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by Dan Brown, read by Paul Michael
Random House Audio, May 2013
Unabridged pages
ISBN: 0804128766

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In his latest, Dan Brown uses the same formula that has worked for him before: the academic Robert Langdon is teamed up with a beautiful woman as he deciphers symbols and secret messages in artwork and literary masterpieces; he outruns his enemies, often using hidden passageways; and he manages to outmaneuver his many pursuers time and again.

Unfortunately, Brown's writing is far from literary, riddled with repetition and scenes in which he just seems to dump all the research he's done for this book, not-quite-believable plotting (Langdon rushes through three countries in 24 hours, and not even a nap!), preachy dialogue on world population control, and over-the-top villains. Add to this an unsatisfying ending.

However, Brown does have his fans, and this is not the worst thriller ever. He keeps the pacing tight; if you like nonstop action books, you'll probably like Brown's INFERNO. In addition, there's a lot of neat information about Italian art and Dante Alighieri's epic poem, Divine Comedy, the first part of which is entitled Inferno and is the source of many of the clues that Langdon unravels.

The book opens with Harvard professor Langdon in a Florence hospital, the past two days erased from his memory. When an assassin comes after him, he flees with Sienna Brooks, a young female doctor. As he's chased by soldiers, a killer, and a mysterious woman, Langdon and Brooks run from one clue to another. Nothing less than the fate of the world rests in their hands, as they try to stop a madman about to unleash a virus.

For a long car trip, this 17-hour audiobook may be just the ticket. Audiobook reader Paul Michael, who also narrated THE DA VINCI CODE, does a good job here, bringing the characters to life with the thin material he was given.

Lourdes Venard is a newspaper editor in Long Island, N.Y.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, June 2013

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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