INFERNO (Robert Langdon #4)

Author: DAN BROWN

Publication:  2013

Genre:  Thriller, Mystery, Conspiracy

Language: English

Narrator: Third person narrator. This narrator is not omniscient. Even though he tells the emotions and thoughts of all the characters in the novel, the narrator knows only what Langdon knows about the situation in which he becomes involved.

Theme: The challenge associated with population control is a major theme in this novel as Langdon and others search for a pathogen they believe is intended to cull the population.

Main Characters: Robert Langdon, Bertrand Zobrist, Sienna Brooks, Elizabeth Sinskey, The Provost.

BOOK SUMMARY

Harvard professor Robert Langdon is recruited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help locate a deadly pathogen. The virus is believed to have been created by Bertrand Zobrist, a Transhumanist who thought that the world was in danger of collapse because of overpopulation. Zobrist had led Elizabeth Sinskey, director of the WHO, to believe he had created a plague to cull the population. Sinskey hoped to find and contain the contagion before it had tragic effects.

Sinskey’s plan for Langdon to help locate the pathogen was quickly derailed when he was detained by the provost, a man who had provided a sanctuary in which Zobrist could work. The provost and his people wiped Langdon’s memory. They told him that he had retrograde amnesia caused by a gunshot wound to his scalp, and they provided an altered form of reality in which they convinced Langdon that the people sent by Sinskey to find him were trying to kill him.

Using cryptic clues that Dante enthusiast Zobrist has left, Langdon and his new friend Sienna Brooks tracked the virus to the city of Istanbul. Before they could travel to that city, Langdon and Sienna were separated when Langdon was captured by the men working with Sinskey. Sinskey and the provost, who had begun working together after the provost showed Sinskey a chilling video Zobrist had requested to be released to the media, convinced Langdon that no one was trying to kill him and that they were all on the same side, with the exception, perhaps, of Sienna.

Langdon learned the shocking reality that Sienna had actually been Zobrist’s lover and disciple. Believing that Sienna had wanted to find the plague so she could keep Sinskey’s men from containing it, Langdon and the others discover the place where Zobrist left his virus — a cistern in Istanbul that had become a tourist attraction. Zobrist had sponsored a symphony orchestra to play the Dante Symphony, a musical rendition of Dante’s Inferno, at that cistern for a period of one week, in order to draw the maximum number of tourists. After encountering Sienna on her way out of the cistern, one of the disease control workers discovered the bag containing the plague had already ruptured. Langdon followed Sienna because he believed that she had intentionally ruptured the bag.

When Sienna finally stopped running from Langdon, she told Langdon the bag had already burst when she arrived. She had known what type virus Zobrist had made and had wanted to stop it from being released. Seeing that she was sincere, Langdon coaxed Sienna to work with Sinskey and the WHO to help them understand and deal with the aftermath of the virus Zobrist had created.

 

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CHARACTERS LIST

Robert Langdon: An American professor of symbology at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Bertrand Zobrist: A transhumanist genius scientist who is obsessed with Dante’s Inferno.
Sienna Brooks: A doctor and Zobrist’s former lover who works for The Consortium.
Elizabeth Sinskey: The head of the World Health Organization who hires Langdon to find Zobrist’s virus.
The Provost: The head of The Consortium.
Vayentha: The Consortium’s agent in Florence.
Cristoph Brüder: Head of the SRS team (part of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control).
Marta Alvarez: An employee at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
Ignazio Busoni/il Duomino: The director of Il Duomo in Florence.
Jonathan Ferris: An agent of The Consortium.
Ettore Vio: The curator of St. Mark’s basilica in Venice.
Mirsat: A tour guide of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

BOOK REVIEW

Another Robert Langdon Story, this time He wakes up on a hospital bed with no memory of the last few weeks and he doesn’t even know why he is in Florence.

A doctor is talking to him and telling him about a gunshot wound, suddenly Vayentha, an assassin comes and shoots the doctor in charge, going to Robert’s room, but Sienna Brooks, another doctor, grabs him and they go to her apartment.

Robert finds a cylinder in his jacket, calls the consulate, gives an address to them which is not the apartment so the doctor wouldn’t get involved.

In a few minutes armed Vayentha comes, so they will be sure that It’s consulate who wants him dead. Him and Sienna finds that the Cylinder is somehow related to Dante, so they go to Old City to find more details.

He then goes to a museum to see Dante’s death mask, the director of the museum wants to show it to him, but the mask is gone, she looks at the tapes and sees Robert and Ignazio steal it, calls Ignazio’s office but he’s not alive but she gave a message from him to Robert, then she turns to Robert and Sienna but they figure out a way to escape.

Knowing the message, Robert finds a relation between the death mask and Zobrist, who is a scientist obsessed with Dante’s Inferno.

They realize that Sienna wasn’t who Robert thought she was, then he figures out a way to relate Zobrist and Istanbul.

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” For Langdon, the meaning of these words had never felt so clear: In dangerous times, there is no sin greater than inaction.

***

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