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Tuesday, March 11

Inferno: two cents on reviews and comments

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

Hello, it's Miss Scatterbrain 'talking back' to reviews and comments on Dan Brown's latest book Inferno. Telegraph crime fiction reviewer Jack Kerridge observes that 'Dan Brown's take on Dante's Inferno is the thriller-writer's most ambitious novel yet – and his worst.' Kerridge then presents a review which to me sounds fair enough.

1. Brilliant reviews offer something to learn or in my case propels me to recognize who exactly has the authority to call a worldwide pandemic and be aware of what impact that could have on the planet, eg. how it takes only one person's advice and recommendations for drug industries to either hemorrhage profits or revise operational tactics. 

2. WHO ate chicken everyday during the 2003 avian outbreak and told everyone not to panic? That's right. The top guy of the WHO who is a she. Yes, girl power!

3. Do you wonder if those who give bad reviews ever wrote anything themselves other than their own reviews?

4. I sometimes scan reviewers' background or review repertoire; particularly those who give interestingly mean reviews and say why.

5. If it's Stephen King, well, I still think some bushel is left for analysis on his view that Stephenie Meyer could not write.

6. V.S. Naipaul slams women writers, singling out the very Jane Austen. My Jane Austen! Just where did he get his guts? From being described as the "greatest living writer of English prose"? I don't care. At least Henry Wadsworth Longfellow sounds kind despite writing to Newman that "Miss Austen has no romance."

7. Inferno entertains beside pointing readers to places they may want to visit in Italy. To me that's where I get my money's worth. Plus, the bit on the World Health Organization was quite amusing when you think of how it is not "just fantasy, but impossible," in the real world. So asserts a Special to CNN.

8. As an English major, my ears jut out on an aleteia review which questions the use of the word "enormity." I have yet to read this part. The Oxford Dictionary defines enormity as 'monstrous wickedness' or 'dreadful crime.' So you don't use it to describe an edifice or a statue, eg. Michelangelo's David.

9. Did Brown possibly have 'enormous,' which means 'vast, immense, tremendous,' in mind when he penned "the staggering force of the cathedral's enormity'"?

10. Some comments are a riot: "Da Vinci Code was a masterpiece / Digital Fortress was appalling..."  I'm going to buy a hard-cover Da Vinci and forgive a niece who stole my Digital Fortress.

11. It pays to go over comments for chances that another book may be mentioned which could make another read: "Jonathon Holt's Abomination is a real find. Clever, cultured, exciting and beautifully written."

12. "I don't understand it. I write at least as badly as Brown, and yet my novel isn't selling! How did he find an agent?" A cute joke perhaps.

13. Here's a no-holds-barred piece of someone's mind - "I think that it is very important to take the piss out of the not even semi-literate, nonsense disseminated by the incompetent Dan Brown, Tom Clancy and all who sail in them. It is not a matter of envy..."  Is it not? Don't we sound like specimens headed for the psychology lab?

Did you like Inferno? Have you read it or would you consider reading it? I will appreciate your thoughts.

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  1. I still like to hold a book in my hands without a screen glaring into my eyes.

    1. I also still prefer the good, old traditional book. I do not own a Kindle at all although I am curious about it and fancy buying one.

  2. I've not read any of them, except King. But the great thing about reviews are they are guides, not mandates.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

    1. Guides, indeed. May readers always remember that.

  3. I love to hold a book in my hands...may that never change! Thanks for sharing on the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!!

  4. I haven't read Inferno, but I attempted to read The Da Vinci Code when it first came out. I just couldn't do it.

    But that's just my opinion, of course.

    I *did* enjoy some scenes from the film version of Angels and Demons, however. The ones which featured Ewan McGregor and Pierfrancesco Favino, anyway. That had nothing to do with the film, overall, I must confess. ;)

  5. I swear I've read Inferno but for the life of me can't remember it so it might be a figment of my imagination.

  6. I haven't read Inferno but I have read several of Brown's other books. I used to be a book reviewer for a daily newspaper and really enjoyed it. Some of my reviews ended up as blurbs on the backs of paperback versions. I still write reviews on my blog, but I tend not to take my time with them as much as I did with the newspaper work.

  7. I would like to read Dan Brown's if only to see his take on the "real" one. I'm in the process of reading Dante's Inferno with a student and find it amazing! But creepy, too.

    abcw team


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