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Inferno - Dan Brown The reviews that point out the formulaic nature of these novels are a riot, reading the book was worth it for this alone, since it made me enjoy these reviews even more. A fast and easy read, if, as I did, you skim thru the travelogue portions, since the action is dispersed throughout the travelogue like raisins in raisin bread.

Although it was fun to skim thru such a fast paced story, several points struck a discordant note: why in the world would the brilliant scientist/Transhumanist go to such trouble and risk his whole enterprise to leave this wealth of arcane clues; why would Langdon be so surprised at all of the twists and turns and betrayals, after his prior experiences in the earlier novels; why are the primary characters, in the midst of life and death struggles using such stilted language and saying such inane things to one another; and why do all the characters constantly engage in inner dialogue that invariably includes asking themselves "why is this happening to me . . .?" Of course, as I continued to read along, I found myself asking, "Why is this happening to me . . . ?"

The premise of the story is interesting and frightening, although presented in a surprisingly pedantic manner, and the denouement is more than a bit disappointing, mathematical analysis and projections convince all the players of an impending global disaster, and the arguments against the antagonist's resolution of these concepts seem to net out to an emotional response "it's unthinkable" but maybe that is the point of leaving the story with this ending.

And Dan Brown deserves a heartfelt nod for the tag line that precedes the story and appears again within the story, "The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis" although perhaps we have always felt this way, from even well before Dante's birth, after all, when have we ever not been in a time of moral crisis, although surely this is more the case now than ever before, maybe, . . . or maybe not.