Miss A Columnist

World-traveler, blogger, book lover… finding beauty everywhere she looks. Mina De Caro is Italian, born and raised in small-town Southern Italy, close to medieval castles and archeological sites. She is now based in Pennsylvania where she lives with her family, but there are three different countries in the world that she has the pleasure to call home. Mina graduated summa cum laude from the University of Bari in Italy with a Master's Degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures. Visual arts, traveling and her blog Mina’s Bookshelf are her favorite hobbies. With a background as export manager and a wide experience as international sales specialist, the only lands she hasn't had the chance to touch yet are the Artica/Antartica and Oceania. In an era of high-tech gadgets and electronic readers, Mina is very protective of her books, so whatever she is reading follows her around the house… with two little kids you never know when and where a crayon may leave a mark.

Review Of Inferno By Dan Brown

(Photo Credit: Doubleday)

(Photo Credit: Doubleday)

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their  neutrality in times of moral crisis.

Dan Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code, is back with yet  another  blockbuster thriller. Stakes are higher than ever in the fourth installment of the Robert Langdon series: drawn into the heart of Italian Renaissance, the Harvard professor is called to unravel a bone-chilling mystery and thwart the threatening schemes of a deranged and highly sophisticated mind. Meticulously researched and well documented, Inferno paints a suggestive portrait of some of the most enchanting European locations and their history (Florence, Venice, Istanbul). Sumptuous descriptions and an elaborate game plan inspired by the rich symbolism of Dante Alighieri’s monumental masterpiece (La Divina Commedia) are the pillars of Brown’s conspiracy thriller, but what sets it apart from his previous books is a stronger sci-fi spin.

The highly acclaimed suspense author leaves the beaten path of esoteric doctrines to take on a more secular and alarmingly current subject, a subject that resonates with a strong socio-political underscore. More than ever before, Brown’s signature mind-boggling theories provide a springboard for social commentary: the villain of the story, a genetic engineer of exceptional skill and vision, has been trying in vain to bring the risks of overpopulation to the attention of world organizations. Unhinged and ostracized by the scientific community, he believes that extinction is impending and that the catastrophic circumstances of our species require an ‘uncomfortable’ solution. Is his trans-humanist approach an act of genetic terrorism or a way to fix the fatal flaws in our evolution? Is it unethical to use technologies that advance and help the human kind to survive in a changing world? Should we consider genetic engineering as just another step in our evolution (like the invention of fire and the wheel) rather than an unnatural deviation? After all, scientists step undetected  into the gray areas of science every day and government agencies are among the first ones to weaponize ground-breaking technologies: “…expect the worst from people who hold power.” For once, the evil genius may have a point.

Dan Brown doesn’t shine for the pristine quality of his prose: his narrative style is far from flawless and, in more than one occasion, those historical facts and cultural references that normally represent the best asset of his writing were simply too extensive to absorb. I admire his ambition to incorporate history, art, and science in a work of fiction, but when an author veers off course with minute descriptions that would better serve as footnotes, or disrupts the action with frequent and lengthy digressions, then the result is anticlimactic…now and again I lost track of Robert Langdon and I had to rewind in order to locate his whereabouts. Obviously, Brown’s appeal lays elsewhere.

The Verdict: Despite the drawback of an uneven narration, Inferno remains an intellectually rewarding read – grand in scope and thought-provoking.
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Publisher: Doubleday
Author: Dan Brown


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