Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I should have listened to my mother.

My mom isn't much of an advice giver, but she has given me two very valuable life lessons:
1) Whenever life gets rocky or uncertain, or if you and your spouse are at each other, go on vacation.  Even a quick getaway can restore love and harmony in a marriage or family.
2) Do not read Dan Brown's Inferno.

When Eric and I told my mom that our first "Eric's out of town often and we are going to stay connected through choosing mutual books" book club selection was Inferno by Dan Brown, she looked almost stricken shaking her head no, trying to give us warnings of going into a forbidden land of horrible literature like the talking skull and bones in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride that says, "Dead men tell no tales" right before the big drop.  Even after the subject had changed to the Orioles and then to our home garden, she continually brought it up, "Really, that book is so bad.  Really bad. Don't read it." This is coming from my mom who reads EVERYTHING.  She loves Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Jeanette Walls, Sue Monk Kidd, thrillers, mysteries, chick lit, memoirs, Pulitzer Prize winners . . . you name it, she reads it.

She was right about Dan Brown's latest installment of the Robert Langdon thrillers.  Although I was looking forward to having a action packed, page turner after my memoir bender in May and the beginning of June, I can't believe Dan Brown can write a book this bad.  I mean really bad.  I mean if I had not paid the $12.99 to download the book from onto my iPad, I would have stopped reading it after the first ridiculously bad 50 pages.  I mean, really when I hear people talk about this book even being remotely good, I want to throw a tantrum about it because the narrative was thin, the characters were ridiculous, even the information about Dante's Inferno was the elementary school version of it.  I turned the pages quickly because I really just wanted to finish it to move on to another book.  Unlike The Da Vinci Code which spurred questions about religion and history and made me want to research Da Vinci, this book made me feel stupid.  The watered down version of the population crisis (which was the only real interesting part of the book which reminded me of the research I did for the Summer Academic Enrichment Program at McDaniel College for the DC Success Foundation students which centered on environmental disasters.  One topic we decided to avoid was the population crisis because the problem is so vast we didn't want to depress all the students) and the oversimplified villain, the shapeshifter ally, the constructed shooting, the death mask with written clues, the man following them with the horrible rash / plague . . . . every detail felt contrived and predictable, and the twists and turns of the plot were just plain dumb.

Please, listen to my mother and don't read this book.  If you haven't read a Dan Brown book yet, read The DaVinci Code or Angels & Demons, but stay away from what my husband affectionately calls Dumbferno.

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