having a running list to look back on is nice, I haven’t kept an up to date record of what I actually thought of any of these books. So, this year my goal is to actually document/review all the books I read.
It took me three weeks to finish book one of 2014, and it was in the form of very popular fiction. I read Dan Brown’s Inferno. We’ve had this book sitting on our bookshelf for a long time. In fact, Tim read it first, almost as soon as it came out. I held off, not because I didn’t think I’d like it, but because of its sheer size. It’s 462 pages… in hardback. It’s a big book, and for a commuter, is a lot to schlep to and from the office every day. And then Christmas came around, and Amazon’s super good Kindle e-book sale happened, and I snatched up a digital copy of it for something like $2.99. Granted, I recognize buying a digital copy of a book I already own in physical form is a blatant waste of money. But it cost me less than my coffee, so don’t judge…
So, what did I think of it? While I was in no way expecting a literary masterpiece (it is after all popular fiction), I was more than a bit disappointed by it. In a nutshell, it was slow going for most of the book, and a bit tedious. This was unexpected, since my experience with Dan Brown’s previous books is that they’ve been far more entertaining, quick reads. It does pick up towards the very end, but for me that was just too long to wait.
The subject matter was intriguing, as were the ethical questions which the plot raised, and it was a nice introduction to Dante’s “Inferno” for those without prior knowledge of that text. But the characters were flat. It was hard to get invested. It was a page turner, but only in the sence that I kept turning pages wondering when it was going to end. If you’re new to Dan Brown, or just looking for an entertaining read, I suggest sticking to the originals and picking up The Divinci Code, or Angels & Demons.
On to the next.
Title: Inferno Author: Dan Brown
Pages: 462 (in hardback)
Read: mostly on BART while commuting
First Line: “I am the Shade.”