Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dan Brown's "Inferno"

Finished reading Dan Brown's latest novel "Inferno" (in ebook). It is more than 500 pages long. The burning issue of environmental crisis that the world is facing is the subject of this novel. Human population has been growing at an alarming rate and the world is in precarious position because of it. The bleak scenario that environmental specialist Paul Ehlrich depicted in his book "The Population Bomb" is true. Human consumption of natural resources and exploitation has contributed to global warming and climate change which have been wreaking havoc in many countries. Dan Brown has fictionalized this issue in his signature thriller featuring Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. A visionary genetic scientist Bertrand Zobrist has produced a vicious virus which aims to terminate human productivity. He seeks the help of a global security organization called The Consortium to put him in a secret place to work on this virus as he is on the watchlist of World Health Organization as a potential bioterrorist. He has sent a videotape to The Consortium for uploading on the web at a certain date but out of a sudden he commits suicide. In the tape, he has indicated the place where he had planted virus pathogens and WHO seeks the help of Robert Langdon to locate that place as Zobrist's message is riddled with symbols referring to Dante's famous work "Inferno". Will Langdon be able to stop the spreading of the virus or is it too late? During the race against time to stop the virus, Langdon is physically assaulted, is duped by an apparent helper, stalked by an assassin, has to see his friend dying, has to run around Italy hungry and faces stressing situations galore. There are many thrilling moments in the novel. The secret organization The Consortium works just like Consumer Recreation Services in David Fincher's movie "The Game" (if you have watched the movie). I found the novel enjoyable and there is silly fun to be had. Not the stuff for readers who demand seriousness in fiction. But behind the madness of the narrative there is a serious message of environmental awareness and activism which is very relevant to modern times.

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