From Pages to Reels

Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ Heads to the Big Screen
by Nicholas LaRousse July 18, 2013

As I predicted in my review of Inferno, the book will be adapted for film and made  into a movie set to release in 2015. Tom Hanks will be returning for the role of Professor Robert Langdon, and the script will be written by the screen writer of Angels and Demons, David Koepp. Not too sure how I feel about this because I loved Angels and Demons the book, but absolutely hated the movie with a raw and fiery passion. The book was so fast paced and action packed and interesting, and then the movie just cut out all the good stuff (like Langdon jumping out of a freaking helicopter and using his jacket to slow his velocity so he survives landing in a river!!) and the sense of urgency you get from the book wasn’t there. Maybe Koepp won’t drop the ball, but more than likely he will.

Internetland, what are your thoughts on book-to-movie adaptations? Generally, I like them, but there are a select few that I abhor. These are, as previously mentioned, Angels and Demons, but I also hated the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy films (because I haven’t read the books) and I liked The Hunger Games movie. I read The Hunger Games after I saw the movie and I have to say the book is much, MUCH better.

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Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno First Edition Cover

Inferno by Dan Brown

A couple days ago I finished reading the highly anticipated Inferno by Dan Brown, the fourth installment of the Robert Langdon series. If you haven’t read any of the Robert Langdon books, I would highly recommend them! They are a quick read and very entertaining if you like suspense and thrillers with a bit of mystery. The first and second books, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons were made into blockbuster movies, and the third book The Lost Symbol has been announced as a movie in the future. Unless The Lost Symbol flops dramatically at the box office, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be a movie version of Inferno as well.

I got started with Dan Brown’s novels by watching The Da Vinci Code movie, and afterwards, decided to read Angel & Demons, which is a prequel to The Da Vinci Code. Angel & Demons was so good! There was excitement and a race against time and it was just so engaging! Literally half an hour after finishing the book my roommate and I went to see the movie and I have never been more disappointed in a movie in my life.

Anyway, Inferno! That’s what this review is about. I was quite excited for this book, and I even preordered it on Chapters.ca so I would get it on release day. I have to admit that, unlike the other books, this one didn’t grab me as soon as I started reading it. Not sure why. Maybe it had something to do with the way the book started, or maybe I was just too busy to sit and enjoy it, but regardless, I had a hard time getting into the book at first.

The book follows the basic Dan Brown formula – over a twenty-four hour period the main character, Robert Langdon, some how finds himself in some dire situation, meets the pretty female sidekick, follows the clues that only he can decipher, solves the puzzle and saves the day. He’s basically the nerd version of Jack Bauer, but less of a bad ass and more tweed.

In Inferno the formula is a little jumbled. The book starts with Robert Langdon already in a dire situation, but here’s the twist: he can’t remember how he got to that point because he’s been shot in the head and has amnesia! Whaaat? Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy with absolutely no memory of how he got there or how he managed to get shot in the head. He instantly meets his token female sidekick, Sienna Brooks, a medical doctor, and is whisked away on an adventure. Langdon and Sienna must decipher clues related to Dante’s Divine Comedy in order to stop a plague from being released the next day. A dangerous looking assassin and an army of soldiers in black uniforms are pursuing them and things are not quite what they appear to be.

Spoiler Alert Warning: do no read further if you don’t want the “Holy shit!” moment ruined for you! Skip to the end.

I feel that Dan Brown does a fabulous job of writing Langdon’s amnesia into the prose. For the first two-thirds of the book you feel just as confused and scared as Langdon as he struggles to remember what’s just out of reach. Then Langdon, and the reader, find out what’s really going on. The emotion the reader feels (or at least the emotion that I felt after finding out) is bretrayal. Betrayed by everyone and everything. You don’t what what’s real, and what’s an act or who to trust. Langdon feels the same. It’s revealed to Langdon that the leader of the World Health Organization approached him to help them find and stop a plague created by a transhumanist scientist, Bertrand Zobrist (who believed the overpopulation of the world would cause humanity’s downfall). Langdon finds out that after being separated from the WHO he is taken by a different organization, who was protecting Zobrist’s interests with out knowing what they were, who chemically induced Langdon’s amnesia and tricked him into working for the them. Whaaat? The hospital scene at the beginning was a huge lie orchestrated by this organization, and as it turns out, Sienna Brooks was Zobrist’s lover and has her own agenda and it now working on her own to find the plague and release it. BAM! Whaaaat?

So there you have it, the “Holy shit!” moment.

A lot of people criticize Dan Brown’s writing style, but to be honest I find it quite entertaining and really quite clever in the way he creates puzzles by weaving ancient symbols in with the modern world. These books aren’t meant to be masterpieces of literary fiction. They are entertainment. To the people who criticize Dan Brown’s work: If you think you can do so much better, then do so. Stop reading books that you know you won’t like (seriously, after three previous books you should know better), and do something constructive.

I didn’t find Inferno as exciting as Angels & Demons even though there was the race against the clock element. The plot remained formulaic to other Dan Brown books, but there was a great twist in there to liven things up a little, keep the reader on his or her toes, if you will. Over all I really enjoyed the book, and if Dan Brown were to write another book featuring my favourite tweed clad art history professor I would read it, and I would enjoy it.

And I’m Back!

Hello Internetland!! It has been quite a long time since I’ve updated, but I have a good excuse! I’ve been away at grad school for the last eight months earning a Master’s of Library and Information Studies degree. Now you’re probably thinking, pssshh, she could have TOTALLY updated her blog during school. Nuh Uh! Grad school is time consuming. For realz, yo. I was spending 15+ hours a day at school some days. It was intense. I did have some time to read leisurely, but I didn’t have time to review the books I read.

So, I thought I will do a bunch of mini reviews of the books I read since starting school!

In reading order (sort of):

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

  • I can’t believe the ending. Seriously, what?! Other than the ending of the series I enjoyed the stories! It was interesting picking out all the little Christian allegories. One thing that I thought about after reading was about Susan. A lot of people think she wasn’t allowed to go to Narnia in the end because she grew into a woman and was more interested in lipstick and boys. I feel differently. I think the reason she wasn’t able to go to Narnia in the end was because she stopped believing in Aslan and Narnia. If she had believed in Narnia she would have been on the train, and therefore would have been able to go to Narnia with the others.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  • I actually listened to this as an audiobook! It was interesting to listen rather than read a book. As for the story itself, I enjoyed it and found it to be better than the movie by far. There are so many little things they leave out in the movie that are important, such as the little gifts they get while in the arena, and Katniss’ and Haymitch’s relationship. I also thought it is a lot more sinister than the book. The end scene with the dogs was freaking scary in the book! I have decided to wait to read the next two books until after their movies come out. I always dislike the movie if I read the book first, but always like the book and the movie if I read the book after.

The Story of Libraries by Poopface– I mean Fred Lerner

  • I wrote a whole report about this book as an assignment during the school year. This book is a non-fiction history of libraries starting from Sumerians to modern time. I thought it was very informative, however, I feel Lerner is a bigot. He doesn’t talk about libraries anywhere but America and Europe, and he basically said that women are the reason libraries aren’t respected or funded in modern times. I may or may not post the report I wrote at a later time. I’ll have to edit it and shorten it, though.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

  • What can I say about this book? I was so excited to read it, and had to wait months for a copy to become available at the library, but when I read it I was underwhelmed. It was just not as interesting or exciting as the first book. The author does a good job of psyching you up for the next book though, so maybe the third book will be better.

A Wizard from Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin

  • A dear friend of mine gave me the whole Earthsea series for my birthday last year so I decided to read it while away at school. I only got through two of them, and honestly, I can’t remember what really happens. In this one there is a wizard… he’s being followed by a dark shadow, literally, some creature made of darkness is following him. The story follows the main character from childhood to adulthood and it’s all about his quest to defeat the darkness that follows him.

Tombs of Atuan by Ursula LeGuin

  • this is the second book in the Earthsea series, and I think I enjoyed it more than the first. The main character is a priestess and it is interesting following her story. Eventually she meets up with the wizard from the first book and they become friends.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

  • During the school year I went to a library conference at the Edmonton Public Library and Cory Doctorow was the keynote speaker. It was fascinating to listen to! His book, Little Brother, relates directly to what his talk was about — security on the internet. Little Brother is about a boy and his friends who are seriously in the wrong place at the wrong time and they are mistaken for terrorists. All but one of the kids are released, and the main character makes it his personal mission to get his friend back by totally messing with The Man’s mind.

Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

  • I got a Kobo Glo for Christmas last year and Lady of Devices was one of the free ebooks you could download from the Kobo website. I am a fledgling steampunk enthusiast and found the idea of a steampunk novel thrilling! This book is all about a young lady who’s family comes across some hard times, and she if forced on to the streets where she adopts/is adopted by a small gang of street children. She becomes there leader and helps them survive by creating interesting devices that help them win against other street gangs. I have downloaded the next two books, but I’m waiting to read them until the semester starts. For one of my classes I have to do a project where I have to read a certain amount of YA novels under the same theme. My theme is going to be steampunk.

Out of Time by Monique Martin

  • This book was another free ebook from Kobo. It’s about time-travel. I actually really enjoyed it! The main characters are a middle aged professor and his young female assistant. I know this sounds like a bad pr0n, but I assure you it’s better than that! There’s mystery, excitement, and it’s set in the 1920s! How awesome is that?! Very awesome, in case you weren’t sure.

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

  • During the school year I got a part-time job at the University Library as a PAC Request Retriever. Basically, people who are too lazy to go up to the stacks to get their own books put in a request, and then I go and get the books for them. I found Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series while up in the stacks and started reading like crazy (even though I had assignments to do >_>). Bitten is the first in the series and follows a female werewolf (the ONLY female werewolf) named Elena, as she tries to live a normal life, away from the Pack. Despite her best efforts she gets caught up in a war between the Mutts and the Pack and has to fight to save herself and the man she truly loves.

Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

  • Stolen is the second book in the Women of the Otherworld series and, again, follows Elena. The difference in this book is there are other supernatural creatures as well: witches, half-demons, shamans, sorcerers, necromancers, basically anything you can think of. In this book Elena is kidnapped by a supernatural creature collector and the Pack needs to team up with a menagerie of other supernatural beings to save their friends and family.

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

  • The third book in the Women of the Otherworld series is about a witch named Paige, who we first meet in Stolen. In this book Paige is taking care of a young witch named Savanah who we also meet in Stolen, but someone is fighting for custody of Savanah. Paige finds herself teaming up with a sorcerer (witches and sorcerers are like oil and water. Absolute hate for each other) in order to protect Savanah.

Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong

  • I can’t really talk about this book without ruining something from the third book, so all I will say is this book is awesome.

The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

  • I read this book upon coming home for summer. Tamora Pierce has always been one of my favourite authors and the Song of the Lioness was one of her series that I started when I was in high school and never got the chance to finish. Finally, I finished. The story is all about Alana, a girl who wants to become a knight. Her and her twin brother switch places and she gets to go to the castle (disguised as a boy) to learn to become a knight. The series follows Alana’s journey to knighthood and beyond. I don’t want to give too much away, so you should go read it! Very exciting! Excellent, strong female protagonist. Love stories. Mystery. This series has it all. Oh, and Magic. Yeah. MAGIC.

Inferno by Dan Brown

  • I just finished this book yesterday, so I will do a proper review within the next few days! Be sure to watch for it!

Over the course of this summer I will be doing a lot of reading for my Young Adult Literature class, and I am going to start a page for my LIS 515 book reviews and for article reviews. I am excited to get back into reading and look forward to reviewing some books!