segunda-feira, 28 de outubro de 2013

Inferno - Dan Brown

As everyone here must already know I am a big fan of Dan Brown and his many books. Not only are they full of adrenaline, action packed and have a great plot they also are very informative historically speaking. The characters in his book are usually uncommon people with interesting perspectives making it easy for the reader to interact mentally with each one of them.
Now about Inferno what I loved most - even more than the characters, plot, historical information - was the detailed descriptions of the different European cities Dr. Landon finds himself in and all the exploring he does. Especially after having been in a few of these cities that are spread out in the story's pages that just made it all the more interesting for me.
It was as if every time the author goes on to describe Venice's canals, gondolas, architecture, smells, sights and sounds I was transported back into my own memories of wanderlust - and believe it or not, I felt like as if I were in the middle of the story and not just a spectator viewing it from afar and unbeknownst to what is going all around me.
Bravo once again to Dan Brown and his many successful books! 

Wikipedia on "Inferno":

nferno is a 2013 mystery thriller novel by renowned American author Dan Brown and the fourth book in his Robert Langdon series, following Angels & DemonsThe Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol.[1] The book was released on May 14, 2013 by Doubleday.[2] It was number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction and Combined Print & E-book fiction for the first eleven weeks of its release, and also remained on the list of E-book fiction for the first seventeen weeks of its release. 


Harvard University professor Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital with a head wound and no memory of the last few days. His last memory is walking on the Harvard campus, but he quickly realizes that he is now in Florence. Sienna Brooks, one of the doctors tending to him, tells him he suffered a concussion from being grazed by a bullet and had stumbled into the emergency ward. Suddenly, Vayentha, a female assassin who has been following Robert, breaks into the hospital, shoots the doctor in charge of Robert's care, and approaches Robert's room. Sienna grabs Robert and they flee to her apartment.
After Sienna recounts the details of his admission to hospital, Robert finds a cylinder with a biohazard sign in his jacket and decides to call the U.S.consulate. He is told that they are searching for him and want his location. Per Sienna's guidance, Robert gives them a location across the street from Sienna's apartment to avoid getting Sienna more involved in his mysterious situation than she already is. Soon, Robert sees an armed Vayentha pull up to the location Robert gave the consulate. At this point Sienna and Robert believe the U.S. government wants to kill him.
Robert decides to open the container and finds a small medieval bone cylinder fitted with a hi-tech projector that displays a modified version ofBotticelli's Map of Hell. At the bottom of the illumination are the words "The truth can be glimpsed only through the eyes of death." Suddenly, soldiers raid Sienna's building; Sienna and Robert narrowly escape.
Palazzo Vecchio of Florence
Robert and Sienna head toward the Old City, believing the cylinder must have something to do with Dante. However, they find that Florentine police and Carabinieri officers have sealed the bridges and are searching for them. They run into a construction site near the Boboli Gardens where Robert illuminates the modified "Map of Hell" again, notices that individual letters, which collectively spell "CATROVACER," have been added to each of the ten layers of the Malebolge, and that the layers have been rearranged. Moving them back to the order in the original Botticelli "Map of Hell" yields the words "CERCA TROVA". Robert recognizes these are the same words on the painting The Battle of Marciano byVasari, located in the Palazzo Vecchio. Robert and Sienna manage to evade the soldiers and get into the Old City using the Vasari Corridor.
Robert stands in front of The Battle of Marciano trying to figure out where to go next by connecting the "eyes of death" phrase in the modified "Map of Hell" with his location. A custodian sees Robert snooping around and gets the director of the museum in the Palazzo Vecchio, Marta Alvarez. Marta recognizes Robert, having met him and Ignazio Busoni, the director of Il Duomo, the previous night. She leads Robert and Sienna up a set of stairs by The Battle of Marciano, and Robert realizes the top of the stairs is on the same level as the words "cerca trova" in the The Battle of Marciano painting. Marta tells Robert that she showed them Dante'sdeath mask the previous night, which sits in a room down the hall from the Battle of Marciano painting. Robert realizes he is retracing his own steps from the previous night. Marta takes Robert and Sienna to the mask who find that it's gone. They look at security footage and see Robert himself and Ignazio stealing the mask. The museum guards turn on Robert and Sienna. At this moment, Marta calls Ignazio's office to question him but is greeted by his secretary, who informs Marta that Ignazio died of a heart attack the other night but left a message for Robert moments before he died. Ignazio's secretary asks to speak with Robert and plays to him Ignazio's message. In it Ignazio esoterically tells Robert where the mask is hidden, referring to "Paradise 25."
Gates of Paradise atFlorence Baptistery
Robert and Sienna escape the guards, but the soldiers arrive. They cross the attic over the Apotheosis of Cosimo I, where Sienna pushes Vayentha to her death. Robert connects the phrase "Paradise 25" to the Florence Baptistry, where he and Sienna find the Dante mask along with a riddle from its current owner, a billionaire geneticist named Bertrand Zobrist. A man named Jonathan Ferris, with a large bruise on his chest which he hides from the two, claiming to be from theWorld Health Organization (WHO), comes and helps them escape the soldiers. They follow the riddle to Venice, where Jonathan suddenly falls unconscious. Robert is captured by a group of black-clad soldiers while Sienna escapes.
Robert is taken to Elizabeth Sinskey, the director-general of the WHO, and is given an explanation of what is going on: Zobrist, who committed suicide the week before, was a mad scientist and Dante fanatic who has supposedly developed a new biological plague that will kill off a large portion of the world's population in order to quickly solve the problem of the world's impending overpopulation. Elizabeth raided Zobrist's safe deposit box, found the cylinder, and flew Robert to Florence to follow the clues. However, Robert stopped communicating with Elizabeth after meeting with Marta and Ignazio, and the WHO feared he betrayed them and was working with Zobrist to unleash the plague. The soldiers were the WHO's emergency response team and never meant to kill Robert.
Zobrist had paid a shadowy consulting group called The Consortium to protect the cylinder until a certain date. When Elizabeth took it away, they were obligated to protect whatever the bone cylinder pointed to. They kidnapped Robert after the meeting with Marta and Ignazio, but Robert hadn't yet solved the whole riddle. They gave Robert benzodiazepine drugs to erase his short-term memory, created a fake head wound, and staged every event up to this point so that Robert would be motivated to solve it. Sienna, Vayentha, and Jonathan are all actors working for The Consortium; the call to the U.S. consulate was also staged. The leader of The Consortium, having become aware of the bioterrorism plot, has agreed to cooperate with the WHO.
Tomb of Enrico Dandolo, at the Hagia Sophia.
Sienna goes rogue, and The Consortium realizes she was a secret supporter and lover of Zobrist. She learned where the plague is being kept after Robert solved the riddle and acquires a private jet to get to it before everyone else. Robert, the WHO, and The Consortium team up to stop her by going to the riddle's actual location: the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, where Enrico Dandolo is buried. Robert and the others find the plague is in the Cistern, but discover that Sienna is already there. The bag that held the plague had already been broken for an entire week, spreading through the outer world via visiting tourists. Sienna runs out of the Cistern yelling something in Turkish, which causes panic among the tourists who stampede out into the city.
Inside Basilica Cistern, with water below and tourists above.
It is discovered Sienna didn't puncture the bag; it was water soluble and had dissolved one week previously in the Cistern waters, meaning that the whole world has already been infected. It is also discovered that Sienna was trying to stop the virus herself, but didn't trust the WHO because samples of the virus would certainly find their way into the hands of governments performing weapons research. The leader of The Consortium tries to escape WHO custody with help from disguised underlings, but is caught later by Turkish police. It is implied that The Consortium will be investigated and ruined. Sienna receives amnesty in exchange for working with the WHO to address the crisis, since she is a medical doctor and transhumanist writer.
The plague that Zobrist created is revealed to be a vector virus that randomly activates to employ DNA modification to cause sterility in 1/3 of humans. Even with future generic engineering technology, changing the human genome back would be hazardous. The human race, therefore, has been forced into a new age.


  • Robert Langdon: A professor of symbology at Harvard University and the protagonist of the novel.
  • Bertrand Zobrist: The principle antagonist of the novel despite committing suicide in the prologue. A genius scientist and a madman who is obsessed with Dante's Inferno, he is intent on solving the world's overpopulation problem by releasing a virus.
  • (Felicity) Sienna Brooks: A doctor and Zobrist's former lover. She also worked for The Consortium. She helps Langdon find the virus Zobrist created, but her past relationship with Zobrist makes her loyalty to Langdon suspicious until the end of the novel. She was a loyal disciple of Zobrist until she reads his last letter and decided to get his new technology before it can fall into the wrong hands. She believes the World Health Organization will cooperate with other government agencies to use Zobrist's new virus for weapons. She uses The Consortium and Robert to follow the Map of Hell and get to ground zero before everyone else, but she realizes that Zobrist had set off a futile search as he released his virus well beforehand.
  • Elizabeth Sinskey: The head of the World Health Organization who hires Langdon to find Zobrist's virus.
  • The Provost: The head of The Consortium and the secondary antagonist. He tries to accomplish Zobrist's wishes by securing the location of the virus from Langdon and Sinskey and to divulge a video Zobrist made before his death to the media. When he learns that he was helping Zobrist in a bioterrorist attack, he helps the World Health Organization to find the weapon. He is eventually arrested for his hand in the events.
  • Vayentha: Secondary antagonist and The Consortium's agent in Florence who has orders to follow Langdon, she is later disavowed by The Consortium. She falls to her death following a confrontation with Robert and Sienna in the Palazzo Vecchio.
  • Christoph Brüder: Head of the SRS team (part of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) who is ordered by Sinskey to find Langdon after she lost contact with him.
  • Marta Alvarez: An employee in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence who assists Langdon with Dante's death mask. She is pregnant with her first child.
  • Ignazio Busoni/il Dumino: The director of Il Duomo in Florence who assists Langdon with Dante's death mask. He succumbs to a heart attack prior to the events of the novel.
  • Jonathan Ferris: An agent of The Consortium who pretends to be in league with the World Health Organization. He used fake eyebrows and a mustache to pretend to be Dr. Marconi at the beginning of the novel.
  • Ettore Vio: The curator of St. Mark's basilica in Venice.
  • Mirsat: A guide of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

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